Make Your Own The Natural Alternatives
The 'marketing men' really have 'done a number' on us - thanks to advertising we are now convinced that we need a whole 'chemical alley' of products in our cupboards, and without them we (and worse still our children) are at risk of being killed by every bug, germ or bacteria on the face of the planet.
We need to be clean - yes, but we don't need to go into 'overkill' mode - we have our own built-in defences against these little varmints, it is called our immune system - and it only works if we train it - we do this by coming into contact with low levels of bacteria, viruses and fungi/yeasts, this allows our immune system to build up a natural immunity - commercial products contain an array of chemicals that kill everything in sight - including good bacteria's that we need to keep us healthy and we don't get chance to build an immunity; these chemicals can also potentially kill us.
Today’s society is “too clean”, and this is a contributor to increased levels of childhood illnesses, including immune disorders and allergies.
It is only in the last few generations that we have forgotten about the everyday natural substances that have amazing uses and work better than any commercial product; substances that everyone had in their kitchen cupboards, that didn't poison the environment and saved you a small fortune.
- Many modern, commercial products contain multiple chemicals that are linked to asthma, cancer & other documented health problems - an array of toxins
- Most are environmental pollutants - that we wash down the drain & into our water systems, poisoning our aquatic wildlife
- Nature actually provides a solution to every problem it creates - solutions that actually work!!
- With a few well-chosen natural household products you can make your own products - just like Granny did
- You will also save a small fortune
The folk-wisdom - join the rebellious housekeeping revolution
Baking Soda - Surprising Uses
Sodium Bicarbonate or Bicarbonate Soda, to give it its proper name helps regulate pH - it renders things neither too alkaline nor too acidic, naturally neutralising the pH, and it keeps on working preventing further changes in the pH balance, this is known as buffering. This dual capability of neutralizing and buffering allows baking soda to do some pretty nifty things such as neutralize acidic odours (e.g. in the refrigerator) as well as maintain neutral pH (added to your washing machine it helps boost your detergent’s power). It’s a simple, basic reaction, but it has amazing effects in any cleaning and deodorising tasks.
Make a paste made from Bicarbonate Soda and a 3% hydrogen peroxide - an alternative to commercial fluoride toothpastes. Dipping your toothbrush with the paste on into Bicarbonate Soda adds a bit extra oomph
- Mouth Freshener
One teaspoon in half a glass of water, swish, spit and rinse. Odours are neutralized, not just covered up
- Oral Appliance cleaner - (dentures, braces etc.) brush with Bicarbonate Soda to cleanse or soak in a solution of 2 teaspoons in a glass of warm water - loosens food particles & neutralizes odours
- Facial/ Scrub & Body Exfoliant
Make a paste 3 parts Bicarbonate Soda/1 part water. Rub in a gentle circular motion to exfoliate the skin, rinse clean - gentle enough for daily use
Pat Bicarbonate Soda onto your underarms to neutralize body odour.
Bicarbonate Soda is a safe and effective antacid - relieves heartburn/acid indigestion. Refer to Bicarbonate Soda package for instructions.
- Insect Bites - make a paste out of Bicarbonate Soda and water, and apply as a salve onto affected skin.
- Itchy Skin - rub Bicarbonate of Soda it into damp skin after bath or shower.
- Hand Cleanse/Softener
A paste of 3 parts Bicarbonate Soda to 1 part water, or 3 parts Bicarbonate Soda to gentle liquid hand soap. Gently scrub then rinse clean
- Hair cleanser
Sprinkle a small amount of Bicarbonate Soda into your palm along with your favourite shampoo. Shampoo as usual and rinse thoroughly –Bicarbonate Soda helps remove the residue that styling products leave behind so your hair is cleaner and more manageable.
- Clean Brushes and Combs
Remove natural oil build-up and hair product residue by soaking combs and brushes in a solution of 1 tsp of Bicarbonate Soda in a small basin of warm water. Rinse and allow to dry.
- Bath Soak
Add 1/2 cup Bicarbonate Soda to your bath to neutralize acids on the skin and help wash away oil and perspiration; also softens skin - Epsom salts are pretty miraculous for the bath too
- Soothe Feet - Spa Soak
Dissolve 3 tablespoons of Bicarbonate Soda in a tub of warm water and soak feet. Gently scrub
Place an open box of Bicarbonate Soda in the back of the fridge to neutralise odours.
- Chopping Board
Sprinkle the board with Bicarbonate Soda scrub, rinse.
- Rubbish bins
Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of your bin to keep smells at bay.
