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Our Newsletter: June, 2015

7 Clever and Cheap Things That Will Clean and Deodorize Everything in Your Home

By Richard Patrick of LazrWeb Services | June 1st, 2015


If your house is currently for sale you may want to seriously consider checking the following tips to clean up and freshen items and areas in your home that you have become nose blind to.

Or you may be a frugal person just looking to save some money on store bought cleaners. You could also be very aware of polluting the environment. No matter what your motivation is the following compounds and cleaning suggestions are a smart switch from using the ever present bottle of bleach.

Plain White vinegar

The grandfather of environmentally friendly cleaners. White vinegar is simple water-based solution containing about 5% acetic acid, which is a very powerful solvent. One of the main ingredients in your grandma's potato salad recipe is the end for most food borne bacteria, viruses, mildew, and even common household mold.

Plain White vinegar

Make a serious all-purpose cleaner: Fill up a spray bottle with one-half white vinegar and one-half water, and distilled water is the best to use, increase the amount of vinegar for rougher jobs. Spray it everywhere that could use a good cleaning, but do not use on marble surfaces

Deodorize and disinfect your cutting boards: Spray on white vinegar, full strength onto wood cutting boards, let it sit for about five minutes, and then rinse completely with clean water.

Clean and deodorize your dishwashers: Adding just 1 cup of vinegar into the rinse cycle of your dishwasher, and the vinegar smell will disperse throughout your dishwasher and spraying wands, deodorize your dishes and the rest of your dishwasher in the process.

Reduce static and soften clothes: Instead of using expensive store-bought fabric softeners just add 1 cup of white vinegar into the rinse cycle of your washing machine.

Freshen up your garbage disposal: If you freeze white vinegar in an ice cube tray and then put the cubes through a running garbage disposal it will really deodorize and clean your drains.

Remove hard water scale and deposits in your showerhead: Unscrew your showerhead and out it in a plastic baggie filled with ½ to 1 cup of white vinegar. Let it sit for at least one hour or more to remove hard water deposits. If your showerheads can't be removed, then place a baggie over the showerhead and secure it with a rubber band. Use an old toothbrush and/or a toothpick to help work loose hard to clean deposits.

Use it to detoxify your produce: To remove pesticide residue, tenderly wash your fruits and vegetables in a solution of 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to a pint of water. let them soak for a few minutes, then carefully rinse with clean water.

Clean and freshen your coffeemaker: Fill up the reservoir of your coffeemaker with straight non-diluted white vinegar. Then run the brew cycle as you would if you were making a pot of coffee. Follow up the vinegar brew with at least two full cycles of clean fresh water to rinse the coffee makers inside plumbing and the coffee pot.

Citrus

Just like vinegar, the secret to citrus's cleaning power is its acidity, and quite powerful it is. Also, the peels of citrus fruit: lemons, limes, grapefruit, oranges and the rest, all contain high concentrations of limonene, the active ingredient in citrus oil, which is a highly effective cleaner/degreaser.

Soap scum and rust remover in tub and shower: Get rid of soap scum and rust from your shower by rubbing affected surfaces with a halved lemon, rub on surfaces to be cleaned. Allow the lemon to work for about a minute or so, then use a hard brush to finish up.

Scented all purpose cleaner: Fill a mason jar half way with citrus peels, add in white vinegar to the top to fill the jar. let the jar sit for two weeks in a dark cool place. Strain, and pour mixture into into a spray bottle and use it as an all-purpose cleaner. Works great.

Easy clean microwave oven: Start with one cup of water and add a few tablespoons of lemon juice into a microwave-safe bowl. Place into microwave and set it to boil for about 10 minutes. Let the steam to infiltrate the hardened, baked on grime for about 10 minutes more before opening the door and cleaning the inside with a cloth for a nice bright shine.

Surface whitener: You can bleach stains from cloths and surfaces by rubbing the surface with the cut surface of a lemon, halved. Do not use this on granite or marble.

Fabric whitener: 1 cup of undiluted lemon juice added to your laundry to will whiten and brighten clothing, very nicely.

Furniture polish: Mix one part straight lemon juice with two parts olive oil, and pour onto a lint free cloth. Use it to shine wooden furniture and other wooden fixtures around the house.

Baking soda

Sodium bicarbonate comes in handy for those tasks that require extra-gentle abrasion. This compound can be used to make cookies rise, absorb bad odors and sweeten the sink drain. Easy to use and very inexpensive.

Deodorize rugs and carpets: Shower a small layer of baking soda all over your carpets, then allow it to sit, overnight. Vacuum the rug clean for fresh, odor-free rugs.

