Back to Basics

I have been wondering lately how necessary it is to have all these different cleaning products under one roof.  I mean really, we have an all-purpose cleanser, a bathroom cleanser, a toilet bowl cleanser, a bleach scrub concoction, window cleanser, disinfectant wipes, spray for dusting, carpet freshener, etc., etc.  Companies have come out with a different product for every surface and nook-and-cranny in your house.  And for some reason we are compelled to try them ALL.  So in an effort to reduce the number of cleaning products that we use and to also continue with the idea that everything should have a dual purpose, I decided to look into alternatives for the cleaning products we use most frequently.  I was excited that I didn’t need to look any further than my kitchen pantry.  I discovered the versatility of vinegar and baking soda.  I know that baking soda helps to deodorize but I had never thought about using it to clean.

I decided to try the baking soda and vinegar combination in the tub first.  Cleaning the tub is my least favorite thing to clean in the bathroom and usually my husband scrubs the tub (I am very thankful for!).  But I wanted to see how well (or not) this new idea was going to work, so I pulled up my sleeves and got ready to scrub.  I was shocked at how very little I had to scrub.  This combination worked much better than the previous chemical concoction and was more pleasing to the senses, not to mention I didn’t have to worry when the boys ran in and leaned over the tub to see what I was doing.  Since it worked so well in the tub I have tried it on all bathroom and kitchen surfaces – even to clean the inside of the refrigerator.  The vinegar smell goes away once it dries.

Vinegar is also good to use during the rinse cycle when you are doing laundry.  I use it mainly when I wash towels and cloth diapers.  The vinegar helps break down the detergent which allows the laundry to be rinsed more thoroughly.

I’m finding all sorts of ways to use vinegar.  Just the other night my husband came downstairs and found me sitting in the doorway of the dining room and kitchen staring at the floor.  He started to ask what I was doing until he realized that I was holding my favorite new squirt bottle.  I was sitting there spraying ants with vinegar.  I learned that it deters ants.  I’m not sure that it will kill them but they certainly run from it! 🙂

I am so excited that this works so well and that I don’t have to use harsh cleansers that irritate my hands.  The baking soda actually softens my hands.  So now instead of buying a bunch of different cleaners I buy vinegar and baking soda in bulk and use it for cooking and cleaning.

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