Pour 8 tblsp of Bicarbonate Soda down the drain while running warm tap water - neutralises both acid and basic odours. A good way to dispose of Bicarbonate Soda that is being retired from your refrigerator.
Use Bicarbonate Soda to deodorize before you run the dishwasher and then as a gentle cleanser in the wash cycle.
Liberally sprinkle Bicarbonate Soda on the carpet. Leave overnight, or longer if possible - sweep up the larger amounts of Bicarbonate Soda, and vacuum up the rest - fresh as a daisy.
- Vacuum Cleaners
By using the method above for carpets, you will also deodorise your vacuum cleaner.
Place a box on the shelf to keep smelling fresh
Eliminate odours in upholstery & carpets by sprinkling Bicarbonate Soda directly on fabric car seats and carpets. Wait 15 minutes (or longer for strong odours) and then vacuum.
- Cat Litter Tray
Cover the bottom of the tray with Bicarbonate Soda, then fill as usual with litter. To freshen between changes, sprinkle Bicarbonate Soda on top of the litter - green tea works as well.
- Pet Bedding
Sprinkling liberally with Bicarbonate Soda, wait 15 minutes, or longer then vacuum.
Shaking Bicarbonate Soda into them when not in use - shake out before wearing.
- Bed Linen/Towels
Add 8 tblsp of Bicarbonate Soda to the rinse cycle for fresher sheets and towels.
- Cuddly Toys
Dry shower with Bicarbonate Soda. Sprinkle on and let it sit for 15 minutes before brushing off.
- Surface Soft Scrub
Effective safe cleaning - bath's, tiles & sinks - no scratch - sprinkle Bicarbonate Soda on a clean damp sponge/cloth and scrub as usual. Rinse thoroughly - wipe dry. Extra cleaning power? - make a paste with Bicarbonate Soda, coarse salt and washing-up liquid - let it soak then rub off.
- Washing-up (hand)
Add 2 heaped tbls Bicarbonate Soda to the water with your regular washing-up liquid to cut grease. Baked-on food? - let items soak in the above water first, then use dry baking soda on a clean damp sponge as a scratch-less scouring powder.
- Stale-smelling cloths - Soak in a strong Bicarbonate Soda solution (4 tbls of Bicarbonate Soda dissolved in 2 pints warm water). For sterilising boil in a pan.
- Clean the Microwave (if you must use one)
Bicarbonate Soda on a clean damp sponge cuts through grease & staining - no scratch, no harsh chemical smell. Wipe after with plain water.
- Polish Silver (Sterling or Plated)
Use a Bicarbonate Soda paste (3 parts Bicarbonate Soda to 1 part water). Rub onto the silver with a clean cloth or sponge, rinse thoroughly & dry.
- Coffee and Tea Pots
Remove coffee & tea stains - eliminate bitter off-tastes - wash mugs & coffee makers in a solution of 4 tbls Bicarbonate Soda in 2 pints of warm water. Soak overnight for stubborn stains or scrub with Bicarbonate Soda on a clean damp sponge.
- Oven cleaner
Sprinkle Bicarbonate Soda onto bottom of the oven. Spray with water to dampen the Bicarbonate Soda - let it sit overnight & in the morning, scrub then scoop the Bicarbonate Soda and grime out with a sponge and rinse.
- Floor Cleaner
Removes dirt and grime - no scratch (8 tbls Bicarbonate Soda in a bucket of warm water - mop and rinse clean for a sparkling floor. For scuff marks, use Bicarbonate Soda on a clean damp sponge, then rinse.
- Walls & Painted Wood
Clean and remove marks (even crayon) from walls and painted wood by applying Bicarbonate Soda to a damp cloth and rubbing lightly. Wipe off with a clean, dry cloth.
- Give your Laundry a Boost
Adding 4 tbls of Bicarbonate Soda to your laundry - better pH boosts your normal powder/liquid - cleaner/fresher/brighter clothes - gentle enough for baby clothes - 8 tbls removes stains - 8 tbls in the rinse cycle deodorises
- Fabric Nappies
Dissolve 8 tbls of baking soda in 4 pints of water and soak nappies thoroughly.
- Clean & Freshen Sports Gear
Bicarbonate Soda solution (4 tablsp/2 pints warm water) will clean and deodorise. Sprinkle Bicarbonate Soda into golf bags and gym bags to deodorize, clean golf irons (without scratching them!) with a Bicarbonate Soda paste (3 parts Bicarbonate Soda to 1 part water) and a brush - rinse thoroughly.
