Clean Green and Save Money!

Since my husband bought me a Green Cheek Conure 5 years ago, I have been very cautious about using chemicals and scented products in our home. Because birds have such sensitive respiratory systems, it is very important to avoid using anything that emits toxic fumes, etc.. The same can obviously be said for babies! Becoming a mom has refreshed my mindfulness of using natural products. Not only are they environmentally friendly, they are CHEAP! For example, a 4L bottle of white vinegar runs around $1.99 at most stores. Do you know how many things you can do with a 4L bottle? A LOT! Here are some ideas:

1. Glass/All-Purpose cleaning. Fill spray bottles with 1 cup of white distilled vinegar and 2 cups of water to clean glass and mirrors. Make sure to wipe until completely dry and voila – NO streaks!  I buy my bottles at the dollar store but you could certainly clean and re-use your old, empty cleaner bottles. I also use this as an all-purpose mixture to clean just about everything else, too, including the baby’s high chair, toys, countertops, bathroom sinks and fixtures, and bird cage!

2. Kill weeds. Pour white distilled vinegar on the weeds growing in the cracks of your walkway and driveway. Saturate the plant so the vinegar reaches the roots.

3. Make old socks look new. Get the stains out of old socks and sweaty gym clothes by soaking them in a vinegar solution. Add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to a large pot of water, bring to a boil and drop in the stained clothes. Let them soak overnight, and in the morning stained clothes are fresh and bright.

4. Kill bathroom germs. Spray full-strength vinegar around the sink and tub. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.

5. Renew paint brushes. To remove old paint, place brushes in a pot with vinegar. Soak for an hour, then turn on the stove and bring the vinegar to a simmer. Drain and rinse clean.

6. Stop itching. Dab a cotton ball soaked in white vinegar on mosquito bites and insect stings. It will stop them from itching and help disinfect the area so they heal faster.

7. Lose the carpet stain. Make a paste of 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and ¼ cup salt or baking soda. Rub into the stain and let dry. Vacuum the residue the next day. (Always test an out-of-sight part of the carpet first.)

8. Restore showerhead pressure. If your showerhead gets clogged with mineral deposits, soak it for 15 minutes in a mixture of ½ cup vinegar and 1 quart water.

9. Clean your scissors. When your scissor blades get sticky, wipe them down with a cloth dipped in full-strength white vinegar. Unlike soap and water, vinegar won’t ruin the blades or rust the metal.

10. Unclog drains. For a natural, nontoxic way to clean clogged pipes, pour one cup of baking soda, followed by one cup of white vinegar, down the drain. Let the products bubble and foam, then flush the pipes with a pot of boiling water.