Crunchy Groovy Cleaning: All the Shine, None of the Toxins

feather duster

Our great-grandparents had the right idea about chemical-free cleaning.

You might not realize it, but household cleaning can be dangerous. Toxic chemicals and claustrophobic spaces may seem like snapshots out of a horror film, but they're right under your kitchen sink.

Most people know about the lethal mix of bleach and ammonia, but there are lesser known chemicals that pose similar threats, like allergies, asthma, sinusitis and bronchitis. Many of these chemicals reside in the household cleaners you use every day. The good news is that healthier, safer alternatives are just a few inches away, up in your cupboard. These eco-friendly options will keep the green in your wallet and not on your shower curtain.

To bust up that nasty clog in your drain, you don't need liquid plumber, you need baking goods (no, really). Just pour one-half cup of baking soda and one-half cup of white vinegar down the drain. Chase this combo with a pot of boiling water, which will break down the fats left behind by soaps and greases.

Commercial air fresheners may mask unwanted odors, but once that citrus melange wall plug-in fades, the funk from Mom's gym shoes and the stink of wet dog will return with a vengeance. To permanently absorb the odors, place baking soda or vinegar with lemon juice in small dishes around the house to absorb odors. You can also create your own potpourri out of your favorite herbs and spices.

If your darling granddaughter is a budding Georgia O'Keefe and she's turned your front hallway into her first gallery showing, consider wiping the walls down with a damp sponge and some baking soda. This will wipe away paint, crayon and maker (unless, of course, you want to hold on to her doodles of your poodle in case she gets famous!).

There's nothing more soothing than sunlight or moonglow filtering through a window. Unless, of course, that light is lost in a big smudge. Getting your windows crystal clear is easy-peasy: Just mix two teaspoons of white vinegar with one liter of warm water, and use newspaper or a cotton cloth to wipe them down. The texture of newsprint lets it cut through grit and grime; newsprint is also super-absorbent, so it holds the vinegar mix really well.

Got wood woes? If you've forgotten your coaster and fear that your favorite wooden coffee table is ruined forever, don't despair. If the stain is a “white ring” (new/shallow), use a hair dryer to try to evaporate the water trapped under the wood’s finish. If that doesn’t work, add a dollop of mayonnaise to the wooden surface and wipe it off after.

Salt and lime juice: margarita topping or rust remover. Actually, this dynamic duo does both! If you have a rusty faucet, shower rod or stove top, just sprinkle salt on the metal and add lime juice. Wait about two or three hours (depending on how bad the rust is) and scrub away the residue. Underneath, you'll find sleek, clean metal.

Does your tub look like the creature from the black lagoon's summer home? Rub it down with some baking soda and a damp sponge. Baking soda has been marketed as "the everyday miracle" and it truly is. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer, which also makes it an ideal toilet cleanser.

For more quick tips about breathin' easier and living more mindfully, check out Md.MD for Life magazine.

- Written by Marcus Dieterle, a senior in the Literary Arts program at Carver Center for Arts and Technology, where he serves as a managing editor of his school’s newspaper, Catalyst. In addition to journalism, he works in the genres of fiction, poetry, scriptwriting and acting as the sole sound source of stability among the goofballs — ahem, friends — that he has grown to adore

 

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

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  • Seeing is believing, and this team from the Krieger Eye Institute definitely "walks the walk" when it comes to supporting our communities. They recently laced up their sneakers to participate in the annual walk to support the @amdiabetesassn. #LifeBridgeHealth #stopdiabetes #diabetes #health #maryland #baltimore

    lifebridgehealth: "Seeing is believing, and this team from the Krieger Eye Institute definitely "walks the walk" when it comes to supporting our communities. They recently laced up their sneakers to participate in the annual walk to support the @amdiabetesassn. #LifeBridgeHealth #stopdiabetes #diabetes #health #maryland #baltimore"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Today’s the big day! The 12th annual #SaveALimb Fund Fest is underway! Many thanks to our participants and volunteers for their show of support for a very worthy cause—patients in need at the Rubin Institute of Advanced #Orthopedics at #SinaiHospital. We’ll be sharing pictures from today’s event, so stay tuned! #Baltimore #Maryland #giveback"
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    lifebridgehealth: "#Repost @carroll_hospital #lifebridgehealth ・・・
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  • @wbaltv11 Baltimore recently interviewed this Eagle Scout who is volunteering his time to help children at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at #SinaiHospital. You can find out why on WBAL-TV's 5pm news on Wednesday, October 11. #Baltimore #Maryland #healthcare #hospital #childrenshospital #eaglescout

