Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Natural Cleaners

I've never written about natural cleaners before and I won't today, either.  Today, I am going to let one of your fellow readers, Amber, share her experience and knowledge with you.  I do use several natural cleaners and think their cost-saving and non-toxic properties are totally worth the few minutes it takes to mix them up.

Let me just say that I love learning about you all, particularly about your passions and how you spend your days.  Don't forget to read Amber's bio at the bottom.  You all are amazing.

Amber, take it away...


Useful Natural Cleaners

Natural cleaners are a great alternative to chemical cleaners for two reasons.  First, they are less harmful to both you and the environment.  Second, they are a less expensive to make yourself than buying traditional cleaners at the store.  I personally got interested in alternative, natural cleaners in college when I realized that while we clean, we are inhaling and absorbing chemicals; I also was looking for easy ways to save money, and using homemade cleaners is one of the easiest ways to do this.  Below you’ll find some useful natural cleaners I’ve successfully made and used that will be beneficial both to your health and finances.

All Purpose Cleaner

What you need:
  • 1 part white vinegar
  • 4 parts water

After mixing 4 parts water and 1 part white vinegar in a spray bottle, use the concoction with a reusable rag to clean surfaces, such as:
  • Kitchen counters, fixtures, and eating surfaces.
  • Bathroom sink, tub, and shower fixtures.
  • Bathroom counters and toilets.
  • Floors.
  • Windows and mirrors.
  • Floors.

Vinegar is acidic, and due to this quality it disinfects as well as eliminates grease, odors in fabrics, and lime deposits.  For especially difficult messes, such as tough sink stains or sticky counters, I’ve add salt and/or baking soda to the cleaner; both substances provide you with a more abrasive substance for those hard-to-clean messes.

Cleaner for Stinky & Clogged Sink Drains

What you need:
  • 1 part vinegar
  • 1 part baking soda
  • 1 rag
  • Boiling water
  • Lemon skins

Pour baking soda down your sink or bathroom drain; usually ½ of a cup is sufficient.  Next pour an equal amount of vinegar down the drain and immediately place a rag that will completely clog the hole to your sink; this is imperative, because as anyone remembers from grade school science class volcanoes, vinegar and baking cause a big, foamy reaction.
Leave the concoction in the sink and begin boiling your water.  After 30 minutes, slowly pour the boiling water down the sink drain.  For particularly clogged sinks, you may need to go through this process a few more times to get it fully unclogged.  Once unclogged, put a few lemon skins down the drain and run the disposal to freshen up your sink.  I’ve used this recipe a few times and have been happy with the results each time; not to mention I love the citrus smell from the lemon skins!

Easy Microwave Cleaner

What you need:
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda or lemon juice.
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 microwave-safe bowl

Combine the water and baking soda or lemon juice into the microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave until the water combination begins to boil; this may take 5 minutes or more.  After the entire microwave is covered with condensation, wipe the condensation from the microwave; repeat for really difficult spills.  I use this recipe all the time.  Cleaning microwaves is a huge pain, and this recipe loosens up all of the mess and allows you to easily wipe it away.

Amber Paley is a writer who has devoted her life to educating the public about the problems of elder abuse in the United States.  Though she does guest posts regularly, she also spends much of her time writing to educate about Nursing Home Abuse here. 

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