cleaning supplies en-US Dryer Sheets, Shampoo, and 15 Other Everyday Things You Can Make at Home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dryer-sheets-shampoo-and-15-other-everyday-things-you-can-make-at-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="laundry" title="laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Recently, my daughter and I have been reading the &quot;Little House on the Prairie&quot; series, and I've been reminded of how life used to be. As we've experienced these books together, we've begun to explore what it would mean to make some of the everyday things we usually buy. (See also: <a href="">Grocery Items You Should Make at Home</a>)</p> <p>For the most part, we've found recipes readily available and fairly easy to make, and that the finished products work at least as well as their counterparts in the grocery store. You can dive as deeply as you want into making things on your own. I'd suggest that you pick one or two of the recipes to try and see how you like them. Once making and using them becomes routine, add more recipes to your repertoire.</p> <h2>For the Body</h2> <p>Most of that stuff in those bottles of personal care products that you lather on every day is probably safe, but not very frugal. These homemade body products are all-natural, and all are affordable. (See also: <a href="">4 DIY Facial Products</a>)</p> <h3>1. Body Wash</h3> <p>An infusion of oats and rosemary adds depth to this <a href="">body wash recipe</a> that has its base in liquid castile soap. In doing so, it avoids many of the scary ingredients, like sodium laureth sulfate. Some people worry that the castile soap will be too harsh, but I've found that the other ingredients temper it enough that I don't experience any difficulty there.</p> <h3>2. Lotion Bars</h3> <p>These <a href="">lotion bars</a> are not only great for personal use, but they make great gifts as well. Who doesn't like a sweet-smelling, useful gift? Some of the ingredients may sound intimidating, but if you can't find them at Whole Foods or your local natural food store, you can always buy them on Amazon. I recommend adding the vitamin E oil for preservation, as the recipe makes quite a few lotion bars, and they each take a while to use.</p> <h3>3. Lip Balm</h3> <p>I have been a lip balm addict for most of my life. It started with Lip Smackers in grade school, progressed through all sorts of specialty balms later on, and now most often manifests itself in plain old Chapstick. Or, it did until I found this recipe for <a href="">basic lip balm</a>. The recipe itself is very basic, and it can be made with any flavor you want. Again, this is not only good for you, but makes a good gift, as well.</p> <h3>4. Body Butter</h3> <p>Pretty much all I have to say about this <a href="">body butter recipe</a> is YUM! It can seem just a little oily going on, but I love the way my skin feels after I rub it in. I've never loved either the texture or the scent of most lotions, but I could use this stuff several times a day. In our dry Colorado winter, it has helped keep my skin summer smooth.</p> <h3>5. PH Balanced Shampoo</h3> <p>I've been a fan of the &quot;no 'poo&quot; movement for several years, but every time I tried to wash my hair with a baking soda rinse, it got coarse and unruly. For my fine, light hair, that's saying something. So when I found a <a href="">shampoo recipe I liked</a> (and the accompanying article, which talks about why the baking soda may not work for some people), I felt relief. I will say that this shampoo takes some getting used to &mdash; it doesn't foam, and sometimes it feels like it leaves a bit of residue on the hair. But it has also kept my hair soft and manageable, and it hasn't caused any oil problems. (See also: <a href="">DIY Hair Conditioners</a>)</p> <h3>6. Baby Wipes</h3> <p>It really wasn't until baby #3 that I realized just how much I spent on wipes, and I also noticed that they seem to irritate the skin of at least one of my kids. Both of those things motivated me to try these <a href="">homemade baby wipes</a>, and I've been pretty happy with them. Even the thickest paper towels don't hold up like regular wipes, though, which can be annoying. Also, I usually add a couple of drops of essential oil, because I hate the smell of baby oil.</p> <h3>7. Dry Shampoo</h3> <p>For those days when you don't want to wash your hair, or when your scalp is adjusting to the &quot;no 'poo&quot; shampoo above, dry shampoo can be a lifesaver. Just sprinkle it on and any minor oil problems will seem to disappear almost immediately. To avoid looking like you have some serious dandruff problems, there are separate formulas for <a href="">dark hair</a> and <a href="">light hair</a>.