Friday, July 30, 2010

Project Genesis 8/1/10

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Welcome to Genesis II

I am known for my ability to discover great cleaning products. Products that really do remove, repair, or clean whatever you've got that needs to be repaired, removed or cleaned.

After reading several articles on the negative effects of home cleaners, I became concerned about the air quality of my home and the environmental harm to our water systems. I searched dozens of sites for inexpensive alternatives.
Yes, you can purchase good organic cleaners that are not tested on animals, dye free, perfume free, toxic free and such, but your pocketbook will take a hit.

Even I am an enormous fan of Caldrea and Mrs Meyers. To be honest, it may not be so much for their organic nature as their scent. How can you resist scrubbing the kitchen counters with Geranium cleaner? I admit that I cannot, and even use the Peppermint scent during holidays.
I digress....

Now sometimes we must all resort to the "store cleaners" because well,
they are the only thing that will work. It is not environmentally
sound to dispose of something we cannot clean with organic cleaners.
Used only when necessary we are still helping our world.

For alternatives, here are some ideas that I particularly liked and some
I have personally used for many years.

Natural Healthy Home Cleaning Tips using Vinegar and Baking Soda: Inexpensive, environmentally friendly and readily available everywhere.

* To stop unpleasant odors from permeating throughout the entire house, boil a cup or two of vinegar in a pot in the stove. The vinegar will absorb the odors, while
all those sprays just mask the odor and many people like me find them just awful.

* Burn the pot roast? Soak a towel in vinegar, wring it out, and wave it around the room. No one will know what you did. I did this and it worked fine but I burned fish, not a pot roast.

* Clean the coffeepot: Hard water can clog a coffeepot and cause yucky buildup inside it. To remedy this, pour 1 cup vinegar in your coffeepot, fill the rest of the way with water, then run it through a cycle as usual (without coffee grounds in the filter). Rinse the coffeepot out. Fill it with fresh water and run another cycle without coffee to rinse the inside of the coffee maker. I've done this one for years.

* Remove mineral deposits in your teakettle by filling it with water and adding a half-cup of vinegar. Let it stand overnight, then rinse with clean water and dry.


* A box or small bowl of baking soda in the refrigerator, freezer, or any cupboard will keep away unpleasant odors. OK everyone knows this one, but then after a month or so, I replace and then pour old one down the disposal to freshen it too.

* Similarly, baking soda will keep away garbage odors; sprinkle the bottom of the pail, and then sprinkle again after you put a new bag in.

* To clean washable surfaces, sprinkle baking soda on a damp cloth. Wipe, then rinse with clean water.

* To remove stale smells from food containers, fill with hot water and baking soda, then let the container soak overnight in the baking soda and water mixture. Rinse. Usually no need to repeat.

* Get rid of the funky smell in that lunchbox: Soak a piece of plain bread in vinegar, then place it in the lunchbox overnight and the smell will disappear! Wish I knew this one back when.

* To clean silver, use a paste of 3 parts baking soda to one part water. Rub the paste onto each item, then rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth.

* To remove scuff marks or grease spills from the floor, sprinkle with baking soda and then wipe with a warm, damp cloth. This is even safe for no-wax floors.

* For burnt-on food in the bottom of pots, sprinkle with baking soda, and then add hot water. Let soak overnight; I added a TB of dish liquid and there was virtually no scrubbing...yes, it was the fish....

* The disinfectant properties of vinegar have been verified by numerous studies including those conducted by the Good Housekeeping Institute, as reported on 48 hours (on CBS) in 2000. A straight 5% solution of vinegar kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of viruses, Heinz can't claim on their packaging that vinegar is a disinfectant since the company has not registered it as a pesticide with the Environmental Protection Agency. However, it seems to be common knowledge in the industry that vinegar is powerfully antibacterial. Even the CBS news show “48 Hours” had a special years ago with Heloise reporting on tests from The Good Housekeeping Institute that showed this.

* Clean sink and tub with full-strength vinegar. Simply apply with a sponge, wipe clean to a sparkly shine.

* Clean your ceramic tiles with a solution of 1/4-cup vinegar to one-gallon warm water. If the grout between your tiles is looking bad, dip a toothbrush in full strength vinegar and gently scrub, then rinse well.

