Green Corner: Try these natural alternatives to harsh chemicals
July 2, 2015
These days with the rise of allergies, illnesses, and the cost of chemical products, why would anyone still want to use harsh chemicals when they could potentially be the cause of some of these issues? Plus, we all know none of them are good for the environment.
Instead of using expensive and toxic chemical products, try using these old school, homemade, and easy-to-use natural alternatives around your house and watch how well they outperform some of the chemicals we have gotten used to thinking are the only way to clean anymore. Two of the best natural products I have come across are vinegar and baking soda.
The first wonder product is vinegar, which one could almost write a whole article about since this product is fantastic. Vinegar, which has been known to mankind for at-least 5,000 years, is fairly cheap, completely natural, and has hundreds of uses. These include cutting grease, as a deterrent to animals and pests, a weed killer (this really works well), freshening fruits and flowers, sunburns, and for when one gets sick, to name a few.
To use it for cleaning, mix 1 cup white distilled vinegar to 2 gallons of water. For well-being, take 1-2 tablespoons of apple-cider vinegar and drink it straight or add it to your tea or maple syrup. I personally drink pickle juice whenever I feel like I'm under the weather or just as a preventative measure. Whatever method you use, vinegar levels your PH out and can help you get well faster or prevent sickness in the first place.
As a weed killer, numerous recipes exist, but I use 1 gallon of vinegar, 1 cup of salt and 1 tbsp of soap. It seems to work best in full sun vs. shade. Just spray on the targeted plants and wait 24 hours. Repeat, if necessary or try another recipe that can be found on-line.
Our second natural product, baking soda, is the ultimate non-abrasive scrubber and/or odor deodorizer. Instead of covering odors this product neutralizes them. Use baking soda to clean one's toilets or to get rid of that soap scum ring in the bathtub. Do this by shaking a generous amount over the bowl or tub, let sit for 15 minutes, and then using soap, wash as usual. Add it your dishwasher and/or coffee pot to clean them elbow grease free. Make a paste with 1/2 cup baking soda and 3 tbsp water and apply to your oven overnight for easy cleaning. It's great for trash cans, kitty litter boxes and carpets to neutralize any odors. Got a clogged sink and don't want that horrible Drano in your septic tank? Pour in 1 cup baking soda followed by 1 cup hot vinegar to quickly unclog the kitchen drain.
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These are just a few of the many uses these two wonder products can do for you. Look up online for the hundreds of more potential non-toxic fixes for your regular household chores. May the worry free cleaning be with you.
Thomas Harris is president of the Infinite West Board of Directors.