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Category Archives: Cleaning Things

New cleaning products You make yourself..

Make your own laundry products so you know what’s in them. Do you know what you are using to clean your clothes and other delicate items? Try this. See below for a link to an amazing page…


Whitening without Bleach — Natural Alternatives…

I learned how to whiten Vintage linens a few years ago by washing them in lemon water and drying in the sunshine.. However this sounds like a gentler way to whiten things..  You do get great drying and whitening assistance when you put clothes and linens out in the sunshine. Sometimes even you can dry them flat on the grass, certainly not in the temperatures(-5 to 15) we are experiencing today. I’m going to try to bleach something out on the snow.. I’ll blog later with my findings..  ET


bleach alternativeI recently got an email from La June which included thewords“I need HELP Jillee!” Well shoot, I can’t possibly ignore that! 😉   Actually what she needed help with is something I’m sure a lot of you probably deal with who live in a rural area. Not being able to use bleach in your laundry because you’re on a septic system.

Specifically, La June was talking about the Miracle Whitening Solution post, which does indeed include bleach. While VERY effective…I know not everyone uses it. SO, I went in search of an alternative for La June (and the rest of you!) that I thought was a good substitute.

I looked at LOTS and LOTS of “bleach alternatives” and to be honest wasn’t extremely impressed with any of them. First of all, MOST of the homemade bleach alternative solutions I came across combined Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar which shouldn’t be mixed together in the same container.


Mixing the two results in Peracetic Acid, which is a strong oxidizing agent used for high level disinfection. It’s popular in the food industry because it breaks down into water, oxygen and acetic acid (vinegar), making it very environmentally friendly. But studies have found it is very irritating to the skin, eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. So probably NOT a good idea to use it on your laundry.

Then I came across this post from Grit.com and it made perfect sense!  So I decided to give it a try.

Here’s the recipe:

12 cups water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup hydrogen peroxide

Mix. Add 2 cups per wash load or put in spray bottle and use as a household cleaner.


bleach alternative


I decided to test it on a pair of white pillow shams I have on my bed that were beginning to look a bit on the dingy/dirty side. I don’t wash them often because we don’t actually SLEEP on them…but you know how it is…they still get dirty from being handled and thrown on the floor and lounged on when someone is watching TV on the bed, etc. I figured they would be a good test.Unfortunately I totally spaced taking a BEFORE picture of them, so you’re just going to have to use your imagination. But they looked a lot like this mattress cover did that I featured in the Miracle Whitening Solution post I did. Maybe not QUITE as bad. But close.


I added 2 cups of the solution to the load of whites I washed the pillow shams with (along with my regular homemade detergent), let it agitate, and then let it soak for a little over an hour.

Here are the pillowcases on my bed. 🙂 Not bad huh?



bleach alternative


I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the effectiveness of this combination.

I’ve also used it a couple of times now just as a general all-purpose cleaner around the kitchen and have liked the results there as well. I’ve been using straight hydrogen peroxide for awhile now as a kitchen/bathroom/etc. cleaner, but the addition of the acidic lemon gives it a nice cleaning boost and, of course, a fresh citrus scent!


bleach alternative


If you are on a septic system or just want to avoid using chlorine bleach in your laundry…give this a try!  I think you’ll be happy with the results.

And one more thing…this post wouldn’t be complete without adding a plug for good old-fashioned100% naturalSUNSHINE. The ultraviolet radiation of sunlight is a natural disinfectant. You can effectively brighten and disinfect your stained laundry by spraying it withlemon juice and then hanging it in the sun. I realize this isn’t going to be extremely PRACTICAL at times….but I had to give it a shout-out anyway. 🙂







 Some of these are very unusual… Great ideas…ET

More than meets the eye.

Aside from the one way we all know vodka can be put to good use, it’s not a completely pointless liquid otherwise. In fact, the alcoholic beverage spreads itself quite thin on the usefulness scale. Vodka’s anti-bacterial properties are what give it such potency in combatting a lot of common ailments and household issues – from earaches to carpet stains. Grab yourself a bottle, or two, and redefine what it means to booze.

Poison Ivy Reliever

Apply vodka to an area affected by poison ivy and it will dry up surrounding skin, getting rid of any oils that are causing the poison ivy to inflame and itch.

Laundry Freshener

Fill a small spray bottle with vodka and lightly spray clothes. The vodka smell goes away when the clothes dry completely. The vodka helps to remove any unwanted odors.

Flower Preserver

Plants produce the ripening gas ethylene, which promotes maturation. Vodka stunts ethylene production and allows for flowers to stay fresher, longer. Spray flower stems with a 2:1 ratio mix of vodka and sugar. Repeat every few days.