* Get rid of that nasty, grimy dirt that builds up around the ends of faucets by soaking paper towels in full strength vinegar and wrapping them around the faucet end. Let sit for one hour, and then clean as usual. I really soak the towels until dripping and tuck inside a ziplock bag and rubber band to faucet. If that fails, fill the bag with vinegar and band up around so the end of the faucet is submerged. * Be cautious with some of the new expensive finishes.

* Unclog the shower head: Mineral deposits from hard water can cause a sputtering, clogged shower head. Place the shower head in a pot, add enough vinegar to completely cover it. Heat the vinegar to just below boiling, then remove from heat. Allow to sit several hours. The acid in the vinegar will eat away the deposits. Rinse the shower head well, and it's ready to go again.

* Soap scum & hard water spots on the tub and shower stall? Soak a sponge in full strength vinegar, wipe, let stand for five minutes then rinse with clean water. Water spots on sliding shower doors disappear after cleaning with half water and half vinegar solution.

* To remove stubborn stains from most surfaces, use a baking soda paste (3 parts baking soda, one part water). Apply, let stand, then scrub or wipe clean.

* Hairbrushes and combs can be cleaned in a baking soda solution. I am shocked by how many people never clean their brushes and combs. Think of all the "product gunk" we use these days. So, maybe this is one you should do today?

* Windows: A solution of equal amounts of vinegar and water is a well-known window-washing trick. Dip black and white newspaper pages into the solution and wipe the glass until it's almost dry. Finish wiping with a dry newspaper page. The streaks will disappear and the window will shine. Of course if you don't wear gloves your hands will be filthy and then you need another cleaner....OR

* Windows: Mix 1 cup vinegar with 5 cups water, and you've got a great window cleaner. If you must have blue window cleaner, add a few drops of blue food coloring! Or make it pink, purple, green, your choice.

* Stains on your carpet? Combine 2 tablespoons of detergent, three tablespoons of vinegar and one quart of warm water. Work mixture into the stain, but don't soak. Blot with clean cloth.

* Many glues spilled on carpet or fabric can be removed with white vinegar.

* A pet accident on your carpet? Blot up as much of the liquid as possible. Dab the spot with equal parts vinegar and warm, soapy water. Blot again with a clean, white cloth until no more liquid is absorbed.
If your animal continues to stain the place, try spraying vinegar on the spot. The smell should turn him off.

* To remove scents from a carpet, sprinkle with baking soda. Let stand for at least fifteen minutes, then vacuum. Repeat as needed.

* Clean toys by using 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart very warm water. Submerge in this mixture (or wipe with a cloth dampened in it), then rinse with clear water. I then ran them through a hot rinse cycle in the dishwasher.

Never mix Bleach and Vinegar! It is TOXIC

* Antiperspirant Stains on clothing:
Blot the spot with paper towel dampened with a solution of baking soda and vinegar. Wash as usual in the hottest water that's safe for the fabric.

* Remove laundry stains: Rub a small amount of vinegar gently on fruit, jelly, mustard or coffee type stains and wash as usual. No more stain!

* Glue -Loosen the dried on glue by soaking a clean cloth in vinegar and saturating the spot until it's gone.
* Grass - Mix 1/3 cup vinegar and 2/3 cup water. Apply the solutions to the stain and blot. Repeat the process, as needed, then wash as usual.

* Lint Remover:
Keep lint from clinging to your dark clothes by adding 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle.

* Mildew:
Dab vinegar on the soiled areas to kill the mildew. Let the item sit in the sun for a few hours and then wash separately from other items.

* Replace half of each measure of laundry detergent with baking soda to refresh "stale" clothing. Why spray it with chemical scents that only mask the odor?

* To remove grease stains, either add baking soda to the wash load or pretreat the stains with a baking soda paste.

* Unclog a drain: Dump 1 cup of baking soda down your drain and follow it with 1 cup of vinegar. When they mix, they foam and expand, cleaning your drain. Allow a few minutes for the mixture to do it's job, then flush with hot water for several minutes.

* Disinfect and clean wood cutting boards: Rub with vinegar to disinfect and clean. If your cutting board has deep grooves, you can also soak the board in vinegar for 5-10 minutes. Dry very thoroughly.

* Cut grease: When washing greasy pans or dishes, add a few tablespoons of vinegar to your soapy dishwater.

