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Home Paros Life - Current Issue Backissue Nr. 56
  Nr. 56 - February 2003
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February Eco Tip

by Nehama Weininger, February 2003
Reduce Harsh Chemicals - Make your Own Household Cleansers

Many household cleansers have toxic ingredients. Not only do they emit harmful by-products in production, but you bring that toxicity into your home; potentially polluting the indoor air and creating reactions such as allergies, illness and skin conditions. The benefits of making your own cleansers with non-toxic common household ingredients include reducing harmful environmental impact, making your home a healthier environment, reducing plastic use, and saving money. Following are some products you can make using ordinary household products. Note: These are most effective when mixed up fresh.

TOILET BOWL CLEANER
Use a solution of baking soda and water or vinegar for the bowl. Sprinkle baking soda around the rim. Scrub with toilet brush as needed. This solution will clean and deodorize.

DRAIN OPENER
Sprinkle a cup of baking soda in and around the drain opening. Follow with a cup of white kitchen vinegar. Flush with boiling water. Repeat if needed. (Pouring a kettle full of boiling water down your kitchen sink drain once a week will help prevent the need for expensive and toxic drain-opening materials.)

WINDOW CLEANER
One of the most effective window and glass cleaners is vinegar and old newspapers.

CERAMIC TILE CLEANER
A mixture of 1/4-cup vinegar to four litres of water removes most dirt without scrubbing and doesn't leave a film.

STAINLESS STEEL POLISH
Use a cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol (isopropyl), soda water, or white vinegar to give your stainless steel a brilliant shine.

WOOD CLEANER
To clean all types of woodwork, make a mixture of 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 4 tablespoons white vinegar, and 1 litre warm water. Apply with a soft cloth and dry with a separate, clean cloth.

Alternatively, mix two parts cooking oil with one part lemon juice. Apply to furniture with a soft cloth and wipe it dry.

Also, water rings or spots can be removed from wood furniture with a mixture of toothpaste and baking soda applied with a damp cloth.

CARPET CLEANER
A mixture of 1/2 cup mild dishwashing liquid and 2 cups boiling water makes a great spot remover for carpets. Apply with a damp sponge.

SCUFF MARKS
Black marks left on your floors from the heels of your shoes can be removed with a pencil eraser.

SILVER POLISH
A clean, low-cost alternative is to soak silver items in this solution until they are clean.

* 4 cups warm water
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* Small piece of aluminum foil

Combine ingredients in a glass dish, or a stainless steel sink. Put in a new piece of foil when the old one turns black.
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