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  1. #1
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    Apr 2004
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    niagara, ontario, canada
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    basic cleaning (using vinegar?)

    hey all!

    a request: i'm tired of using expensive, ecologically-horrific cleaners to clean my bathroom and kitchen and i've heard about using a vinegar mixture. i've looked at the alternative cleaning methods on this board that mention vinegar, but i'm curious to know of the exact mixture to use. what part vinegar to what part water? do i need to add anything else to this mixture?

    thanks a whole lot!

    roxy the clean

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2005
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    yay area
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    it really depends on what you're cleaning - on really greasy stuff, i'll just pour some vinegar straight on a cloth and rinse. straight vinegar for glass & mirrors as well, and then wipe off with a dry cloth. it's not an exact science. i'd say 1 part to 3 or 4 parts water for general cleaning of surfaces. hot water is best. dilute it more for your floors. for bad areas on floors or surfaces, i'll pretreat with a stronger solution before using more water. it's not going to hurt if it's too strong. it's really just trial and error. and a lot cheaper - ~$1.50 for a gallon of white vinegar versus $3 - $5 for a dinky bottle of cleanser.

    as for adding anything else, it's not necessary. if you're needing to scrub something, or have a really tough stain to beat, use baking soda and a little water to scrub it up and then pour some strong vinegar solution on it and enjoy the little science project bubble away. works GREAT on those horrible drip pans for the stove, too!

  4. #3
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    Apr 2004
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    niagara, ontario, canada
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    thank you! you definitely satisfied any ambiguity i was feeling towards using it.

    :)

  5. #4
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    1,563
    Vinegar is the ONLY thing that works on hard water stains in my house. "Bartender's friend" work o.k. on fixtures and rust, but otherwise, I'm phasing out most of my cleaning products and switching to a 50/50 bottle of vinegar/water.

  6. #5
    Member
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    May 2005
    Location
    Austin, Texas
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    I use vinegar, baking soda, water, and tea tree oil to clean my house. The only chemical cleaning products I use are the toilet bowl cleaner from EcoSense and a wood polish (I forget the brand) that's also eco-friendly.

    If you go here:

    http://www.care2.com/

    there are lots of green cleaning tips. I love this website!

  7. #6
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    Apr 2004
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    southern utah
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    35
    here is a huge list of tips i took from arm and hammers site to post on another forum i used to frequent... it's super long so i may have to break it up.

    In the Bathroom

    Deodorizing Wastebasket Defeating odors in the bathroom often feel like a waste of time. Keep bathroom wastebaskets fresh-smelling with just a sprinkle of baking soda. Apply regularly as you add to the container or when empty wash the container with a solution of 1 cup of baking soda per 1 gallon of water.

    Deodorizing Drains What goes down sometimes comes back up. To deodorize your sink and tub drains, and keep lingering odors from resurfacing, pour baking soda down the drain (1/2 cup) while running warm tap water. Baking Soda will neutralize both acid and basic odors for a fresh drain. Here's a tid bit to remember - when replacing your box of fridge baking soda (every 3 months) pour the contents of the old box down the drain to get a little extra mileage.

    Mouth Cleaning Clean up your mouth! Baking Soda is a gentle non-fluoride dentifrice that helps keep teeth clean and white. Dip a damp toothbrush in some baking soda sprinkled into your palm. Brush as usual and rinse.
    (i brush with baking soda once a week, with my power toothbrush, it feels like a dentist cleaning. i love clean teeth!)

    Surface-Safe Cleaning Glub in the tub? For safe, effective cleaning of bathroom tubs, tile and sinks - even shiny fiberglass and glossy tiles- sprinkle baking soda lightly on a clean damp sponge and scrub as usual. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry. Afterwards, take a nice relaxing bath without the worry of harsh chemicals.

    Cleaning Bathroom Floors Leave it up to baking soda to speed things up in the bathroom. Baking soda helps remove the dirt and grime from a bathroom tile or no-wax floor quickly and easily. Mix 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water, mop and rinse clean for a sparkling floor.

    Shower Curtains Clean and deodorize your vinyl shower curtain by sprinkling baking soda directly on a clean damp sponge or brush. Scrub the shower curtain and rinse clean. Hang it up to dry.

    Septic Care Regular use of baking soda in your drains can help keep your Septic System flowing freely. We recommend adding 1 cup of baking soda per week to help maintain a favorable pH in your Septic Tank.

    Deodorant A quick pit stop. Dust baking soda under arms as needed to feel fresh all day. The magic of baking soda actually absorbs odors instead of just covering them up.

    Antacid Spicy food is yummy until it bothers the tummy. baking soda is a safe and effective antacid to relieve heartburn, sour stomach and/or acid indigestion, when used as directed. Always refer to the baking soda package for instructions.

    Oral Appliance Soak Don’t let odors keep you tight-lipped. Soak oral appliances, like retainers, mouthpieces, and dentures in a solution of 2 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in a glass or small bowl of warm water. baking soda loosens food particles and neutralizes odors to keep appliances fresh! You can also brush appliances clean using baking soda

    Soothing Foot Soak A great way to start your home pedicure. Dissolve 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a basin of warm water and soak feet. Gently scrub with a paste of baking soda.

