Most of the time we barely think about the consequences of our shopping habits, especially when it comes to cleaning! We purchase tons of chemical cleaning products is order to solve our greasy kitchens mysteries or moldy bathrooms. But things can be changed if you care about your health. Inhaling those toxic fumes when doing the cleaning is not a solution – you can end up with serious respiratory diseases which may get chronic.

But, if we substitute chemicals with natural cleaning agents, such as baking soda and vinegar, we will get the same results leaving a non-toxic environment behind. Let’s take baking soda, for instance! This ingredient can be found in almost any home, but some people may not realize that its uses are endless, leaving remarkable results behind.

1. Remove dirt and grime from floors without leaving scratch marks. Use 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water. Then mop and rinse for a sparkling floor.

2. Remove mildew from books. For damp or musty books, sprinkle baking soda on the pages and allow time to air out.

3. Handwash dishes, pots and pans. Admix 2 tablespoons baking soda along with your regular dish detergent to the dish water to help cut grease and foods left on dishes, pots and pans.

4. Unclog drains. Toss 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, then pour a cup of white vinegar. Let sit for half an hour. Then pump in hot water on top.

5. Deodorize drains. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain while running warm tap water. This will deodorize your sink and tub drains, and keep lingering acid and basic odors from resurfacing.

6. Clean the microwave. Sprinkle baking soda on a moist sponge and clean gently inside and outside the microwave. Then rinse well with water. Alternatively, add a couple teaspoons of baking soda to a bowl of water and place in microwave. Heat for 3 – 5 minutes. When microwave stops, keep the door closed to give the moisture and steam the heated bowl of water generated to have time to work. Remove bowl and wipe the inside of the microwave with a damp cloth.

7. Clean coffee/tea pots and mugs. Remove coffee and tea stains by washing mugs and coffee makers in a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water and squeeze the juice from a wedge of lemon (1/4 lemon) and toss in the peel. If the stains are stubborn, soak overnight in hot water and baking soda. Wash well in the morning.

8. Remove oil and grease stains. Use baking soda to eliminate oil and grease spills around your home. Sprinkle liberally baking soda on the spot and scrub with a wet brush.

9. Treat wood stains. Remove unsightly water stains on wood surfaces with a paste made of baking soda, mixed with a few drops of water. Rub into stain and wipe off.

10. Remove blood stains from fabrics. If fresh, the blemish may be removed by washing in cold water. If hard to shift steep for some time in cold water, to which add a pinch of baking soda.

11. Freshen up your mattress. When changing bed linen sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda directly on top of the mattress. Let it sit for a few hours then hoover the powder.

12. Clean walls and furniture. Remove scuff marks (even crayon) from walls and furniture by sprinkling baking soda on a damp sponge and rub the spot lightly. Then wipe off with a clean, dry cloth.

13. Clean shower curtains. Clean and deodorize your shower curtain by sprinkling baking soda directly on a brush or clean damp sponge. Scrub the shower curtain and then rinse thoroughly.

14. Clean the oven. Sprinkle baking soda mixed with salt onto the bottom of the dirty oven. Spray with water to dampen the mixture. Let sit overnight. Scrub and scoop the baking soda and grime out with a sponge and rinse in the morning.

15. Refresh a vacuum bag. Banish unpleasant odours. Make vacuum bag sachets filled with backing soda and dried herbs. Slip these fragrant sachets into your vacuum bag and enjoy the pleasant fragrance when you vacuum the floor.

16. Polish silverware. Use a baking soda paste made with 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub onto the silver with a clean cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly and dry for a shining set.

17. Shine tile grout. Clean and brighten tile grout by combining 3 cups baking soda and 1 cup water. Scrub grout clean with a sponge. Leave for several minutes then rinse clean.

18. Make cheap and natural carpet/rug freshener. Sprinkle generously carpets with bicarb and leave sit for a few hours before sweeping vacuuming up the rest. Your carpets will smell noticeably fresher.

19. Make toilet cleaner and freshener. First tip out 1 cup baking soda into the toilet followed with 1 cup vinegar. Let it fizz for 20 minutes then get a toilet brush to scrub toilet bowl clean.

20. Buff out white water rings. If someone forgot their coaster and left a water ring on your coffee table, combine one part white non-gel toothpaste with one part baking soda. Dampen a cloth with water, add the mixture and rub with the grain to buff out the ring. Then take a dry cloth and wipe off. Use another soft cloth for a final shine and finish by polishing as you normally would.

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