Thursday, February 5, 2009

Saving money and the environment, it's all in a days work

Here are some great natural housekeeping tips!

To clean glass, mirrors, and even stainless steal surfaces such as sinks and refrigerators, use white vinegar instead of harsh chemical cleaners. Vinegar is a little stinky, but it is safer for your children and pets, and better for the environment. Oh, and did I mention it is CHEAPER too! Vinegar cuts through tough grease, and leaves glass and mirrors sparkling clean without streaks.

To use vinegar as a surface cleaner, pour it into an empty spray bottle ( an old Windex bottle will do, just be sure to clean out the bottle and re-label it before you use it) For best results, do not dilute with water. Spray onto surface, wipe, and your done!

Vinegar also works great as a rinse aid for your dishes, just add it to your rinse aid dispenser instead of jet-dry. It cleans just as well, and it does not contain harmful phosphates.

Quick tip: Vinegar cuts through grease, but if you really want your sink or fridge to shine, use fresh limes. For sinks, get two fresh limes, cut them in half, and rub the lime all over the sink while squeezing the juice out. The citric acid cuts through rust, calcium deposits, and soap scum better than the store bought stuff like CLR. Let the lime sit on the surface for a few minutes, then rinse off, your sink will be the envy of all others. For larger appliances, such as refrigerators, follow the directions above, but use more limes to cover the surface.

Baking Soda (This stuff is the ultimate all purpose cleaner). As you may already know baking soda has been used for oral care for a very long time, but this stuff can clean more than just your teeth.

Baking soda can be used for:

·Stain remover: Mix two parts baking soda with one part water to create a paste, apply paste to stains, work in with a rag or brush, let sit, then wash, stain gone, you happy. Yay!

·For really tough stains like blood, and grass, follow the directions above, but pour a little peroxide over the stain after you have scrubbed in the baking soda mixture, let sit for about 5-10minutes(longer for dried in stains) then wash. (for color fast fabric, test a small spot before applying peroxide)

·Whitening: To get your whites whiter, add ½ cup of baking soda to one regular load of whites along with your bleach, you will see a big difference!

Does anybody out there have a flat range stovetop? You know the kind that looks like glass, and is very difficult to keep clean. If you do own one of these then you know my struggle. The flat range that I purchased came with a small bottle of cleaner for the top, and it worked great, but then I ran out. So, I thought to myself, no biggie, I will just go get some more, but there was one (actually two) problems with that, nobody sells the stuff! And when you do find it, it cost an arm and a leg. So, for a very long time I was cleaning my stovetop with glass cleaner (Big NO NO according to the manufacturer) The glass cleaner did not get any of the burnt on stuff off, so I was left with a stove top that looked shinny and clean in some spots, then burnt and dirty in other spots.

So a few months after I ran out of cleaner, a bad ice storm hit, my mom and my sister lost all power and had to come and stay with my husband and me for a few weeks. While they were at my house, my mom noticed that I was cleaning the stovetop with Windex, so she asked me why, and I told her that I wanted birds to fly into my kitchen and slam into my stove. No really, I gave her the whole shebang about the pricey stuff. So, she tells me that a mixture of baking soda and water (paste consistency) will work just as well, or better! Then I started thinking about the cleaner that came with the stove, and how it actually looked like, and had the consistency of baking soda and water. So, I tried it, and I was amazed! It worked better than the pricy stuff!

Here is how you do it: Mix 2 parts baking soda with one part water, get a terry cloth rag and work into the stovetop using a circular motion. The burnt on stuff comes right off, and it does not scratch the surface! I am a happy camper now, thanks Mom!

I hope you find these tips helpful. I would like to thank my sister Amy (Ozark Scents founder/owner/ candle maker/ mom of 4 girls/very smart person) for providing most of the tips I posted here today, and I would like to thank my Mom for saving me from bird attacks in my kitchen:)

If you have any natural tips for beauty, housekeeping, etc, give us a holla in the comments section, we would love to hear from you.

Whew, that was a long post, thanks for reading it.

Have a great day!

To keep your home smelling fresh and clean the natural way, try one of our new 100% soy candles!

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