</p> <h3>8. Deodorant</h3> <p>I'm gonna tell you the truth: I've been a little wary of trying this <a href="">all-natural deodorant formula</a>. I've heard wonderful things about it from a couple of different people, though, so I include it here so that you can let me know how it goes! Just kidding. I'm including it because I have heard such good things about it, and because it's <a href="">still unclear</a> as to whether the ingredients in regular antiperspirant/deodorant are harmful.</p> <h3>9. Bubble Bath</h3> <p>My kids love bubbles in their bath, but the stuff you can buy at the store is expensive and it has a ton of ingredients I can't pronounce, which always makes me a little nervous. This <a href="">bubble bath formula</a>, on the other hand, has ingredients I'm familiar with and seems to work just as well. The bubbles don't always last quite as long as with the stuff from the store (I'm not sure why), but I love being able to make it whatever scent I want.</p> <h2>For General Cleaning</h2> <p>You probably buy lots of different cleaning products for general cleaning inside and outside. Now you can make your own. (See also: <a href="">Clean Everything With Just 3 All-Natural Cleaners</a>)</p> <h3>10. Glass Cleaner Wipes</h3> <p>These <a href="">homemade glass cleaner wipes</a> aren't quite Windex, but they're the next best thing, and they are all natural. I have found that they clean as well or better than Windex, actually, though occasionally they leave streaks and, even when they don't, I have to work harder to achieve that than I do with the blue stuff. Since nearly all chemical cleaning products cause me to have breathing problems, though, I've been happy to work a little harder in exchange for clean windows.</p> <h3>11. Window Cleaner</h3> <p>Although this <a href="">DIY window cleaner fluid</a> doesn't produce wipes and has slightly different ingredients than the recipe above, it does clean your windows. I prefer the above formula (whether I make the wipes or not), but another all-natural friend likes this one. You can try them both and choose the one that works best for you.</p> <h3>12. Bleach Wipes</h3> <p>These <a href="">bleach disinfecting wipes</a> aren't all-natural, but they're cheap, super easy to make, and great to have around for spills and stains that just need bleach. I go through a batch of these so slowly that I sometimes have to re-moisten whatever I'm using for wipes before I can use them. I actually like that, though, because it means I don't have the bleach mixture sloshing around in my cupboard, but I still have wipes to use when I need them.</p> <h2>For Laundry</h2> <p>Wise Bread recently covered a bunch of <a href="">DIY laundry detergent recipes</a>, so I'll focus instead on those not-quite detergent products we use in the laundry room. (See also: <a href="">8 Ways to Make Your Clothes Last Longer</a>)</p> <h3>13. Fabric Softener</h3> <p>This <a href="">fabric softener formula</a> is so easy and works so well that I can't believe people use anything else to soften their clothes in the washing machine. It doesn't hurt your clothes or your machine, and you have your choice when it comes to scents (so you can avoid some of those awful floral mixtures they sell in the store). Some people worry about a vinegar odor on their clothes, but I've never noticed it.</p> <h3>14. Bleach Gel</h3> <p>Again, this recipe is not all-natural. But this <a href="">bleach gel</a> <em>is </em>a lot cheaper than buying those bleach pens over and over and over again, and seems to work just as well. I'm a little hesitant to leave it on clothes for too long, because I worry about bleach stains, but I feel the same way about the commercial products. I will say that you should probably make this in a well-ventilated kitchen, if you don't want to smell bleach for the rest of the day.</p> <h3>15. Dryer Sheets</h3> <p>I've never made my own <a href="">dryer sheets</a>&nbsp;because I'm trying a set of <a href="">homemade dryer balls</a> right now, but this recipe intrigues me. I don't know that these would function very well to keep down static, like commercial dryer sheets do, but I think they'd do a great job of leaving your clothes smelling fresh and I like that you can use them more than once before you have to wash them, and change the scent every time you do wash them. If you try them, let me know how it goes!</p> <h2>Other Useful Recipes</h2> <p>And here are a couple of bonus recipes, just because they are cool &mdash; one for outdoors and one for the kid's playroom.