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How to Make Your Home Healthy and Safe

Build a Safe Home Playground

Make Your Home a Safe Haven for Kids

Avoid Grill Fires, Explosions and CO Poisoning

Dont Let a Burglar Ruin Your Vacation

Is Your Tap Water Safe?

Are Your Cleaning Products Making Your Family Ill?

Localities Crack Down on Homeowners Alarm Calls

Radon Sends Ripples through Water Systems

Are you a Hazardous Waste Case?


Some Easy Do-It-Yourself Recipes

  1. Here are sample recipes for freshening the air. To remove food odors quickly, boil one cup water plus one teaspoon vinegar for a few minutes. Add fragrance to the air by boiling sweet herbs and spices in water. To fight odors in diaper pails and trash compactors, sprinkle in baking soda.

  2. Recipes to disinfect include regular cleaning with soap and water, and rinsing with hot water. Or try a wash solution of one half cup of borax in a gallon of water.

  3. A recipe to bleach: Add white vinegar, baking soda, or borax to the wash. Add moderate amounts, pretesting vulnerable fabric and adjusting amounts for desired effect.

  4. A recipe to clean drains: Pour one half cup of baking soda and one cup vinegar down the drain, plugging the drain immediately until the foaming stops. Then rinse with hot water.

  5. A recipe to clean ovens: Scrub with a paste of baking soda, soap and water. Also, add borax and salt to the paste [salt is very abrasive].

  6. A recipe to clean toilet bowls: Pour one cup vinegar and one half cup baking soda in the bowl, and scrub. Or wet the bowl and sprinkle well with borax, let sit a few hours and then scrub and rinse.

  7. Recipes to clean windows: Mix a solution of water and vinegar. Recommended proportions vary from three tablespoons vinegar in one quart water, to three tablespoons vinegar in two cups water, to a 1:1 mixture. Some recipes add a drop of detergent.

  8. Recipes to clean carpet: Natural cleaning expert Annie Berthold-Bond recommends using a raw potato! Or try an all-purpose cleaner such as one tablespoon liquid soap or borax in one quart warm water. You can add a dash of lemon juice or vinegar. Another recipe mixes three tablespoons washing soda in one quart of warm water. Remember to test the solutions on a hidden area of any fabric or carpet to make sure no damage is done.

  9. Recipes for furniture polish: Mix one part lemon juice with two parts olive oil or vegetable oil. Or use beeswax, or mix beeswax with olive oil.

A Special Note on the Virtues of Vinegar

As the above recipes reveal, vinegar has many uses in cleaning. Its mild acid nature works well in removing mineral deposits. For example, vinegar will wipe away white rings on terra cotta pots. It will remove deposits in clogged shower heads. You can soak the head in a bowl of vinegar, or tie a sandwich bag full of vinegar on the head overnight. Mineral deposits in sink and toilet bowls disappear after this treatment: wet a strip of toilet tissue in vinegar and lay over the deposits for fifteen minutes to an hour.

Important Precautions:

**Before mixing any recipes, be careful to store your products in well labeled containers, and never store your cleaners in empty food or drink containers lest they be mistaken as edible or potable.

**Also keep the products stored well away from children.

**Do not assume from the natural cleaning recipes that just any cleaning agent can be mixed together. Mixing together strong commercial products like ammonia and bleach can release poisonous gases. Specifically, never mix ammonia with chlorine bleach, toilet bowl cleaners, rust removers, or oven cleaners. And never mix household bleach containing sodium hypochlorite with acidic products like vinegar, toilet bowl cleaners, or liquid dishwasher detergent.

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