Cleaning With Baking Soda and Vinegar
While it is true you purchase brand-name cleaning products for specific tasks around the home, such as carpet spotters or toilet bowl cleaners, you have some chemicals you use every day that can also be used for cleaning.
You no doubt have heard of the many uses of baking soda, from absorbing odors to absorbing liquids, as a cleaning additive, and more. Don’t confuse baking soda with baking powder, which has other additives. Then we have white (clear) vinegar, which is an acid-based chemical that we use for many recipes but that can also be used as a cleaning product.
While you can use them separately in many ways, when you mix the two together you get that fantastic fizzy reaction that can be used for some of the toughest cleaning chores. And when it is all said and done and the cleaning is complete, the residue from baking soda and vinegar converts into water. This means you can’t mix them up and store them. When mixed, use them right away and discard any you don’t use.
Here are a few common uses for vinegar and baking soda. And remember, white vinegar only, leave the apple cider vinegar for cooking.
Hard water can plug up the tiny holes that are part of a shower head, and it is tough to clean them out. But with baking soda and vinegar, you have a fighting chance.
Remove the shower head and place in a bowl. Add enough white vinegar to cover it, and then liberally sprinkle baking soda over the surface, carefully mixing it in. The acid in the vinegar breaks down the minerals that are plugging up the holes and the baking soda adds more cleaning power. Let it soak for several hours, and once in a while stir the concoction in the bowl. When the bubbles are done, and a few hours have passed, rinse it all out and reinstall and you should be good to go!
Flush your toilet bowl and turn off the water, and then spray or pour the inside of the bowl with white vinegar, and sprinkle baking soda all over it. Let it sit a few minutes and then scrub. Turn on the water, flush, it should be clean! Repeat as necessary.
Pour half a cup of baking soda in the clogged drain and the pour one cup of white vinegar. Let it sit for an hour. Then pour boiling water into it to flush it out. That should do it unless the clog is severe.
And remember, for all your cleaning questions and when you need help, call your favorite cleaning company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Hints from Housekeepers
You pride yourself on your own abilities and skills to keep your home clean and healthy. And while you know what you are doing, who doesn’t appreciate a few tips now and then to make the work easier — and more effective?
One source of tips can be professional housekeepers, those who work for maid services… cleaning professionals who spend all day cleaning houses and doing it right.
When it comes to the work they do, here are three easy strategies they use each and every day.
Start with clutter
When faced with a room that might seem a little overwhelming by how much there is to do, tackle big items first. Put things back where they belong, give the room a facelift of sorts and then work on smaller tasks, such as dusting and vacuuming. Think triage, which means doing a preliminary assessment of a situation and determine the order of things to bring it all back to normal.
Vacuum heavy traffic areas three times
Running a vacuum cleaner over carpet at warp speed is what many do. It’s best to slow down. Move the vacuum slowly over the floor and allow the beater bar to do its job. And for areas that are walked on more often, go over those three times, back and forth. What happens is the beater bar loosens soil on the first pass, then on the second it picks up most of it, and on the third gets the rest. Smart vacuuming means less dust in your home. The same principle can be used for hard floors, but the advantage there is you can see the dust and soil that isn’t as easy to see on carpet.
Shine those surfaces
Professional cleaners know that simply cleaning a surface sometimes isn’t enough. You want shine, you don’t want to see fingerprints, smears, or smudges. For glass and metal surfaces, after a thorough cleaning, wipe those surfaces with a lint-free cloth and a little rubbing alcohol. This dry (waterless) solvent makes quick work of fingerprints and smudges and gives surfaces a shine you can be proud of.
While some tasks are easy, others are not. When you need help, with any cleaning task but especially deep cleaning carpet and furniture and other tough chores, do the right thing. Call your favorite cleaning company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
The Power of Household Products
It’s amazing how many cleaning products you have on hand, that aren’t actually considered traditional “cleaning products”. If you start analyzing what’s in your home, you will find that you have a nice selection of items that can help you keep your house clean and healthy.
Recently, we discussed the categories of dish detergents, baking soda, and vinegar as products you can use as part of your cleaning arsenal. Yet we aren’t done. There are more products you have on hand that will prove worthy in the fight against grime! The following three products are probably in your kitchen or bathroom.
Here’s a great secret. Salt is an absorbent compound. When you spill something, like coffee, on a carpet or rug, liberally sprinkle salt on it. Yep, that regular Morton’s is fine. It will absorb the liquid; you can see the salt turn from white to the color of the spill. When it is all dry, you can vacuum it all up. You may still need to do more spotting, but the majority of the spill is gone.
Sometimes, you need a dry solvent. By “dry” we mean without water. It’s still a liquid but doesn’t have water. Think gasoline. You might have on hand some fingernail polish remover, also known as acetone. While that dry solvent might work great on dry solvent-soluble residues, it might be too aggressive for some surfaces. Instead, rubbing alcohol can be used on surfaces with adhesive residues, oils, tar, grease, anything that will dissolve in a dry solvent. Use rubbing alcohol on a white towel and wipe away those spots and residues. Never pour solvents directly on the surface. Always do a small test in an inconspicuous spot to make sure the surface won’t lose color.
While used for first aid and to stop a skin infection from spreading, it’s also a great, color-safe bleaching agent. When you get blood, vomit, food stains, anything organic-related, on fabrics (carpet, clothing, etc) apply some 3% hydrogen peroxide. The type you buy at your grocery store or pharmacy. Cleaning pros use peroxide but usually a stronger variety.
Of course, your favorite cleaning company knows all about these products, and more. They have the right stuff. When you need help, call them. After all, it pays to call a pro!
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