Using household ingredients like distilled vinegar and baking soda to your advantage makes for a sparkly clean and environmentally friendly and safe home!
We often check ingredients in the foods we buy, so why not check the ingredients of our cleaning products. We smell, eat off of, and sit on surfaces covered by these products each day. It’s in our best interest to cut down on any chemicals that might be in these items we use and are exposed to each and every day; why not use simple items already in our pantry? Vinegar has a negligible impact on our environment, and while baking soda is a product of refining minerals from the ground and requires energy to mine, it is still less harmful than recreating synthetics and other chemicals in a lab.
I mentioned this blog post to my sister, a Chemistry Ph.D. Candidate, and she said to remember just one thing about these two cleaning powerhouse ingredients:
“Vinegar and baking soda are two of the best and simplest cleaning products. Both are mild, can be ingested, and are good at dissolving stains, rust, microbes, etc. without destroying materials such as glass, wood, or cloth. However, one is an acid and the other is a base; when combined, they neutralize, which means they balance each other out enough to eliminate the cleaning power of either ingredient. Use them separately with water.”
Vinegar cuts through grime, is cheap and easy to use, and is safe for both you and your home. Plus, there are endless opportunities to use it around your home.
Vinegar is great for cleaning windows or glass shower doors, running through automatic coffee makers to dissolve minerals and oil build up, steaming away food splatters in the microwave, and brightening dishes and glasses in the dishwasher.
Have a puppy? Then you are likely dealing with some bathroom accidents on your carpets. Not to worry, though! Vinegar comes to the rescue. After blotting up as much of the urine as possible with towels, saturate the stain with equal parts vinegar and warm water for 10 minutes, blot away the wetness. This will work on alcohol or other liquid spills, too!
Sick of the bumper stickers you put on your car 5 years ago? Vinegar will take them right off. Are your clothes losing their brightness? Toss some vinegar in during the last cycle.
Baking soda is an amazing cleaning and deodorizing agent. When mixed with water, grease and dirt easily dissolves. If you shake some onto a cloth with just a drop or two of water, it becomes a bit gritty – at this stage, it is abrasive enough to scour a surface, but not so abrasive that the surface gets scratched. Baking soda also neutralizes odors and works very well to deodorize and eliminate strong smells, rather than just covering them up. Once my towels start to get a bit mildew-y and regular detergent doesn’t get rid of those smells, I’ll throw the towels into the washing machine with just a handful of baking soda and it’s goodbye smells and hello softness and clean!
There are so many ways to use baking soda, from keeping your refrigerator clean to polishing silver, and from deodorizing drains to removing the scum from the bottom of your shower curtain. The cleaning options are endless, boxes of baking soda are cheap, and the product is chemical-free. What more could you want?
Do you have any other safe and green products you like to use?