Quick Tips

Cleaning

Cold Water Washing

laundry 5 Go for cold-water washes to conserve energy and cash. Except in cases of gross-out dirtiness, cold water can often be just as effective as hot water,   keeping your clothes (and you) looking great! You don’t even need a cold-water detergent – really…just ignore the commercials.

· Around 80%-90% of the energy typically used by a washer goes to heating the water.

· In a year, each household that washes with only cold water keeps 1,281 pounds of CO2 from entering the air.

· Washing in cold water keeps your clothes looking newer, longer than hot water washing.

· If 10,000 Birmingham households switch to cold, in a year we’ll avert the CO2 equivalent that 6,405 trees suck up over their lifetimes.

 

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Remove Tough Laundry Stains Naturally

line_laundryFor a more natural approach to stain removal for clothing, keep your laundry room stocked with some simple, non-toxic household products.

  • Cornstarch or baking soda can be applied to grease stains, gasoline, and even foods such as salsa, to help quickly absorb stain and odors.
  • Lemon juice or white vinegar work as natural bleaching agents and can be added to a wash cycle to help brighten whites.
  • To remove dark colored stains such as ink or chocolate, soak the clothing in a bowel of glycerin for 30 minutes.
  • Mild dishwashing liquid can also be used as an all-purpose stain remover, apply a small amount directly to a stain and gently rub, or mix into with water and use for soaking stained items.

For more great all-natural cleaning tips and recipes, check out: Spring Cleaning: The All Natural Way

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Turn the Dryer Off & Get Back to Basics

line_laundryYes, we know this may seem like a throwback, but instead of running your clothes dryer, consider drying your clothes on a drying rack or even a clothesline. It can be as simple as tying a sturdy rope between two trees!

There’s no disputing it — most dryers use 10-15 percent of domestic energy in the United States.  However, you can reduce  your electric bill by as much as $25 a month by simply skipping the drying and instead, opting for hang drying methods.

Line drying the open air of a backyard is typically the best choice, yet for those who live in a neighborhood with association covenants, there’s always the option to use a dryer rack instead.

There are many great options available, including those available at laundrylist.org or one of our favorites, this cool Bamboo Clothes Drying Rack from Household Essentials!

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Natural Carpet Cleaning Remedies: Don’t Wait!

green-cleaning-kitClean up spills on carpets immediately to prevent stains:

  1. Soak up liquid spills by covering them with clean white (or light-colored) towels or paper towels. Scrape sticky substances off carpets with a spatula or spoon. Don’t rub the spill. That will damage carpet fibers and make the stain spread.
  2. To clean the stain, mix 1 cup warm water and 1/2 teaspoon mild liquid soap, such as dishwashing liquid or fine fabric detergent. Apply a small amount, blot by pressing a clean white towel into the carpet and lift. Then repeat the process until the stain is removed. Don’t scrub. Be patient.
  3. After stain is removed, rinse the area with a solution a few teaspoons of white vinegar to one cup water and blot with another clean towel.

Read more: http://www.healthychild.org/live-healthy/checklist/clean_carpets_without_dangerous_chemicals/#ixzz2HaEXXAkd

 

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Natural Carpet Cleaning Remedies: Just Look in Your Pantry!

howtogreencleanersUse household ingredients to clean carpet stains:

  • Club soda removes red wine stains.
  • Use an ice cube to harden gum and candle wax, then scrape off.
  • Sprinkle greasy stains with baking soda, corn starch or corn meal. Let stand six hours or overnight. Then vacuum.
  • Mix 1/3 cup vinegar with 2/3 cup warm water and apply to the stain. Then blot with a clean towel and repeat until the stain comes clean.

For more cleaning tips, see How to Clean with 5 Basic Tools and Recipes for Safer Cleaners.

Read more: http://www.healthychild.org/live-healthy/checklist/clean_carpets_without_dangerous_chemicals/#ixzz2HaEXXAkd

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Lemon, the All Natural Super Cleanser

howtogreencleanersWhile a wide selection of all natural cleaning products are lining more supermarket shelves then ever before, you might be impressed to find one of the most natural cleaners right in your refrigerator. Lemons have long been known for their fresh scent, but most people are unaware that their high acid content makes them a powerful antibacterial cleaning agent. Here are some great ways to use lemon while cleaning:

  • Clean and sanitize your microwave by heating a combination of several thin slices of lemon and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe bowl for about one minute. Any lingering bacteria will be killed by the citric acid’s antibacterial properties. Additionally, the fresh lemon scent will help rid your microwave of any lingering odors.
  • Rid your shower or tub of soap scum by spraying their walls with pure lemon juice. The citric acid will help break down the tough soap scum, and work to sanitize the overall environment.
  • Watch the dirt and grime on your windows quickly dissolve like never before when you apply a mixture of four tablespoons of lemon juice and a half-gallon of water.

For more great all-natural cleaning tips and recipes, check out: Spring Cleaning: The All Natural Way

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Cheap and Natural – the best way to unclog a drain

Drain-CleaningSo it’s happened again… the drain is clogged! Don’t run out to the store and purchase toxic chemicals to get things flowing again.

To fix a slow drain, pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain and follow it with half a cup of white vinegar. Let it sit for twenty minutes to a half hour, then pour about two quarts of boiling water down the drain.

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Coffee Grounds For All Around

120px-Coffee_(2)All across our city pots and pots of coffee are brewed every day. From the home to the office, many of us can’t function without that morning cup of java. Take your coffee experience one step further by reusing the coffee grounds as fertilizer for your plants, and as other household remedies.

Here are some ideas:
• Old coffee grounds are nutrient-rich for plants that thrive in an acidic soil; Add used coffee grounds to the pots of indoor plants and work used coffee grounds into your garden soil before seed planting. After your plants start to emerge, work in coffee grounds near the plants.
• Wipe out nasty scents in your fridge with a bowl of coffee grounds and a splash of vanilla
• Remove furniture scratches with wet coffee grounds and a diaper rag.

If you want to pick up some extra grounds for composting and fertilizing or for your other household needs, stop by your local coffee shop and offer to take them off their hands. Many will be happy to share them with you!

 

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Vinegar + H20, the Super Power All-Purpose Cleaner

SPT-00248-1For an all-purpose, chemical free cleaning solution, there’s no better combination than vinegar and water. Combine a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water and store in a reused spray bottle. This can also be used as a great produce wash!

For more great all-natural cleaning tips and recipes, check out: Spring Cleaning: The All Natural Way

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Natural, Plastic-Free Dishwashing

  • dishes-867394-mBaking soda is a fantastic scouring powder, and comes in a cardboard box (score-no plastic!).
  • Use powdered dishwasher detergent instead of liquid-it too comes in a cardboard box.
  • Hand wash dishes without using a plastic scrubbing-brush or sponge made from plastic. Try a natural fiber dish cloth instead, or a  Chore Boy copper scrubber, which (woohoo!) comes in a cardboard box with no plastic.

For more great all-natural cleaning tips and recipes, check out: Spring Cleaning: The All Natural Way

 

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