* Clean the dishwasher: Vinegar reduces soap build up, so throw a cup of vinegar in your dishwasher and let it run a full (empty) cycle once a month or so.

* Loosen food grime and clean the microwave: Place a microwave-safe bowl with 2 cups water, 1/2 cup vinegar inside the microwave and microwave on full power for 3-4 minutes (it needs to boil). Keep your microwave closed for 10 minutes to allow the steam to loosen the grime, then open your microwave, VERY carefully remove the bowl, and wipe clean!

* Kitchen grease: Put straight vinegar on a cloth to remove grease from kitchen walls or stovetop.

* Linoleum floors: Mix 1 gallon of water with 1/2 cup vinegar in a bucket, then mop or scrub your floor with the solution. Rinse if needed.

* Scouring powder: Combine two tablespoons each of vinegar and baking soda for an effective scouring powder.

* Prevent mold and mildew in the shower: Wipe down tile or Formica shower walls with a sponge or cloth dampened with water and vinegar. The vinegar will clean the walls and inhibit the growth of mold and mildew.

* Remove rust: To get rid of rust, soak items in vinegar (do not dilute). This will work on any metal.

* Remove residue and styling product build up from hair: Every few shampoos, rinse your hair with a mixture of 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 warm water to remove all the build up and get rid of that dullness. Cheaper than special "cleansing" shampoos.

* Stickers and sticky residues: Rub a few layers of vinegar on the area and allow to soak. Then wash off with a wet washcloth.

* Eyeglass cleaner. Place a drop of vinegar on soft cloth for lenses.

* Bumper stickers: Soak a cloth in vinegar and lay it over the bumper sticker. Allow to soak a few minutes. The bumper sticker should peel right off. Rub vinegar over the area to remove the sticky residue, if necessary.

* Use vinegar to polish the chrome on your car. It will shine.

As my final note today:
Here is a cool site for Families with kids and Teachers

One more thing, forgive me, I know this is long, but I priced
a gallon of store brand vinegar today $1.59

OK - Now It Is Your Turn

If you have any questions about the rules, please

contact me, but here they are in a nutshell:

Project Genesis will link visitors back to your blog; however,
this is NOT the forum to exploit for give-away promotions,
to garner Followers or to link to your commercial enterprises.
The link should be DIRECTLY to your post contributing
to Project Genesis, not just to your blog.
There are numerous blogs and TV programs that show how to
recycle furniture and garage/thrift sale finds, so we'll leave that to them.

Not your original idea or photos? Provide credit where credit is due.
I reserve the right to edit ANY participants.
In other words play nice, please.



Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks so much for the wealth of info on green ways to keep our homes clean! Your project Genesis is very rock!

Pooch Purple Reign said...

these are all really great tips. some i knew about and some are new to me.
i havent figured out the thumbnail link thing yet but i will soon.for now i will enjoy other entries.
bravo to all who make the conscious effort to leave a smaller footprint.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wow, Suzu, what a wealth of great information. I am going to try out a lot of them...I love vinegar too!

Lynette Killam said...

Oh,terrific, Suzan! I hadn't heard of a few of these..can't wait to give them a try.

Many thanks for initiating Project Genesis. We each make a difference in small ways, but together we can be a true force for change!

Off to garner more tips...

Imagination Lane

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Suzan
Some great uses for bi-carb and vinegar.. both kind of the environment and on us!

I use both everyday around the home.. in fact I use so much vinegar I think my local supermarket may suspect I am making moonshine from it .... Vinegar is great alternative to fabric softener too.. and great if you have allergies...

Another inspiring post... thanks again for hosting a blog event to make a difference... xxx Julie

PS.. internet is still pazzo.. will catch up with everyone's post when it is in a happy mood!! hahaha

the old white house said...

Thanks Suzan! I think this is a wonderful idea and can't wait to learn from others how to make our life greener over here! Have a fabulous weekend! Theresa

erin's art and gardens said...

thank you so much for hosting, z. such a fantastic project and oh my, your info here today is fantastic!!
all the best,

From the Old InkWell said...

Just found your blog today and loved it! Great and useful post!

Ella said...

So much info, I knew some about the vinegar, but not all of these! I think I may have to copy these down.