    Hair Care For locks that rock, remember to shake it. Sprinkle a small amount (quarter-size) of baking soda into your palm along with your favorite shampoo. Shampoo as usual and rinse thoroughly. The baking soda helps remove the residue that styling products leave behind so your hair is cleaner and more manageable.

    Mouth Freshening Bad breath keeping you tight-lipped? Open up for baking soda. Put one teaspoon in half a glass of water, swish, spit and rinse. Odors are neutralized - not just covered up - so get ready to pucker up!

    Refreshing Bath Soak No cell phones allowed! Wash away more than just tension. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your bath to neutralizes acids on the skin and help wash away oil and perspiration. Your skin will feel silky smooth!

    Skin Care Face it! Using baking soda as an invigorating, yet gentle, facial scrub will leave your skin silky smooth. Great for teen skin and getting ready for self-tanners. Sprinkle a little baking soda into your palm and mix into a paste (3 parts Baking Soda to 1 part water). Apply in a gentle circular motion then rinse clean.

    Hand Cleanser Give yourself a hand with baking soda. Forget the harsh soaps and gently scrub away ground-in dirt and neutralize odors on hands with a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water, or sprinkle baking soda in your liquid hand soap. Then rinse clean. Your skin will feel softer too!

    Cleaning Brushes and Combs For lustrous hair with shine, keep brushes and combs clean. Remove natural oil build-up and hair product residue by soaking combs and brushes in a solution of 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a small basin of warm water. Rinse and allow to dry.

  8. #7
    Member
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    Apr 2004
    Location
    southern utah
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    35
    Laundry and Pets

    Liquid Laundry Detergent Booster Give your laundry a boost - then give yourself a hand! Add ½ cup of baking soda to your laundry to make liquid detergent work harder for you and your family. A better balance of pH in the wash gets clothes cleaner, fresher, brighter!

    Deodorize Your Wash A hard day’s work or intense workout make for tough laundry needs. Just a ½ cup of baking soda in the rinse cycle neutralizes and eliminates harsh odors. No perfumey cover-up, just clothes that smell naturally fresh and clean.

    Chlorine Bleach Booster For thumbs up whites with less harsh chemicals that tend to damage clothes add ½ cup of baking soda with a ½ cup of bleach (instead of the usual 1 cup of bleach). Do you smell a cover up? We do! Adding ½ cup of baking soda instead of using a full cup of bleach will reduce smelly chemical odors too! (works great on garments!!)

    Freshen Towels and Sheets Get towels and linens clothesline fresh...right from the wash! Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle and get ready for the great outdoors.

    Cat Litter Deodorizer Cat got your nose? baking soda freshens your cat's litter box for oh so ‘pawfect’ freshness. Cover the bottom of the pan, then fill as usual with litter. To freshen between changes, sprinkle baking soda on top of the litter after a thorough cleaning. (i use arm and hammer brand litter for multiple cats --we have two-- plus i add baking soda when i clean the litter. we do not have a cat smelly home!)

    Deodorize Pet Bedding Even your pet deserves "5 star" accommodations. Eliminate odors from your pets bedding by sprinkling liberally with baking soda, wait 15 minutes (or longer for stronger odors), then vacuum up. baking soda is safe to use around pets!

    Gently Clean & Freshen Baby's Laundry baking soda is gentle enough for even the tiniest baby clothes, yet effective enough for big baby odors. For tough stains add 1/2 cup of baking soda with your liquid laundry detergent, or a 1/2 cup in the rinse cycle for deodorization! For cloth diapers, dissolve ½ cup of baking soda in 2 quarts of water and soak diapers thoroughly.

  9. #8
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    Apr 2004
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    southern utah
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    Garage, Vehicles and Recreational Equipment

    Deodorize Car Ashtrays Put tobacco odors in neutral(ize) when driving in your car. Sprinkle baking soda in the car's ashtray to eliminate stale tobacco odors and aid in extinguishing cigarettes and cigars. Empty ashtrays and replace the baking soda regularly. (i hope none of us need this tip, but, it works good for a used car, too.)

    Remove Oil and Grease Stains Use baking soda to clean up light-duty oil and grease spills on your garage floor or in your driveway. Sprinkle baking soda on the spot and scrub with a wet brush.

    Cleaning Cars Use baking soda to safely clean your car lights, chrome, windows, tires, vinyl seats and floor mats without worrying about unwanted scratch marks. Use a solution of 1/4 cup Baking Soda in 1 quart of warm water. Apply with a sponge or soft cloth to remove road grime, tree sap, bugs, and tar. For stubborn stains use baking soda sprinkled on a damp sponge or soft brush.

    Deodorizing Camper Water Tanks Freshen your RV water tank periodically by flushing with 1 cup baking soda dissolved in 1 gallon warm water. Drain and flush the tank before refilling (do not use Baking Soda in your drinking water). The baking soda will eliminate stale odors and help remove mineral build-up that makes water taste off.

