One thing that I love... that I don't think I mentioned on my '26 Years' post is vinegar & baking soda. I absolutely love them! Besides the fact that you can cook/bake with them they are awesome to clean with! I mean vinegar is CHEAP... and I love cheap! Well, let me correct myself, I like to be frugal. That sounds so much better, doesn't it? You can buy a gigantic bottle of vinegar and a big box of baking soda for $5 and you can clean just about everything in your house with those 2 things. Not only are they cheap but they are sooo much healthier for you and your family! Let me tell you a quick story about how I came to realize this whole vinegar thing....
My son was probably around 7 months old. He was not quite crawling yet but he was getting close. I was doing my normal cleaning while he napped (which is what I should be doing now!). I was working on the hall bathroom. Well, I had just wiped down the toilet with some kind of spray (I can't remember if it was windex or clorox clean-up), my next step was to sprinkle the common green powdery stuff in the toilet and let it sit and do it's work. So, I did that and walked back to the laundry room to see what I needed to do there. After 5 or 10 minutes I went back to the bathroom ready to scrub and flush. Well, when I walked in I noticed a foggy, smoke like substance rising from the toilet bowl. I was immediately freaked out! I flushed the toilet, while holding my breath and ran out of the room. After the fan in the bathroom had ran for some time I went back in a wiped down the toilet with a wet wash cloth. What did I do next? Went straight to the computer and began looking up healthy cleaning alternatives!! I also looked up what can happen when things like I had in my cleaning supplies mixed and it can be serious, deathly serious! I just kept thinking, what if Luke had been up.. and was crawling.. you can never be too careful with that kind of thing!
I threw away tons of stuff after that day and went out and bought me a few spray bottles (they're like 0.99 cents!), vinegar and baking soda. Here are some of my everyday uses:
- 1 spray bottle filled with half vinegar and half water. (I also later bought me a bottle of lemon essential oil and mix a few drops of it in the bottle when I mix it up. I got my oil from Florapathics. I got a sample of the lime essential oil too and it smells great!). I use this the most. It's great to clean counters (bath and kitchen), mirrors, windows/glass table tops and even mop the linoleum/tile with. I have a swiffer and instead of buying the expensive refills, I just spray my vinegar mix on the floor and mop with the swiffer. It works great.
- 1 spray bottle with straight vinegar. This is great in the toilet, bath tub, cutting boards or mopping as well. I use straight vinegar to disinfect and help keep mold and mildew away. Here is a good article on how well straight vinegar disinfects. To clean the tub I sprinkle it with baking soda and spray on straight vinegar and let sit for a few minutes. Then to scrub it I mix in a little water from the faucet and it makes a paste w/ the baking soda. With the toilet I spray the bowl down w/ vinegar, especially under the rim and then come back and sprinkle w. baking soda... scrub, flush and your done! Straight vinegar also keeps mold from growing on your plastic shower liners. After I scrub the tub I spray the shower liner (and along the edge of the tub where it meets the tile and nasty stuff likes to grow) down w/ vinegar and just leave it. The smell of vinegar isn't the best but it disappears after a few hours of drying.
- Add 1/2 c of vinegar to a load of towels at the rinse cycle to help get rid of any musty smells. You can also sprinkle baking soda on musty smelling clothes when you first put them on to wash to help get rid of odors.
- I use vinegar to clean out Luke's cold mist humidifier. I add about 1/2 c vinegar plus water and shake, then wipe down the other parts with straight vinegar to help keep mildew and mold from growing.
- If I'm out of lemons (by the way lemon juice is also a natural cleaner but I haven't actually tried anything with it yet) for the garbage disposal, I sprinkle some baking soda down the drain then flush it with a cup of vinegar. After the bubbles subside flush with hot water.. then cold water. Keeps nasty smells away!
You can do a Google search on vinegar/baking soda uses and it will give TONS of different uses. These are just my most commonly used ones.
Ok, speaking of cleaning... I have some of that to do!