Tuesday, August 23, 2016

It’s a Natural Kind of Clean

by Cindy Pitts Gilbert  Gwinnett Citizen   August 2016 
Dear Sister Knowitall,

I would like to use more natural products in my home.  I have read that a lot of commercial products are toxic to our family. Do you have any home remedies that will help keep our home clean.
Desperate in Dacula

Dear Desperate in Dacula,

I love when I hear that families begin the journey. There are many ways to clean your home with natural products.  There are many that are probably already in your kitchen or are very inexpensive and non-toxic.

One of my favorite staples in our home is baking soda. Let me sing the praises of baking soda, honestly I could write for days about the uses for baking soda. Baking soda makes a great counter top cleaner.  If you have white or light countertops overtime using a knife on the counter without a cutting board can cause tiny grooves that catch dirt and grime and more importantly bacteria.  You may also have stubborn stains such as coffee or tea that  have been taunting you. Here's what you do; wipe down your counter top with a wet cloth and liberally sprinkle on some baking soda, wait 10-15 minutes. Clean your counter with your favorite scrub pad. You can also squeeze lemon juice or spray white vinegar that cause a reaction of bubbles and helps release the stain. The abrasive texture of baking soda gets into the grooves without harming your counter tops. It is also great for cleaning a white sink and the bath or shower soap scum. Baking soda is a terrific rust remover. Have you ever left a can in your sink and have that decorative rust circle in the sink? Follow the same procedure wait a few minutes and drum roll please, the stain comes up with a little light scrubbing. It also works great on cast iron skillets.  Use this same technique on rusty car parts and I have personally used it on light rust on the patio furniture.  Baking soda mixed with a dollup of shampoo makes a great clarifying shampoo.  Baking soda is a safe and somewhat amazing mold remover. It is great on surface mold, but I will warn you if it has gotten deep into your caulking or anything rubber or wood it will help but will not remove deep mold once it is embedded. Baking soda and salt are great for cleaning jewelry and removing stubborn stains on your pots and pans.  Another magic cleaning product is the common lemon.  I don't know anyone who likes cleaning the microwave. The splatter from heating up items without a cover require a lot of elbow grease to remove unless you know this secret trick. Cut a lemon in half and place one half in the microwave.  Set the time in 30 second increments.  When the timer goes off test a small stain with a paper towel. Yes, you read right a paper towel, the stain should wipe away with no effort. if it does not, never fear just add  an additional 30 seconds until the grime wipes away with ease.  You will get a fresh lemony aroma in your kitchen and a sparkling clean microwave you can be proud of.   Safe cleaning.
Cindy Pitts Gilbert is Director of Training for Know It Training for Professional and Personal Development in Gwinnett County.  She is also the Home Remedy Guru of the Blog Sister Knowitall: sisterknowitall.com.  She has been learning natural home remedies after she developed allergic reactions to chemicals in household cleaning products. Send your questions to: askme@sisterknowitall.com