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BellaOnline's Frugal Living Editor

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Cheap Cleaning

Guest Author - Lili Pintea-Reed

Now Iíll take a quick break from trashing the chronically intemperate, to looking at just what people who use the site appear to be seeking in our links page.

When I review the stats of my site Iíve noticed that the popular series of links on my site are those for cleaning. I found this very interesting. Now cleaning can be an expensive proposition. Luckily, we are in the middle of renovating our old Victorian house, so as people walk over piles of boards in the front hallway they donít quibble much about either decor or plaster piles. However, cleaning does not have to be an extremely expensive proposition. You donít need fancy bottles and expensive chemicals with polysyllabic names to keep your house clean. If you switch to cheap cleaning, youíll find that youíll also be helping the environment by using cleaning products that in addition to being cheap are also environmentally friendly.

You can have a very clean house with just three things a box of baking soda, a jug of vinegar, and just plain old soap. If this sounds old fashioned Ė it is. If you and extra scrubbing punch, then you can buy a jug of cheap ammonia. All the products listed above do not hurt the chemically sensitive, and can actually be used to fertilize your plants (another article)!!!

The baking soda can be used for scouring all sorts of surfaces. I have some sitting by each sink in recycled cheese shakers. When you need to scour a cup or a counter top, you just sprinkle some on and rub. A tough spot when mopping floor will yield to its low abrasion. At a dollar for three one pound boxes it is far cheaper than even generic powder "cleansers." It also is a water softener in hard water areas. Just put a bit in your wash water.

Another use for baking soda is as a carpet freshner. You just sprinkle it on and leave overnight. The next day vacuum as usual.

These and other hints are available at:

The Baking Soda Page
http://www.armhammer.com/

To disinfect surfaces and clean glass a solution of half vinegar and water will work just fine. To disinfect just spray and wipe counters and sinks. To clean glass spray and then wipe with newspapers for a streak free shine. Disinfect floors with a solution of ten percent vinegar in your rinse water. To soften clothes, throw a cup of vinegar in the laundry rinse water to cut the soap scum that causes harsh clothing. Spray vinegar on the shower walls after a shower or bath to rinse off soap scum from the tiles. Obviously, a gallon of discount vinegar is much cheaper than the chemical equivalents. More vinegar ideas are at the:
Vinegar Page
http://www.versatilevinegar.org/

Plain old soap ( not detergent bars) will make a fine mopping solution in your scrub bucket. Just grate a bar of plain soap in a gallon of hot water and let it gel. I use a recycled plastic gallon container. I grate the soap and add the water stirring occasionally. You can add baking soda or epsom salts for a water softener if you like. Use a glop of this "soft soap" in your mop water to scrub up most floors. If you need a bad smell to convince yourself of the cleaning strength, then buy some cheap discount store ammonia and throw in the mop bucket. Rinse with vinegar water.

Check out more hints at:
The Eco-Cleaning Page
http://www.care2.com/channels/solutions/home/175

There now your house is clean at LESS than half the price!

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Content copyright © 2014 by Lili Pintea-Reed. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lili Pintea-Reed. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Jill Florio for details.

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