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 866-404-DOCS.

Print this entry

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment

*

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

LinkedId

Instagram

Follow Me on Instagram
  • #LifeBridgeHealth goes international. A LifeBridge Health group of employees, friends and family, took a two-week, trip to #Italy led by Director of Pastoral Care, Rabbi Mitchell Ackerson. While in Siena and at the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi, not only did they stop to see the “bellissimo” sites, but they posed for a picture with "The Bridge," the LifeBridge Health employee newsletter.

    lifebridgehealth: "#LifeBridgeHealth goes international. A LifeBridge Health group of employees, friends and family, took a two-week, trip to #Italy led by Director of Pastoral Care, Rabbi Mitchell Ackerson. While in Siena and at the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi, not only did they stop to see the “bellissimo” sites, but they posed for a picture with "The Bridge," the LifeBridge Health employee newsletter."
    3
    0
  • The 2015 #RockTheBlock Community Block Party is just 10 days away! As we get excited for the event, we are taking a moment to look back at some of our great photos from last year! #TBT #LifeBridgeHealth #JCC #BlockParty #CommunityEvent

    lifebridgehealth: "The 2015 #RockTheBlock Community Block Party is just 10 days away! As we get excited for the event, we are taking a moment to look back at some of our great photos from last year! #TBT #LifeBridgeHealth #JCC #BlockParty #CommunityEvent"
    6
    1
  • It was only a drill! Teams at #NorthwestHospital today held a disaster drill to test preparedness and response time in coordination with participating agencies. This real-time scenario provided valuable lessons so everyone can be ready in case of a real #emergency. #LifeBridgeHealth #DisasterDrill

    lifebridgehealth: "It was only a drill! Teams at #NorthwestHospital today held a disaster drill to test preparedness and response time in coordination with participating agencies. This real-time scenario provided valuable lessons so everyone can be ready in case of a real #emergency. #LifeBridgeHealth #DisasterDrill"
    5
    0
  • #TipTuesday: According to @crest, when brushing your #teeth don't forget to #brush your tongue in a back-to-forth sweeping motion to remove #food particles and freshen your mouth. #CleanTeeth #FreshBreath #HappySmile

    lifebridgehealth: "#TipTuesday: According to @crest, when brushing your #teeth don't forget to #brush your tongue in a back-to-forth sweeping motion to remove #food particles and freshen your mouth. #CleanTeeth #FreshBreath #HappySmile"
    2
    0
  • #Congratulations to the #LifeBridgeHealth SuperStar employees for #April! These #employees have been nominated by their coworkers for going above and beyond the call of duty, every day. #ThankYou, for all that you do! #FutureOfHealthCareIsHere Pictured here: Lee Ann White of #SinaiHospital (top left), Chanel Weaver of #Levindale (top right), Eileen Hall of #CarrollHospital (bottom left), and Keith Beck of #NorthwestHospital (bottom right).

    lifebridgehealth: "#Congratulations to the #LifeBridgeHealth SuperStar employees for #April! These #employees have been nominated by their coworkers for going above and beyond the call of duty, every day. #ThankYou, for all that you do! #FutureOfHealthCareIsHere  Pictured here: Lee Ann White of #SinaiHospital (top left), Chanel Weaver of #Levindale (top right), Eileen Hall of #CarrollHospital (bottom left), and Keith Beck of #NorthwestHospital (bottom right)."
    7
    1
  • Hamburgers, Hotdogs, and happy employees! (Not to mention hair nets) #SinaiPicnic2015 #SinaiHospital #Picnic #WorkFun #WorkEvent #EmployeeAppreciation

    lifebridgehealth: "Hamburgers, Hotdogs, and happy employees! (Not to mention hair nets) #SinaiPicnic2015 #SinaiHospital #Picnic #WorkFun #WorkEvent #EmployeeAppreciation"
    6
    0
  • We all scream for #IceCream! #SinaiPicnic2015 #SinaiHospital #Picnic #IceCreamTruck

    lifebridgehealth: "We all scream for #IceCream! #SinaiPicnic2015 #SinaiHospital #Picnic #IceCreamTruck"
    7
    0
  • #SinaiHospital employees enjoyed #food and #music at the indoor employee #picnic! #SinaiPicnic2015 #WorkEvent

    lifebridgehealth: "#SinaiHospital employees enjoyed #food and #music at the indoor employee #picnic! #SinaiPicnic2015 #WorkEvent"
    4
    0
  • Congregating at the condiments! #SinaiHospital employees enjoyed their favorite #picnic snacks at the indoor employee Picnic. #SinaiPicnic2015 #Food

    lifebridgehealth: "Congregating at the condiments! #SinaiHospital employees enjoyed their favorite #picnic snacks at the indoor employee Picnic. #SinaiPicnic2015 #Food"
    4
    0
  • The #community block party is back! Join #LifeBridgeHealth and the #Jewish Community Center of Greater #Baltimore on May 31 for a day of fun at #RockTheBlock! The event begins at 11:00 am, rain or shine. We hope to see you there! #BlockParty #FacePaint #CarnivalGames #CommunityEvent

    lifebridgehealth: "The #community block party is back! Join #LifeBridgeHealth and the #Jewish Community Center of Greater #Baltimore on May 31 for a day of fun at #RockTheBlock! The event begins at 11:00 am, rain or shine. We hope to see you there! #BlockParty #FacePaint #CarnivalGames #CommunityEvent"
    8
    1