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Using Natural Cleansers

These basic products have more than one purpose; use them in place of chemical-based cleansers for a healthy and less-expensive alternative.

Dishwashing Liquids
Mix 2 cups water with 2 tablespoons dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle. Use solution to clean countertops and other household surfaces. Rinse with plain water.

Baking Soda
Combine 3 parts warm water with 1 part baking soda. With a damp sponge, rub the paste on laminate countertops, then rinse. It will also polish chrome and stainless steel.

To remove marks on stained toilet bowls, add 1/2 cup borax to the water, swish it around, and let soak overnight.

Washing Soda
For extremely soiled surfaces, such as oil-stained garage floors, mop area with a solution of 1/2 cup washing soda (sodium carbonate) mixed in a bucket of warm water.

Soda Water
Pour a small amount of soda water onto a fresh carpet spill, and blot with a towel. Don't rub, as you may mat the fibers. If the stain is set, try hydrogen peroxide: Pour some onto a clean, white cloth, then press cloth to carpet. Wait about 15 minutes, blot with a clean cloth. There should be no need to rinse.

Boost the cleaning power of ordinary water by presoaking a soiled spot, flushing away dirt or grime with a stronger spray, gently scrubbing, or using warmer water. For protein stains, such as egg or blood, cold water still works best.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is safe to treat stains on delicate colorfast fabrics. Place stained area in a bowl, and pour on peroxide. Let soak at least 1 hour, then launder as usual.

Distilled White Vinegar and Lemon Juice
Place paper towels or sponges soaked in full-strength vinegar or lemon juice over crusty buildup around faucets. Leave for about an hour, then scrub deposits away.


Tea-Tree Oil
Mix a few drops of the oil in a spray bottle filled with 2 cups water and 2 tablespoons dishwashing liquid to create an effective general-purpose cleaner. (Handle cautiously, and consult a doctor before using if you are pregnant.)

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