</p> <h3>16. Insecticidal Spray (for Plants)</h3> <p>This <a href="">all natural plant spray</a> is supposed to ward off insects, as well as keep other animals away from your plants. I haven't started my garden yet this year, so I haven't used the spray, but I have heard raving reviews, and you can bet I'll be whipping up a batch here in the next month or so. (See also: <a href="">The 7 Easiest Plants to Grow</a>)</p> <h3>17. Polymer Clay</h3> <p>My kids are still in the Play-Doh phase, so we haven't graduated to making clay yet. But I saw this <a href="">homemade modeling clay formula</a>, and now I can't wait until we do! I loved modeling clay as a kid, and I remember feeling like I had to ration it because it was too expensive to just play with. Who knows&hellip; if I could have made my own, maybe I would have been a famous sculptor by now!</p> <p><em>Do you make your own of anything that most people buy? I'd love to hear about your experience. </em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Dryer Sheets, Shampoo, and 15 Other Everyday Things You Can Make at Home" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Lifestyle cleaning supplies DIY Homemade homesteading personal care Wed, 09 Apr 2014 09:36:33 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1134468 at 9 Things You Don't Need to Clean <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-you-dont-need-to-clean" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="cleaning" title="cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Internet is full of lists of things you are supposed to clean but probably don't, from the inside of your dishwasher to your purse to your phone receivers. I hate those lists, don't you? I already have a longer cleaning list than I could finish in my lifetime &mdash; why pile on? (See also: <a href="" target="_blank">How to Shower Less (and Still Feel Clean)</a>)</p> <p>So today instead of laying on the guilt, let's look at nine cleaning chores you can usually skip without major repercussions &mdash; and some that you are not supposed to do at all.</p> <h2>1. Ears</h2> <p>In <a href="" target="_blank">this article on Real Clear Science</a>, Dr. Rob Hicks assures us that the insides of our ears are self-cleaning &mdash; any excess wax usually falls out while we're eating. And if you do get excessive build-up, it's a job for the doctor, not a QTip, he advises. In fact, says <a href="" target="_blank">otologist Dr. Jennifer Smullen</a>, earwax has several important jobs so you don't want to lose too much of it anyway.</p> <h2>2. Cats</h2> <p>Some owners bathe their cats, but according to the California Veterinary Medical Association, <a href="" target="_blank">the tongue-baths cats usually give themselves are sufficient</a>. Unless one of my cats gets skunked or otherwise disgustingly messy, a doctor's excuse is good enough for me.</p> <h2>3. Toothbrushes</h2> <p>There are plenty of toothbrush sanitizing products, from the <a href=";Click=1569" target="_blank">$20 SteriPod</a> to the <a href=";sourceType=sc&amp;source=FG&amp;adGroup=40-60&amp;keyword=V9-1002&amp;cm_mmc=Google+Shopping-_-Product+Listing+Ads-_-40-60-_-V9-1002&amp;gclid=CMPp48uX-LcCFapcMgodiCAA1Q#.UcXeO_lONmo" target="_blank">$49.95 Vio100 countertop UV sanitizer</a>. But <a href="" target="_blank">Delta Dental gives you permission to skip them all.</a> The rinse you probably already give your toothbrush after use is enough &mdash; with one caveat. You're supposed to let your toothbrush fully dry before using it again, which means you may need a second brush at the ready for your bedtime brushing in case the one you used in the morning isn't dry yet. I never would have thought of that in a million years.</p> <h2>4. This Wool Shirt</h2> <p>OK, you may not be able to wear the <a href="" target="_blank">Better Button-Down</a> forever, but developer Wool &amp; Prince claims it can be worn for up to 100 days without needing dry cleaning and without starting to stink. Best of all, the shirt does not need ironing.</p> <p>So where can you buy the Better Button-Down? Alas, all existing wonder shirts were sold through the <a href="" target="_blank">company's Kickstarter campaign</a> (at $98 each), and we're still waiting for more.</p> <h2>5. Raw Poultry and Meat</h2> <p>Many recipes start by advising the cook to rinse and pat dry a raw chicken or other piece of meat, but federal food safety authorities now warn that you should <a href="">skip the pre-cooking shower</a>. The rinse does not cut down on food-borne illness, but it does potentially spread salmonella and other bacteria all over your sink.