One way to reduce the number of cleaning products you bring into your home is to clean with products you already have. People have been cleaning with household staples like vinegar, baking soda and lemons (or lemon juice) for a long time, and believe it or not, these items are safe and effective. If you clean with these natural cleaners, you may buy less, spend less money and have fewer harsh chemicals to worry about.
Cleaning with Vinegar
Although vinegar is not registered as a disinfectant with the EPA, it will kill both salmonella and E.coli, two bacteria you’ll want to avoid. Consequently, white vinegar can be used to clean loads of things around your home. Here are just a few suggestions for what you can clean with vinegar:
In the kitchen:
Clean your coffeemaker: Run the machine with equal parts water and vinegar. Halfway through the cycle, turn it off and let it sit for an hour. Then complete the cycle.
Unclog a drain: Pour 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain. Rinse with water.
Clean your microwave: Put one cup vinegar and one cup water in a bowl and microwave on high for about 10 minutes. Afterward, stains and dried food should be easy to wipe away.
Make glasses sparkle: Put one cup of vinegar in the bottom of your dishwasher before you run the cycle. After you run the dishwasher, your glassware shouldn’t be cloudy.
In the bathroom:
Remove mineral deposits from a showerhead: Put vinegar in a plastic bag and tie the bag around the showerhead. Let the bag sit overnight, and rinse the showerhead with water in the morning.
Prevent mildew in the shower: Spray vinegar on shower walls and curtains.
Throughout the home:
Clean glass: Mix one tablespoon of vinegar in a quart of water. Spray onto glass surfaces and wipe dry.
Remove mold from walls: Spray vinegar on walls, let sit for 15 minutes, rinse and let dry.
Clean spills on carpet: After removing as much liquid as you can, spray the stain with a solution of half vinegar and half water and let sit for two minutes. Blot with a towel.
Remove stickers: Rub labels with vinegar, let sit for 10 minutes, then remove.
Remove skunk odor from a dog: If your dog has a run-in with a skunk, scrub its fur with a half vinegar, half water solution and then rinse with water.
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