porcupine lounge

Musings of art, truths and subsistence living

Clean your home, naturally.

Bicarb Soda is one of my favourite cleaning agent. It is a little miracle cleaner that can clean just about anything. And it is both cheap and non-toxic. Coupled with vinegar and you’ve got just about every cleaning task in the house covered.

Mixing your own bicarb cleaning solution is the first step in limiting your family’s exposure to harmful household chemicals. You can substitute all of your cleaning products with this simple formula to be well on your way to a new green cleaning routine!

Basic Bicarb Soda All-Purpose Formula

1/4 cup bicarb soda

1 litre water

Dissolve bicarb soda in water, and pour into a spray bottle. You can use this mixture as a general household cleaner for all surfaces. This mixture can be used to clean virtually anywhere in your home, including all kitchen and bathroom counter surfaces, inside the refrigerator, microwave, and dishwasher. Always rinse well.

My other tips for using bicarb as a cleaner are:

A small container of bicarb in the fridge helps absorb odours.

Sprinkle on a damp cloth and wipe over the inside of crockery cups to remove tea and coffee stains.

Bicarb on a damp cloth removes stains from bench tops, soap scum from showers and rust from sinks.

Use in the same way to clean the oven.

To unblock sinks pour 2 tbsp. of bicarb and 4 tbsp. of vinegar down the drain. Allow to fizz and then pour a kettle full of boiling water down the drain. Eliminating drain cleaners from your home is a giant step toward a greener home, as they are among the most dangerous household chemicals available.

Sprinkle bicarb soda over the carpet. Leave for a few hours and vacuum as usual. Deodorises carpet.

Add a few drops of essential oil before sprinkling over carpet for a fresh smell.

Soak pot and pans with burnt on food overnight in warm water and 2 tbsp. bicarb soda.

Combine with a small amount of water and use as a paste on acne.

Sprinkle inside shoes to deodorise.

Remove liquid stains from carpet by pouring a liberal amount of bicarb on the fresh stain and leaving to dry, before vacuuming off.

Add to your wash to soften clothes.

Dust bicarb soda under arms as to absorb sweat and odours.

Finally, use in place of shampoo. For medium length hair, a couple of tablespoons dissolved in water will do. See my other post on ‘Natural Alternatives for Shampoo & Hair Care’

This versatile ingredient can be safely used anywhere in your home; it kills bacteria and it’s amazing at cutting through soap residue. Mix up the formula below, and you will have another great alternative to store-bought chemical cleaning products.

Vinegar Cleaner and Antibacterial Formula

1 cup white vinegar

1 cup water

Five drops of liquid soap

Add mixture to a spray bottle and use for cleaning kitchen and bathroom surfaces such as appliances, mirrors, stainless steel sinks, laminate counter tops and tiles. You can add a tablespoon of coarse salt directly on your sponge to act as an abrasive when using this formula on kitchen and bathroom sink fixtures. Vinegar can be irritating to the skin, so please use gloves. Important note about special counter surfaces such as granite: please do not use this mixture on stone surfaces, as acids can etch and damage the stone.

My other tips for using vinegar as a cleaner are:

Soaking your shower head with vinegar and water is a great way to remove mineral deposits. Spray the shower head and then cover with a small plastic bag. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight.

Add a small amount of vinegar to your sink dishwater when washing greasy pots and pans, and it will help cut the grease.

Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle of your wash. This will get rid of smelly, sweaty clothes and soften the materials without damaging them like fabric softener does.

Clean out mineral deposits in your coffee pot by pouring in 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of water. Follow up with a full cup of plain water.

Spray vinegar full strength on tile and grout. Let sit for a few minutes, then use a scrub brush to brighten grout. Vinegar will help reduce mildew in the bathroom.

And finally, a new favourite of mine.

Orange and Vinegar Fresh Scent Cleaner

Orange peels, vinegar in a jar, let sit for 10 days or so. Strain out the liquid and use as an all-purpose cleaner. Easy, cheap, natural, smells good! Can be done with any citrus peels.


2 comments on “Clean your home, naturally.

  1. Linda
    April 16, 2012

    I had no idea it had so many uses! I’ll try some of this next time before I buy the other house hold cleaners and see how I go. Thanks for sharing once again =)

    • porcupinelounge
      April 16, 2012

      You’re most welcome LInda! I even use bicarb to shampoo my hair – a huge saving. But aside from the dollars saved, it actually doesn’t strip your hair’s natural oils, like most commercial brands do! It seems strange, I know as bicarb is a cleaner! but I’ve been doing it for 2 yrs, and have 0 split ends!

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This entry was posted on April 7, 2012 by in SUBSISTENCE LIVING and tagged , , .

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