Arrowearth’s Blog

Learning to live earth friendly

Easy-Safe-Low Cost-Earth Friendly? August 10, 2009

Want to avoid household chemicals? Try these safe tips for cleaning…

(Always test any mixture before use in your home. A spot test is the safest method to prevent problems)

Kitchen Tips:
• To give your dishwasher a good clean, run it through a cycle and use baking soda instead of detergent.
• Baking soda can be thrown on stove fires to extinguish the flames. The carbon dioxide generated when the powder burns starves the fire of oxygen.
• Wash chemicals and pesticides off fruits and vegetables in a pot filled with water and 3 – 4 tablespoons of baking soda added.
• A bowl of baking soda in your fridge will help remove excess moisture and absorb odors.
• Sprinkle some in your veggies crisper and cover with a cloth or paper towel for crisper veggies that last longer.
• Sprinkle baking soda onto a damp sponge for cleaning out your refrigerator and bench tops without scratching.
• Dissolve a couple of tablespoons of baking soda in water in a microwave safe bowl; bring to the boil in your microwave. Allow to sit for a minute or two, then you should easily be able to wipe out any baked on stains, plus your oven will microwave will smell fresher too.
• Sprinkling baking soda in the bottom of rubbish bags will help to control odors as you add trash.

Around the House:
• Anywhere that moisture is a problem, such as cupboards under sinks, place a bowl of baking soda to help control humidity. You’ll need to occasionally stir the powder for maximum effective life.
• Crayon or text marks on walls? Try applying baking soda/water paste on an old toothbrush and lightly brush the affected area.
• Water stains on wooden floors can be removed with a sponge dampened in a solution of baking soda dissolved in water.
• Sprinkle some baking soda into your vacuum bag to help reduce musty/pet smells being spread throughout your house when vacuuming.
• Sprinkle baking soda on rugs and carpets before vacuuming as a deodorizer treatment. Most carpet powders you buy are baking soda based! Just a brief note on this – not recommended for areas that are very humid as the baking soda may stay in the carpet.
• Mops can really stink out areas where they are stored. If your mop is getting on the nose, don’t throw it out, try soaking it in a mixture of 4 tablespoons baking soda and a gallon of water for a while.
• Stains on porcelain sinks, toilets and plastics can be removed by applying a layer of baking soda and then using a damp sponge. I found this to work particularly well on a water stain in a sink that couldn’t be shifted otherwise without the use of heavy duty chemicals and scratching the surface.

Laundry Room:
• Work a baking soda and water paste onto stains prior to washing to help remove them from the fabric
• Half a cup of baking soda added to a full load of washing will help brighten your wash and remove odors.

Got Pets:
• Baking soda lightly sprinkled and mixed into cat litter will help control odor.
• Eliminate odor after you’ve cleaned up pet accidents by sprinkling over the dampened area with baking soda; allow to dry and then vacuum.

Garage & Work Areas:
• Mix a paste of baking soda and vinegar and apply with a pot scourer to remove light rusting
• A baking-soda/water paste applied to chrome surfaces, allowed to dry then buffed off will leave chrome shining!
• Baking soda applied to fresh grease and oil spills on your garage floor will draw away the oil, which can then be scraped off.

• Baking soda can deter ants – pour a solid line in areas of activity and they won’t cross it.
• Mix a tablespoon of baking soda, a teaspoon of (earth friendly) dish detergentent and a gallon of water to make a spray for treating roses against black spot fungus.

Personal Care:
• Smelly shoes? Get a couple of old socks, fill up the toe sections with baking soda, place into the offending shoes and leave overnight to help remove odors.
• A thick paste of baking soda and water applied to bug bites can provide relief.
• A half teaspoon of baking soda mixed into a glass of water can act as mouthwash.
• Sprinkle baking soda onto regular toothpaste to create a whitening toothpaste

Odds & Ends:
• To clean jewelry, use a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water, apply the mixture the piece, allow to sit for a couple of minutes, rinse off and then polish with a soft cloth.
• As an alternative to caustic soda for clearing blocked drains, throw a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a couple of jugs of boiling water.

These are just a few of the ways to use baking soda around the house. Buying in bulk is a great way to save money; you may want investigate the market in your area to find the best deal. Please feel free to add your tips to this blog


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