</p> <p>Another food washing chore you can skip: Using soap or vegetable wash on fresh produce. Studies have found a<a href="" target="_blank"> tap water rinse just as effective</a> for getting off pesticides. However, if you are concerned about e-coli, <a href="" target="_blank">a vinegar solution can sanitize</a> the fruit or vegetables.</p> <p>But what about mushrooms? I have read in equal measure warnings that you should never wash mushrooms and that you really should wash them after all. <a href="" target="_blank">A chef and mycologist quoted by The Straight Dope lean toward no.</a> But the <a href="" target="_blank">New York Times lists the mushroom wash contraindication as a kitchen myth</a> and advises a light shower to remove dirt.</p> <h2>6. Clay Teapots</h2> <p>Yixing teapots in particular should never be washed with soap or detergent, <a href="" target="_blank">according to experts</a>. The clay absorbs <a href="" target="_blank">the flavor of your tea</a>, a desirable quality with which washing would interfere. Simply dumping out used tea leaves and a quick hot water rinse is sufficient.</p> <p>Another kitchen utensil that most people avoid washing with detergent is a <a href="" target="_blank">cast iron pan</a> &mdash; but of course you can't just leave your old food sitting in it. Since you still have to wipe, scrape or scrub out cast iron pans, I don't think we can get away with saying they don't need washing.</p> <h2>7. The Oven</h2> <p>Chef's Planet promises that if you use its <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001DTP6G0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20" target="_blank">nonstick oven liner</a>, you'll never have to clean messes off the oven bottom again. I've never tried one, but I'm intrigued. Then there are other things that will need little to no cleaning if you use liners &mdash; <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000KERJ4Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20" target="_blank">crock pots</a>, for instance.</p> <h2>8. Bedskirts, Books, and Hubcaps</h2> <p>When I polled friends about what they get away with not washing, these items came up. Sure, lots of people send their bedskirts to the cleaners, lovingly dust or wipe down books, and scrub and polish hubcaps to glossy perfection. The point is, many perfectly respectable people don't clean these things, and yet haven't been condemned by the health department.</p> <h2>9. Your Privates</h2> <p>Did you just hear the sound of a needle scratching right off a record? Did I just say, &quot;You don't have to wash your privates&quot;?</p> <p>Actually, when it comes to the most intimate parts of your body, soap is actually harmful. Some parts are too sensitive for its drying action, and they don't need it anyway. Sure, you can soap up the adjacent areas, but mucous membranes should not be soaped, <a href="" target="_blank">says Dr. Ben Kim</a>. And women certainly don't need to douche &mdash; <a href="" target="_blank">the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists recommends against it</a>.</p> <p>Some people <a href="" target="_blank">take this even farther</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">eschew soap and shampoo for their whole bodies and heads</a> &mdash; and say they have never felt or smelled better.</p> <p><em>What are you not cleaning regularly?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Things You Don&#039;t Need to Clean" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Carrie Kirby</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home cleaning hacks cleaning supplies saving time Wed, 26 Jun 2013 10:36:30 +0000 Carrie Kirby 980088 at Almost 40 Everyday Things You Can Wash in the Dishwasher <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/almost-40-everyday-things-you-can-wash-in-the-dishwasher" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="dishwasher" title="dishwasher" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My normally mild-mannered friend recently had an apoplectic fit when his dishwasher broke.</p> <p>&ldquo;Aren&rsquo;t you being just a little dramatic about this?&rdquo; I asked him. &ldquo;You live alone and you rarely cook. Really, how many dishes are you going to have hand wash until your next paycheck when you can pay for a new dishwasher?&rdquo;</p> <p>My friend, who is a professional organizer who works with hoarders, rolled his eyes at me. &ldquo;What you call a dishwasher, I call a multi-purpose cleaning apparatus.&rdquo;</p> <p>He then proceeded to school me on the fact that an Energy Star rated dishwasher can be used to speed clean a variety of household objects with just four gallons of water per load &mdash; less water than hand washing each item! Who knew?