Insect Repellent

Keep the insects at bay by squirting some vodka on your skin before going outdoors. Add essential lavender oil. Insects hate the smell of lavender, and you will prefer it to the smell of vodka lingering on your skin. You could also mix vodka into your scented moisturizer.


Jelly Fish Bite Soother

Much like vodka helps to treat poison ivy on the skin, the liquid also helps to alleviate the pain and itch that come post nasty jelly fish bite. Bring along a 1:1 mixture of vodka and water in a spray bottle to the beach just in case of an attack.

Hair Shiner

Add 1-2 ounces of vodka to your shampoo and watch as your hair emerges from a shower feeling cleaner, silky, and shiny.

Band-Aid Remover

Vodka will help to dissolve the sticky edges of a band-aid and allow for a painless removal. Not that you would, but a few swigs before peeling the adhesive off won’t hurt either.

Computer Screen Cleaner

Using water to clean a computer screen often leaves behind distracting smears. Apply vodka to the screen and wipe away for a seamless and clear complexion.


Eye Glasses Cleaner

It may not be the best idea to carry around a bottle of vodka, but a small spray bottle may be less conspicuous and prove to be very useful. Your glasses will get star treatment on the go.

Air Freshener

Mix equal parts water and vodka in a spray bottle and spray around the house. The vodka dissolves odors and the solution is completely odorless.

Razor Blade Cleanser

Soak razor blades in vodka and dissolve away build-up and buff the razor all in one. This trick will keep your razor blades clean and disinfected whilst extending the lifespan of your razor collection.

Jewelry Cleaner

Let your jewelry sparkle and shine. Soak and lightly scrub them in some vodka to remove any impurities.

Pore Reduction

Lightly soak one side of a cotton ball in vodka and dab your face. The vodkas acts as an astringent, tightening the pores and removing excess oils.

Homemade Mouthwash

Because of vodka’s capacity to fight bacteria and prevent infection, you can gargle it in the A.M. (without swallowing) to clean your mouth. Vodka may not be the first thing you want to taste on a sensitive morning stomach, so dilute it with equal parts water add a few drops of mint oil.

Cold Sore Treatment

Vodka can help to reduce cold sore inflammation and redness by drying the affected area. Dip one end of a Q-tip into vodka and use it to dab sores.


Shower Cleaner

Attack those moldy, dark crevices with a toothbrush and some vodka. Spray vodka onto moldy areas, let sit for 15 minutes, and then scrub away. The vodka kills the mold.


Vodka is a great disinfectant and antiseptic. Apply to minor cuts and burns to kill bacteria.

Stickiness Remover

Vodka works wonders on removing all that is gooey! From stickers on car surfaces to gum on the bottom of a shoe, a little vodka goes a long way.

Treat Ear Aches

Put a few drops of vodka into your ear. Let the alcohol sit in the ears for a few minutes each and then drain. The vodka kills bacteria that causes pain.

Stain Remover

Vodka effectively gets rid of ink, grass and lipstick stains. Dab stain with vodka and rub the stain away. Add the stained garment to the laundry afterwards for a more thorough clean.

Tooth-Ache Reliever

Gargle vodka without swallowing, unless you want a buzz. The vodka will prevent infection and reduce inflammation and soreness in the mouth.


Foot Odor Cure

For those of you who suffer from foot odor, consider vodka your new best friend. Soak your feet in a shallow bucket of vodka, which will kill bacteria-causing odor. Let your feet dry to get rid of the vodka smell or wash your feet with fragrant soap directly after the treatment.

Fever Alleviation 

Vodka works well as a liniment to reduce a fever, because it evaporates very quickly and can provide a cooling relief. Apply vodka to a soft cloth and place on your chest.

Images: Karola RieglerBarkTasumi1968Marcus VegasSeishin17

Aylin Erman currently resides in Istanbul and is creator of plant-based recipe website GlowKitchen.

by  on August 23, 2012 in FOOD

51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List

I do not drimk Coke anymore, but I see that there are many uses for Coke…ET

Photo: matsuyuki

I was trawling the Internet recently searching for a way to remove a grease spot from a favorite shirt of mine. How it got there, well, I blame a faulty fork and not my clumsy mouth. Anyway, time and again sites would reference a can of Coca-Cola as a way to remove the grease spot. I tried it, cynical but hopeful, and it worked. Not 100%, but it was way better than before. It did leave me wondering, are there other uses for Coca-Cola? It turns out there are a lot more.

I haven’t had a chance to test all of these out, but the ones I have listed here are the uses I found turning up time and again; not just on the web, but in books and magazines. If you have any more, feel free to share. And by the way, I’m no Coca-Cola advocate, I’m sure Pepsi or even store-brand would work just as well (unless that secret Coke ingredient is behind all of this…but I doubt it).

