Where there is a will there is a way

Saturday, February 2, 2013

How to clean with vinegar and baking soda

Simplify your life by removing all those cancer causing cleaners and replacing them with baking soda and vinegar.  

Basically, I use vinegar and baking soda for everything now, and it's great.  It's not quite as quick and easy as the chemical bottled cleaners, but my house is healthier without all the toxic cleaners - it's a healthy clean.  I have read that vinegar kills 99% of germs, so it's a great disinfectant, and baking soda actually neutralizes and restores PH balance which helps it in deodorizing and cleaning applications.

However, coming directly from my personal uses and experience...

Using vinegar and baking soda for cleaning:

Baking soda provides the friction for cleaning.  You can use it for cleaning stovetops, bathtub rings, and toilets. You deposit a small amount of the powder directly onto the surface you are cleaning and use a damp cloth to scrub it around.   It does leave a powdery residue - unless you then spray some vinegar onto it. It will then foam up as the two react together, which is pretty cool. (Or you can just wash it away with your cloth).  For this reason I don't use baking soda on mirrors - just use some soap and water, or vinegar and water.  Baking soda works wonders for ceramic stovetops (the stoves with one seamless glass surface).

I always use vinegar to clean spills on the carpet - it's very safe to use. If that's not enough, I use baking soda, then add the vinegar.

I actually clean my toilet now by dumping some baking soda into the bowl and a bit all over everywhere else. After using the brush to clean the bowl and a rag to clean the seat and other parts I spray and pour vinegar all over. It froths up as it reacts with the baking soda. Spilled baking soda and vinegar help to clean the surrounding floor.  Around the bathtub, you might need some sugar soap as well - or some dish soap - but the baking soda will help remove bathtub rings. 


Pour a cup of vinegar into the wash to kill germs, and neutralize urine when kids have wet the bed (or when washing cloth nappies/diapers).  Vinegar is an acid, and urine is ammonia.  Baking soda is good for the odours too. 

Personal uses:

If you have insect bites or eczema, baking soda in the bath takes away the itchiness.   I use a spray of vinegar and water (half and half) for disinfecting in the kitchen.  (I bought a good garden spray bottle which is works very well).

You can brush your teeth with baking soda to remove plaque and also whiten them.

Zero waste:  I refill large baking soda and vinegar containers at a whole foods store (Binn Inn, in NZ) so that I also eliminate all the million cleaning bottles that would have been necessitated from buying cleaning products.  

Of course another really safe great tool for sterilizing and cleaning is a kettle of boiled hot water.

For cleaning recipes and ideas, check out Bea Johnson's zero waste recipes .  She has a zero waste home in California, and makes all her own cleaning products.  She lives in California, but is from France originally - she has that flair.

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