Sunday, February 5, 2012

Natural Cleaning or Harsh Chemicals - The choice is yours!

Why must so many people fill their bodies and their families with unhealthful chemicals, when basic tried and time tested methods are available? Cleaners without all of the cancer causing, gender bending, and death inducing ingredients are readily available in your local grocery store. 

Many people are experiencing a downturn in their income and could be aided by advice that
will help them stretch their dollars while not having detrimental effects on their families health. Who can look at a newborn baby and decide the best thing would be to load up their little bodies with toxic and caustic chemicals? You are the one who must take charge and stop the onslaught of toxins in their, yours, and everyone else's lives and remove the toxic overload. 

I personally experienced Multiple Sclerosis. Because I chose that was not what I wanted to live with for the rest of my life, I made changes. Changes in the food I put in my mouth, what I would put on my body, and what cleaners I would use. Because of those changes, gaining knowledge, faith,  and with the help of my Heavenly Father I was able to stop the MS and reverse the horrific effects on my body, brain, eyes, and health. I am MS free.  It hasn't been 30 or more years since I have chosen to change my ways. It has only been less than six years. Six years of gradual change. I may tell people to clean out their lives of all the bad today, now, this instant; but I didn't. I learned slowly and gradually made the changes. Changes that I wish I had made decades ago, then I wouldn't have had to go through what I did. 

I for one loved all of the different chemicals I could buy. I loved to spend my money at various restaurants. I loved buying convenience food, but all of those things were causing me to become sicker and sicker. I didn't even mind jabbing myself with the MS medications everyday. But sometimes you get a wake up and decide that you have traveled down the wrong path and must make a u-turn. Yes, it takes a commitment to change and not allow toxic substances in your home and body, but it is a choice, a choice of freedom worth grabbing.

Below you will find "Natural Cleaners" to help you in your quest. I personally only use, Water, Baking Soda, and Vinegar. I've found those three ingredients can do basically everything. As for laundry, Fels Naptha Soap, Borax, and Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, and vinegar. 

Natural Cleaning Products

Ammonia - is a good grease cutter, wax stripper, and window cleaner.  NEVER MIX WITH BLEACH!!! 

Bleach - is great for whitening anything, removing molds and mildews, and general cleaning. Best used diluted with water. DO NOT MIX BLEACH WITH VINEGAR, TOILET BOWL CLEANER, OR AMMONIA. The combination of bleach with any of these substances produces a toxic gas which can be hazardous. We want to save money without jeopardizing our lives! 

Baking Soda - is extremely versatile, baking soda is an all-purpose, non-toxic cleaner. It cleans, deodorizes, scours, polishes and removes stains. There are entire books out about the zillions of uses of baking soda, and the best thing about it is that it's cheap! 

Borax - (sodium borate) It deodorizes, removes stains and boosts the cleaning power of soap. It also prevents mold and odors. Great alternative for those who do not want to use bleach. 

Cornstarch -  cleans and deodorizes carpets and rugs, you can use this to replace expensive "baby powders" also.  

Ketchup - great for cleaning copper 

Lemon juice - great for whitening items, but vinegar is cheaper . It also cuts through grease and stains on aluminum and porcelain 

Pure Soap -  cleans just about anything and is mild  

Salt -  believe it or not, regular table salt makes an abrasive, but gentle, scouring powder.

Washing Soda - (sodium carbonate) Cuts grease and disinfects. It will also increase the cleaning power of soap.  

White Vinegar -very cheap and versatile, great for whitening, also fantastic for cleaning hard surfaces, windows and shining up metal surfaces. Removes mildew, stains, grease and wax buildup. This is another natural cleaner that whole books have been written on! Did you know that Vinegar is the best disinfectant, sanitizer, wonderful fabric softener, and germ killer!

Some helpful hints  

1. Make your cleaners ahead of time. 

2. Organize them according to location they are used in, keeping out of reach of children. Keep all kitchen items under the (baby-proofed) sink, in a caddy (recycle a detergent box or milk jug for this) so they are handy. Make extras of items for the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms. 

3. Buy your ingredients in bulk. This way, you save money twice! You save by buying in bulk (on sale of course!) and you save because you have what you need on hand, avoiding a trip to the store! 

4. Store your ingredients in reusable airtight containers.  Purchase spray bottles in bulk for this purpose, since it is not safe to reuse bottles that had commercial cleaners or chemicals in them. Milk jugs are great to use too. 

