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Archive for 'baking soda'

13 Green Household Cleaning Tips

Thursday Thirteen

I’m a big fan of using natural items for cleaning around the house and will use vinegar, baking soda, lemon and salt over manufactured items. Not only is it better for the environment, but it works out much cheaper too.

Thirteen Green Household Cleaning Tips

Lemon - dreamstimefree_117467  Salt - dreamstimefree_232233

1. Clean the base of an iron with a paste of white vinegar and baking soda. The paste will make the sole plate clean and shiny.

2. To get rid of perspiration marks and associated odour on shirts – soak in white vinegar and then wash in the normal method.

3. Kill weeds or unwanted grass by spraying vinegar directly onto the trouble spot.

4. Use baking soda to clean the inside of the fridge. It will clean up greasy marks and remove any odours.

5. Clean a rubbish bin with bicarb of soda and warm water. This will help eliminate smells.

6. Clean both the toilet seat and bowl with baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda in the bowl and leave a while before flushing.

7. If you spill liquids on a book or drop a book in the bath (horrors!) – sprinkle baking soda on the wet pages and let them dry – in the sun if possible.

8. If you need buttermilk for a recipe and don’t have any – mix one cup of milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice. This substitute tastes just as good as the real thing.

9. To refresh and sanitize a cutting board – rub all over with the cut side of a lemon or wash in undiluted lemon juice.

10. To sanitize your dishwasher – make sure the dishwasher is empty and place lemon juice in the soap dispenser. Run a normal wash cycle. This also makes the dishwasher smell nice.

11. To remove mildew use a mixture of salt and lemon juice.

12. To mop up oven spills if something bubbles over in your oven – put a handful of salt on top of the spilled juice. The mess won’t smell and will bake into a dry, light crust that can be wiped off easily when the oven has cooled.

13. Remove red wine from a tablecloth after a clumsy guest spills their drink – pour a little salt onto the splash immediately. This will soak up the wine. When the meal ends whisk off the cloth and soak it.

Do you have any good household hints?

Source: Green Cleaning by Margaret Briggs and Vivian Head

Baking Soda – The Must Have Kitchen Item!

Thursday Thirteen

Baking soda is one of the most useful things to have in the pantry. It’s also known as sodium bicarbonate and its chemical compound is NaHCO3

Thirteen Uses for Baking Soda

1. As an ingredient in cakes such as carrot cake or chocolate cake. Yum!

2. Sprinkle baking soda and spray over white vinegar to clean kitchen sinks.

3. Clean and whiten teeth – wet brush and dip in baking soda. Sprinkle over a little lemon juice and brush teeth as normal. You can use baking soda without the lemon juice, but I like the taste.

4. Add baking soda to the bath to relieve itchiness from chicken pox or measles.

5. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with your shampoo to remove product buildup in your hair.

6. Clean a burnt pot with a mixture of baking soda and water. Soak overnight.

7. Use a little baking soda on a damp cloth to clean and deodorize your fridge.

8. Sprinkle on carpet and vacuum up to deodorize.

9. Mix some with a little oatmeal and use as a facial scrub.

10. Remove strong odors from your hands by washing with baking soda and water.

11. Put a small container of baking soda in the fridge to absorb odors.

12. Put a small container of baking soda and add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil to use as a room freshener.

13. Sprinkle some in your cat litter boxes to help absorb the odor

I use baking soda all the time in my cleaning and cooking.

Do you use baking soda often? Do you have any added uses for baking soda?

It’s All About the Fizz

About two weeks ago, my sister told me about this new program she’d started watching on the Living Channel about organizing wardrobes and cleaning. My first thought was “Huh! There’s no way I’m getting excited about housework and cleaning!”

While our house is reasonably tidy, it’s not spotless. My opinion is that life is too short to obsess about a clean house. I tend to let things slide when I can, preferring to do fun stuff instead.

Fast forward a few days, and I was channel surfing. I came across the program called Lush House and settled in to watch it. Each week features a different family, along with their cleaning and organizational problems. They might have carpet stains, severe clutter, disorganized rooms, poor ventilation, problems in the garden and other cleaning nightmares within the house. Along comes Shannon Lush to solve all their problems. She uses natural methods of cleaning and dispenses lots of cleaning tips. By the end of the show the family and their pets are organized with their houses all spick and span.

I was fascinated with her basic cleaning supplies—all natural products and inexpensive. I thought about all the expensive cleaning materials underneath my kitchen sink and decided I’d try some of Ms. Lush’s methods. It wasn’t as if I was wasting a lot of money if they didn’t work.

During my next shopping trip, I purchased a packet of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and a bottle of white vinegar. What you do is sprinkle baking soda on the area to be cleaned then spray it with white vinegar. It makes a very satisfying hissing sound when the two items react, lifting dirt and grime at the same time. I was pleasantly surprised at the way it cleaned my sink and stovetop. I’ve also used the baking soda/vinegar to clean my oven with some success. The grime is a bit baked on in my oven so it will take two or three cleaning sessions, but it does work. The baking soda/vinegar can also be used to clean dishwashers, toilets, baths, and showers. I tell you it’s miracle stuff, and the child in me really enjoys the hiss and sizzle the baking soda and vinegar make when they react.

Here’s a link to the fact sheets and the various cleaning problems Ms. Lush has tackled to date.
Ms. Lush has also published several books on cleaning the natural way. I tell you—I’m a believer. I really like using the more natural products. It’s got to be better for the environment and it’s sure easier on the pocket!

Do you like housework? What is your favorite cleaning product?