Archive for May 11th, 2009

Vinegar Is A Popular Household Cleanser

vinegarWhite distilled vinegar is a popular household cleanser, effective for killing most mold, bacteria, and germs, due to its level of acidity. Cleaning with white distilled vinegar is a smart way to avoid using harsh chemicals. You’ll also be glad to know that it is environmentally friendly and very economical. To shine chrome sink fixtures that have a lime buildup, use a paste made of 2 tablespoons salt and 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar.
Make your own scouring cleanser by combining 1/4 cup baking soda with 1 tablespoon liquid detergent. Add just enough white distilled vinegar to give it a thick but creamy texture.
Clean counter tops and make them smell sweet again with a cloth soaked in undiluted white distilled vinegar.
Clean and deodorize a drain by pouring in 1 cup baking soda, then one cup hot white distilled vinegar. Let this sit for 5 minutes or so then run hot water down the drain.
Deodorize the garbage disposal by pouring in 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup hot white distilled vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes then run hot water down the disposal.
Deodorize and clean the garbage disposal with white distilled vinegar ice cubes. Make them by freezing full-strength white distilled vinegar in an ice cube tray. Run several cubes down the disposal while flushing with cold water.
Clean the microwave by mixing 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar and 1/2 cup water in a microwave-safe bowl. Bring it to a rolling boil inside the microwave. Baked-on food will be loosened, and odors will disappear. Wipe clean.
Clean the shelves and walls of the refrigerator with a half-and-half solution of water and white distilled vinegar.
Cut the grime on the top of the refrigerator with a paper towel or cloth and full-strength white distilled vinegar.
Avoid the bad smell when you heat up a newly cleaned oven by using a sponge soaked in diluted white distilled vinegar for the final rinse.
To clean a grease splattered oven door window, saturate it with full-strength white distilled vinegar. Keep the door open for 10 to 15 minutes before wiping with a sponge.
Remove soap buildup and odors from the dishwasher by pouring a cup of white distilled vinegar inside the empty machine and running it through a whole cycle. Do monthly.
To prevent good glassware from getting etched by minerals, wash then spray with full-strength white distilled vinegar. Give the glasses a hot water rinse before letting them dry or drying them with a towel.
For cloudy glassware, soak paper towels or a cloth in full-strength white distilled vinegar and wrap around the inside and outside of the glass. Let sit awhile before rinsing clean.
Get rid of lime deposits in a tea kettle by adding 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to the water and letting it sit overnight. If more drastic action is needed, boil full-strength white distilled vinegar in the kettle a few minutes, let cool and rinse with plain water.
Remove mineral deposits from coffee makers with white distilled vinegar. Fill the water reservoir with 1 cup or more of white distilled vinegar and run it through a whole cycle. Run it once or twice more with plain water to rinse clean. (Check the owners’ manual first.)
Remove stains from coffee and teacups by scrubbing them gently with equal parts of salt (or baking soda) and white distilled vinegar. Rinse clean.
For stained and smelly plastic food containers, wipe them with a cloth dampened with white distilled vinegar.
Remove odors from a lunch box by placing inside a slice of bread that has been soaked in white distilled vinegar. Leave overnight.
Remove ugly film in narrow-necked glass jars, flower vases, and bottles by letting undiluted white distilled vinegar sit in them for a few hours. Add a little rice or sand and shake vigorously to loosen stubborn stains. Repeat if necessary.
To clean tarnished brass, copper, and pewter, use a paste with equal amounts of white distilled vinegar and table salt.
Make a metal cleanser by adding enough white distilled vinegar to 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar to make a paste. Rub it on and let it dry on the surface. Wash it off and dry with a soft cloth.
Polish brass and copper with a mixture of 2 tablespoons of ketchup and 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar. Rub it on with a clean cloth until dry and shiny.
Remove dark stains on an aluminum pot by boiling a mixture of 1 cup white distilled vinegar and 1 cup hot water.