The list
1. Remove grease stains from clothing and fabric (I had to start there)
2. Remove rust; methods include using fabric dipped in Coke, a sponge or even aluminum foil.
3. Remove blood stains from clothing and fabric.
4. Make gooey Coke funnel cakes .
5. Clean oil stains from a garage floor; let the stain soak, hose off.
6. Loosen a rusty bolt; pour on some Coke and wait for the magic to happen.
7. Kill slugs and snails; a small bowl of Coke will attract them, the acid will kill them.
8. Help a lawn become lush and green (see my lawn tonic article here )
9. Prevent an asthma attack! Apparently, the caffeine in two 12oz cans can prevent the onset of an attack.
10. Defrost a frozen windshield. Apply liberally and wait (I’ll see if this works in winter)
11. Clean burnt pans; let the pan soak in the Coke, then rinse.
12. Descale a kettle using the same method in 11.
13. Neutralize a jellyfish sting.
14. Clean car battery terminals by pouring a small amount of Coke over each one.
15. Cure nausea; let a can of Coke go flat then take a teaspoon of Coke every hour.
16. Also, flat coke can help relieve an upset stomach (aka “the runs”)
17. Make a Mentos & Coke exploding fountain. This one takes a 2-liter bottle of Coke.

18. Get rid of hiccups; gargle with a big mouthful of ice-cold Coke.

19. Shake up a can and pour it over your windshield to remove bugs and other crud.
20. Use the method in 19 for your car bumpers, too.
21. Clean your engine; Coke distributors have been using this technique for decades.
22. Relieve congestion; boil and a can of Coke and drink while hot to clear you up.
23. Make a sweet BBQ sauce. Mix a can of Coke with ketchup and brush over ribs or chicken.
24. Baste a ham roast with Coke as it cooks. The sugars will caramelize; the ham will be moist.
25. Add a can of coke to your pot roast to tenderize it and add extra flavor. (Thanks Linsey).
26. Make pretty pennies; soaking old pennies in Coke will remove the tarnish.
27. Make your hair curly; pour flat Coke onto long hair, leave for a few minutes then rinse.
28. Age documents and photos; for that antique look, apply Coke, pat with paper, leave to dry.
29. Clean tile grout; pour onto kitchen floor, leave for a few minutes, wipe up.
30. Mix a can of Coke with a packet of Italian seasoning; cook a tough steak in it.
31. Make better compost; Coke increases the acidity, adds sugars and feeds microorganisms.
32. Dissolve a tooth in it; Use a sealed container, this takes ages. Why would you want to though, unless you’re Hannibal Lecter?
33. Remove gum from hair; dip into a small bowl of Coke, leave a few minutes. Gum will wipe off.
34. Get silky skin; mix a spoonful of Coke with regular lotion and apply liberally.
35. Make low-fat brownies .
36. Pour a little in a cup and set it out an hour before a picnic, away from your site; it will attract wasps and bees so they’re not bugging you and your grub.
37. Remove stains from vitreous china. More info on vitreous materials here .
38. Got a dirty pool? Add two 2-liter bottles of Coke to clear up the water (it acts as rust remover).
39. Add Coke to your laundry to remove bad smells, especially fish.
40. Remove (or fade) dye from hair by pouring diet Coke over it.
41. Mop a floor with Coke to make it sticky. It’s a movie industry trick to stop actors slipping.
42. Remove marker stains from carpet. Apply Coke, scrub, then clean with soapy water.
43. Clean a toilet; pour around bowl, leave for a while, flush clean.
44. Apply to skin for a deep tan (although this seems like a recipe for skin cancer to me).
45. Supposedly, drinking an 8oz can of Coke every day can prevent kidney stones.
46. Add it to a Sloppy Joe mix
47. Perk up your Azaleas or Gardenias.
48. Coke and aluminum foil will bring Chrome to a high shine.
49. Strip paint off metal furniture; soak a towel in Coke, sit it on the surface for days. Make sure you keep adding Coke to keep the towel wet. (Seems like a hassle, I’d rather buy paint stripper.)
50. Add it to vodka, rum or bourbon.
51. Drink it straight from the can, if you can (too sweet for me)

And a few Coke fallacies:

  • Coke is not used by the authorities to clean blood from the roads after accidents.
  • Coke will not dissolve teeth or nails OVERNIGHT. It takes a long time.
  • Coke and aspirin will not get you high.
  • Coke is not an effective spermicide.
  • Coke poured onto raw pork will not cause worms to come crawling out of it.
  • The acids in Coke do not make it dangerous to drink (your own stomach acids are much stronger).
  • Drinking too much Coke will not make you die from CO2 poisoning.
  • Coke does not contain cocaine (although it used to).
  • Coke did not become carbonated by accident.

So, that’s what my days of research turned up (yes, days. Anyone who tells me to get a life will be justified). If you have anything to add, pour away folks.