Green Living & Cleaning Tips for Palm Beach Gardens
25 Ways to Clean with Vinegar
The cleaning aisle at just about any grocery store is stocked with a dizzying array of options-and when it comes down to it, there are a lot of expensive, toxic, superfluous products crowding the market. Chances are, you already have one of the best, all-purpose cleaning agents in your pantry: white vinegar. As noted earlier, vinegar actually works as a great laundry booster, stripping away the chemical build-up that detergent leaves behind (and gets rid of clingy odors in the process). And beyond that, there are tons of other applications for the stuff around your home. Here, from vinegartips.com and frugalfun.com, 25 ideas for making the most of vinegar:
- Deodorize the sink: Pour 1 cup baking soda, followed by 1 cup hot vinegar, down the drain. Let sit for at least 5 minutes, then rinse with hot water.
- Deodorize the garbage disposal: Make ice cubes out of vinegar. Run the disposal with a few vinegar ice cubes and cold water.
- Clean countertops: Wipe down surfaces with a rag dipped in vinegar.
- Clean the fridge: Use a mixture of half water, half vinegar to wipe down the interior shelves and walls.
- Remove soap build-up and odors from the dishwasher: Once a month, pour 1 cup of vinegar into an empty dishwasher and run the machine through its entire cycle.
- Bust oven grease: If you’ve got grease spots on the oven door, pour some vinegar directly on the stains, let it sit for 15 minutes, and wipe away with a sponge.
- To make old glassware sparkle: To get rid of the cloudy effect, wrap a vinegar-soaked towel around the glass and let it sit. Remove and rinse with hot water.
- Get rid of lime deposits on your tea kettle: Fill the kettle with vinegar and let it boil. Allow it to cool, and rinse with water.
- Remove stains in coffee cups: Create a paste using of equal parts vinegar and salt (or in lieu of salt, baking soda) and scrub gently before rinsing.
- Treat Tupperware stains (and stinkiness): Wipe the containers with a vinegar-saturated cloth.
- Remove stains on aluminum pots: Boil 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup water.
- Deter ant infestations: Spray outside doorways and windowsills, and anywhere you see a trail of critters.
- Clean can openers: Scrub the wheel of your can opener with vinegar using an old toothbrush.
- Remove stickers or labels: Cover the sticker with a vinegar-soaked cloth. Let it sit overnight-it should slide right off by morning.
- Shine porcelain sinks: A bit of vinegar and a good scrub should leave them sparkling.
- Clean grout: Pour on some vinegar, let it hang out for a few minutes, and buff with an old toothbrush.
- Clean the shower door: Spray them down with vinegar pre-shower, or post (after you’ve squeegeed the glass) to remove hard water deposits.
- Clean a grimy showerhead: To get rid of scum, fill a Ziploc with ½ a cup of baking soda and 1 cup vinegar and tie it around the showerhead. Let it sit for an hour, until the bubbling has stopped. Remove the bag and run the shower.
- Make a toilet sparkle: Pour in a cup or two of vinegar and let it sit there overnight before scrubbing with a toilet brush.
- Polish linoleum floors: Add 1 cup of vinegar for every gallon of water you use to wash the floor.
- Clean paintbrushes: Soak paintbrushes for an hour before simmering them on the stove to remove hardened paint. Drain and rinse.
- Clean grills: Spray vinegar on a ball of tin foil, then use it to give the grate a firm scrub.
- Disinfect wood cutting boards: Wipe down wood boards with a wash of vinegar.
- Clean the microwave: Fill a microwave-safe bowl with 2 cups water and ½ cup vinegar. Heat it on full power for 3-4 minutes until it comes to a boil. Keep the door closed for a few minutes longer to let the steam fill the microwave, loosening the grime. Remove the bowl (carefully!) and wipe down interior walls with a sponge.
- Polish patent leather accessories: Give them a rub with a vinegar-soaked cloth. Buff with a dry cloth.
5 Ways to Green Your Workout
Did you ever stop to think how your workout could have an impact on the environment? Well, it can.
|Thankfully there are several ways we can lessen our eco-impact, while keeping our workout routine intact.1. Bring a reusable bottle – Break your disposable bottle water habit and switch to a reusable water bottle. Breaking the plastic disposable bottled water habit reduces the use of fossil fuels and toxic greenhouse gases that come from manufacturing plastic bottles. By using a reusable water bottle you are also helping reduce the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfills, sitting for years while they try unsuccessfully to decompose.2. Use the great outdoors – There’s nothing greener than the great outdoors! There are so many opportunities: running, walking, hiking, rock climbing, skiing and more! The best news- the great outdoors is almost always available. What a great way to explore a new city or country.3. Walk or bike to the gym – Set aside a few extra minutes each day and walk or bike to the gym. You’ll be getting extra exercise, lowering your fuel expenses and cutting down on the amount of emissions released from driving your car. Why not commit to walking or biking whenever you can?4. Bring your own towel – If you belong to one of those gyms that has a towel service, think twice next time you reach for those warm, white towels. Many times the towels are washed in harsh detergents, bleaches, and disinfectants. Bring your own towel and you will be saving water and protecting yourself from potential toxins.5. Recycle your shoes – Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program collects old, worn-out athletic shoes for recycling, transforming them into Nike Grind, a material used in creating athletic and playground surfaces as well as select Nike products. They accept all brands of worn-out athletic shoes – ones that would otherwise go to a landfill – and turn them into something new, like tracks and playgrounds. You can either drop off your shoes or mail them into a facility.
