Cleaning With Condiments, They Aren’t Just For Food Anymore!

Condiments

If you want to go green (or save some money) while conducting usual cleaning chores, you might be surprised that some of the cheapest and healthiest alternatives to mainstream cleaning supplies include condiments. I certainly was! Common, everyday items that people usually have lying around in their fridges can help with some of the worst cleaning woes. Sure, the idea of using ketchup, a condiment famous for staining white shirts, for cleaning purposes might seem odd, but every one of these tasty substances has a unique use. Open up the fridge, and for next to nothing, you can tackle some of the worst stains in the house.

Vinegar

Oh, the power of vinegar! If you don’t mind a bit of a harsh smell, vinegar can clean dozens and dozens of items in your house. Some of the most popular items that vinegar cleans are windows, microwaves, showers, and stainless steel appliances. Its close cousin, apple cider vinegar, also serves as a disinfectant and has a more pleasant odor. Most of the best cleaning recipes that include vinegar combine distilled white vinegar with water, oil, or salt.

Lemons

Halve a lemon, dip it in salt, and rub it against any copper, brass, or chrome appliance. It will show off a great shine. Mix lemon juice and baking soda to unclog minor drains. In addition to introducing a better scent, lemon juice can remove ugly stains from plastic containers. Let the containers sit in a mixture of lemon juice and water overnight. Also, lemon juice serves to remove several different types of laundry stains.

Ketchup

Yes, ketchup actually can lift stains rather than cause them. Polish copper with ketchup; its acidity dissolves tarnish and stubborn spots. It can also help you shine silver. Rub the red substance on your silver item, let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, and then polish it off with an old rag.

Mustard

Mustard powder specifically makes a pretty great deodorizer, so if you plan to re-use old jars for your next Pinterest project, splash warm water and a bit of mustard powder into the jar. The powder can also help you lift grease from really dirty dishes.

Mayonnaise

The eggy white substance is pretty useful for getting unsightly water marks out of wooden furniture. It can also help you wash pine pitch off of your hands and remove adhesives and glue from glass. Note that olive oil is also great for restoring the luster of hard wood. (And it’s also a less-fattening alternative for eating.)

Salt

Salt and salt water have tons of uses and are included in many cleaning recipes. Salt with lemon, salt with vinegar, and salt with oil can tear away many kinds of stains. Here’s another tip: If you have valuable cast-iron cookware, you know that soaps are a no-no, which, in my opinion, can be maddening. Instead, heat oil in the pan, then add coarse salt, creating a paste. Use that paste to scrub unwanted stains away. Also, the best way to clean coffee pots is with a mixture of salt and ice, which you can swirl around inside. Just pour away those awful brown stains.

These cheap and safe cleaning supplies are only an arm’s reach away. Now, there’s no shame in grabbing one or two extra packets of ketchup when you’re out. There are also plenty of other powerful cleaning agents in your kitchen, including baking soda, coffee grounds, and cornstarch that can be used for more safe cleaning alternatives. Give them a try: You might be pleased with the results.

Originally published on February 6, 2015 by Greg Wiszniewski
on the New York City Office Cleaning Blog

How To Use Essential Oils Throughout The Home

Guest Author: BusyBee Cleaning Services

Essential oils may be great for aromatherapy, but can they really be used to help clean your home? In fact, lemon, tea tree, rosemary, lavender, and peppermint essential oils are all naturally antibacterial, whereas many more, like orange, pine, and eucalyptus, are often major ingredients in less-natural cleaning products. For me, the initial purchase of a bunch of essential oils was absolutely worth it; only a few drops are ever used at once, and they have plenty of uses around the home. Here are just a few of the ways you can clean and freshen your house with them.

Create Your Own, Cheaper Air Freshener

  • This is an obvious one, but it’s very useful. Pick your favorite scent and put it in a spray bottle with some distilled water. Spray as necessary. I like to spray a lavender freshener on linens.

Repel Pests

  • Put a drop of oil on a cotton ball, and scatter a bunch of these around your kitchen. Peppermint oil repels mice and spiders, while lavender, citronella, lemongrass, and rosemary oils repel flying insects.

Freshen Clothes

  • Either put a nice scent, like lavender oil, on cotton balls and put them in your dresser, or create a sachet out of rice, a few drops of oil, and spare cloth.
  • You can also put a few drops of your favorite oils onto a damp cloth and throw it in the dryer as an alternative to scented dryer sheets.

Take Deep Breaths

  • Eucalyptus oil in the shower, in your humidifier, or just in a pan of simmering water on the stove can help you breathe easier.

Kill or Prevent Mold

  • Mix tea tree oil and water and spray onto the affected area to get rid of mold and mildew. Let it sit and then wipe it away.

Deodorize Trashcans

  • Mix hot, soapy water with some eucalyptus oil and swirl it in the bottom of your trash can if it needs a freshened smell.

Repel Foot Odors

  • Use basil or lavender oil in your shoes. I like to put a cotton ball with basil oil on it in my shoe caddy.

Make Your Dishes Sparkle

  • Put a few drops of lemon oil into your dishwasher before running it.

Create a Dry Wash

  • If you have non-leather upholstery, you can freshen it with oils combined with baking soda. Dust it on and then vacuum it off. Lemon, peppermint, lavender, and ylang-ylang oils work best.
  • Combine baking soda with the powerful germicide eucalyptus to destroy dust mites on your mattress or your child’s stuffed animals.

Repel Pet Odors

  • Mop up strong pet odors with hot water, a cleanser, and either lemongrass or geranium oils.

Keep the Toilet Fresh

  • Add drops of tea tree oil to your toilet tank so every time someone flushes, it fills the bathroom with a nice scent. It also cleans the inside of the toilet.

Get Gum Off

  • Lemon and orange oils can get rid of many different sticky materials. (Launder immediately after using it on clothing to avoid stains.)

Clean Wooden Cutting Boards

  • Use the powerful thyme essential oil to destroy germs.

And there are plenty more ideas out there! I have to admit that whenever I see a new cleaning tip that includes essential oils, I get a little excited. They can make your house smell great in no time!Source: Busybee Cleaning Services