</p> <p>Here are some of the things he washes in the dishwasher instead of by hand. (See also: <a href="">The 5 Best Dishwashers</a>)</p> <h2>Plastic Toys</h2> <p>Legos, Frisbees, and action figures can be washed on the top rack. Put small toys into a mesh lingerie bag to keep them from falling to the bottom of the dishwasher and melting on the heating element.</p> <h2>Your Dog&rsquo;s Gear</h2> <p>In addition to the dog dish, <a href="">dog toys</a>, nylon collars, leashes, and harnesses are all good candidates for the dishwasher. (Don&rsquo;t wash leather or rhinestones). Thoroughly and immediately dry metal hardware to prevent rust.</p> <h2>Baseball Caps</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;ve ever wrecked a favorite baseball cap by warping it in the regular washing machine, then you&rsquo;ll recognize the genius of washing your sports head gear in the dishwasher using a <a target="_blank" href="">cap washer</a> instead.</p> <h2>Other Sporting Gear</h2> <p>In addition to your caps, you can also wash athletic gear like shin guards and padding in the dishwasher on the top rack. When washing athletic gear, do not use detergent and remember not to use the dry cycle.</p> <p>Wash your mouth guard in the silverware compartment.</p> <h2>Personal Hygiene Tools and Supplies</h2> <p>Many people regularly wash their <a href="">toothbrushes</a> in the dishwasher to kill bacteria.</p> <p>Actually, as long as they are made of plastic, you can also wash brushes, combs, and make-up applicators in the dishwasher, too. Just remove all the hair from the brush first for obvious reasons.</p> <h2>Assorted Footwear</h2> <p>Flip-flops, garden clogs, rain boots, and galoshes can all be washed in the dishwasher. Remove any liners first. Really dirty rubber shoes can be pre-rinsed in the shower. (Do this while you are waiting for the water to heat up to save water). Crocs, however, should only be hand washed in cold water.</p> <h2>Assorted Household Vents and Covers</h2> <p>Electrical outlet covers and switch plates are often shockingly filthy. Wash these on the top rack along with plastic fan blades and grilles.</p> <p>Your dishwasher will do a handy job of cleaning all the hard to reach corners of your vent covers and (small) window screens, provided that they fit. Ditto your refrigerator shelves and drawers.</p> <h2>Tools</h2> <p>Tools can be washed in the dishwasher (as long as they don&rsquo;t have wooden handles). Just make sure to thoroughly and immediately dry your tools to prevent rust. Garden tools or pots that have come in contact with chemicals should not be washed with dishes! Do an extra rinse cycle to avoid cross contamination. (See also: <a href="">How to Clean Your Dishwasher</a>)</p> <h2>Cabinet Knobs and Pulls</h2> <p>Intricate knobs from your kitchen or bathroom can be quickly cleaned in the silverware basket. By the way, anything made of brass should never see the inside of a dishwasher.</p> <h2>Canning Jars</h2> <p>A dishwasher is a great way to sterilize <a href="">glass jars</a> before canning. However, regardless of what random people on the internet tell you, you <em>cannot</em> use your dishwasher to process your preserves! The water does not get hot enough to destroy microorganisms.</p> <h2>Cleaning Supplies</h2> <p>Clean your cleaning supplies. Along with keeping your kitchen sponges stink-free, scrub brushes, the dustpan, vacuum attachments, and other housekeeping tools can be refreshed by a run through the dishwasher.</p> <p>Wash small waste paper baskets and compost bins in the dishwasher.</p> <h2>Dinner</h2> <p>Although my friend has never <a target="_blank" href="">steamed a fish</a> in his dishwasher, he does admit to running a load of potatoes and yams during the holidays. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s the real secret behind my latkes.&rdquo;</p> <p><em>What weird things have you washed in the dishwasher?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Almost 40 Everyday Things You Can Wash in the Dishwasher" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Max Wong</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips alternative uses cleaning supplies dishwasher Tue, 22 Jan 2013 11:24:33 +0000 Max Wong 965683 at The Awesomeness of Sodium Bicarbonate: 27 Uses for Baking Soda <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-awesomeness-of-sodium-bicarbonate-27-uses-for-baking-soda" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="baking soda" title="baking soda" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The use of baking soda &mdash; or sodium bicarbonate as its known in the science world &mdash; dates back to the ancient Egyptians, who used it as cleansing agent. Today, however, we use baking soda in lots of ways, from making delicious chocolate chip cookies to whitening our teeth and myriad more applications. So before you open that box of Arm &amp; Hammer and stuff it in the back of the fridge, take a few minutes to consider how else you can put baking soda to use around the house with these 27 ideas. (See also: <a href="">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom From &quot;Yuck&quot; to &quot;Yes!