Sunday, March 18, 2012

Top 10 Most Useful Items to Stock

I will admit that I have more than one reason for using safer products for everything from cleaning to gardening.  Not only is it better on the environment, it is also beneficial to my pocketbook.  Previously I've covered several items and their constructive uses.  Your cupboards and fridge carry potential solutions to many every day challenges.  Several are so versatile they are useful in vast areas of everyday household chores.  I've picked some items that in my opinion are the most valuable staples you can keep on hand.  I've chosen these ten based on their effectiveness, as well as their variety of use.

1.  VINEGAR  Vinegar is one of the most wide range products you can keep around.  I think someone wrote an entire book on the many advantages of vinegar.  Add some to the laundry to brighten colors.  Add some to a smelly dishwasher or garbage disposal to eliminate odors.  Spray on windows and mirrors for a streak free clean.  Use as a weed killer on your landscape, or dilute and spray in your garden to control pests.

2.  BAKING SODA  Baking soda is also know as bicarbonate.  The alkaline properties make it handy for everything from laundry to scrubbing pots.  The abrasive tendencies of baking soda make it my top pick for removing built up grease.  Place an open box under your kitchen sink to ward off roaches.  Sprinkle on the carpet to help lift dirt and remove stains.

3. RUBBING ALOCHOL  Isopropyl is an ethanol based disinfectant that makes a quality cleaning alternative.  Replace the Clorox and clean the counter with rubbing alcohol.  Not only will it disinfect, it will also remove any stains leftover from makeup or marker.  Clean your mirrors, and eye glasses.  Dilute with water and spray on plants to keep unwanted insects away.

4. SALT   The course properties of salt make it an alternative to any scouring powder.  Scorched on food is easily removed from pots, pans and stove tops.  Add some to a pot of warm water for a soothing foot bath.  Since salt is a natural dehydrogenate you can  dissolve some water and spray on weeds.  Necessary fluids are drained from and the intruder and it will wilt.  Add some salt with lemon and ice to a coffee carafe to clean the inside.

5. LEMON   Don't load your house down with perfume filled deodorizers.  Just throw some lemon peel in a pot or humidifier to freshen the air.  Gently polish brass, chrome and silver with a soft cloth and lemon juice.  Toss a bowl of lemon juice and warm water into the microwave and let it steam for 10 minutes.  Not only will you be able to wipe the oven clean, it will smell great too.

6. OLIVE OIL  Olive oil is a wonderful skin moisturizer.  It only takes a few drops applied to the face for a smooth finish.  Massage into hair to moisturize and remove tangles.  Rub a small amount on aged wood to rejuvenate the look.  Drop onto a squeaky hinge to silence it.

7.  HONEY  My favorite use for honey has always been to sooth a sore throat.  It also happens to be a natural energy booster.  Honey makes a radiant face mask when mixed with other products such as yogurt or coffee grounds.  It also makes a youthful skin moisturizer.

8.  DISH SOAP  Besides cleaning dishes or removing stains dish soap can also be used as an insecticide. Spray a diluted blend on plants, or leave a dish of soapy water sitting on the counter.  Have a door knob that sticks?  Try soaping it down to loosen the handle.

9.  TOOTHPASTE  Toothpaste is a quick polish for jewelry, silver and gold.  Rub it on as a paste and wipe off once it has dried.  Use as a "mask" for you fingernails.  Not only will they look white and bright, but they will get a dose of needed strengthener.

10.  CORNMEAL  A sprinkle of cornmeal on an ant hill will destroy the mound.  Throw a dash under you rose bush to help control black spot.  Spread on your garden bed to help prevent new weeds from growing.

If you would like some additional information I have several articles that target specific areas of use on my blog.  I would really enjoy hearing your alternative cleaning solutions to help create a greener planet.

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