- Oil and Grease Stains
Use Bicarbonate Soda to clean up oil and grease spills on garage floor/driveway. Sprinkle Bicarbonate Soda on the spot and scrub with a wet brush.
- Battery Acid Corrosion
Neutralize acid corrosion on cars, mowers, etc. Be sure to disconnect battery terminals before cleaning around them. Make a paste (3 parts Bicarbonate Soda/1 part water), apply with a damp cloth to scrub corrosion from the battery terminal. After cleaning and re-connecting the terminals, wipe them with petroleum jelly to prevent future corrosion. Be careful, remember batteries contain acid.
- Car Lights -Chrome -Windows - Tyres - Vinyl - Floor Mats - no scratch - Bicarbonate Soda solution (4 tblsp Bicarbonate Soda/2 pints of warm water) - apply with a sponge or soft cloth to remove road grime, tree sap, bugs and tar. For stubborn stains use Bicarbonate Soda sprinkled on a damp sponge or soft brush.
- Camping Essential
Bicarbonate Soda is a must-have for your next camping trip - dish washer, pot scrubber, hand cleanser, deodorant, toothpaste, fire extinguisher and many other uses.
- Extinguish Fires
Bicarbonate Soda gives off carbon dioxide when heated which helps to smother flames. For small cooking fires turn off the gas or electricity if you can safely do so -stand back and throw handfuls of baking soda at the base of the flame to help put out the fire - call the Fire Brigade to be safe. (you should always have a fire extinguisher on hand anyway).
- Fruit and Vegetable Scrub
Bicarbonate Soda is the food safe way to clean dirt and residue off fresh fruit and vegetables. Just sprinkle a little on a clean damp sponge, scrub and rinse.
The Low-down on Vinegar
No-wax floors: To wash no-wax floors, add ½ cup of white distilled vinegar to a half-gallon of warm water.
Carpet stain removal: A mixture of 1 teaspoon of liquid detergent and 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar in a pint of lukewarm water will remove non-oily stains from carpets. Apply it to the stain with a soft brush or towel and rub gently. Rinse with a towel moistened with clean water and blot dry. Repeat this procedure until the stain is gone. Then dry quickly, using a fan or hair dryer. This should be done as soon as the stain is discovered.
Windows & Walls
Streakless windows: Window cleaning with vinegar will make your windows gleam and will not leave the usual film or streaks on the glass. Mix equal parts of white distilled vinegar and warm water. Dry with a soft cloth.
Washing woodwork: You can ease the job of washing painted walls, woodwork and Venetian blinds by using a mixture of 1 cup ammonia, ½ cup white distilled vinegar and ¼ cup baking soda with 1 gallon of warm water. Wipe this solution over walls or blinds with a sponge or cloth and rinse with clear water. Dirt and grime comes off easily and the solution will not dull the painted finish or leave streaks.
Water or alcohol marks on wood: Stubborn rings resulting from wet glasses being placed on wood furniture may be removed by rubbing with a mixture of equal parts of white distilled vinegar and olive oil. Rub with the grain and polish for the best results.
Coffee maker cleaner: White distilled vinegar can help to dissolve mineral deposits that collect in automatic drip coffee makers from hard water. Fill the reservoir with white distilled vinegar and run it through a brewing cycle. Rinse thoroughly with water when the cycle is finished. (Be sure to check the owner’s manual for specific instructions.)
Clean the microwave: Boil a solution of 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar and 1 cup of water in the microwave. Will loosen splattered on food and deodorize.
Deodorize the kitchen drain: Pour a cup of white distilled vinegar down the drain once a week. Let stand 30 minutes and then flush with cold water.
Clean the refrigerator: Wash with a solution of equal parts water and white distilled vinegar.
Clean and disinfect wood cutting boards: Wipe with full strength white distilled vinegar.
Brass polish: Cleaning with vinegar helps your brass, copper and pewter to shine. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of white distilled vinegar and stir in flour until it becomes a paste. Apply paste to the metals and let it stand for about 15 minutes. Rinse with clean warm water and polish until dry.
Ant deterrent: Ant invasions can sometimes be deterred by washing counter tops, cabinets and floors with white distilled vinegar.
Getting Rid of Fruit Flies/Gnats in Your Kitchen: Place a bowl filled with ½ quart water, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar and a couple of drops of dish soap to attract the fruit flies. Always eliminate the source of attraction, i.e., ripened produce.
Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances ; Cleaning with vinegar makes it easier to remove streaks from stainless steel appliances. Apply vinegar with a soft cloth. Try in an inconspicuous place first.
