Natural cleaning solutions

As we decide to give up the sweet smelling toxic cocktails we call cleaning products, you will begin to discover an array of natural, inexpensive options,
that you can trust will not only do the job, but will do no more!
As a hairdresser and cleaner I saw first hand the damage these toxic products were wreaking in the lives of those using them.
Our nail artist, after 10 yrs of inhaling those potent fumes, died of multiple tumours on the brain.
The cleaner on the job before I worked in an industrial workplace, resigned, after being diagnosed with Leukaemia. (Even the airfreshener would take your breath away!)
One little product so underrated is Bi-carb Soda. This is one of the handiest tools for cleaning around the house!
Here are some hints I've gathered from the net!
 Baking soda (Bi carb soda) -Handy hints                                                        
Recently I began making my own deodrant. I was fed up with purchasing natural products that cost the earth, and didnt work!
I found this recipe on the raw divas site, a combination of 1/3 cup of coconut oil, 1/3 cup of arrowroot flour, 1/3 cup of bi carb soda, and 2 or 3 drops of your favourite essential oils.
This is a wonder and it really works!
No aluminium, no CFCs, no toxic fumes,no pore blocking nasties.
You simply melt the coconut oil by allowing to sit briefly in some hot water and mix with the other ingredients! Voila!
Pour into a little disposable cup, or better still, I poured it into a empty toilet roll centre. One decent size deodrant stick!
Just peel back the cardboard as you wear it down.
You may need to keep in the fridge on those hotter days, but thats ok, never put convenience before your health!
It may take a little time adjusting- rubbing it in well may mean 40secs longer getting dressed- but its all natural!
- 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 benchtops without scratching.
- Dissolve a couple of tablespoons of baking soda in water in a microwave safe bowl, then 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.
- 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.
-Clean oven racks by placing a towel in bath tub fill with very hot water 1 cup washing powder, 1 cup Bi-Carb Soda and place oven racks to soak overnight, next day rinse clean and wipe and dry.
-Messy pots.Use a spoonful,sprinkle, wait 20 mins and hey presto! All the gunge just disappears.

General home:
- 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 texta 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 deodorising 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.
Conversely, try using it for toilet bowls - just sprinkle a little into the bowl with your cleanser, scrub and flush. It's a mild abrasive that works great! Or clean toilets by sprinkling in the bicarb and splash over vinegar which fizzes and then scrub with the toilet brush and rinse.
As a paste: Combine 3 parts of McKenzie's Bi-carb Soda with 1 part of water. Adjust for your desired consistency.
As a solution: Dissolve 3 tablespoons of McKenzie's Bi-carb Soda in 1 litre of warm water.
For wiping: Apply McKenzie's Bi-carb Soda directly to a damp sponge or cloth.
For sprinkling: Sprinkle directly from the packet.
Remember to test for colourfastness first and rinse afterwards with water where appropriate.
Every day, in so many ways!

- 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.

- 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 detergent and a gallon of water to make a spray for treating roses against black spot fungus.
-Get rid of crab-grass patches in your lawn by sprinkling it with baking soda. It dies overnight.

- 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.
-Baking soda is better than any commercial cleaner for getting blood stains out of clothing! Wet the stain thoroughly, then lay the item flat and sprinkle baking soda on the stain. You can literally watch the blood being lifted out of the fabric! It's very cool.

-Make a Laundry Powder:
4 cups of grated soap (vegetable soap, homemade soap, Sunlight/ home brand laundry soap or Lux flakes)
2 cups of washing soda
2 cups of borax

Combine. Use about 2 tablespoons or up to a quarter of a cup of powder per wash.
For heavy duty washing powder add 2 cups of napisan powder or grated napisan soap to the mix.
If you are using your washing water as grey water on the garden, leave out the borax.

- 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 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.
Sprinkle baking soda over the couches, lounge chairs, mattress and carpet to get rid of doggy smells...leave it for about 30 mins then dust off or a treat!

- Try it for a facial scrub - just use your soap or facial cleanser as you normally would, then sprinkle a little bit of soda in your hands, gently rub onto your face, and rinse. Your face will feel fresh, clean and very smooth as it exfoliates!

-You can make a spray on deodorant by mixing water and baking soda in a spray bottle. Just mix as much baking soda as possible into the water without clogging the spray head. It is the best natural deodorant you will ever for well over 24 hours and it isn't as messy as using dry baking soda.

- Whoofy shoes getting you down? Get a couple of old socks, fill up the toe secitions 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

- 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.
- Sprinkle your Christmas tree with baking soda to mimick snow - a much more environmentally friendly alternative to some of those chemical snow sprays!
With so many uses you'll likely use a lot and buying baking soda in small boxes probably won't be too economical. Have a chat to your local baker who may be able to supply you with larger quantities or try contacting a bakery supplies company as some sell direct to the public.
You can also save money on baking soda by re-using it. For example, once it has served its purpose as a fridge deodorizer you can put it down your sink to help keep your drains clear.

If organic fruits and veggies are a little out of your price range then you can organic-ise them with this formula:
1 cup water
20 drops grapefruit seed extract
1 cup vinegar
1 tbs baking soda
Mix ingredients in a spray bottle and spray on your fruits and vegetables before eating. Leave for 5-10 min before rinsing thoroughly. Voila, all nasty pesticides are gone!

P.S –But wait theres more...

Other great homemade cleaners: Vinegar & lemon juice
3 Parts Water
1 Part Vinegar
a few drops of vegetable based detergent (optional) a few drops of tea tree oil (or other pure essential oil with anti-bacterial properties such as eucalyptus, manuka, rosemary, thyme, lemon myrtle, lavendar etc.
Don’t use cheap synthetic oils, they don’t work.)

Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Use as a spray and wipe on any surface.

Laundry Room- Use vinegar as a natural fabric softener.
This can be especially helpful for families who have sensitive skin.
Add ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle in place of store bought fabric softener.
Vinegar has the added benefit of breaking down laundry detergent more effectively. (A plus when you have a family member whose skin detects every trace of detergent.) Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is another natural substance that can be used to clean your home.
Lemon juice can be used to dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits. Lemon is a great substance to clean and shine brass and copper. Lemon juice can be mixed with vinegar and or baking soda to make cleaning pastes. Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle baking soda on the cut section. Use the lemon to scrub dishes, surfaces, and stains. Mix 1 cup olive oil with ½ cup lemon juice and you have a furniture polish for your hardwood furniture.

Why Clean With Lemons?

The citrus smell of a lemon is refreshing and invigorating. For many people a lemon smell has come to symbolize cleanliness. Most major cleaners on the market today have a lemon or a citrus scented version for consumers to enjoy.

Lemons are acidic and can provide some antibacterial and antiseptic properties for cleaning.

How To Clean With Lemons

Clean copper-bottomed pots and pans with lemon juice. Copper fixtures can also benefit from a lemon juice cleaning. Cut a lemon in half. Dip it in some salt, and clean spots from your copper.

Add To Vinegar
Vinegar can be a great cleaning ingredient, but many people dislike the vinegar smell. Adding lemon juice to vinegar when cleaning can help neutralize the vinegar smell.

Countertop stains can be removed by allowing lemon juice to sit on the stain for a few minutes. Scrub the area with baking soda and watch the stains disappear. Don't leave the lemon juice sitting for too long. It can be powerful stuff.

Lemon rinds can be ground in the garbage disposal to freshen the drain. Hot water with a little lemon poured down a drain will also freshen the drain.

Lemon juice acts as a natural bleaching agent. Put lemon juice onto white linens and clothing and allow them to dry in the sun. Stains will be bleached away.