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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    lifebridgehealth: "Want to keep confidential papers away from identity thieves? Not sure how to get rid of old electronics collecting dust? #LifeBridgeHealth is hosting a #FREE Shred-It and E-Waste Collection on April 21 from 6:30 – 11:30 a.m. at the Preakness Way entrance of Pimlico Race Course and #NorthwestHospital’s K lot. #EWaste accepted includes computers, telephones and printers. Not accepted are TVs, clothing, lawn mowers, tires and hazardous materials.

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    lifebridgehealth: "#TeamLifeBridge Although some of our teams have difficult jobs, they provide an important and necessary service to help our more vulnerable members of society. Meet 11 members of #CarrollHospital's SAFE program, who are licensed to conduct detailed sexual assault examinations, strangulation injury assessments, suspect evidentiary examinations, and domestic violence injury and lethality assessments. Our SAFE program nurses regularly collaborate with law enforcement to help keep our community members safe. #LifeBridgeHealth #Maryland #SafeCommunity #EmployeeAppreciation"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Hello #Baltimore! Kelly Beck, the Lenny “Batman” Robinson Hope for Henry #childlife specialist at our Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai will be taking over the @lbrhopeforhenry #socialmedia accounts to share a day in the life perspective of a child life specialist. #takeover#childlifemonth #livewelllaughhard #SinaiHospital #LifeBridgeHealth #HopeForHenry"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Only ten more days until #LightCity! #LifeBridgeHealth is proud to be a presenting sponsor for the OVO Collection at the #MyBGE Light Art Walk. 
OVO, is a multi-sensory art installation to which an interactive dimension is provided by the plays of light and by visual and acoustic animations. Visitors are invited to walk on a path in the water to reach the interior of the egg-shaped sculpture, as if to vanish into a metaphysical mist.

#Maryland #Baltimore #CityEvent #Event #Community"
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    lifebridgehealth: "#TeamLifeBridge had a prominent role at the #Maryland Patient Safety Center's annual conference, where 1,400 health professionals from across the state gathered to learn the latest in quality and safety. Dr. Susan Mani presented #NorthwestHospital's award-winning patient safety innovation to a packed house. Dr. Zain Hashmi shared details with other conference attendees on #SinaiHospital's presentation on Understanding Barriers to #Trauma Discharges.

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    lifebridgehealth: "Please join us in congratulating our 2017 Baltimore magazine "Excellence in Nursing" survey honorees! From hundreds of nominations submitted for Baltimore's annual survey, several members of #TeamLifeBridge were chosen among the best of the best in the region. 
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    lifebridgehealth: "“It was a priceless experience for all involved,” says Mick, “and a fantastic way to give back to people who otherwise would not have access to health care.” Meet three of our kind hearted #TeamLifeBridge employees who volunteered their time last summer to join the LAUGHH FOUNDATION (Living Abundantly Using Guided Helping Hands) on their annual mission to #Colombia. These three were joined by 40 other volunteers to help 1500 people live healthier lives. (Pictured here: Rachael Brown, Christa Marshall and Mick Kukula)

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