Cleaner Dishes and Glasses; Pour 1 ½ cup to 2 cups white distilled vinegar in the bottom of dishwasher, along with regular dishwasher soap. Wash full cycle.
Remove Refrigerator Smells; Place 1 cup apple cider vinegar in a glass and set in refrigerator. Within 2 days, any smell is gone!
Bathtub film: can be removed by wiping with white distilled vinegar and then with soda. Rinse clean with water.
Shower doors: Rub down shower doors with a sponge soaked in white distilled vinegar to remove soap residue.
Toilet bowl cleaner: Stubborn stains can be removed from the toilet by cleaning with white distilled vinegar and brushing vigorously. The bowl may be deodorized by adding 3 cups of white distilled vinegar. Allow it to remain for a half hour, then flush.
Unclog the showerhead: Corrosion may be removed from showerheads or faucets by soaking them in white distilled vinegar overnight. This may be easily accomplished by saturating a terry cloth towel in vinegar and wrapping it around the showerhead or faucet.
Kill grass: To kill grass on sidewalks and driveways, pour full strength white distilled vinegar on it.
Kill weeds: Spray white distilled vinegar full strength on tops of weeds. Reapply on any new growth until plants have starved.
Increase soil acidity: In hard water areas, add a cup of vinegar to a gallon of tap water for watering acid loving plants like rhododendrons, gardenias or azaleas. The vinegar will release iron in the soil for the plants to use.
Neutralize garden lime: Rinse your hands liberally with white distilled vinegar after working with garden lime to avoid rough and flaking skin. Clean pots before re-potting, rinse with vinegar to remove excess lime.
Keep Flowers Longer: Keep flowers fresh longer. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons white vinegar in a 1-quart vase of water. Trim stems and change water every five days.
Plant Nutrients: Mix vinegar and water in a ratio of 1:8, mix a separate solution of sugar and water in a mixture of 1:8. Combine the vinegar and sugar mixtures. Add to plant as long as needed.
Pest fighter: A teaspoon of white distilled vinegar for each quart bowl of drinking water helps keep your pet free of fleas and ticks. The ratio of one teaspoon to one quart is for a forty-pound animal.
Pet accident: Test the colour fastness of the carpet with white distilled vinegar in an inconspicuous place. Then sprinkle distilled vinegar over the fresh pet accident. Wait a few minutes and sponge from the centre outward. Blot up with a dry cloth. This procedure may need to be repeated for stubborn stains.
Get Rid of Odour on a Smelly Dog: Wet the dog down with fresh water. Use a mixture of 1 cup white distilled vinegar and 2 gallons water. Saturate the dog’s coat with this solution. Dry the dog off without rinsing the solution. The smell will be gone!
Bumper stickers: To remove bumper sticker residue, try cleaning with vinegar. Wipe the surface repeatedly with white distilled vinegar until it is soaked. In a few minutes, it should peel off easily. Test on a small invisible area of the car to ensure there will be no damage to the paint.
Paintbrush softener: Soak the paintbrush in hot white distilled vinegar, and then wash out with warm, sudsy water.
Frosted windows: For those winter mornings when there is frost on the car, wipe the windows the night before with a solution of one part water to three parts white distilled vinegar. They won’t frost over.
Furniture: Mix olive oil and vinegar in a one-to-one ratio and polish with a soft cloth. Try in an inconspicuous place first.
Cleaning Leather Shoes: Make a solution of one part water to one part white vinegar, and use it sparingly on the shoes. Dip a cloth into the solution, and dab it over the salt-streaked parts of your shoes. May have to repeat the cleaning a few times before all the salt is removed. Salt actually can damage leather, so it's best to clean shoes as quickly as possible. Don't let the salt stains build up.
Fireplaces: Wash fireplaces with a 50/50 ratio of water and vinegar to remove the blackened soot on the glass front doors, if the doors have a spring-loaded clip, remove it, then take out the doors. Lay them flat on newspapers, spray with the vinegar/water solution and soak. Wipe it off with newspaper.
Cleaner for Gold Jewellery: Use one cup apple cider vinegar. Submerge solid gold jewellery item in vinegar for 15 minutes. Remove and dry with cloth.
Remove Lime Stains from Car: Pour a small amount of white vinegar on a clean cloth. Gently rub the area of lime staining with the cloth until the stain is gone. Test a small are first to ensure no discoloration.
