Thursday, September 23, 2010

Move Over Windex

Whenever I walk down the cleaning supplies isle of the grocery store, I feel a little nauseated by all of the chemicals and fragrances. I have always tried to buy fragrance free products, but even the chemical smells of many items would still make me feel queasy. My new thing lately has been to try homemade green cleaning products. For years, I have used vinegar to mop my floor and clean spills on my carpet, but it can be used for so many other chores around the home. The acetic acid in vinegar kills germs, mold, viruses, and bacteria. Vinegar is also a deodorizer, as you work with it; it freshens the air and neutralizes odors. A recipe for an all-purpose cleaner is quite simple and very inexpensive.

All-purpose Cleaner

Fill a spray bottle one-third full with white vinegar. Fill with cold water. Add 10 drops of your favorite essential oil (lemon, eucalyptus, orange, or tea tree are great for the kitchen and bathroom). It works great on tile, countertops, mirrors, and appliances.

Other ideas for vinegar include adding ¼ cup white vinegar to your washing machine’s rinse cycle to help rinse out detergent completely and leave clothes soft and reduce static cling. To freshen a toilet bowl, pour two or three cups of white vinegar into the toilet bowl, let it sit for a few hours, then scrub and flush. Vinegar can also be used to remove underarm odors from clothing. Vinegar is great for the hair after the pool to get out chlorine. Rinse hair with vinegar and then shampoo as normal. Equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle make a good fruit and vegetable wash. Spray on produce, rub and rinse. The acetic acid in vinegar kills bacteria and helps to dissolve the wax and pesticide residues found on the skins of many fruits and vegetables. It is funny that Windex now boasts that it contains vinegar when actually all you need is vinegar to keep windows and mirrors clean.

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