Discourage ants by spraying undiluted white distilled vinegar outside doorways and windowsills, around appliances and wherever you find the pests coming in.
Get rid of fruit flies by setting out a small dish of undiluted white distilled vinegar.
Clean the wheel of a can opener using white distilled vinegar and an old toothbrush.
Remove the smell of spoiled food from a refrigerator by first rinsing the area with soap and water. Spray surfaces with full-strength white distilled vinegar and wipe them down with a damp cloth or sponge. Fill some containers with baking soda and place inside. Close the door and leave for a few days.
Wipe grease off exhaust fan grids, the inside of your oven, or anywhere grease gathers with a sponge soaked in white distilled vinegar.
To make cleaning the grill easier, spray a solution of half water and half white distilled vinegar on the cooking surface.
To remove a label, decal, or price tag, cover with a cloth soaked in white distilled vinegar. Leave the cloth on overnight and the label should slide off.
Renew sponges and dishrags by placing them in just enough water to cover them. Then add 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar. Let them soak overnight.
Get rid of calcium deposits on faucets by soaking a cloth or paper towel in white distilled vinegar and wrapping the area tightly. Let this sit for a couple of hours or overnight.
Remove soap buildup from faucets by scrubbing them with a solution of 1 part salt to 4 parts white distilled vinegar.
Rid a faucet of lime deposits by tying a plastic bag containing 1/2 to 1/3 cup of white distilled vinegar around it and leaving it there for two or three hours. If mineral deposits don’t wipe off, scrubbing with an old toothbrush should complete the job.
Shine colored porcelain sinks by scouring them with undiluted white distilled vinegar.
Rinse away soapy film on countertops with a solution of white distilled vinegar and water.
Clean grout by letting full-strength white distilled vinegar sit on it for a few minutes and scrubbing it with an old toothbrush.
Kill germs all around the bathroom with a spray of full-strength white distilled vinegar. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
To remove grime, mildew, and scum from the tub, tile, shower curtain or door, wipe with undiluted white distilled vinegar. Rinse with water.
Spray shower doors with full-strength white distilled vinegar after you’ve squeezed the glass, or before you step in and turn on the water. It will help release the hard water deposits so they don’t remain on the glass.
Mix up an inexpensive tile cleaner by adding 1/2 cup baking soda, 1 cup white distilled vinegar, and 1 cup ammonia to a gallon of warm water.
Get rid of stubborn bathtub film by wiping it with white distilled vinegar and then scouring with baking soda.
Soak a sponge or loofah overnight in a strong white distilled vinegar and water solution to remove dirt and slime. Rinse several times with cold water and let air dry (in the sun if possible).
Clean shower door tracks by filling them with white distilled vinegar and letting it sit for a few hours. Pour hot water into the tracks and wash and scrub away the scum with a toothbrush.
To clean a scummy showerhead, pour 1/2 cup baking soda and 1 cup white distilled vinegar into a sandwich bag and tie it around the showerhead. Let this set for an hour after the bubbling has stopped. Remove the bag and then turn on the water.
Deodorize the toilet bowl by allowing 3 cups white distilled vinegar to sit in it for about a half hour before flushing.
To make the toilet bowl sparkle, pour in a cup or more of diluted white distilled vinegar and let it sit several hours or overnight. Scrub well with the toilet brush and flush.
Freshen air in the bathroom by spraying into the air a solution of 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar, and 1 cup water.
Get a shining finish on a no-wax vinyl or linoleum floor by cleaning it with a solution of one cup white distilled vinegar for every gallon of water.
Apply full-strength white distilled vinegar directly to tough linoleum stains. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes before wiping it up. If that doesn’t work, apply white distilled vinegar again and then sprinkle some baking soda over the white distilled vinegar. Scrub the area with a brush or sponge. Rinse clean with water.
For an economical and environmentally friendly floor cleaner, mix a solution of 3 drops dishwashing liquid to 1/3 part white distilled vinegar, 1/3 part alcohol, and 1/3 part water. Spray sparingly and mop for a fast clean-up.