Silver: Combine three parts baking soda to one part water and make a paste. rub onto tarnished silver to polish and shine, follow with a rinse of warm water, then let air dry.

Revitalize plastic food containers: Scour the surfaces with water and baking soda, then finish them up by soaking them in a solution of water and baking soda bath for over an hour.

Clear a clogged drain: Pour half a box of baking soda down a clogged drain, chasing it with about a quart or double the amount of white vinegar. Let sit for a few minutes. Then finish by pouring a pot of boiling water into the drain.

Get rid of household odors: Sprinkle a little baking soda into cat litter pans, clothes hampers, and in the bottom of garbage containers to absorb terrible smells.

Remove crayon marks: Use a little baking soda on a damp sponge and lightly rub away the crayon marks.

Clean your own oven: Make a paste a paste of baking soda and water, and spread it all over inside of your oven. Warning: do not apply to heating elements. Allow to sit overnight and then use a wet rag and a plastic spatula to remove burnt on grime. Rinse with a wet rag and water. Finish by spraying the oven top with vinegar, let sit a few minutes, then wipe clean with a rag.

Borax

Sodium borate, or borax as it is commonly known is a cheap and effective laundry booster. Borax's roots can be traced way back into history some 4,000 years ago. It is believed to have been discovered in dried saline lake beds in Tibet.

Laundry booster: To really boost the power of your laundry detergent add a half a cup of borax into your laundry.

Works as an insect deterrent: Keep all kinds of bugs and flying, biting crawlies away by using a mixture of equal parts borax and sugar; and strategically sprinkling it around your house. The boric acid is poisonous to many insects and it is also known to be an successful rodent deterrent.

Cheap dishwasher detergent: Replace the expensive, store bought powdered dishwasher detergents with this: equal parts baking soda and borax. Works as good as any commercial store bought detergent available, and cost far less.

Sticky goo remover: To take care and remove stubborn adhesives and other gooey residue; make up a paste of two parts borax to one part water and use it on area you wish to clean.

Patio furniture cleaner: Clean your patio furniture for next to nothing by spraying it down with a solution of: 1 teaspoon of dish detergent, 1 teaspoon of borax, and 1 quart of warm water. Let sit a minute and then wipe and rinse with water.

Pot and pan cleaner: Sprinkle borax onto a wet sponge or rag, then use it to remove grease and baked-on stains from cookware.

Castile soap

Castile soap is vegan and all-around Earth friendly, but that doesn't mean you keep a bottle of this stuff stashed under your sink. This mild, vegetable oil-based soap can handle dirt and grime on pretty much any water-safe surface, and that includes the hair and skin of people and yes, your pets too! You can buy castile soap in bars like regular soap, but most cleaning applications require the soap be in liquid state.

Cheap window cleaner: Use a solution of 2 cups of water, quarter cup of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of castile soap and spray your glass for streak-free windows. Wipe down using regular black-and-white newspapers, crumpled up.

Liquid dish soap: You can use diluted castile soap to hand-wash your dishes.

Baby wipes: For a healthier clean during diaper changes, soak a few reusable cloths in a solution of 1 cup of water, 1 or 2 drops of tea tree oil, and a teaspoon or 2 of castile soap. Saves money and is very gentle.

Cheap laundry detergent: Combine a half cup of castile soap with 1 cup of borax and use it as you would regular laundry detergent. Probably will save you money and is far more eco-friendly.

Salt

No matter what type of salt you sprinkle into your favorite recipes, the same crystals can be used to clean counters, carpet, coppers, and everything in between. Perhaps better still, this ingredient earns brownie points for being nontoxic and seriously affordable.

Removes coffee stains from pots/mugs: Make a paste out of equal parts salt and vinegar and rub it on stubborn coffee stains on ceramic mugs and coffee pots.

Clean cast-iron cookware: Clean cast-iron cookware without disturbing its seasoning by heating a bit of oil in the pot/pan, then add in a quarter cup of salt, then use the paste to scrub away baked-on food build up. Remove the paste from the pot or pan using a dry paper towel.

Clean copper, pewter, and solid brass: Sprinkle a lemon half with salt. Rub the lemon half all over the metal being cleaned. Let site a half minute, then rinse thoroughly with water.

Remove water stains on wood: Remove water rings on wood furniture by using a paste of salt and veggie oil. Let the mixture site for about one hour before buffing away with a dry sponge or rag.

Perspiration stains: Mix 1 quart of hot water with 4 tablespoons of salt, then apply it to the yellowed area with a sponge. Leave on until yellowing disappears. Re-apply if needed.



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