Worn DVDs: If you have a worn DVD that has begun to stick or suffers from the occasional freeze-frame, wipe it down with white distilled vinegar applied to a soft cloth. Ensure the DVD is completely dry before re-inserting in the DVD player. (Note: This only works on DVDs that are scratched of dirty through normal wear.)
Wine stains: Spots caused by wine can be removed from 100 percent cotton, cotton polyester and permanent press fabrics if done so within 24 hours. To do it, sponge white distilled vinegar directly onto the stain and rub away the spots. Then clean according to the directions on the manufacturer's care tag.
Freshen baby clothes: The addition of 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to each load of baby clothes during the rinse cycle will naturally break down uric acid and soapy residue leaving the clothes soft and fresh.
Clothes washing magic: Clothes will rinse better if 1 cup of white distilled vinegar is added to the last rinse water. The acid in vinegar is too mild to harm fabrics, but strong enough to dissolve the alkalies in soaps and detergents.
Blanket renewal: Cotton and wool blankets become soft, fluffy and free of soap odour if 2 cups of white distilled vinegar are added to the rinse cycle of the wash.
Deodorant stains: Deodorant and antiperspirant stains may be removed from clothing by lightly rubbing with white distilled vinegar and laundering as usual.
Hole removal: After a hem or seam is removed, there are often unsightly holes left in the fabric. These holes can be removed by placing a cloth, moistened with white distilled vinegar, under the fabric and ironing.
Keeping colors fast: To hold colors in fabrics, which tend to run, soak them for a few minutes in white distilled vinegar before washing.
Leather cleaning: Leather articles can be cleaned with a mixture of white distilled vinegar and linseed oil. Rub the mixture into the leather and then polish with a soft cloth.
Scorch marks: Lightly rub white distilled vinegar on fabric that has been slightly scorched. Wipe with a clean cloth.
Setting colors: When you are color dyeing, add about a cupful of white distilled vinegar to the last rinse water to help set the color.
Shower curtains: Add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to the rinse water when you launder your shower curtain. Do not spin dry or wash out. Just hang immediately to dry.
Unclog steam iron: Pour equal amounts of white distilled vinegar and water into the iron's water chamber. Turn to steam and leave the iron on for 5 minutes in an upright position. Then unplug and allow to cool. Any loose particles should come out when you empty the water.
Clean a scorched iron plate: Heat equal parts white distilled vinegar and salt in a small pan. Rub solution on the cooled iron surface to remove dark or burned stains.
Cleaning Vintage Lace: Soak the lace in cold water, rinsing it several times. Hand-wash the lace gently with a wool detergent, such as Woolite, If rust spots are a problem, try removing them with a mixture of white vinegar and hot water.
- Wound Care Disinfectant -The most common use
- Cure Athlete’s Foot - Spray feet (particularly between the toes) with a mixture of 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 1 part water.
- Eliminate a sinus infection - Make a nasal spray comprised of 1 tablespoon 3% hydrogen peroxide mixed with 1-cup non-chlorinated water.
- Kill fingernail fungus - Soak your nails in 50% hydrogen peroxide and 50% water for 10 minutes a day.
- Soothe a toothache - Rinse with hydrogen peroxide twice a day
- Cure recurring yeast infections - Use as a douche by mixing capfuls of 3% hydrogen peroxide with distilled water once or twice a week.
- Treat ear infections - To alleviate symptoms and help to clear up an ear infection, put 6 -8 drops of hydrogen peroxide in each ear.
- Remove earwax - Two applications of first a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in each ear and then after a minute or two, a few drops of olive oil. After another minute, fluid can be drained to remove earwax.
- Help soften corns and calluses - Make a foot soak from equal parts hydrogen peroxide and warm water.
- Disinfect contact lenses - Hydrogen peroxide is used as a disinfectant for contact lenses because it breaks down the proteins that form on the lens as a natural response from the eye’s immune system.
- Prevent Swimmer’s Ear - Prepare a bottle of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and vinegar and after swimming, put several drops in each ear.
- Clear up acne - Apply hydrogen peroxide using a cotton ball over the face 2 to 3 times a day.
- Get rid of a head cold - Lie on your side and put a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in your ears. Wait until the ensuing bubbling slows down and then drain your ears.
- Use as a mouthwash - Mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 1 part water.
- Disinfect toothbrushes - Dip toothbrushes in 3% hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria.
- Use as toothpaste - Mix enough hydrogen peroxide with baking soda to create a paste.
- Use as a tooth whitener - Rinse with 3% hydrogen peroxide each day being extremely careful not to swallow any. Also rinse your mouth after spitting it out.