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.

Print this entry

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment

*

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

LinkedId

Instagram

Follow Me on Instagram
  • Congratulations to the #LifeBridgeHealth #July SuperStar Employees! Thank you for going above and beyond the call of duty, every day. #TeamLifeBridge From left to bottom right: Arlene Moore of #NorthwestHospital, Regina Munford of #Levindale, and Kathy Luby of #CarrollHospital.

    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to the #LifeBridgeHealth #July SuperStar Employees! Thank you for going above and beyond the call of duty, every day. #TeamLifeBridge 
From left to bottom right: Arlene Moore of #NorthwestHospital, Regina Munford of #Levindale, and Kathy Luby of #CarrollHospital."
    19
    2
  • Do you know in what year #SinaiHospital move to its current location? As we celebrate Sinai’s 150th anniversary, enter our trivia contest for the chance to win a $150 gift card! #TBT www.sinai150.com

    lifebridgehealth: "Do you know in what year #SinaiHospital move to its current location? As we celebrate Sinai’s 150th anniversary, enter our trivia contest for the chance to win a $150 gift card! #TBT www.sinai150.com"
    10
    1
  • #DYK every 2-3 years women should receive a physical examination to screen for diseases; assess risk for future problems; discuss lifestyle habits; and keep vaccinations up to date. Be proactive about your health by staying on top of necessary screenings and health care visits. #WednesdayWisdom

    lifebridgehealth: "#DYK every 2-3 years women should receive a physical examination to screen for diseases; assess risk for future problems; discuss lifestyle habits; and keep vaccinations up to date. Be proactive about your health by staying on top of necessary screenings and health care visits. #WednesdayWisdom"
    9
    2
  • Thank you, to the big-hearted "Get in the Game" campaign chairs at #NorthwestHospital. These members, Ericka Gray-Wylie, David Forbes, and Charles Williamson (not pictured), work hard to develop fun activities to not only increase participation in the employee giving campaign and raise funds, but to boost employee morale. #TeamLifeBridge

    lifebridgehealth: "Thank you, to the big-hearted "Get in the Game" campaign chairs at #NorthwestHospital. These members, Ericka Gray-Wylie, David Forbes, and Charles Williamson (not pictured), work hard to develop fun activities to not only increase participation in the employee giving campaign and raise funds, but to boost employee morale. #TeamLifeBridge"
    24
    3
  • ‪#‎TBT Did you know that there’s a mini-museum inside ‪#‎SinaiHospital? Located behind the hospital’s cafeteria, the “Sinai Pride” #exhibit takes you back in time displaying everything from medical instruments to historic photos. Do you have a Sinai story? We’d love to hear it!

    lifebridgehealth: "‪#‎TBT Did you know that there’s a mini-museum inside ‪#‎SinaiHospital? Located behind the hospital’s cafeteria, the “Sinai Pride” #exhibit takes you back in time displaying everything from medical instruments to historic photos. Do you have a Sinai story? We’d love to hear it!"
    23
    2
  • Meet the Committee Chairs at #Levindale, Amy Ward, Desiree Erdman, and John Ottena (not pictured here), who dedicate their time and hard work to organizing our annual 4-week employee giving campaign: "Get in the Game."

    lifebridgehealth: "Meet the Committee Chairs at #Levindale, Amy Ward, Desiree Erdman, and John Ottena (not pictured here), who dedicate their time and hard work to organizing our annual 4-week employee giving campaign: "Get in the Game.""
    12
    1
  • The "Get in the Game" festivities continue as part of our #LifeBridgeHealth annual employee giving campaign. At #NorthwestHospital, staff members competed in a #Zumba Dance Off, while #CarrollHospital associates tested their #trivia knowledge, and the folks at #Levindale… well they just cooled off and enjoyed some delicious #icecream. Last year, our employees raised $202,000 to help local Maryland charities. Go #TeamLifeBridge!

    lifebridgehealth: "The "Get in the Game" festivities continue as part of our #LifeBridgeHealth annual employee giving campaign. At #NorthwestHospital, staff members competed in a #Zumba Dance Off, while #CarrollHospital associates tested their #trivia knowledge, and the folks at #Levindale… well they just cooled off and enjoyed some delicious #icecream. Last year, our employees raised $202,000 to help local Maryland charities. Go #TeamLifeBridge!"
    9
    2
  • From the placement of the cornerstone in 1866 to the medical innovations of 2016, #SinaiHospital has experienced vast growth and improvements over the last 150 years. #TBT

    lifebridgehealth: "From the placement of the cornerstone in 1866 to the medical innovations of 2016, #SinaiHospital has experienced vast growth and improvements over the last 150 years. #TBT"
    19
    3
  • As a proud sponsor of @wbaltv11's #BuddyCheck11, #LifeBridgeHealth is reminding you to call your buddy today. #BuddyCheck11 encourages you to check in with a buddy on the 11th of each month to remind each other to perform a breast self-exam.

    lifebridgehealth: "As a proud sponsor of @wbaltv11's #BuddyCheck11, #LifeBridgeHealth is reminding you to call your buddy today.  #BuddyCheck11 encourages you to check in with a buddy on the 11th of each month to remind each other to perform a breast self-exam."
    22
    3
  • It’s National Farmer’s Market Week! Did you know that locally grown produce is fresher then what’s found at the supermarket? Freshness not only affects the taste of your food, but the nutritional value too. Stop by #CarrollHospital's Farmer's Market tomorrow for some delicious and health food items. (data credit: health fitness revolution) #WednesdayWisdom

    lifebridgehealth: "It’s National Farmer’s Market Week! Did you know that locally grown produce is fresher then what’s found at the supermarket? Freshness not only affects the taste of your food, but the nutritional value too. Stop by #CarrollHospital's Farmer's Market tomorrow for some delicious and health food items. (data credit: health fitness revolution) #WednesdayWisdom"
    27
    1