I love green tips and these are great~ Thank you! Now off to work on my post.

Auntie sezzzzzz... said...

I'm happy to have found your marvelous blog! Due to being send over by the Dear Lady at "A Cottage In The Woods"" blog.

Gentle hugs...

Tanya said...

I LOVE that all this info is in one place for me to reference, now...have always used vinegar to mop my floors, but who knew there were so many other great uses! Said it before, and I'll say it again - you ROCK! Thanks, Z


Nice and Easy Antiques said...

Last year my Daughter got a, let's say really nasty allergy attack to chemical cleaners that ended in 2 hospital days. Since then, I have switched to organic, chemical free (at least that's how they promote themselves!) cleaners and vinegar has been essential in my home. You posted some great info today, thank you!!!!

Carole said...

Hey Z,
Great tips and so indepth. I rarely buy chemical cleaner...well to be honest I hate to clean but I really hate the smell more of those cleaners. Organic cleaning is so much more pleasant a chore.

Great post!

Anonymous said...

I clean w/ baking soda & vinegar, but didn't know about all these other great ideas. Thanks, Z!

Unknown said...

This is great! I had no idea that baking soda and vinegar had so many varied uses around the house. I am going to try the vinegar remedy for pet accidents. Thanks so much.

nerines said...

That's fantastic information! I'm not that big on domestic stuff, so I reckon I've already developed an environmentally friendly life style right there;) There is something I've heard helps to keep your fridge odour free I couldn't remember what it was but I'm thinking now that it may have been vinegar...I also soak certain types of new fabric in it before using, helps to hold dye. Thanks heaps for you great post:)

Dru Ann @ a Fine Farmhouse said...

Thanks for all the tips.... I truly am inspired by your post and all these others.. A wonderful Project !... AND I'm inspired to take part as well ! I will participate in the Project Genesis in the future...CAn't Wait !

Sue said...

This is certainly a post worth saving. A few of the suggestions I was familiar with, but several I wasn't. Thank you for doing this.

oldgreymare said...

Thank you everyone!

clap! clap! clap! clap! clap!


and did everyone see the comment about orange peels in the vinegar? I'm gonna try this as soon as I can eat an orange..I like grapefruit scent..Wonder if that would work?

oldgreymare said...

This just in from Zuzu:

My dad (85 years old) reads my blog, and visited your site yesterday.
He called me last night, and said that the neighbor across the hall
had burned their dinner and that Mom & Dad's condo smelled like burnt
fish. So he poured some vinegar on a washcloth and swung it around -
and was sooooo happy to find that it worked!!! :)

Wishing you a great week, Suzan!
See? Told ya so...hehe

the old white house said...

Hi Suzan! Your right, even the comments have great ideas! I love this party! Stop by my place when you get a chance I got a little somethin, somethin for you! Theresa

Unknown said...

I think we are going to re-name you Heloise, Suzan!
Brilliant post on getting back to basics when it comes to cleaning!
I have abandoned all that 'blue stuff' and now generally find when cleaning glass, a wet cloth followed by a dry microfibre (no fabric softener when washing it please) does the job.
Love participating in this, thank you for doing's amazing what your learn!

Razmataz said...

Lots of great tips Suzan. Tahnk you. I have no cleansers at teh cottage that are not organic. It is always interesting after renters leave and they leave behind their cleaning supplies. We are on a septic so I try to keep it natural but people love their windex and fantastic.

Anonymous said...

Where do you get all those housekeeping tricks AND the time to share them? That's why you are the first person I call in a dilema. Such a handy friend to have. I just love you.
Love from your computer illiterate buddy - that would be me, Sue

Shellbelle said...

Well I love vinegar and use it for a lot of things, now I have a few more to add to my list! If you ever get those pesty gnats in your home pour a little in the top of a jar and add a big drop of dish soap. The vinegar draws them to it and the soap pulls them down. Sorry, I have no pity on these annoying little critters, lol.

I came to link up, I was on vacation and just got home yesterday. I hope you'll still drop by and read my post. Oh boo hoo, I'm so sad. I promise to be on time next month.

Drawn to The Sea said...

Wonderful tips, many I've never heard. I had every intention of joining in the project, but life had other plans for me.

Kudos to those who participated & shared ideas & knowledge... every little bit does indeed make a difference.