Make your own cleaning products from foods, spices, salts, and edible oils. Create your own natural shampoos and soaps, or use black tea, olive oil, or linseed oil to polish hardwood floors or other items, such as cleaning mildew using salt and vinegar and other solutions.
In Sacramento, there’s a trend to clean with basic, natural food products such as baking soda, salt, vinegar, and olive oil. Sam’s Club, for example on Butano and El Camino in Sacramento, sells large bottles of extra virgin olive oil in a gallon plastic bottle. Some people use it to clean and polish hardwood floors, then rub the floor to a shine until almost dry to prevent slipping. A bottle of olive oil comes in handy, not only for drizzling on salads, but also for cleaning and polishing wood surfaces. Just make sure you rub it dry from floors so nobody slides and slips.
To Clean Hair – Conditioner – Mix a jar of real mayonnaise with a tablespoon of olive oil and one half of a ripe avocado. Mix together in a bowl or glass jar. Apply to your hair. Put on a shower cap. Wait an hour and then shampoo twice.
This recipe also is edible with corn chips. It really conditions your natural hair. Don’t use it on a wig. You can make your own shampoo. See How to make your own herbal shampoos from cooking oils and foods. To make your own shampoo, mix four ounces of glycerin with ¼ cup of olive oil. Add to four ounces of castile soap, and add herbs or flowers of your choice such as chamomile.
Another type of hair conditioner used at the turn of the century, circa 1900, is the egg conditioner. To make it, beat one egg yolk with one teaspoon of olive oil (or baby oil) and add to a cup of water. Beat the mixture until frothy. Massage into your hair.
Leave on for an hour and shampoo out twice. Rinse thoroughly. In historic times women usually washed their long hair about once a month. If you make more than you use at one shampoo, store the mixture in your refrigerator for up to a week.
Make Toilet Bowl Cleaners from Foods Containing Citric Acid or Vinegar
Citric acid also cleans toilet bowls, such as the orange juice powder called “Tang.” Lemon juice also cleans toilet bowls, but lemons are expensive. Tang also cleans dishwashers. It’s the citric acid that does it.
A less expensive cleaner for toilets as well as dishwashers is plain white vinegar. If vinegar isn’t strong enough for your mineral deposits, try Tang. In ancient times, spoiled wine and/or olive oil was used for cleaning (in countries where those foods were common, such as around the Mediterranean). In South Asia, sesame seed oil was eaten and also used for cleaning. Turmeric cleaned floors in India and was rubbed on the skin to heal rashes. (Turmeric also is used in modern times on the skin of children with chickenpox and in India, turmeric still is used in some areas to wash hospital floors.)
Also try teaspoon of cream of tartar mixed with a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide to remove mineral stains from metal surfaces. However, cream of tartar is relatively expensive. A small amount I bought in a supermarket cost four or five dollars. Compare the price to white vinegar or even a jar of Tang.
Toothpaste – Combine equal parts of baking soda, salt, and crushed sage in a glass jar and shake. You now have tooth powder. Store the dry mixture in the covered jar. Add glycerin if you want to make a toothpaste. Glycerin is antimicrobial. You can add two drops of peppermint oil for flavor, if desired.
When you’re ready to brush your teeth, put a teaspoon of the mixture in a small cup or bowl and dip in your moistened brush. Also, you can moisten the mixture in a separate bowl or cup with a ¼ teaspoon of water and dab your toothbrush in the mixture. Other anti-bacterial spices or herbs that don’t stain teeth can be used in place of sage.
To make a paste, another alternative is to mix three teaspoons of glycerin to ¼ cup of dry ingredients consisting of three parts of baking soda to one part of sea salt. Add enough water to make a paste. Use the paste as a toothpaste as it is, or add two drops of peppermint oil. Or you can add a pinch of cinnamon.
In India, toothpaste used to be made from sesame seed oil or clove oil. You massage the oil on your teeth and gums with your finger or use a soft tooth brush. See the Home Remedies site. Some Asian countries used black sesame seeds, crushed and mixed with salt as a tooth powder. Also see the video, How to Make Organic Toothpaste online on the Web site called Videojug.
The site also recommends mixing baking soda with hydrogen peroxide added, but many dentists advise against peroxide because hydrogen peroxide destroys DNA and may be carcinogenic if used repeatedly in the mouth.
So to be on the safe side, stick with baking soda and salt and add an anti-bacterial essential oil such as peppermint oil for taste. Or just use baking soda, salt, and water. Then rinse with a safe mouthwash such as those mouthwashes you make without alcohol. You might try mouthwash containing a bit of clove oil for its anti-bacterial quality and taste. Your dentist may use clove oil on your mouth or gums before injecting you with a numbing solution.
Another natural home-made toothpaste recipe is to open a few calcium carbonate capsules and mix with a small amount of water, an equal amount of glycerin, a ¼ teaspoon of Xylitol, (which is a sugar substitute you buy in health foods stores that is supposed to prevent cavities and is added to some toothpastes), a zinc capsule, a drop of peppermint oil, and a ¼ teaspoon of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda/sodium bicarbonate). Mix ingredients in a bowl or cup to a paste consistency and brush gently with a soft toothbrush. Rinse well.
See the iVillage Garden website on cleaning a crystal vase with crushed eggshells that are abrasive. Also see page 92 of the book titled, Feather Your Nest, by Cerentha Harris, Marlowe & Co., 2005, mentioning using crushed egg shells or uncooked rice and vinegar to dislodge stains from glass objects. Page 92 paragraph 2 is online at one of the Google book websites.
The raw rice and crushed egg shells solution also appears in Consumer Reports book titled, How to Clean Practically Anything, 2002, on page 121. So the rice and crushed eggshells method has gotten popular.
