A Healthy Idyllwild: June 15, 2017

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Nothing in this article is meant to be medical advice. Please consult your own healthcare provider. 

Some info below taken from: www.fresnometmin.org/images/pdfs/clean-homes-healthy-families-en.pdf

www.backdoorsurvival.com/diy-liquid-castile-soap-wonderful/

If you follow this column, then you’ll know that the last couple of articles have dealt with darker topics. So, to quote a phrase: “And now for something completely different.” The clean, healthful home.

Using time-honored, homemade cleaning recipes can be inexpensive and healthy. It may require a bit more time and effort but could be worth it in the long run.

Fresno Metro Ministries (see first website above) has created a lovely page replete with recipes for every cleaning need in the everyday home. Below is a sampling.

Kitchen: To make an all-purpose cleaner, in a glass jar with spray nozzle, create a mix of 50-percent white vinegar; and 50-percent water with 20 to 30 drops of essential oil such as orange, lemon, peppermint or eucalyptus. The use of essential oils can create a pleasant customized aroma that is often not toxic to those with allergies and has the added benefit of not spoiling the fresh air between you and your neighbors. (By the way, do not mix vinegar and chlorine: toxic.)

For a heavy-duty version of a kitchen cleanser, try 1 teaspoon borax mixed with 4 cups of warm water, and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

A great scouring powder is made by combining borax, salt and baking soda. (Never ingest the borax).

For dishwashing liquid, use simple, pure, liquid soap, and add lemon juice directly to the water to cut grease. (See second link above for an easy recipe for homemade pure liquid soap. Note her use of inexpensive vegetable-bar soap.).

Bathroom: For the toilet bowl, sprinkle the bowl with baking soda, then drizzle white vinegar and leave it to soak for 30 minutes before scrubbing with your usual brush. Soaking makes the scrubbing go easier so be sure to include this step.

Laundry: Using a humble cheese grater, grate enough natural soap flakes (use pure, vegetable-bar soap for this) to fill one cup; combine with 1/2 cup each of baking soda and borax. Store in a glass container.  Use 1 tablespoon for a normal load and double that for really dirty clothes. This can be used in warm- or cold-water washes.

For brightening, add 1/2 cup of borax separate from, but alongside, the laundry soap to the wash. Borax is quite useful and not costly. To cut any soap scum, add white vinegar to the final rinse. (Remember, don’t use it with bleach.) On the other hand, you can add 1/4- to 1/2-cup of baking soda to this same rinse to soften fabrics.

Furniture polish: An easy mix of two parts vegetable oil with one part lemon juice will do the trick.

Foul-smelling trach cans: Sprinkle borax or baking soda into the bottoms of the cans.

Funky-smelling rugs: Sprinkle baking soda over the dry carpet; let it sit preferably overnight, then vacuum.

Enjoy and explore.

Callie Wight is a California state-licensed registered nurse with a Master of Arts in psychology.

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