    Deodorizing Cars Leave car odors in the dust! Odors settle into car upholstery and carpet, so each time you step in and sit down, they are released into the air all over again. Eliminate these odors by sprinkling baking soda directly on fabric car seats and carpets. Wait 15 minutes (or longer for strong odors) and vacuum up the odors. Check for color-fastness first before applying baking soda.

    Cleaning Batteries baking soda can be used to neutralize battery acid corrosion on cars, mowers, etc. because its a mild alkali. Be sure to disconnect the battery terminals before cleaning. Make a paste of 3 parts Baking Soda to 1 part water, apply with a damp cloth to scrub corrosion from the battery terminal. After cleaning and re-connecting the terminals, wipe them with petroleum jelly to prevent future corrosion. Please be careful when working around a battery - they contain a strong acid.

    Hand Cleanser Scour away ground-in dirt and grease while neutralizing odors on hands using a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Scrub and rinse clean.

    Camping Necessity And you thought the tent was essential. baking soda is a must-have for your next camping trip! Its a dish washer, pot scrubber, hand cleanser, deodorant, toothpaste,fire extinguisher and tons of other uses.

    Clean and Freshen Sports Gear Be a good sport. Use baking soda solution (4 tablespoons baking soda in 1 quart warm water) to clean and deodorize smelly sports equipment like fishing and camping gear. Sprinkle baking soda into golf bags and gym bags to deodorize and the odors are gone! Clean golf irons (without scratching them!) with a baking soda paste (3 parts baking soda to 1 part water) and a brush. Rinse thoroughly.

  10. #9
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    Apr 2004
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    southern utah
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    About the House


    Freshen Closets Just like the refrigerator, your closets can collect stale smells. So baking soda does double duty here too! Place a box on the shelf to keep the closet smelling fresh. Remember to replace the box every three months!

    Deodorize Sneakers Are you running into smelly odors every time you wear your sneakers? Sneakers can get pretty smelly. Keep odors from spreading by shaking a little baking soda into sneakers when not in use. Shake out before wearing. Have fun with the kids making Sneaker Peakers. This fun craft does double duty. Kids will have a blast decorating these zany creatures - and then the baking soda will go to work deodorizing those smelly sneakers!

    sneaker peakers

    What You Need:
    1 new, white athletic sock (mid-calf size)
    1 cup Baking Soda
    1 rubber band
    6" ribbon or string
    felt, markers, buttons, and glue for decorating!

    How to Make it:
    1. Lay newspaper down on your work surface.
    2. Fill the sock with 1 cup baking soda.
    3. Secure with rubber band.
    4. Tie ribbon around rubber band, cut off extra sock (cuff area).
    5. Decorate! Use Felt, Markers, Buttons, Sequins, etc. to make your
    Sneaker Peeker an animal, a monster, a flower! Anything goes!
    6. Stick them in your sneakers overnight for fresh shoes in the morning!


    Clean Furniture Being sent to your room never looked so good. Clean and remove marks (even crayon!) from walls and painted furniture by applying baking soda to a damp sponge and rubbing lightly. Wipe off with a clean, dry cloth.

    Deodorize Gym Bags Put a box of baking soda in your gym locker - and another in your gym bag!

    Freshen and Deodorize Carpets Odors stink...especially pet odors that tend to linger! A sprinkle a day keeps the odors away. Sprinkle baking sodato freshen carpet areas. Let it sit for 15 minutes before vacuuming. Be sure to check for color fastness first!

    Carpet Spills Clean and deodorize spills or accidents on carpets by soaking up as much of the spill as possible. Clean the stain according to the manufacturers directions and allow to dry. When the area is completely dry, sprinkle liberally with baking soda and let sit for 15 minutes before vacuuming it up. Great for pet and kid messes too! Check for color-fastness first before baking soda.

  11. #10
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    Apr 2004
    Location
    southern utah
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    Outdoors



    Cleaning Lawn Furniture Before you pull out your outdoor patio and pool furniture for the season, give it a thorough cleaning with baking soda. And don’t forget to keep outdoor furniture fresh in the off-season too...just sprinkle underneath cushions or inside the storage bag.

    Clean Pool Toys Nothing but good clean fun! baking soda cleans plastic and vinyl pool toys and even removes mildewy odors. Use a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. Wipe down and rinse. Smaller items may be soaked in the solution and then rinsed clean. For really dirty toys, sprinkle baking soda on a clean dampened sponge, scrub and then rinse clean.

    Deodorizing Musty Towels Fun in the sun can make towels smell a lot like chlorine. Get pool towels clothesline fresh...right from the wash! Add 1/2 cup baking sodato the rinse cycle and get ready again for the great outdoors.

    Dry Baths for Dogs Fido smelling kinda funky? Help dogs stay fresh-smelling by giving them periodic dry baths. Sprinkle baking soda into their fur and rub, then comb or brush it through and out.

    Cleaning Grills Lets get grilling! Grill grime is no picnic...so get ready for your next barbecue by sprinkling dry baking soda on a damp brush, scrub and rinse clean. For tough, greasy stains, scrub with a wire brush and a Baking Soda paste (3 parts Baking Soda to 1 part warm water).


 
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