Got (more) rust? Think vinegar and lemon!

200369716-001Not long ago I shared my little trick for removing rust from metal (our daughter’s Razor scooter had taken the brunt of the cold and dampness in the garage over the winter)…

Now, more annoying rust came-a-callin’… on a piece of brand new clothing! (This is the part where I clenched my teeth and let a few “choice” words fly!)

Well, never fear.  When rust spots seem to pop up out of nowhere, you don’t need to add it to the batch of clothes that have been designated for ‘cleaning duty days’ and ‘yard work sessions’.  You can salvage it with a few simple items:  distilled white vinegar & salt or just a simple lemon.

Here’s how:vinegar

  • Saturate the rust stain with distilled white vinegar and pour on a generous amount of saltRub the salt into the stain…. OR….
  • Squeeze the juice from a lemon onto the stain (bottled juice works too).
  • For both options, the best ‘next step’ is to actually put the garment in the sun (Mother Nature will do her magic) until the garment has dried. If Mother Nature isn’t cooperating, no problem… just let it dry on its own.

lemonzYou might want to repeat the process for super stains but then just launder the garment as usual and VOILA!…

Guess what?… no more rust stains! And guess what else?  No chemicals needed! Fantastic…

How to clean laundry without detergent (yes, it’s possible!)

SmrtKlean Laund BallSounds crazy, I know… but I’m not kidding.  You can actually skip the detergent in every load of laundry and STILL get your laundry clean.  Imagine what that means… okay, it means a whole bunch of things, but I’ll get to the point…

I’ve been using the SmartKlean Laundry Ball and it’s really amazing! The ball is made of recyclable thermoplastic and filled with little ceramic beads, each comprising a combination of earth minerals.  When they come in contact with water, they form oxygenated water that goes to work cleaning and deodorizing your laundry! I’m literally amazed at how well it works…

Imagine… NO detergent! So, there is (1) NO environmental impact, (2) NO potential health impact or skin sensitivity, (3) NO soaps or chemicals to shorten the life of your clothing & laundry, (4) NO need for a rinse cycle (water & energy savings!), (5) NO need for hot or even warm water (choose cold!), (6) NO extra packaging & bottles to recycle or (gasp!) throw away… impressive list of qualities, right?

I was really skeptical, but it’s really worked for me.  Sure, some of the tougher stains still require a little extra attention but that goes without saying, no matter what method of laundry cleaning you choose.  It still has plenty of use left in it tSmrtKlean logooo… in fact, one SmartKlean Laundry Ball = 365 loads of laundry! I think I might need to get a second one though… it works best on medium-sized loads (limited to about 18 lbs.) and I am notorious for overloading the washer!

I just think it’s an impressive product that literally eliminates some of the chemical and environmental concerns we have about the massive amounts of laundry we do every year. (If I could only teach the SmartKlean Laundry Ball to also dry, fold and hang my laundry, I’d probably buy seven of them!)

Check them out… maybe you’ll be willing to ditch your detergent too!

A little “Laundry Room Love” for method (+ giveaway too!)

mthd laund(This giveaway is now closed for entries.)

I made a confession quite some time ago declaring that I’m a “method head”… yes, I am clearly addicted to method products.  And I’ve talked about them again, and again, aaaaand again.

I just happen to love pure products that are committed to a healthy environment and a safe “us”.  Since I started using their products they just get better and better.  They’re constantly improving them and I happen to like that too.

I’ve been using their laundry detergent forever (okay, not really, but for quite a long time). Now they’re super concentrated, so just one bottle tackles 50 loads of laundry, and the pump makes sure you don’t overuse.  Add to that the fact that the ingredients are 95% natural and renewable, in a recyclable bottle, and oh yea… you guessed it… the love and addiction continues.

Now they’re making a “Laundry Room Love” music video where YOU can be one of their stars!  Just visit their Facebook page to get the details and learn how to submit your award-winning performance.  As an extra reward, you’ll get a $2 off coupon at the end of the how-to video.  Savings… nice!mthd clean

They’re also hosting a little giveaway here at Mom Goes Green.  Would you like to see why I love method and score a bottle of your own?  Well, just leave a comment here saying you’d like to win, or send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog. Facebook friends can also leave a comment to be entered. The winners will be randomly selected on April 22!

Now, join me in some “Laundry Room Love”… grab your video camera, perform your heart out, submit your entry, become a star, earn a coupon and enter to win my giveaway!  Phew!… (and you wondered what you were going to do today)… get to lovin’!

Peroxide vs. bleach: the greener alternative

I pX bleacharted ways with bleach long ago. Even the smell makes me uncomfortable. In fact, chlorine bleach is a caustic chemical and a registered pesticide.  Hydrogen peroxide is formed and dissipated naturally in the environment when it simply breaks down into oxygen and water (… you see where I’m going with this, don’tcha???).

Hydrogen peroxide can act as a substitute for bleach in virtually every way.  Where you used bleach, use peroxide instead… and even far beyond.

It should always be diluted down to a 3% solution but (fortunately!) this is how it is commonly sold in your local drugstore or market, so you don’t need to worry about mixing your own concoction!

Some of the best uses for hydrogen peroxide?… just take a look:

  • Disinfectant – for cleaning toilet bowls, floors, showers, tubs, tile… your bathroom is its disinfecting playground!
  • Dishwasher – add a few drops to your dishwasher detergent for extra sterilization
  • Food cleaner & natural preservative – add a few teaspoons to a large bowl of cold water. Wash and rinse your vegetables and fruits thoroughly to clean them and prolong their freshnessperox
  • Laundry – simply use in place of the bleach or use as a stain remover (but be sure to blot & rinse immediately to avoid any potential discoloration)
  • Oral hygiene – use it to clean your toothbrush, or a teeth whitener (when combined with baking soda, in small quantities, to make a paste!)
  • Sanitizer – put in a sprayer bottle to sterilize and disinfect counter tops, cutting boards, stove tops, sinks, the refrigerator and even coffee pots, blenders and food processors
  • Toy cleaner – combine one part peroxide to ten parts water and soak water-tolerable toys, then thoroughly rinse and dry. (This is especially helpful after a bout of illness in the house!)
  • Window cleaner – add a half cup to four cups of water and create a streak-free window cleaner

The toy cleaner appeals to me, especially.  I recall when our daughter was in daycare (for a brief, fleeting moment, until I decided being a stay-at-home mommy “was for me”…) and I was horrified that they cleaned the toys with bleach!  AUGH! My baby was probably putting those toys in her mouth the very next day!

Say good-bye bleach, hello peroxide. Nothing lost, but “a whole lot of peace-of-mind” gained!

“Unscented” vs. “Fragrance-free”: KNOW the difference

frag freeSo, imagine this scenario:  You find yourself shopping for a product and, among the array of choices, you notice “unscented” or “fragrance-free”.  You might opt to choose one of these over a scented variety because it implies that there is at least one less additive in the product.  But are these terms synonymous? And do YOU know the difference?

Until recently, I didn’t.  I mistakenly assumed they meant the same thing.  Guess what?  I was wrong.

frag free methd 2“Fragrance-free” does mean that there is nothing added to the product, but unscented is a whole different ball game.  In fact, “unscented” is a fragrance additive, used to mask any other chemical smells, and it most likely contains phthalates.  What’s bothersome is that phthalates are known hormone disruptors and can affect fertility in both men and women.

Sure, some of us may not have family planning in our near future, and our brood may already be complete, but isn’t this a chemical we’d all simply like to leave out of our systems?

Stay “free” of the phthalates and, given the choice, always choose “fragrance-free”!