Thursday, September 6, 2012

Baking Soda Strikes Again!

Having kids was a powerful motivator for me to switch from using "normal" cleaning products to using all natural, homemade cleaning products.

For example, instead of Windex (or variations thereon) for cleaning mirrors and windows, I've discovered that vinegar and water works just fine.

Instead of Lysol concentrate for mopping and general purpose cleaning, I just use the same old vinegar/water/sometimes a dab of dish soap for messy jobs combination.

My house doesn't smell "clean" the way it used to after cleaning.  I also don't get headaches after cleaning anymore, so I'm gonna go ahead and say the "clean" smell is something I can live without.  Are my windows really dirty enough to need ammonia?  Is my kitchen floor really dirty enough to need antibacterial cleansers (okay, maybe it's crazy dirty, but the minute it's clean, it's gonna get walked on again anyway, so what's the point...) that are probably breeding super strains of Lysol-resistant bacteria?  I don't think so.
Now, after I clean, my house smells like, well, nothing.  Or maybe it has a slight vinegar smell for a few minutes.

But there is one thing that I am having trouble giving up: Comet.  I was raised to always clean my toilets with Comet, and it's a little bit hard to not do what you were taught your entire childhood.  So I hold my breath, swish quickly (with the kids out of the room), and flush the stuff before the smell can waft through the house. 

I also learned from my time working in a commercial kitchen that Comet is white Formica's best friend.  Even dreaded mustard stains, or rings from pitchers of orange punch yield to the mighty power of Comet.

Time for an experiment.

Beet stain on counter.

Not coming off with regular dish soap and scrubbing.


No!  Baking Soda!

It took a little more scrubbing than would have been necessary with Comet, but the stain is gone. 


And I don't have bleach smell lingering in my kitchen.

What natural products do you use in your home?  Is there anything you use habitually that you'd like to exchange for something more natural, but you have trouble giving up?  How would you make the switch to using more natural products, all at once, or a gradually?


  1. Baking soda is the best underarm deodorant. Far, far better than any commercial product I've tried.

    Wet your finger and put on a little bit and it will stop odors for 2 days. It's unbelievable. I found out about it when I asked my 95 year old grandmother what they did back in the old days in the early 1900's.

    1. I think I had heard of that before, but never heard first-hand from anyone who had tried it. Sounds like it's definitely worth a try! Thanks for the tip!

  2. I use vinegar for almost everything, or orange vinegar ( because it smells a lot better!)
    For glass and mirrors, equal parts peroxide and water works well, and didn't get streaky like vinegar did. It is apparently a good disinfectant for counters and whatnots as well?
    I desperately want to reduce our dependance on paper towels. So expensive! And so much waste! My husband uses paper towels exclusively for cleaning, and cringes at my use of towels and rags-- he doesn't think it's very sanitary. I would be happy if we could just cut back (we are currently going through about 1.5 rolls a week, YEEKS!)

    1. You have such good ideas! I think I'd better try both the orange vinegar and the peroxide. My windows/mirrors take a LOT of buffing to get rid of the streaks with vinegar.
      We are finally starting to phase out paper towels! I guess Levi has low cleanliness standards (thank the Lord), so he doesn't care at all that I just use rags. I figure if you wash them the same way as cloth diapers, they shouldn't be any grosser than those, right? Good luck convincing Z. :)


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