Frugal, Green & Clean

baking-sodaYou’ve probably heard all about the 1001 uses for baking soda.  You probably know that vinegar is a natural antibacterial agent.  You’ve probably even used the two together to create a volcano or a volcano-like effect.  But did you know that you can replace most of your household cleaners with baking soda and vinegar?

The number one tool in my house cleaning toolchest is my spray bottle filled with vinegar.  This guy cost me all of 99 cents at the grocery store, and holds about 250 ml of vinegar.

And what do I clean with it?  Nearly everything in the bathroom:

– sink: spray vinegar around the sink, and wipe with a cloth.  You don’t even need to rinse.

– toilet: spray all the sprayable areas, and wipe down with a damp cloth. Then dump some vinegar in the bowl–around 1/3 to 1/2 cup–and scrub until clean.

– taps and tub: vinegar leaves it sparkling

– floor: use a strong solution of vinegar and hot water.  No rinsing required.

– mirror: straight vinegar, sprayed on, then rubbed off with a dry lint-free cloth.  Actually, plain hot water would also do a fine job here.

For more stubborn things like bath crayons and soap scum, baking soda does a fantastic job due to its mild abrasive quality.  Baking soda requires a lot of rinsing though, so it’s easiest to use on a surface that will handle a lot of water.

Simply google baking soda or vinegar and you will find dozens of blogs and websites containing tips for cleaning with these two powerful agents.

The benefits of switching from chemicals to these guys are many:

– they’re way cheap!  You can get 2 L of vinegar, or 2 kilos of baking soda for under $4.  No other cleaner is so inexpensive.

– they’re multi-purpose! Instead of needing a different spray, cream or foam for kitchen, bathroom, toilet, floors, etc. you’ve got just two products that can handle almost any job.  This is great news for my fellow apartment dwellers with limited storage space.

– they won’t kill your toddler!  Or your pet!  Or you by inhalation of fumes . . . you get the idea.  They are both very benign substances.

– you don’t even have to wear gloves when using them.

– and finally, while baking soda is a mined product, it is still much less harmful to use baking soda and vinegar than it is to use highly processed, perfumed, chemical concoctions to clean your house.  Nothing is perfect, but these guys bring you closer to nature.

Next on my list to add to my cleaning arsenal: pure vegetable soap.  Clean and green, and apparently it marries well with baking soda and vinegar to expand your cleaning power even further.  I’ll let you know when I try it!

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3 thoughts on “Frugal, Green & Clean

    1. I got mine at Hartman’s (even though I try so hard not to shop there). It was only 99¢, and it’s very cute.

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