&quot;</a>)</p> <h2>1. Use as a Natural Deodorant</h2> <p>Instead of handing over several dollars for an expensive name-brand deodorant, pat your pits with baking soda to eliminate body odor.</p> <h2>2. Use as an Antacid</h2> <p>If you suffer from heartburn or indigestion, drink a solution of baking soda (1 to 2 teaspoons) and water (8 oz.) after dinner.</p> <h2>3. Soothe Insect Bites</h2> <p>Apply baking soda directly to affected areas to soothe the stinging or itching sensation associated with insect bites.</p> <h2>4. Soak Oral Appliances</h2> <p>Dissolve 2 teaspoons of baking soda in a glass of warm water to soak oral appliances like dentures or retainers. The baking soda will help loosen food particles and reduce odor. After soaking overnight, brush the appliance with baking soda.</p> <h2>5. Foot Soak</h2> <p>Substitute baking soda for Epsom salt when your little piggies have had a hard day. Let your feet soak, and then gently scrub them.</p> <h2>6. Freshen Sponges</h2> <p>Stinky sponges smelling up your kitchen? Soak them in a solution of baking soda (4 tablespoons) and water (1 quart) to breath new life into them.</p> <h2>7. Polish Silver</h2> <p>Make a paste of three parts baking soda and one part water and <a href="">rub onto tarnished silver</a> with a clean cloth. Rinse and dry thoroughly.</p> <h2>8. Clean the Oven</h2> <p>Forget about the harsh chemicals the next time you need to clean the oven. Instead, sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your oven and spray it with water until it&rsquo;s damp. Let the baking soda sit overnight, then clean it out with ease using a sponge or towel.</p> <h2>9. Deodorize Trash Cans</h2> <p>A sprinkle of baking soda in the bottom of your cans will help <a href="">quell offensive odors</a>.</p> <h2>10. Put Out Fires</h2> <p>Use baking soda on small household fires &mdash; especially in the kitchen &mdash; to extinguish them quickly and efficiently.</p> <h2>11. Use as a Face Wash</h2> <p>Mix baking soda with honey to create an all-natural, healthy face scrub that&rsquo;s gentler on your skin that store-bought exfoliants.</p> <h2>12. Treat Acne</h2> <p>Make a paste using baking soda and water and spot-apply it to unwanted blemishes.</p> <h2>13. Settle Your Stomach</h2> <p>The natural alkaline in baking soda helps neutralize acid that causes stomachaches. <a href="">When your tummy hurts</a>, drink a glass of water mixed with a teaspoon of baking soda.</p> <h2>14. Relieve Diaper Rash</h2> <p>If you baby suffers from diaper rash, soak him or her in a small tub mixed with two tablespoons of baking soda to help soothe and heal the irritated skin.</p> <h2>15. Soothe a Jellyfish Sting</h2> <p>Rub baking soda to the area of skin that was stung by a jellyfish to help draw out the poison.</p> <h2>16. Add to a Vaporizer</h2> <p>Adding 2 teaspoons of baking soda to a vaporizer will help freshen the air, so you can breathe cleaner and better.</p> <h2>17. Keep Flowers Fresh</h2> <p>Add a teaspoon of baking soda to a vase of water to help keep flowers fresh longer.</p> <h2>18. Reduce Foot Odor</h2> <p>Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of your stinky gym shoes to chase the odor away.</p> <h2>19. Repel Rain on Windshields</h2> <p>Rub your windshield with baking soda, then rinse it off to create a surface that repels rain, so you can see better.</p> <h2>20. Restore Stiff Brushes</h2> <p>If you have brushes whose bristles have hardened, save them by placing them in a pot of boiling water mixed with a tablespoon or so of baking soda. The bristles will loosen and the brush will return to working order in about five minutes.</p> <h2>21. Kill Roaches</h2> <p>Mix baking soda and powder sugar to <a href="">kill roaches</a>. Place the mixture on small lids where the vermin congregate. The sugar will attract the pests, while the baking soda will poison them.</p> <h2>22. Freshen Kitty Litter</h2> <p>If the scent of kitty business permeates your home, try mixing the litter with baking soda to draw out some of the stench.