I have a membership to one of those buy-toilet-paper-in-bulk places. I get my photos printed there, I buy my dog food in bags that weigh more than my child and dogs combined and I buy 13 pound bags of baking soda there. Yes. Baking soda. Not cases of cream cheese, baking soda. I use baking soda in a number of different ways around the house and alongside it: white vinegar. Vinegar you can purchase in 2 gallon-sized jugs for a dollar and change, but you’d be surprised how quickly I go through it! Since we use as little as possible of the commercial cleaners in our house and have been pleased, I thought I would share some uses that I find the most valuable.
- Every load of diapers gets a half scoop of baking soda. I use it to cut any odors that reside in the diapers.
- Adding a half cup of white vinegar to a soak cycle of diapers strips them as well as bleach does of odors, stains and general ick that could be lurking. I try to strip the diapers on a regular basis, just in case there are any germs or super stinks lurking.
- Baking soda is a wonderful scrubbing agent for your bathtub. Sprinkle a little in the tub, and if there’s a stain on the porcelain, make a paste of baking soda and water and give it some time to sit. Scrub your tub with a sponge and then relax knowing that the next time you take a bath, your water won’t have any chemical residues floating in it.
- Vinegar also is effective in treating hard water buildup. Soaking a cloth in vinegar and then allowing it to sit on the hard water effected area is a great way to break up the buildup so that you can clean it off.
- Slow drain? Every home I have lived in has had drains with the urgency of grass growing. Half a cup of baking soda poured down the drain and then chased with a whole cup of vinegar is a great way to avoid using chemical drain uncloggers. Rinse with hot tap water.
- Bath, pool and sand box toys can get really nasty. My son loves the squirt toys and therefore we have tons of them. Inside and outside. Once a week, I fill the sink with hot water and vinegar and soak the bath toys. The ones that aren’t squirty just get a good scrub, but the ones that can squirt, I fill with the water/vinegar and let them set for about 15 minutes. When that time is up, I shake the toys really well and squirt them out. I rinse them again with hot water since Liam likes to put the toys in his mouth and chew on them. Then, I drain them upside down overnight. From time to time, there are going to be toys that sat out in the rain or were forgotten about full of bath water that you can’t quite get clean, but generally speaking, I have had great success!
- Not everyone has a piano in their home, but I am fortunate enough to have my mother’s. Liam loves to play it with his grubby little fingers and I have found that a little bit of vinegar on a damp rag cleans those precious little fingerprints off in time for company.
- It doesn’t matter how hard I try, but my microwave is often the victim of exploding leftovers. Fill a bowl with 1 cup of water and a 1/4 cup baking soda or vinegar. Close the door and turn the microwaves on for 5 minutes. When the cycle is done, you should be able to wipe the inside of your microwave out easily.
- And finally, vinegar has many different forms that when experiemented with can change the flavors of sauces, marinades and dressings.
The above list is of only the uses I have for vinegar and baking soda, but if you do a simple internet search looking for “household uses”, you might be surprised what you find. And you might be able to find more ways to cut out the chemicals and move on your way to living a greener, healthier life.