18 Handy Lemon Tips
Lemons – the versatile fruit
Lemons – a fruit with a wonderful fragrance, great in food and beverages, but also very handy for multiple purposes around the home!
Lemons have been cultivated by humans for over a thousand years. The fruit is mentioned in tenth century Arabic literature, but was probably first grown in Assam, India.
Lemons are high in vitamin C, have an anti-bacterial effect and are thought to possess antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties. The juice consists of about 5% acid, which also makes them useful for a variety of household purposes. Lemons and/or lemon juice are a popular addition in environmentally friendly cleaning applications.
Selecting and storing lemons
The best lemons are those that have smooth, oily skins and are heavy for their size. They should be bright yellow with no green tinges. Lemons will keep for up to a week at room temperature, two to three weeks refrigerated. Lemon zest (peel) can be frozen for months.
To get the most juice from a lemon, it should be allowed to reach room temperature, or microwaved for a few seconds prior to juicing. Using your palm to roll the lemon on a hard surface can also help improve juice yields. If you only need a little juice, some people pierce the end with a fork, squeeze the amount needed, cover the holes with tape and then store in the fridge.
There’s so much more to lemons than just using them in cooking and making lemonade! Here’s a selection of handy tips. Remember to test in inconspicuous areas first.
- Ant deterrent – Pouring lemon juice around areas that ants frequent is said to repel them.
- Air freshener – An equal amount of lemon juice and water added to an atomizer will create a wonderful synthetic chemical-free green air freshener for your home.
- All purpose cleaner – Again, an equal amount of lemon juice and water added to a spray bottle is an effective kitchen and bathroom cleaner and can also be used on walls (spot test first). A small amount of lemon juice can also be added to vinegar based cleaning solutions to help neutralize the smell of the vinegar.
- Microwave – Heat a bowl of water and lemon slices in your microwave for 30 seconds to a minute; then wipe out the oven. Stains will be easier to remove and old food odors will be neutralized.
- Fridge – Half a lemon stored in your fridge will help control and eliminate unpleasant smells.
- Chrome/copper/brass – Rub a lemon juice and baking soda paste onto chrome or copper, rinse and then wipe/buff with a soft cloth or paper towel.
- Toilet – Mix 1/2 cup borax and a cup of lemon juice for a powerful toilet cleaner that will leave it smelling extra clean!
- Lime scale – Use a half lemon to clean the lime scale off a sink or taps/faucets; rinse well.
- Laundry – For bleaching purposes, add 1/2 cup of lemon juice to your washing machine’s rinse cycle and hang clothes outside to dry. A teaspoon of lemon juice thrown into your wash can also help your clothes to smell fresher.
- Dishes – A teaspoon of lemon juice added to your dishwashing detergent can help boost grease cutting power
- Drains – Hot lemon juice and baking soda is a good drain cleaner that is safe to use in septic systems. If you have a garbage disposal unit, throw in some lemon peel from time to time while it’s working in order to keep it smelling fresh.
- Chopping boards – Rub lemon juice into your wooden chopping board, leave overnight and then rinse. Wood chopping boards appear to have anti-bacterial properties anyway, but the lemon will help kill off any remaining nasties and neutralize odors.
- Glass and mirrors – 4 tablespoons of lemon juice mixed with half a gallon of water makes an effective window cleaner.
- Degreaser – Straight lemon juice can be used as a general degreaser.
- Furniture – 2 parts olive oil or cooking oil mixed with 1 part lemon juice makes for an excellent furniture polish!
- Hair – To lighten hair, dampen it with lemon juice and sit out in the sun for an hour. This does work, I tried it myself. Hey, it was the 80’s! I’ve read that the juice of a lemon mixed with one cup warm water makes for a great hair conditioner. It should be allowed to stay in your hair for a few minutes then washed off. Exercise caution if you have a sensitive scalp.
- Cuts, stings and itches – A small amount of lemon juice dripped onto minor wounds can help stop bleeding and disinfect the injury (it will sting a bit). Lemon juice applied to itches, poison ivy rashes and wasp stings is said to relieve discomfort.
- Hands – The smell of fish can linger on your hands, even after scrubbing with soap – rubbing your hands with lemon juice will neutralize the smell and leave your hands smelling wonderful.
Isn’t it incredible how we have so many environmentally harsh cleaning chemicals in our homes when nature already offers most of what we need! Have some helpful hints for using lemons in and around the home? Please add them as a comment below!
Non-Toxic Bug Repellents
Controlling bugs in your home does not mean you have to reach for a can of chemicals. Some of which can be toxic. The alternative is using natural products you already have in your kitchen.
Ants hate vinegar. Spray full strength distilled white vinegar along windows, doors, and crevices in your countertops. In the kitchen, a small dish of white vinegar with a drop of dish soap will also get rid of fruit flies.
If you have a cockroach problem, you can make your own killer mixture. Combine equal amounts of borax and sugar and apply it where you’ve seen roaches. Just be sure to keep the mixture AWAY from pets and children.
Moths can destroy your favorite sweater. Moth balls are poisonous and they look like candy to your kids and pets so steer clear of these. The aroma of cedar, lavender or mint will keep moths away.
When you choose natural pest solutions you are doing your part to keep harmful chemicals out of your home and the environment. And you’re reducing waste and saving money too.