Fresh as a Daisy - Part Four

CLEAN LAUNDRY WITHOUT POISONING OUR WATERWAYS!

GENERAL HOUSEHOLD CLEANING:
FROM FLOOR TO CEILING.
IMPORTANT!! While ammonia has definite advantages over soda where a strong alkali is needed, great care must be taken when using it. Do NOT shake the bottle. Loosen top carefully, DO NOT INHALE THE FUMES, and NEVER mix it with other cleansers, especially bleach and other preparations containing chlorine.
People with asthma should avoid using it at all.

TO CLEAN SINKS, BATHS, FRIDGES, STOVES, & ALL NON-POROUS SURFACES:
Use a scourer, preferably made from recycled material e.g. a plastic vegetable bag, or knitted from oddments of string knotted together. Dampen the scourer & use with small quantities of dry bicarbonate of soda, just as you would use scouring powder. Rinse with a wet cloth, wipe with a damp one &, if you wish, polish with a dry one. Discarded underwear or T-shirts are excellent for the purpose.
Cover stubborn spots with a paste made with the soda & water, leave for a while, but don't let it dry out - the paste sets like concrete!. You may need patience with old, built-up dirt. The secret is to clean frequently. This way you only take a minute or so each time, & the dirt doesnít get the chance to accumulate.
An old toothbrush is excellent for the grout in the shower. Often you wonít need any soda, the soap clinging to the walls is sufficient to do an excellent job! Wipe over with a little vinegar or lemon juice afterwards.

WALLS:
These respond well to being washed with a solution of ammonia or bicarb. & hot water. For a perfect finish, rinse with a cloth wet with vinegar or lemon juice & water (2 tablespoons per litre) & finish with a dry cloth.
Dirty floors can be washed with the suds left after doing the laundry. But if you're fussy, treat them just like the walls.

FOR WINDOWS, GLASS, & MIRRORS:
Use 1 cup vinegar or strained lemon juice in a bucket of rainwater (Adelaide tapwater actually streaks glass!). Or collect old tea-leaves in a bucket, cover with hot rain water & leave overnight. Strain ready for use in the morning. Use a squeegee or chamois leather for large areas, dry & polish small areas with crumpled newspaper.

OVENS:
Use steel wool dipped in a little neat household ammonia. Use gloves, & don't inhale!

TOILETS:
A little vinegar or lemon juice poured into the pan each night will help keep down scale.
Once a week, use half a lemon to thoroughly clean all the surfaces, doing the outside & seat first, then the inside of the bowl.
For really disgusting loos, use HOT water & washing soda, and don't forget to get up under the rim - you may get a nasty shock the first time you do this!

KEEP BATHROOMS & TOILETS well-ventilated, this helps prevent mould & smells. Keep the doors open when the rooms are not in use.

FURNITURE:
Clean with warm water containing a little vinegar. Wring out a cloth & rub the surface well, rinsing the cloth frequently in the vinegar water. Dry with a soft cloth, then apply a little light oil, or a beeswax polish, rubbing in well with a soft cloth.

CARPETS:
Freshen & deodorise carpets by sprinkling with dry bicarbonate of soda. Or use cheap talcum powder. Rub in, leave for a while before vacuuming. Or apply immediately after you have vacuumed, & leave in until next time. It will discourage fleas & mites.
For shampoo use a strong solution of ammonia instead of soapless detergent. This will not leave a sticky residue on your carpet, to attract more dirt.
If you are about to buy or replace carpet, think carefully. Wall to wall carpets are difficult to maintain, & almost impossible to keep free of dust & mites. Consider an easily cleaned, impervious surface, such as polished wood or tiles, with small rugs that can be washed in the machine, or taken outside for a thorough cleaning, & left in the sun to kill mites.

DRAINS:
Pour undiluted household ammonia, or a strong solution of washing soda & hot water, down each plughole every week. Donít forget the shower.
Prevention is better than cure. Shave or shampoo in a bowl & throw the water on the garden. Check for hair & threads in the plugholes every day. Beards are environmentally friendly!

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Note:In researching & answering questions about earthwise living, Margaret offers information, opinion, & personal experience, but no quick fixes! Readers should evaluate these offerings in the context of their own situations; they are suggestions, *not* recommendations. Any responsibility for their implementation rests *solely* with the reader.

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