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Cleaning Tips

Make your own household cleaning supplies:

There are many inexpensive, easy-to-use natural alternatives which can safely be used in place of commercial household products. Recipes for homemade cleaning products can easily be found on the Internet and they will cover every aspect of home cleaning. Some of the most commonly suggested ingredients include baking soda, unscented soap, lemon, borax, and white vinegar.

  • All-purpose cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda into 1/2 gallon of water.
  • Bathroom cleaner: One part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with two parts water. Is especially effective on mold.
  • Carpet stain remover: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray on stain and leave for several minutes. Finish by washing the area with warm soapy water.
  • Disinfectant spray: Mix 2 teaspoons borax with 4 tablespoons of vinegar and 3 cups hot water.

Use all-natural drain cleaners: While the first rule in proper drain maintenance is to keep hair and other items from going down the drain in the first place, even the best maintained pipes will become clogged over time. Below are instructions how to make a safe, nontoxic drain cleaner.*

  • Mix 1/4 cup salt with 1 cup baking soda and pour down the drain. Let it sit for 3 to 6 hours.
  • Boil 1 cup vinegar with 1 cup water in a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl.
  • Pour the boiling vinegar solution down the drain. The mixture will fizz, and quite a bit of foam may come up the drain and into the sink. Boil more of the mixture and repeat 1 to 2 more times after the fizzing stops.
  • Turn on the faucet and flush the vinegar and baking soda out of the drain to avoid damage to the pipes from the acid solution.

Don’t use disposable cleaning products: Disposable cleaning products end up in landfills and can account for a large portion of your home waste stream. Here are some tips to avoid these products:

  • Paper towels: Use natural-fiber rags and towels instead.
  • Sponges: Use sponges made from recycled materials. Avoid synthetic or natural sponges.
  • Avoid single-use mops or dusters: Opt for natural-fiber multi-use mops. Dust with a damp, natural-fiber rag.

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