    lifebridgehealth: "@wbaltv11 Baltimore recently interviewed this Eagle Scout who is volunteering his time to help children at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at #SinaiHospital. You can find out why on WBAL-TV's 5pm news on Wednesday, October 11. #Baltimore #Maryland #healthcare #hospital #childrenshospital #eaglescout"
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  • #NorthwestHospital leaders recently welcomed Governor General Sir Rodney Williams of #Antigua and #Barbuda (second from left,) and his delegation to the hospital. Dr. Ronald Ginsberg presented the governor and his wife with a $2,500 gift from the Northwest Medical Staff to support the #hurricane relief effort. Northwest has a longstanding relationship with the American University of Antigua College of Medicine. #hurricanerelief

    lifebridgehealth: "#NorthwestHospital leaders recently welcomed Governor General Sir Rodney Williams of #Antigua and #Barbuda (second from left,) and his delegation to the hospital. Dr. Ronald Ginsberg presented the governor and his wife with a $2,500 gift from the Northwest Medical Staff to support the #hurricane relief effort. Northwest has a longstanding relationship with the American University of Antigua College of Medicine. #hurricanerelief"
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  • Did you know that #SinaiHospital is a Level 2 #trauma center? Following the tragedy in #LasVegas, members of the trauma team spoke with WBAL-TV about how hospitals plan and prepare for emergency events. Watch for the story on WBAL-TV's 5 & 6 pm news. #ER #Emergency #Plan #EmergencyPlan #Prepare #Hospital #Healthcare #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "Did you know that #SinaiHospital is a Level 2 #trauma center? Following the tragedy in #LasVegas, members of the trauma team spoke with WBAL-TV about how hospitals plan and prepare for emergency events. Watch for the story on WBAL-TV's 5 & 6 pm news. #ER #Emergency #Plan #EmergencyPlan #Prepare #Hospital #Healthcare #LifeBridgeHealth"
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  • A photographer from the #DailyRecord #newspaper captured the great connection that Dr. Aziza Shad has with her patients. The newspaper will honor Dr. Shad on October 18 as an "Innovator of the Year" for her work bringing together so many amazing programs for the children and families at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai. #SinaiHospital #LifeBridgeHealth #Hospital #Healthcare #Children #Health #Maryland #Doctor #Patients

    lifebridgehealth: "A photographer from the #DailyRecord #newspaper captured the great connection that Dr. Aziza Shad has with her patients. The newspaper will honor Dr. Shad on October 18 as an "Innovator of the Year" for her work bringing together so many amazing programs for the children and families at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai. #SinaiHospital #LifeBridgeHealth #Hospital #Healthcare #Children #Health #Maryland #Doctor #Patients"
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  • Congratulations to #SinaiHospital President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Jonathan Ringo who was named to the Becker's Hospital Review's "112 Physician Leaders to Know 2017". #LifeBridgeHealth #Maryland #Healthcare #Hospital #beckershospitalreview

    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to #SinaiHospital President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Jonathan Ringo who was named to the Becker's Hospital Review's "112 Physician Leaders to Know 2017". #LifeBridgeHealth #Maryland #Healthcare #Hospital #beckershospitalreview"
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  • Congratulations to Dr. Oscar Taube (center) who was recently recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) with its National AAP Special Achievement Award. Dr. Taube (seen here with members of AAP's Maryland chapter) received this recognition "for distinguished service and dedication to the missions and goals of the academy." The academy also recognized Dr. Taube as "a tireless champion for adolescents." #LifeBridgeHealth #Doctor #Maryland #Honor #Award #Pediatric #Hospital #Healthcare #Health

    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to Dr. Oscar Taube (center) who was recently recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) with its National AAP Special Achievement Award. Dr. Taube (seen here with members of AAP's Maryland chapter) received this recognition "for distinguished service and dedication to the missions and goals of the academy." The academy also recognized Dr. Taube as "a tireless champion for adolescents."
#LifeBridgeHealth #Doctor #Maryland #Honor #Award #Pediatric #Hospital #Healthcare #Health"
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    lifebridgehealth: "#Repost @lbrhopeforhenry (@get_repost)
・・・
@victonation Miss Frostburg brought smiles and inspiration to our heroes at @lifebridgehealth Sinai Children's Hospital #LBR #livewelllaughhard

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