Some carpet stains can be removed with a paste of 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and 1/4 cup salt or baking soda. Rub into the carpet stain and let dry. Vacuum up the residue the next day. (Always test on an out-of-sight part of the carpet first).
Bring out the color in carpet by brushing it with a solution of 1 cup white distilled vinegar for every gallon of water. (Always test on an out-of-sight part of the carpet beforehand).
To reduce soap bubbles in a steam cleaner add about 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar. Use the same amount in the rinse water to remove detergent residue and make carpets stay fresh longer.
Wash indoor/outdoor carpet with a solution of 1 cup white distilled vinegar in 1 bucket of warm water. Scrub using a brush or a broom and then hose off.
Clean up pet accidents by first blotting up the area and then adding a white distilled vinegar-and-water solution. Blot until it is almost dry. Then sprinkle baking soda over the area and let it dry. Vacuum up the residue the next day.
Create your own window cleaning solution by combining 1/2 cup non-sudsy ammonia, 1 cup white distilled vinegar, and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a gallon of water.
Remove the wax residue left by commercial window cleaners with a solution of 2 cups water, 1 cup white distilled vinegar and 1 teaspoon of liquid soap or detergent.
To remove paint from windows try using undiluted, hot white distilled vinegar. Give the solution time to soften the paint before removing with a razor edge tool.
To remove paint splatters from windows apply full-strength white distilled vinegar with a clean paintbrush.
Get rid of mildew, dust, and stale odors by wiping down walls with undiluted white distilled vinegar on a cloth or a sponge mop.
Clean woodwork and walls with a mixture of 1 cup white distilled vinegar, 1 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup ammonia and 1 gallon warm water. Wipe on with a sponge or damp—not wet—towel.
Clean wood paneling with a solution of 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar, and 2 cups warm water. Wipe on with a soft cloth.
Remove wallpaper easily by using a paint roller to wet the surface very thoroughly with a solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and hot water. Or spray on until saturated.
Get decals off walls or doors by letting undiluted white distilled vinegar soak into them for several minutes before trying to peel them off. Repeat if necessary.
Remove white water rings from wood with a solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and vegetable oil. Rub with the grain.
Remove fireplace soot and grime with undiluted white distilled vinegar. Use a brush to scrub and a towel to blot up the wetness and dirt.
Clean fireplace glass doors with a solution of 1 part white distilled vinegar to 2 parts water. Spray or wipe on, then wipe clean with a dry cloth.
To kill germs, spray full-strength white distilled vinegar on doorknobs and then wipe them dry.
Remove the smell of a dead mouse or other rodent (after removing all animal remnants) by wiping down the area with either white distilled vinegar or bleach. Then place a fabric softener sheet in the area to remove any lingering odors.
Never use white distilled vinegar on marble. The acid can damage the surface.
Before painting old concrete, clean with full-strength white distilled vinegar. Let it air dry.
Clean hardened paint brushes by simmering them in a pot with white distilled vinegar. Soak them first for an hour before bringing the white distilled vinegar to a simmer. Drain and rinse clean.
Remove mud and stains from plastic, fiberglass, or aluminum sports equipment by applying a paste of 1 part white distilled vinegar to 3 parts baking soda. Wipe off with soapy water and rinse with clear water.
Clean your grill by spritzing white distilled vinegar over wadded up aluminum foil and scrubbing the grill vigorously with it.
To remove film in glass baby bottles, fill with equal parts hot water and white distilled vinegar. Let sit for at least an hour. Scrub with a bottle brush.
To clean and disinfect baby toys add a good-sized splash of white distilled vinegar to soapy water.
Clean vinyl baby books or board books by wiping with white distilled vinegar. Wipe clean with a damp sponge or cloth.
Clean scissors that have become sticky (after cutting tape, for instance) with a cloth dipped in undiluted white distilled vinegar.
Clean and deodorize urine on a mattress with a white distilled vinegar and water solution. Then sprinkle the area with baking soda and let dry. Brush or vacuum the residue after it is dry to the touch.