</p> <h2>23. Defeather Chicken</h2> <p>Add a tablespoon of baking soda to a pot of water intended for boiling a chicken to help remove any lingering feathers.</p> <h2>24. Remove Marks From Vinyl</h2> <p>If you have a kid who likes to color on your vinyl surfaces, calm your nerves knowing that a solution of baking soda and water will wipe away the unsightly marks.</p> <h2>25. Clean a Coffee Maker</h2> <p>Fill your coffee carafe with a quarter-cup of baking soda and one cup of warm water. Swirl the solution around so the baking soda dissolves a bit, then pour the solution into the reserve tank of the coffee pot. Place the carafe back under the dripper and run the coffee pot. When the dirty baking soda-water solution has run its course, clean the carafe, fill it with clean water, add it to the reserve tank, and run the coffee pot once more. Clean the carafe and replace.</p> <h2>26. Boost Your Laundry Detergent</h2> <p>Pour a half-cup of baking soda into the wash if you use liquid detergent to give the stain-fighting power a boost.</p> <h2>27. Make a Sports Drink</h2> <p>If you like sports drinks but hate paying the high prices, consider making your own using baking soda. <a href="">This recipe for a homemade sports drink</a> includes, water, baking soda, table salt, salt substitute, and sugar. You also can add your own flavors to help make the medicine go down.</p> <p><em>What other uses do you have for baking soda? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The Awesomeness of Sodium Bicarbonate: 27 Uses for Baking Soda" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> DIY Health and Beauty Home baking soda cleaning supplies natural cleaner Wed, 19 Sep 2012 10:36:42 +0000 Mikey Rox 954553 at Are You Throwing Away Cash With Disposable Cleaning Products? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-throwing-away-cash-with-disposable-cleaning-products" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="boy using paper towel" title="boy using paper towel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Just a few generations back, the formula for a spiffy house contained two simple elements at its core: a high stack of rags and plentiful elbow grease. Then came specialized cleaners (window cleaners, oven cleaners, furniture polish, etc.) and a newfangled wave of disposable cleaning aids, led of course by the ubiquitous paper towel.</p> <p>No doubt that paper towels are convenient, especially when there's a puddle of freshly spilled grape juice about to hit the floor. But that <a href="">convenience has its costs</a>, both to the environment and your wallet. In the U.S., <em>paper towels alone make up 2% of all landfill space</em>. And if you pay $10 for an 8-roll pack that lasts two weeks, you'll spend $260 a year, when cloth wipes could've done the same job for just pennies. (See also: <a href="">Household Cleaning Hacks That Save You Money</a>)</p> <p>This article examines some of the most popular disposable cleaning products, and what they'll cost you over the course of a year, along with far less expensive, more eco-friendly alternatives. (Note that yearly projections for disposable products do not include tax.)</p> <h2>Mr. Clean Magic Eraser</h2> <p><strong>Best Price:</strong> <a href="">Mr. Clean Magic Eraser 24-Pack</a>: $26.15 with free shipping via Subscribe &amp; Save, a low by $17</p> <p><strong>Use:</strong> It's a soft pad that acts like an eraser to clean dirt and grime, and remove scuff marks and dirt from floors, walls, and doors.</p> <p><strong>Annual Cost:</strong> Usage varies greatly depending on the intensity of the task (cleaning a tub can use three erasers, while a single eraser can last a while with just gentle wiping), but we'll hit middle ground and say you could go through two boxes in a year across all tasks for a total of <strong>$52.30</strong>.</p> <p><strong>Alternative:</strong> Parents of toddlers swear by the Magic Eraser for its ability to <em>erase</em> crayon marks, but you can always think preemptively and supply your little Picasso with washable crayons for artwork at home. What's more, baking soda on a wet cloth works incredibly well in removing dirt and scuffs.</p> <h2>Proctor &amp; Gamble Swiffer Dry Cloths</h2> <p><strong>Best Price:</strong> <a href="">Swiffer Dry Cloths 16-Count 12-Pack</a>: $45.43 with free shipping, a low by $1</p> <p><strong>Use:</strong> Used in conjunction with a Swiffer Sweeper, these cloths trap dirt, dust, and hair from floors and hard-to-reach surfaces. P&amp;G claims a Swiffer cloth &quot;leaves your floors up to three times cleaner than a broom.&quot;</p> <p><strong>Annual Cost:</strong> If you use four pads a week every week, you can survive the year with just the bundled pack above for <strong>$45.43</strong>.