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Spring Cleaning The Natural Way

Terry Chi

Springtime is here and the sun beckons us to make things shine! In a salute to the spring, we’ve compiled a list of safe, affordable cleaning solutions that won’t harm Mother Nature or you.

White vinegar

  • This bacteria-killing solution dissolves dirt, soap scum, and hard water deposits from smooth surfaces.
  • To create a spray cleaner, mix one cup of white vinegar and one cup of water. To increase the potency of this mixture, heat it in the microwave. Undiluted white vinegar can also be used as a cleaning agent.

Baking soda

  • As a mineral powder, baking soda has natural scrubbing capabilities. Sprinkle it on a damp sponge and use it to scrub your bathtub and sink.
  • For slow-running drains, mix a half to a quarter cup of baking soda with a little water and let it stand for at least two hours (overnight is best) in your drainpipe. Then flush with hot water.
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Lemon juice

  • The juice from this acidic fruit cleans hard water deposits and soap scum easily and can also be used to shine brass and copper.
  • To create a cleaning paste, mix lemon juice with vinegar or baking soda.
  • Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle the top with baking soda. Use it to scrub dishes and plates. Note: lemon juice can act as a bleaching agent.
  • Drop a lemon peel into the garbage disposal to freshen the air.

Cornstarch

  • Ground up from the endosperm, or “hearts,” of corn kernels, this white powder has effective absorptive qualities.
  • Use it to absorb grease stains in your carpet. Cover the stain with cornstarch and leave for 20 minutes or until the grease is absorbed. Use a vacuum to remove the powder.
  • Clean your children’s stuffed animals by dusting them with cornstarch. Keep the toy in sealed bags overnight and then throwing them in the dryer for 10 minutes on low heat.
  • It can also be used to absorb mildew around your home.