Baking Soda- best health and cleaning product

baking-soda-small

There are many non-poisonous products that can be used for basic household cleaning. Next to vinegar, the most useful of these is baking soda.
Like vinegar, baking soda has three major things going for it as a cleanser:

It’s non-toxic.It’s not poisonous.

It’s multi-purpose. The suggestions in this article are only a few of the many ways that baking soda can be used as a household cleanser.

Baking soda  is a naturally occurring material, present in most organic life forms. It can be “made” from sodium carbonate, or soda ash. The soda ash is dissolved in a carbon dioxide rich solution, and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) precipitates out.

As its name suggests, baking soda can be used for cooking. It can also be used medicinally, and, as we will discuss in this article, for cleaning.

1. To make your own baking powder, stir and sift together 2 parts of Cream of Tartar to 1 part baking soda and 1 part cornstarch.

2. Be sure to keep an extra box of baking soda by your stove in case of grease or electrical fire. Scatter the powder by the handful to safely put it out.

3. Keep a container of baking soda in your garage as well as in your car to put out a fire. It won’t damage anything it touches.

4. Baking soda will also put out fires in clothing, fuel, wood, upholstery and rugs.

5. Clean vegetables and fruit with baking soda. Sprinkle in water, soak and rise the produce.

6. Wash garbage cans with baking soda.

7. Soak and wash diapers with baking soda.

8. Oil and grease — stained clothing washes out better with baking soda added to the washing water.

9. Clean your fridge and freezer with dry baking soda sprinkled on a damp cloth. rinse with clear water.

10. Deodorize your fridge and freezer by putting in an open container of baking soda to absorb odors. Stir and turn over the baking soda from time to time. Replace every 2 months.

11. Soda absorbs kitty litter odors. Cover the bottom of the kitty box with 1 part baking soda; then add a layer of three parts kitty litter on top.

12. Always add 1/2-cup baking soda to your washing machine load.

13. Clean combs and brushes in a baking soda solution.

14. Wash food and drink containers with baking soda and water.

15. Wash marble-topped furniture with a solution of 3-tablespoons of baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. Let stand awhile, then rinse.

16. Clean Formica counter tops with baking soda on a damp sponge.

17. Wash out thermos bottles and cooling containers with baking soda and water to get rid of stale smells.

18. To remove stubborn stains from marble, formica or plastic surfaces, scour with a paste of baking soda and water.

19. Wash glass or stainless steel coffee pots (but not aluminum) in a baking soda solution ( 3-tablespoons soda to 1 quart water).

20. Run your coffee maker through its cycle with a baking soda solution. Rinse.

21. Give baby bottles a good cleaning with baking soda and hot water.

22. Sprinkle baking soda on barbecue grills, let soak, then rinse off.

23. Sprinkle baking soda on greasy garage floor. Let stand, scrub and rinse.

24. Polish silverware with dry baking soda on a damp cloth. Rub, rinse and dry.

25. For silver pieces without raised patterns or cemented-on handles: place the silver on aluminum foil in an enamel pot. Add boiling water and 4 tablespoons baking soda. Let stand, rinse and dry.

26. Reduce odor build-up in your dishwasher by sprinkling some baking soda on the bottom.

27. Run your dishwasher through its cycle with baking soda in it instead of soap to give it a good cleaning.

28. To remove burned-on food from a pan: let the pan soak in baking soda and water for 10 minutes before washing. Or scrub the pot with dry soda and a moist scouring pad.

29. For a badly-burned pan with a thick layer of burned-on food: pour a thick layer of baking soda directly onto the bottom of the pan, then sprinkle on just enough water so as to moisten the baking soda. Leave the pot overnight, then scrub it clean next day.

30. Rub stainless steel and chrome with a moist cloth and dry baking soda to shine it up. Rinse and dry. On stainless steel, scrub in the direction of the grain.