</p> <p><strong>Alternative:</strong> No doubt Swiffer dry cloths work well, and putting them on the end of a Swiffer mop helps you get at places where dust bunnies like to nest. But did you know you can make your own reusable, washable Swiffer pad from a towel and some string (or ribbon, if you so choose)? That's what Stephanie Nelson did, writing in <a href="">The Herb Companion</a>. She also supplies a recipe for herbal floor cleaner!</p> <h2>Clorox Disinfecting Wipes</h2> <p><strong>Best Price:</strong> <a href="">Clorox Disinfecting Wipe 75-Count 3-Pack</a>: $9.97 with 97-cent s/h, a low by $3</p> <p><strong>Use:</strong> Used for disinfecting surfaces, these wipes are very helpful when cleaning everything from kitchen appliances to finished wood.</p> <p><strong>Annual Cost:</strong> Assuming a 3-pack will last you three months, you'll spend <strong>$43.76</strong>.</p> <p><strong>Alternative:</strong> While many elementary schools love it when kids bring in disinfecting wipes as part of their supplies, their labels clearly state &quot;Keep out of reach of children. Hazards to humans and domestic animals.&quot; You can <a href="">make your own wipes easily</a>, using cut-up squares of cloth placed into an resealable container (like a baby-wipe container). Then pour a simple solution of castile soap, tea tree oil, and white <a href="">vinegar</a> over the cloths.</p> <h2>Clorox ToiletWand</h2> <p><strong>Best Price:</strong> <a href="">ToiletWand 20-Count Refill Pack</a>: $7.98 with 97-cent s/h, a low by $6</p> <p><strong>Use:</strong> The disposable swivel head of the ToiletWand is doused in Clorox cleaner and is designed to get into hard-to-reach places of your toilet.</p> <p><strong>Annual Cost:</strong> Assuming a refill pack lasts three months, you'll spend <strong>$35.80</strong>.</p> <p><strong>Alternative:</strong> Let's face it: No one likes to clean a toilet. Anything that makes the job less messy and quicker is welcome, right? But a long-handled toilet brush should work just as well, doused in plenty of &mdash; yup &mdash; vinegar. Domestic diva <a href="">Martha Stewart recommends as much</a>.</p> <h2>Endust for Electronics: LCD &amp; Plasma Wipes</h2> <p><strong>Best Price:</strong> <a href="">LCD &amp; Plasma Wipes 70-Count Canister</a>: $6.99 with $3.99 s/h, a low by $1</p> <p><strong>Use:</strong> Remove dust and fingerprints on LCD and plasma screens. Clean your laptop, desktop monitor, HDTV, touchscreens, and more.</p> <p><strong>Annual Cost:</strong> Even with the numerous devices we all carry around in our lives, you could probably safely get through a year with a single canister at <strong>$10.98</strong>.</p> <p><strong>Alternative:</strong> You don't want to use alcohol- or ammonia-based products to clean your screen, but instead of using Endust, a soft cotton cloth dampened with a little white distilled vinegar does a comparable job. Using white distilled vinegar is safe, highly effective, and very inexpensive. And though this alternative may not save you a bundle, it'll certainly do more to help reduce waste.</p> <h2>Cleanup Time</h2> <p>In the end, deciding which disposable cleaning products we use often boils down to utility. The ease of wielding a toilet wand, for example, may trump all other considerations, especially if you're squeamish about washing out a dirty brush. But there's cost to consider, and that cuts both ways. The more you spend on disposable cleaning products, the more a toll you'll take on your household budget and the planet's ecosystem.</p> <p>By our very conservative estimates, you'd save about $188.27 by skipping the above goods &mdash; and there are still numerous other disposable cleaning products that people include in their routine, like wet Swiffer pads in addition to the dry. And while that money might seem like chump change for a year, consider how far it could have gone to buy <a href="">other things for the home</a>, especially if you <a href="">shop frugally</a> in other areas as well. So while disposable products are here to stay, think carefully about which ones you use, and do your best to consume them sparingly.</p> <p><em>This is a guest post by <a title="dealnews" href="">Dealnews</a>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sure, use-it-and-trash-it cleaning products are convenient. But how much they cost might shock you. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Dealnews</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Green Living Home cleaning supplies green cleaning products reusable Wed, 29 Feb 2012 10:48:33 +0000 Dealnews 904213 at