Sunday, March 2, 2008

Vinegar, Baking Soda, Lemon Juice for Cleaning

Vinegar is one of the most fabulous, cheap, and safe cleaning agents to be found. Any type of vinegar is useful, but certain types have different odors. White vinegar tends to have a smell that works for just about everything as it has a nice almost floral scent. Apple cider vinegar is stronger and is very useful for bad odors or things that have left behind bacteria from mildew, decay, or mold. Red wine vinegar is useful, but has a stronger odor than the other two and should be used at your own discretion and like for the smell.

To use vinegar in a water solution, simply mix one part vinegar to about ten parts water (or less, if you won't be using as much). Here are some of the things you can use vinegar for in cleaning:
  • sinks
  • counters
  • toilets (use undiluted in the bowl)
  • tubs
  • floors
  • hardware
  • laundry - as a natural fabric softener - add 1/2 cup of vinegar to rinse in place of chemically-laden fabric softener. This is excellent for people with allergies.
  • mirrors and glass - just get a spray bottle and add your mixture to it. Then spray away!
  • as a side effect, cleaning with vinegar freshens your whole house, so no need for expensive chemical fresheners.
For especially stubborn stains or smells, you can add a little bit of baking soda to your vinegar/water mixture for anything you are cleaning and let it soak in the mixture for a few minutes or longer, depending on how severe the problem is. I've used toothbrushes to help scrub off terrible stains with great success. Baking soda, by its very makeup, eliminates odors and leaves things fresh and clean.

Lemon juice is very effective for removing soap scum on your tub, sink, and other places. It is great to shine brass and copper with as well. If you cut a lemon in half, you can sprinkle baking soda on the cut section, and use it to clean dishes and stains in your kitchen. Mix 1/2 lemon juice with 1/2 cup olive oil for furniture polish. Lemon also leaves a nice, fresh smell.

So, use your imagination. If have stuff to clean in your house, any of these natural substances is sure to do the trick. Try these cheap alternatives, they will save you money and save your health!

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