5. Make large batches of several cleaners and store them in recycled milk jugs. 

6. Wear rubber gloves when you clean to avoid skin irritation.

The Essentials for Cleaning

Getting ready to clean house?  Sounds like a nice idea, but many cleaning products can make your house smell like chemicals and irritate the skin or eyes, and destroy your health.  You can do just as good a job or better with a few of our own ingredients. Safer cleaning combinations that work well, cost less, and are kinder to your health, your family, and the environment


Sprinkle baking soda on the dishes before starting the machine - or simply use vinegar.


Mix ½ cup vinegar, lemon juice, or baking soda with one quart of warm water.


Coat toilet-bowl stains with paste of lemon juice and borax; let set about 20 minutes and scrub.


Use baking soda like a scouring cleanser.  To remove mineral deposits around faucets, cover deposits with strips of paper towels soaked in vinegar; let set for one hour and wipe clean.


Pour boiling water down the kitchen drain one a week to keep it grease-free.  For clogs, toss a handful of baking soda and ½ cup vinegar down the drain and cover, sealing in the carbon-dioxide gas bubbles as they agitate your clog loose.  Rinse with 2 quarts boiling water.


Pour three buckets of very hot water into the toilet bowl. It forces the clog to be pushed out. If it still doesn't flush well, continue to pour down the very hot water into the toilet bowl. It make take several buckets, but it will open up.


For vinyl floors, use ½ cup white vinegar to 1 quart warm water.  Remove black marks on floors with an eraser.


2 cups rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl) 
1 tablespoon mild dishwashing liquid (for hand washing dishes, NOT dishwasher detergent) 
1 tablespoon ammonia 
2 quarts water 

Stir all ingredients together in a bowl. Fill a CLEAN spray bottle (not recycled one) with cleaner and store the rest tightly sealed in a large bottle. Use with a cloth or sponge to clean the bathroom fixtures, kitchen fixtures, appliances, chrome, plastic counter tops, and painted surfaces.  Rinse with a clean cloth or sponge after cleaning.  


Replace Comet, Ajax, and other abrasives with this homemade one. Combine baking soda and salt in equal amounts to scrub sinks or stainless steel pans.  Rinse with water. 


This is absolutely safe, It's the best choice if you have young children in the house.  

1/4 cup white vinegar 
1 quart of water 

Pour vinegar and water into a bowl or container, or mix the ingredients in a spray bottle. Clean windows directly with a sponge dipped in the bowl of cleaner or spray on and wipe clean.  You can use newspaper to clean windows quite well.   Newspapers are FREE and do not leave any lint, or paper fibers on the windows like paper towels.


This shiner is mild and safe to use for all surfaces. 

1 1/4 cups white vinegar 
1 1/4 cups water 
22 ounce spray bottle 

Pour vinegar and water into the spray bottle. Shake gently to combine. To use, spray on and wipe off.  


1/4 cup ammonia 
2 cups of warm water 

Pour ammonia and warm water in a baking dish and leave in a warm oven overnight. This will loosen the grime in the oven, which you can then clean with an ammonia-based cleaner or soap and water. You can also scour with baking soda. 


Don't buy one of those metal plates that you put in warm water to clean silver. This is the same thing!  This trick works like magic and kids love it.  

Aluminum foil 
Baking soda 
Very hot water (can be boiling if you like) 

Combine the above ingredients in a clean kitchen sink. Put your tarnished sterling silver, silver, and silver-plated items into the sink and let set for a few minutes. Watch as the tarnish disappears from the silverware and reappears on the foil. This is a natural chemical reaction, and a great way to teach the kids some science! 

Note: This trick works so well that it will clean out the nooks and crannies that give some silverware the "aged" look, so you may only want to do this occasionally. 


This cleaner performs as well as top-of-the-line commercial products. Use to clean Tile, floors, counter tops, appliances, etc.

Cost: About 40 cents a gallon (not including water) 

1/4 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) 
1 cup household ammonia 
½ cup white vinegar 
1 gallon warm water  

Mix ingredients and store in tightly-capped container.  


