Twenty Natural Household Tips

Carol Mund

Most of us naturally understand that vinegar, baking soda and salt have primarily been used for cooking. But, they also serve other purposes around our home. And since we already have these products, it’s easy to see where you can save money by utilizing them around the house. I prefer to use these ingredients, instead of the store bought chemical-laden products for two main reasons: I believe that they work better than the chemical-filled versions and I have eczema and these harsh chemicals cause me way too many problems.

In the Kitchen:
Deodorizer: Here are some great hints to help as an overall deodorizer in several places:
• Place an opened box of baking soda in your refrigerator and freezer
• Sprinkle some baking soda down your drains while running warm water
• Sprinkle baking soda in your trash container and recycle bin
• Keep your garbage disposal fresh by making vinegar ice cubes. Mix 1 cup of white vinegar with enough water to fill your ice trays. Pour this solution into the ice trays and freeze. Place frozen cubes and crush in the disposal.

Cleaner: More natural ways to clean in several areas:
• Mix ½ cup of baking soda with a gallon of warm water to clean your no wax and tile floors
• Clean coffee and tea pots, pots and pan stains by pouring a tablespoon of baking soda on the stain and scrub with a damp sponge.
• Clean the inside of your microwave with baking soda on a damp cloth. Rinse thoroughly when complete
• Clean your coffee pot of lime scale by running a pot of vinegar through your coffee pot’s brew cycle. Rinse with at least one brew cycle of pure water. *Check your coffee pot manufacturer’s recommendations first.
• Shine up your chrome by rubbing a vinegar-soaked towel on all fixtures and appliances.

In the Garage:
• Bicycle Rust: To clean the rust from your bicycle handlebars and tire rims, simply mix 6 tablespoons of table salt and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to create a paste. Rub this paste on the rusted area with a dry cloth. Rinse thoroughly and dry.
• Oil and Grease Stains: Sprinkle baking soda on those garage floor stains. Scrub with a wet brush.
• Ground-in Oil and Grease on Your Hands: Use a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water to clean and neutralize your hands.
• Car and Mower Battery Acid Corrosion: Make a paste with 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. After disconnecting battery terminals, apply the paste with a damp rag to the acid corrosion. After cleaning and reconnecting the terminals, apply petroleum jelly to the terminals to prevent further corrosion. Use caution when working around a car battery and only attempt this task if you are competent!
• Clean Your Car’s Unpainted Surfaces: Mix ¼ cup of baking soda with 1 quarts of warm water. Using a soft cloth or sponge, apply to tires, chrome, floor mats, and other unpainted surfaces.

In General:
• After shampooing your hair, rinse your hair well with a mixture of 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon white vinegar. It helps to eliminate the soap residue in your hair and is said to restore your hair to a soft and shiny state.
• To alleviate a mild sore throat, gargle several times a day with a mixture of ¼ teaspoon table salt and ½ cup of warm water. If your sore throat lasts longer than 5 days, you should see your physician.
• Patch small cracks and nail holes in drywall and plaster by applying a mixture of 2 tablespoons table salt, 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 4-5 teaspoons water (thick and pliable paste). Fill the hole and allow to dry. Prepare as necessary.

• Kill dandelions by filling a spray bottle with full strength white vinegar. Spray in the center of the flower and directly at the root. This will assure this weed dies and will not return.
• Keep grass out of the sidewalk cracks by spraying will full strength white vinegar. Be careful not to spray near your flowers!
• Sunburns benefit from vinegar as well. Sponge vinegar on the sunburn to soothe the burn.

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