In 1987 I began using old-time recipes for cleaning from grandma’s old cookbook/journal. Once called the housewife’s bible it dates 1851 and collect 112 more such old cookbook journals garnering recipes to clean, cook and even run a distillery. The green cleaning ingredients are already in your home or can be purchased fairly cheap from the dollar store, family dollar, big lots or any discount grocery. [Salt, vinegar, baking soda, cornstarch, lemon juice, light olive oil, cream of tartar and the rest might surprise you]. Going full steam with it I no long use an inhaler or allergy meds like I use too and noticed significant weight loss and general well-being.
These days nontoxic cleaning is valued, as commercial cleaners active ingredients or fragrance chemicals the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identify as endocrine disruptors and neurotoxins in some top selling brands. Some the worst chemicals found in commercial cleaners increase: headache, impair metabolism, damage cells, fatigue, and respiratory distress as cited in the book “Toxic Overload” Avery, 2005, by Paula Baillie-Hamilton. M.D., Ph.D. Though you may look for these ingredients good luck as some get a random label as fragrance, coloring agent and other ingredients that make 99% of your favorite commercial cleaner. Don’t believe me check out popular surface sanitizers the active ingredient they list is only 1% of the cleaners main ingredient the other 99% is listed as other inactive ingredients, I’ve ask why they don’t list what makes up a bulk of the cleaner you use around food surfaces and your family? — .Hum right!
Basic House Cleaning Powder:
3-cups baking soda
4-tablespoon cream of tartar
Blend and store in a jar last for about a month, the applications are simple add enough water to make a paste to scour hard surfaces kitchen, bathroom or outside.
Using Basic House Cleaning Powder
1) Pour 1cup house powder down drain/disposal sit 15 minutes and pour 3 cups of boiled vinegar down the drain. This takes care of clogs or done twice a month keeps drains clear or foul odors.
2) The bathroom 1 cup of house powder and 1/4 cup salt with 1/2 cup of lemon juice to scour tub/shower and basin in a spray bottle apply vinegar and rinse away the foaming action will lift most stains out.
3) Laundry lift stains out clothes equal parts house powder and salt with lemon juice work in let 5min and rinse with vinegar then wash as usual.
4) Microwave or oven those splatter on mess make a water paste and lightly scour a coating on all surfaces place a container boiled vinegar in oven and leave over night next morning take vinegar and wipe the oven clean. It should break down easy that stuck on mess this same trick works with grills.
5) Silver, brass and copper – add 1- tablespoon each house powder & flour and 1/2 teaspoon each Worcestershire sauce & vinegar make a paste apply with a soft-cloth and wash away with soapy water.
6) Car scour dried on bugs off the windshield, and clean the battery terminal.
7) Sprinkle sparingly on carpets let sit for 15 min and vacuum as a carpet freshener or add to cheap kitty litter to keep odors down.
Tip: To boost house powder add a 3 tablespoon of water softener, for area that my have hard water. And for bad baked on tougher scouring needs add 3 tablespoons of borax just make sure it washed away with soapy water for food surfaces or pots and pans.
Money Saver: Use 1-cup house powder, 1-cup borax, 1 cup grated pure soap and 1/2 cup of vinegar mix well you have in a pinch laundry detergent use 1/4 cup per full load to get the non-bleach whitening action add 5 packets of powdered lemon or use a tablespoon of lemon extract. It wonders with some stain with a touch of hydrogen peroxides instead of spray pre-treat.
Pest Control: Add 1 cup of house powder, 1 cup of borax and 1cup of confectionary sugar sprinkle where you have ants they take it to the colony as the house powders slows the chemical reactions of the making a slow poison similar to boric acid powder for killing them in time it wipes out the ants colony. They will stockpile this powder in the colony as a food source that eventually concentrates killing them for good.
Wood Cleaner/Furniture Polish:
3/4 cup of light olive oil or walnut oil
1/4 cup of vinegar
4 drops of lemon extract
Tea bags or instant coffee (optional for scratch treatment)
Blend oil, lemon extract and vinegar and store in a jar apply with a soft cloth please note on antique or unfinished furniture test first. If your furniture is light or honey colored soak tea bag in vinegar before mixing the tea adds stain to the polish in time will cover the scratches or blend them away with time on your furniture. If your furniture is dark such as deep walnut and mahogany tones use coffee. The darker or lighter staining needs due to the age and nicks on old wood furniture is a matter of letting the tea steep longer or adding more coffee.
Tip: Lemon scent deters cats from clawing your wood furniture or experiment with essential oils ‘” I blend myrrh, jasmine, rosewood and vanilla as a wonderful way to add room fragrance.
Money Saver: If you have dark furniture like me, I use old coffee and filter before throwing out soak in the vinegar like a tea then I have dark staining vinegar base for my furniture polish the rest use as a hair rinse to aid covering gray and the vinegar removes excess hair product buildup, makes hair shiny and treats dandruff in one shot.
Multi-Purpose and Glass Cleaner:
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Blend all in a 1-quart spray bottle and fill the rest with water. I figured out that the cornstarch actually helps prevent streaking on glass.
Tip: To make this a good bathroom cleaner that attacks mildew more aggressively you can add a few drops of essential oils such as tea tree oil or grapefruit seed extract.
Air and Food Surface Safe Sanitizer:
2 tablespoons of vinegar
4 drops lemon extract (food grade)
Blend all in a pint or travel spray mist bottle can be used around kitchen no worries about toxins getting on surfaces you prepare food.
Tip: For non-food use you can sub the food extract with regular essential oils and make a home fragrance spray.
Money Saver: I make as the recipe above but omit the water add a few drops of grape seed extract and use as an food safe area kitchen disinfectant just spray and allow to dry. The alcohols kills most bacteria, grape seed extract takes care of mold spores and the vinegar creates a high acidic environment hostile to most food borne bacteria. It works great during cold and flu season as a general non-toxic hard surface sanitizer. I moistened a cloth to wipe phones, computer areas and door knobs.
Preventative Care Grandma Wisdom:
—–If air is musty in the house recommended are great preventatives get a Peace Lily why it absorbs mold through leaves and carries it to the roots to feed off. Mold Allergy this is your plant just don’t disturb the soil.
—-Absorb odors with a bowl regular charcoal briquettes cover with decorative elements such as fruit or etc.
—-Absorb odors out of carpets with tea, sprinkle loose dry tea leaves over carpet and leave for 30 minutes and vacuum just make sure no one treads on carpet especially on rainy days or it can stain your carpet.
—-Reduce mildewed shower curtains avoid dark or opaque colors go clear if can and spray with salt water. Increased light and the salt inhibit or slow mildew growth.
—-Old fashioned Dry cleaning Carpets In Winter: After the first snow the carpet was taken lay upside down so the soiled surface is contact with snow. The kids encouraged to jump and lie down or play the snow would work into the carpet removing any remnants of dirt (hence a magic carpet ride down the hills) no need to buy a sled cheap. Then it was hung and the beaten to get dust and snow out and hung inside by the fire before returned. I use this trick on car mats and small doormats in winter. It works only lost one mat sliding down hill into the creek avoid falling in the creek its wicked cold in winter!