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Saturday, June 18, 2011 by: Shona Botes
Tags: home cleaning, products, health news

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(NewsTarget) Most commercial cleaning products contain hazardous chemicals. These days, it seems like there is a different cleaning product available for each room in the house, not to mention product-specific drain cleaners, toilet cleaners, glass cleaners and cleaning products for just about every item you can think of. The good news is that there are natural (as well as cheaper) products which will do the job just as well.


This can be used in any room in the house, and the bonus is that it leaves no smell once it has dried, unlike harsh chemical cleaners that promise that `clean citrus or pine forest smell.`

To use vinegar throughout the house for cleaning, mix 1 part vinegar with 1 part water, and use as you would normally use any other cleaning product. Use it on floors, work surfaces, mirrors, bathtubs, basins and in toilets. When cleaning the toilet, the vinegar can be used undiluted. After flushing, pour it into the toilet bowl and scrub as normal. Always be sure to test it on a small area first to ensure that it will not damage any of the surfaces you intend cleaning. On this note, avoid using vinegar on marble surfaces and tile grouting.

Vinegar also makes an excellent natural fabric softener. This is ideal for people who are allergic to chemical based fabric softeners. Simply add half a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle in place of fabric softener. An added advantage is that vinegar also helps to break down laundry detergent or washing powder, making it excellent for people who are allergic to the smallest amount of chemical residue on their skin. Always be sure to use white vinegar when dealing with clothing or light coloured surfaces, as brown vinegar can discolour certain fabrics and surfaces.

Baking Soda:

Baking soda has many uses. It acts as a deodorizer and is excellent for cleaning stubborn dirt such as that found on stove tops. When combined with vinegar, it can be used as an all-natural drain cleaner. Simply put around three quarters of a cup of baking soda down the drain and then pour half a cup of vinegar down the drain. Place the drain plug in the drain hole for 30 minutes. After that, pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain and you should find that the drain is unclogged. Placing an open box of baking soda inside a fridge or freezer can help absorb unpleasant odours.

To deodorize carpets, baking soda can be sprinkled on them and vacuumed up after 15 minutes. When mixed with equal parts of water, it can be used as a gently abrasive cleaner (be sure to test on a small, out-of-the-way area of the product you intend cleaning first).


Lemons also have many uses when it comes to cleaning. They are excellent for removing tarnish stains on silver and hard water deposits. Lemon or lime juice can be used to remove surface rust on items. Sprinkle some salt on the item and put the lime or lemon juice over it. Leave it on for a few hours and scrub the affected item. Place lemon peels into garbage disposal units to deodorize them. Lemon juice is able to dissolve soap scum in bathrooms. Sprinkle baking soda on a cut lemon to scrub surfaces and dishes. Mix half a cup of lemon juice with 1 cup olive oil for a natural furniture polish.



About the author

Shona Botes blogs about green living, budgeting, saving money, natural remedies and humour (which is often combined with the abovementioned topics). Her spare time is spent tending to her organic herb garden, cycling and engaging in photography.
Her blog may be viewed here
Some of her photography work may be viewed here
Other articles written by her may be viewed here

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