Monday, August 30, 2010

Natural Cleaning Tips

Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest; Home-keeping hearts are happiest. ~Henry W. Longfellow

I haven't shared cleaning tips in awhile, so I thought I'd go over a few of them today. I really try to avoid toxic chemicals whenever possible, both in the house and garden. Sure, I have more weeds than some gardeners, and I learn things by trial and error, but I think it's worth it.

Homemade Scouring Powder: Use equal amounts of borax, baking powder and dry table salt on a damp sponge. Scrub and rinse. Use this on surfaces that don't have special coatings or ones that tend to scratch.

Freshen the Garbage Disposal: Grind up a lemon or an orange after using it for juice or recipes.

Mildew Remover: Combine 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1/2 cup borax in warm water. Mix this right before using. Use this paste with a brush to remove mildew on showers and other surfaces.

Easy Copper Cleaner: Make a paste of white vinegar and salt. Apply to copper surfaces with a rag, then rub clean.

Non Toxic Drain Opener: Mix 1/2 cup baking soda with 1 cup vinegar and and a few cups of boiling water. Pour immediately down the drain. Continue to run hot water from the faucet until the sink is draining better.

Stain Remover: 1/4 cup borax mixed with 2 cups cold water. Use a sponge to apply the borax mixture to stains made by blood, coffee, mildew, urine, mud or chocolate. Allow the mixture to dry, then scrub the spot with a brush or rag. You can also soak fabric in the same mixture before throwing it in the washer.

Odors: A simple bowl of baking soda left in a small area such as a car trunk, a closet, a suitcase etc. will help remove smells. Another simple thing to try with musty refrigerators, freezers or trunks is to stuff them with crumpled newspaper and close the door. I have done this, and it does help remove the smell. It does take a few days to a week though.

Carpet Freshener: Combine baking soda with a few drops of essential oil. Once it's mixed well, and dry, sprinkle this on your carpet, allow it to sit for a half hour to an hour, then vacuum. If you haven't done this before, do try a small area first to test. I've never had a problem, but it's better to be safe then sorry.

On OFL we have a great article on stain removal at


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