Monday, May 28, 2012

Salt, Baking Soda and Vinegar, Oh My!

Hey folks, lately I’ve been trying to find some green solutions for house cleaning and just life in general. After doing a little digging I’m pretty amazed by how many “around the house” items can tackle so many jobs that I had been using harsher chemicals on. It’s cheaper, easier and better for you and your family to be exposed to, so what’s not to love about that right? Because I want you all to live greener and cleaner, as well as just knowing some groovy tricks in a pinch, I’m going to share with you some tips I’ve discovered using your typical household arsenal of products.
  
 Vinegar:
Vinegar is such a useful household must-have. You can buy it dirt cheap in large quantities and use it as an alternative from the expensive products you would normally purchase:

1.  Get the funk out of well used lunchboxes. Soak a piece of bread in vinegar then leave it in your lunchbox overnight and it will absorb the smell.
 
2. Soothe a sunburn or dry skin by lightly rubbing white vinegar on the affected area.
 
3. Forget about buying the fancy “stainless-steel cleaners” just dip a cloth in vinegar and wipe down your appliances, pots, etc.
 
4. Get the icky odors out of your clothes. If you smell like smoke or in my fella’s case, sulphur (from a site job-very smelly!) mix a cup of vinegar in with your laundry detergent while doing a wash and the smell will be demolished.
 
5. Soak your wilted vegetables in two cups of water and a tablespoon of vinegar to liven them up.
 
6.Make an irritating job much simpler. Using an extra gardening glove dip your fingers in equal parts water and vinegar then run your fingers along your blinds for easy cleaning of dust.
 
7. Clean those ugly sticker decals and price tags off by saturating the corners in vinegar then scraping them with a credit card. Any remaining glue left behind can can be wiped clean with more vinegar application.
 
8. Mix 1/4 cup vinegar with one cup water and bring it to a boil in the microwave to loosen all the food particles for easy cleaning as well as deodorize it.
9. Spray your furniture and other areas you don’t want those naughty pussycats clawing at.
 
10. Clean your garbage disposal by mixing equal parts water and vinegar into ice cube trays. Once a week drop a few cubes into the disposal. Rinse with cold water after.
   
Salt:
It has tons of uses other than just flavoring your grub so keep plenty on hand and you can put these tips to good use:

1. Salt works as an awesome stain remover. As an abrasive stain remover, sprinkle it on top of the stained surface (ie bathtub, counter etc.) and give it some elbow grease with a damp cloth. If you spill something like wine on fabric, blot up the excess liquid and then sprinkle this magic powder over top. Once it’s dry vacuum it up and rinse with a bit of cold water. Mix salt with some lemon juice and you can remove rust and mildew. Your stains don’t stand a chance!
 
2. Bugs hate salt! If you have a bug issue like ants mobilizing troops outside your home (a problem at my house every summer) sprinkle some salt around and they’ll retreat and wave the white flag. If your dog is crawling with fleas, let him take a dip in the ocean and he’ll be itch free -not to mention a very happy pooch assuming he likes water.
 
3. Get a bee sting this summer? Rinse it immediately then cover it with salt. No more pain for you.
 
4.  If your unsure whether your eggs are still fresh, fear not. Combine two teaspoons of salt with one cup of water and place the egg into the water. Fresh eggs sink, not-so-fresh eggs float.
 
5. Salt removes odors like nobody’s business. If you have garlic or oniony smelling hands, rub them with lemon and salt. If your cutting board is smelling funky, cover it with a generous helping of salt and rub with a damp cloth then rinse it in soapy water. If your food boils over in your oven while baking, toss some salt on top to stop the burning smell then brush it away after the oven cools. No more stink fests at your house!
 
6. A pinch of salt in your vase will keep your freshly cut flowers perky a little while longer.
 
7. Pour salt over a grease fire to extinguish it quickly and safely. (Never use water)
 
8. Put your sliced apples or potatoes in a bowl of salted water to prevent them from turning brown.
 
9. Shake your artificial flowers in a bag with some salt (feel free to dance while doing this for added enjoyment) and your faux-flowers will be sparkling clean!
 
10. Kill poison ivy by mixing three pounds of salt with a gallon of soapy water then spray the leaves with the mixture. Bye-bye ivy!
   
Baking Soda:
Sodium bicarbonate, as it’s also known as, has been a staple in homes since the dawn of time (ok maybe not that long) but pretty much everyone has it in their home. Typically we have it for baking but the other uses are endless and quite handy:
 
1. Make a natural oven cleaner by making a paste of baking soda and water. Apply the paste to you oven and leave overnight. It should wipe clean easily in the morning. 
 
2. Put four tablespoons of baking soda down your drains then rinse with hot water to give them a good cleaning.
 
3. Give laundry an extra boost by throwing 1/4 cup in with your wash
 
4. Apply it under you arms with a cotton ball and it will act the same as deodorant.
 
5. Put a cup of soda into your toilet bowl and let it sit for an hour then flush. It will remove odors and clean the bowl
 
6. Soak your dried beans over night in a baking soda solution to make them more digestible
 
7. Add a sprinkling to your kitty’s litter box to absorb those wretched smells between cleanings
 
8. Cure your heartburn by drinking a glass of water mixed with one teaspoon of soda.
 
9. Add two tablespoons to your baby’s bathwater to relieve diaper rash
 
10. Freshen up your mattress by sprinkling a light layer of baking soda over your bed when changing your sheets. Leave the soda to sit for a few hours then vacuum it up before putting on fresh sheets.
 

Hope these have been some informative tips for you to incorporate into your lifestyle. I’ll share some more of my favorite green ideas with you another time. 
Have a fabulous week beautiful people!

2 comments:

OnePerfectDay said...

These are GREAT tips!
I pinned it:
http://pinterest.com/pin/246079567109742844/

recklessbliss said...

Thanks so much for the kind words! I hope the tips are of some use to you :)
-Heidi
xoxo

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Thanks for sharing!