31. Clean plastic, porcelain and glass with dry soda on a damp cloth. Rinse and dry.

32. Remove that bad smell from ashtrays with baking soda and water.

33. Sprinkle a bit of dry baking soda in your ashtrays to prevent smoldering and reduce odor.

34. Clean your bathroom with dry baking soda on a moist sponge — sink, tub, tiles, shower stall, etc.

35. Keep your drains clean and free-flowing by putting 4 tablespoons of soda in them each week. Flush the soda down with hot water.

36. Soak your shower curtains in water and baking soda to clean them.

37. To remove strong odors from your hands, wet your hands and rub them hard with baking soda, then rinse.

38. Sprinkle baking soda on your wet toothbrush and brush your teeth and dentures with it.

39. Sprinkle baking soda in tennis shoes, socks, boots and slippers to eliminate odor.

40. Add 1/2-cup or more of baking soda to your bath water to soften your skin.

41. Putting 2-tablespoons of baking soda in your baby’s bath water will help relieve diaper rash irritations.

42. Apply baking soda directly to insect bites, rashes and poison ivy to relieve discomfort. Make a paste with water.

43. Take a baking soda bath to relieve general skin irritations such as measles and chicken pox.

44. Take 1/2-teaspoon of baking soda in one-half glass of water to relieve acid indigestion or heartburn.

45. Gargle with 1/2-teaspoon baking soda in one-half glass of water. Freshens and cleans your mouth.

46. Used as a mouthwash, baking soda will also relieve canker sore pain.

47. To relieve sunburn: use a paste of baking soda and water.

48. Bug bites: use a poultice of baking soda and vinegar.

49. Bee sting: use a poultice of baking soda and water.

50. Windburn: moisten some baking soda and apply directly.

51. Making Play Clay with baking soda: combine 1 1/4 cups water, 2 cups soda, 1 cup cornstarch.

52. Use baking soda as an underarm deodorant.

53. If your baby spits up on his shirt after feeding, moisten a cloth, dip it in baking soda and dab at the dribbled shirt. The odor will go away.

54. When scalding a chicken, add 1-teaspoon of baking soda to the boiling water. The feathers will come off easier and flesh will be clean and white.

55. Repel rain from windshield. Put gobs of baking soda on a dampened cloth and wipe windows inside and out.

56. Add baking soda to water to soak dried beans to make them more digestible.

57. Add baking soda to water to remove the “gamey” taste from wild game.

58. Use baking soda to sweeten sour dishcloths.

59. Use baking soda dry with a small brush to rub canvas handbags clean.

60. Use to remove melted plastic bread wrapper from toaster. Dampen cloth and make a mild abrasive with baking soda.

61. To eliminate dog odors or just freshen up the air, sprinkle baking soda on your carpet where your dog lies and vaccuum up. Leave the soda on the carpet for half an hour. It also eliminates odor in your vaccuum after it has been vaccuumed up.

Green Cave Dwellers

cave homeSome people choose to live in a cave today because it’s tradition, while for others, it’s an economic necessity. There are people who build their own cave homes for environmental reasons. Most modern cave homes were intentionally carved out of the rock — not many people live in natural caves.

The tiny outback town of White Cliffs in far north-west New South Wales can now claim a place in Australia’s engineering history, alongside the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Snowy Hydro scheme.

The opal mining town, where most of the 200 residents live in underground homes, was the first in Australia to be powered entirely by solar energy, and is still a fully off-grid community.

Resident Bert Gale says it is an energy-efficient way of keeping cool.

“Living in a cave, look it’s just wonderful, it’s the best eco-house that you could have,” he said.

“There are several benefits to building underground. The home has a low environmental impact because few construction materials are needed (although care must be taken not to damage the environment when digging out the cave). Cave homes are remarkably energy-efficient. Most underground chambers maintain a temperature in the 50s (Fahrenheit) regardless of the outdoor, aboveground weather. This means only minimal heating is required in the winter, and they stay pleasantly cool in the summer. An underground home also takes up a small amount of space on the surface, leaving you space to plant gardens, attract wildlife or just have a bigger yard. Plus, it’s very difficult to break into an underground home — there are no windows to break through, just one main door and some ventilation shafts.

Paris to turn to a green city