Monday, November 2, 2009

A Greener and Cleaner Home

There are some easy and effective ways to keep your home spotless while being kinder to the environment and your health. Research has shown that conventional cleaning products containing ingredients such as chlorine, benzene, and optical brighteners are too strong for household use. The following are easy to use, more economical, and in many cases are products that can already be found in your own pantry:

•Baking Soda: This could almost be called the miracle worker of natural products. Use baking soda and a damp sponge when you want to clean your kitchen and bathroom countertops, your tub and tile, or any surface that you want to thoroughly clean without scratching. Tough stains? First treat the area with a little white vinegar, and then use the same sponge and soda method to clean thoroughly.

•Toothpaste: Did you know you can use toothpaste (not gel) to remove water marks from wood? A little bit of the paste on a damp cloth is all you need. Toothpaste is also useful to clean gold jewelry!

•Basic Table Salt: Spills in the oven? Rather than using those nasty-smelling oven cleaners, try table salt. This method needs to be used shortly after the spill happens to be effective.

•Distilled White Vinegar: Great for cutting grease on most surfaces, it is also a great way to clean floors and windows. Add some lemon juice to create a nice fragrance and add extra cleaning power.

•Lemons: Speaking of lemons, there are many ways this citrus fruit can help your home sparkle. Mix with baking soda to get rid of mold and mildew stains. Use in place of chlorine bleach to clean wooden cutting boards and counter tops. Rule of thumb – don’t use lemon juice on stone countertops, the acid in it could be damaging to that material.

•Olive Oil: The wooden surfaces in your home will benefit greatly from an olive oil massage. Cleans, moisturizes, shines! Editor’s Special Tip: Olive oil is also a fantastic way to clean stainless steel appliances and sinks. Use a small amount on a soft cloth and rub gently to clean. Also makes the surface temporarily fingerprint resistant.
*Above tips courtesy of NJMLS.

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