The problem with the rice and crushed eggshells used to clean vases or glassware is that you may not be able to get out the rice or eggshells from the narrow, long neck of a vase or other glassware when the rice or shells get wet or swell. Narrow-necked bottles, jars, and vases have been cleaned with dissolved denture-cleaning tablets in water (soaking).
What I’ve always used is a white vinegar rinse or a small amount of baking powder dissolved in a lot of water often is the simplest solution to clean stains inside vases. Sediment is more difficult to root out. In the case of sediment, the rice and eggshells would absorb the pieces of debris.
Put your old video tapes on DVDs – Transfer old video and audio tapes to DVDs and/or CDs and back up on Flash Drives and on removable computer hard drives. Store away from magnetic influences and away from heat. Tapes only last a few years. They go bad just like floppy discs saved from the early 1990s era. So transfer the content to newer technology. To store the old video or audio tapes, put them in plastic cases.
Cardboard cases get eaten by bugs and mice or get moldy from damp rooms. Make sure you have a backup copy of your only old master video tape, such as a tape of your wedding from a few decades ago.
Label tapes and keep them in a dry environment where they won’t become moldy. Keep the tapes in waterproof and fireproof library type containers. See the website on Damaged Audio Video Tape – Restoration Recovery. Oxide shedding is a big problem for aging video and audio tapes. To clean tapes, dust the outer cases and store. You may have to have mold removed from your tapes.
According to the Damaged Audio Video Tape – Restoration site, “Properly cleaning an old video tape is best accomplished by gently passing both sides over Pellon Â® tissue or a simple lint free fabric. Pellon is the trade name for a cloth like material, made of synthetic fiber, that was originally designed and produced to be used as a shirt collar stiffener, though it makes an ideal tape cleaner. Pellon Â® (a trade-name) is low abrasive and non-dusting.” See the Web site’s articles for detailed instruction on tape restoration and cleaning.
Did you know that bread cleans water color paintings? According to the Canvas and Pen site by Levi’s Rain,™ at your own risk, you may clean dirt from a watercolor painting with fresh white bread crumbs. Take the painting outside and lay it on a drop cloth.
Numerous watercolor artists also report that the fresh white bread crumbs act as a mild eraser of dirt, but do not erase the watercolor paints. If the painting is expensive, turn it over to a professional art cleaner or framing shop for cleaning. If you want to take the chance with your child’s kindergarten watercolor paintings, try the fresh white breadcrumbs method to pick up soil from the painting.
Test a small area first to see whether or not the color comes off on the crumbs. Dust gently. Shake off the crumbs on the drop cloth. It may or may not work with different water color paintings.
This bread crumb cleaning method for watercolor paintings also is mentioned regarding cleaning oil paintings on the Ask Mrs. Biddington website.
Ask yourself whether expensive paintings should even be cleaned at all. The Conservation Register website, cautions about attempts to restore works of art on paper yourself with such warnings as, “Dubious traditional remedies such as using bread crumbs to clean off dirt, or the use of commercially produced tapes to repair tears will do more harm than good.”
Should you have wool carpets cleaned professionally? What if you are allergic to commercial cleaning products and want to use an organic solution? For wool garments such as sweaters, if your wool garment is washable, use cool water, and see the Organic Clothing website.
The Web site reports that, “The type of soap or detergent is important and you want to use a detergent that does not have an alkaline pH. An alkaline pH causes the wool scales to open and this leads to fulling. Woolite is alkaline and strips wool fibers so avoid Woolite. Most soaps are alkaline so we recommend using a mild detergent. Dishwashing detergents and shampoos usually have a base, rather than alkaline, pH and many recommend them for washing wool sweaters.”
Look for a natural detergent, but not a soap. The site mentions Ecover natural products for wool. See the site. See Ecover products for wool.
How do you preserve X-Ray Photos/Negatives? You save your old medical x-ray negatives or photos if you need them for travel, genetic counseling, genealogy, or storage or if you’re creating a family time capsule medical genogram for future generations by interweaving x-ray negatives or photos with waxed paper or polyester web covered blotters. Store any film products between sheaves of acid-free paper.
A genogram contains the medical history of one or more family members. You put it into a time capsule, living legacy, or genealogy gift box to give to the next generation so they can learn various aspects of family history and medical family history of ancestors.
Store photos away from overhead water pipes in a cool, dry area with stable humidity and temperatures, not in attics or basements. Keep photos out of direct sunlight and fluorescent lights when on display. Color slides have their own storage requirements.
Keep photos from touching rubber bands, cellophane tape, rubber cement, or paper clips. Poor quality photo paper and paper used in most envelopes and album sleeves also cause photos to deteriorate. Instead, store photos in chemically stable plastic made of polyester, polypropylene, triacetate, or polyethylene. Don’t use PCV or vinyl sleeves.
Plastic enclosures preserve photos best and keep out the fingerprints and scratches. Some public elementary school students were given X-ray photos when lung x-rays were once given to school children in the 1950s, and they may want to put these photos in a genogram, time capsule, or family history gift box.
How do you clean a Xylophone? – Clean your xylophone with home-made non-caustic furniture polish such as a teaspoon of olive, jojoba, or linseed oil on a clean, soft cloth. Keep your musical instrument away from windows.
Direct sunlight fries and ruins the instrument. Cold weather also ruins musical instruments. Don’t store your instrument near any heating ducts or radiators. Heat, cold, and dampness ruin musical instruments. Don’t leave your xylophone in a car or van. Store it in a dry, dark place at room temperature and low humidity. The same treatment holds true for wooden musical instruments. Keep them away from moisture/dampness, heat, light, and frost.