The best commercial preparations leave windows only a little shinier. Even though the cornstarch makes the mixture slightly gritty, it doesn’t scratch the glass.  Ammonia is poisonous, so keep the mixture away from children and arrange good ventilation. Wear gloves because it's a heavy-duty cleaner and rough on the hands.
Cost: About  20 cents a gallon (not including water)  

2 tablespoons cornstarch 
½ cup household ammonia 
½ cup white vinegar 
1 gallon warm water 

Mix the ingredients in a bucket and use to scrub windows. Try not to clean glass the sun is shining on  because it will dry too fast and streak.  


 Vinegar makes it a lot easier to get rid of smudges than plain water. In theory, vinegar is supposed to remove hard-water spots.  

May be hard on your hands, but safe enough to drink.  
Cost: About 7 cents a gallon (not including water) 

½ cup white vinegar 
1 gallon warm water  

Just mix and scrub.  


In the same league as commercial cleaners, but few name-brand cleaners got rid of smudges with less scrubbing.  Bleach is poisonous, so keep it away from children. It will bleach anything it touches, so use only on colorfast items. Check the solution first on a hidden spot.  

Cost: Less than a penny a gallon (not including water)  

2 tablespoons or 1/8 cup liquid bleach 
1 quart cold water 

Mix in a scrub bucket. Moisten an old cloth with the solution and wipe onto surface. Let stand about 2 minutes and rinse well.               

A few of the best commercial cleaners outperform it.  Ammonia is poisonous and its fumes sting the eyes and throat.  Wear gloves. Don't mix with  chlorine bleach because the combination produces poisonous gases called chloramines.  
Cost: About 8 cents a gallon (not including water)  

½ cup household ammonia 
1 gallon warm water. 

Mix in a pail and use to scrub.  


Does the job but you need to scrub more than you would with a commercial cleaner.   Safe enough to eat, and it's not gritty enough to scratch the  metal.  Suitable for brass, bronze, copper and pewter. Not for silver, silver plate and jewelry.  
Cost: Less than a penny for about 3 tablespoons of paste (not including water)  

1 tablespoon flour 
1 tablespoon salt 
I tablespoon white vinegar 

Combine salt and flour in small bowl and stir until blended. Add the vinegar and mix into a thick paste.  Smear on the paste with a damp sponge or cloth and rub gently. Let the polish dry for about an hour.  Rinse well with warm water and buff dry with a soft cloth.  


A few commercial preparations require less scrubbing.  Borax kills roaches, and other bugs, store the borax away from small children, and animals.  For painted walls, not wall-paper
Cost: About 6 cents; for 2 quarts (not including water)  

2 ounces borax 
I teaspoon ammonia 
2 quarts water  

 Dissolve the borax and ammonia in a bucketful of water. Scrub a really dirty wall from the bottom up. if  you scrub from the top down, the dirty water will run down over the dry, soiled wall leaving  hard-to-remove streaks.   It won't stain wet, clean walls.  For textured walls, old socks are  good scrubbers because they won't tear off in little pieces as easily as a sponge might. To keep water from dribbling down your arm, fasten an old washcloth around your wrist with a rubber hand.  


Getting Started: Pour a cup of baking soda into the drain and send a cup of white vinegar with pot of boiling water to chase. Use a plunger to finish. 

Monthly Maintenance: Use ½ cup of white vinegar with ½ cup baking soda and pour down drain. Let it sit for about 30 minutes and flush away. This solution is also gentle on your septic system! 

Homemade Dust and Furniture Polish 

Cheap and very effective. No more pledge for me! 

1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup lemon juice 

Pour oil and lemon juice into a squirt bottle or jar. Stir to combine. To use, dip dust cloth or rag into oil, blot the oil by folding the cloth together,and then dust your furniture. Leaves a beautiful finish! 


Remove Clothing Stains with Lemon

Mix ¼ cup lemon juice and ¼ cup white vinegar with warm water. Soak clothes in this natural bleach for 20 minutes before washing.


Lemon Juice, on fabric, set in sun. How easy is that?


Add ½ cup Water Softer (White King or Calgon) to wash water along with the usual amount of detergent.  Dingy whites are caused by hard water


Add ½ cup of Murphy’s Oil Soap to wash water along with the usual amount of detergent. Or for a more natural method try Redmond's Clay or Diatomaceous Earth. 

By using these simple to store, simple to use, and simple to buy ingredients you can easily clean your home, fabrics, and life all the while freeing up some storage space in your home.

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