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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cleaning with Vodka

In addition to the natural recipes I listed for spring cleaning,  VODKA can be used for a number of things.  Here is the list:

Vodka is great for cleaning hard stones like diamonds. Just pour some vodka in a dish, take the ring and swish it back and forth. Dry it off and it will give a beautiful sheen. If it is really dirty, put it in and let it soak a while and then scrub with a toothbrush. Afterwards, just swish and dry.
Mold and Mildew
To remove mold and mildew from caulking, fill a spray bottle with inexpensive vodka and spray it onto the mold and mildew. Let this sit for about 15 minutes. Then scrub with a toothbrush, if necessary.
Beaded Clothing
Since we don't wear beaded clothes too often, it is a shame to pay for dry cleaning. Some beaded clothes are not cleanable and can be hard to spot clean. To freshen these, put some vodka in a small spray bottle and spritz the underarm area and neckline on the wrong side of the fabric. Hang and let air dry.
Glass and Eyeglasses
Use vodka to clean glass without leaving any streaks. Wet paper towels or even newspaper with vodka and use it to clean windows, glass table tops, eyeglasses, windshields, or any other glass
To get a sparkling shine on your eyeglasses that don't have protective coating, spritz with vodka and buff with a soft cloth. Do not use on coated lenses of eyeglasses that suggest avoiding alcohol based products.
Because of vodka's high alcohol content, it is a potent insect killer. Put a little in a spray bottle and squirt the bugs or yourself. They will be on their drunken way.
Adhesive Remover
Remove those maddening remnants of price stickers with vodka. It dissolves weak adhesives, so you can easily scrape off the sticky leavings of any labels on your products. Vodka, for the same reason, can be poured over a Band-Aid for painless removal
Houseplant Protector
Keep Aphids off houseplants. Wash off houseplants with tap water then dab the leaves with a cotton ball dipped in vodka. Do not use alcohol on delicate plants like African Violets.
Bathroom Fixures
Shine chrome, glass and porcelain bathroom fixtures. Soak a soft, clean cloth with vodka and shine.
Person Protector
Use it to kill bees and wasps.
Smoke Smell Remover
To get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke, mix one part vodka to three parts water, spray and let dry. (Don't you love the irony of this one?  Cigarettes and Vodka?  COME ON!)
Leather Cleaner
Cleaning leather - this was posted a couple of years ago by a Happy Slob reader: "I also used straight vodka to clean white paint off my son's black leather jacket. Worked great."
Pet Stains
Cleaning pet stains - of which I've encountered many! Vodka is great at lifting even tough stains. Since vodka is colorless and odorless, it won't add any additional staining to your carpet. I would be tempted to try a few tablespoons in my little carpet spot cleaner 

Spring Cleaning - House

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for SPRING CLEANING.  This year I am going to take this to mean my house, as well as my spirit.  Im not going to tell you how to clean your whole house, but here is a checklist you can follow:

Let's start with the HOUSE.  Here are some tips and natural recipes for spring cleaning:

- Open up all of your windows so the air can flow through (if it's still chilly out, open up for as long as you can handle, even if its only for 15 minutes)

- Try to do one whole project at a time.  That might mean one whole room, or one whole project (floors, dusting, throwing things away)

- Don't forget:  garbage disposal (throw in 1 cut up lemon), baseboards, refrigerator drawers, fans, tops of door jams, change smoke alarm batteries, rotate mattresses, change your furnace filter.

Most From Whole Living.  Click here for article.

Natural All-Purpose Scrub
Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into a bowl. Add just enough liquid soap to make a creamy paste. Spread mixture on the flat side of 1/2 of a lemon and scrub. Use a damp rag or sponge to wipe away any residue. I used this on my shower and you still need to use a scrubby sponge, but you have to do that with chemicals too, so it might as well be natural.

Mold Remover

Vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner; use it straight for tough jobs, or dilute it with water. Tea-tree oil is a natural fungicide and can help disinfect surfaces -- mix 2 teaspoons with 2 cups water. To whiten stained tiles or grout, use a mixture of 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide to 1 cup water.All of these solutions can be sprayed onto a surface, allowed to dry, then wiped with a damp cloth.  You can also use vodka the same way you would use vinegar.

DIY Tub and Tile Cleaner

Vinegar works well on soap scum and mineral deposits, but rinse thoroughly, as it can corrode some fixtures and etch glaze on tiles. You can also try tea tree oil -- 2 drops tea tree oil with 1 cup water -- in a spray bottle. A natural antiseptic and fungicide, tea tree oil costs more than vinegar but will kill most types of mold and help prevent growth; as with all concentrated oils, it should be used with caution, as it can trigger allergic reactions if it comes into contact with skin.

Natural Carpet Stain Remove

Pour a small amount of soda water onto a fresh carpet spill, and blot with a towel. Don't rub, as you may mat the fibers. If the stain is set, try hydrogen peroxide: Pour some onto a clean, white cloth, then press cloth to carpet. Wait about 15 minutes, blot with a clean cloth. There should be no need to rinse.

Furniture Polish

Add a few drops of olive oil or jojoba oil to 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar.  If you still want that citrus scent, add 2 drops of lemon essential oil.  Make sure it is essential, and not just fragrance oil.  You can choose your scent - try lavender!

Drain Un-Clogger
Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed b 3 cups of boiling water, which converts the baking soda to sodium carbonate.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hotel toiletries & shelters

If you travel a lot, or just a little, pick up the toiletries (believe me, you're paying for them).  Most people bring their own, and disregard the generic little bottles, but homeless and women's shelters NEED these items.  Bring them home and donate the unopened bottles!

I am cleaning out my bathroom, and never realized how many I had (just in case).  I am throwing away the opened bottles, and making a bag full of unopened and dropping them off to a local shelter, along with larger bottles I have gotten as gifts and do not use, as well as a few other gently used items.

Here are commonly asked for items you may have around:

  • Soap & Body Wash
  • Shaving Cream
  • Body Lotion
  • Cleaning Products
  • Shoe Accessories (laces, polish, etc.)
  • Slippers
  • Towels
  • Washcloths
  • Razors
  • Deodorant
  • Pill Boxes
  • Can Openers
  • Back Packs & Duffel Bags
  • Sheets (Twin or Queen)
  • Bathroom Tissue
  • Paper Towels
  • Kleenex
  • Laundry Detergent

Healthy Tip

I just read this tip and wanted to share:

Wake Up with Water
“Before you put coffee, tea, or food into your body, it’s best to first break your fast with a glass of water with lemon,” says Ashley Koff, RD, a nutritionist in Los Angeles and founder of When you sleep, Koff says, your body isn’t just abstaining from food but from water too. “Because many vitamins are water-soluble, having a glass before you eat will help your body better absorb nutrients from food.” The acidity of the lemon helps rebalance your digestive tract by making it alkaline, allowing “good” bacteria in your intestines to thrive and facilitate optimal nutrient absorption.