Thursday, November 15, 2012

Just a Few (of the many) Things I Didn't Know

I live on the border of New Hampshire and Vermont where there are several e-mail list serves to connect residents who have lost a dog, want to sell a dresser, or share whatever information they choose.  After seeing an e-mail from someone saying, "Dishwasher Now Runs Clean: Want to THANK whoever it was that suggested putting a 1/2 cup of white vinegar sitting on the top shelf in the dishwasher.  That has made all the difference in the world!   I now buy the vinegar by the gallon."

I actually never saw the original e-mail and I've never owned a dishwasher, but it was gratifying to read that vinegar once again had saved the day in someone's home.  Less money, less toxic output.

I then decided to see what else people in my area know about nontoxic cleaners, so I put out this notice on three local list serves:  "If you have any recipes or experiences with nontoxic cleaning, I'd love to hear them."

Well, I received many responses.  Most were ones that are already addressed on this blog either in the posts or on the Recipes page.  But again, it was great to hear that other people are using simple, nontoxic recipes to clean their homes.

There were a few recipes I had never heard before--and I'm sharing them below.

Weed and Grass Killer

"Pour straight white vinegar on the weeds to get to the roots, but don't get it on anything you want to keep."

I sent out an e-mail to a group in a Household Hazardous Waste Committee and received a confirming response that vinegar actually kills weeds!  My friend, Joanne said she had her granddaughter spray a section of weeds growing up in her gravel driveway.  They had to do it twice as the weeds were thick and well established, but she lives on a lake so it's great she found a non-toxic way to kill weeds.

Photo Credit Link

Fruit Fly Trap

"Put about an inch of apple cider vinegar into a small jar with a little water and a drop or two of liquid dish washing liquid.  The fruit flies will be attracted and drown in the'll have to dump it out and make a fresh batch every now and then if you have a lot of fruit flies."

I'm not sure what the point of the dish washing liquid is, but who can argue with success.  Personally, I just use my kitchen compost can and put the lid on it to trap the fruit flies.

Tub and Sink Cleaner

"A mixture of Borax and Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds is very effective, good smelling, and makes everything shine."