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…

Weeds & vinegar: a lethal (but safe!) combination

vinegarSo, it finally feels as if Spring has arrived! Your indoor spring cleaning is probably underway but, if your yard is like ours, it may look like the outdoors needs some attention too.

Along with the sprouting of our lovely spring bulbs, some not-so-lovely things are sprouting up too.  Yes, I’m talking about weeds!

Want to control them environmentally and safely without harsh chemicals? Then here are two simple items for your shopping list:  distilled white vinegar and a sprayer bottle.

If you’re like me, you may already have a sprayer bottle or have kept one around just waiting to be reused, so your list may contain one, simple item… vinegar, because (just like my kids) weeds hate the taste of vinegar!

All you need to do is fill the bottle with vinegar and spray the nasty culprits! It works best with young weeds and, for those tough hardy buggers, it may take more than one application but, I assure you, it works! I should also add that it works best on a sunny day and when rain is not in the forecast.  weedz

However, this also comes with a warning… vinegar is NOT selective. It will kill whatever you spray.  You need to be cautious not to let it come in contact with prized flowers or plants, so make sure your bottle has a very controlled sprayer and not a wide range mist.  For this reason also, vinegar is best for gardens, flower beds, sidewalks, driveways and around paver stones, but isn’t recommended for lawns since it will take your grass right along with the weeds!

Ahh… vinegar! Is there anything it doesn’t do?!?  Okay, well yea… there are “things”, but the list of what it DOES do just got longer… and you can now add “weed warrior” to that list!

Simple green tip: Weeds hate the “taste” of vinegar!

Now that Spring has finally arrived, we’ve been eagerly watching all of the bulbs we planted sprout into beautiful blooms… however, sprouting right along with them?  Yes, weeds!

vinegarWant to control them environmentally and safely without harsh chemicals? Then here are two simple items for your shopping list:  distilled white vinegar and a sprayer bottle.

If you’re like me, you may already have a sprayer bottle or have kept one around just waiting to be reused, so your list may contain one, simple item… vinegar, because (just like my kids) weeds hate the taste of vinegar!

All you need to do is fill the bottle with vinegar and spray the nasty culprits! It works best with young weeds and, for those tough hardy buggers, it may take more than one application but I assure you, it works!

However, this also comes with a warning… vinegar is NOT selective. It will kill whatever you spray.  You need to be cautious not to let it come in contact with prized flowers or plants, so make sure your bottle has a very controlled sprayer and not a wide range mist.  For weedzthis reason also, vinegar is best for gardens, flower beds, sidewalks, driveways and around paver stones, but isn’t recommended for lawns since it will take your grass right along with the weeds!

Ahh… vinegar! Is there anything it doesn’t do?!?  Okay, well yea… there are “things”, but the list of what it DOES do just got longer… and you can now add “weed warrior” to that list!

10 more reasons vinegar should be on your grocery list.

vinegarVinegar is always on my grocery list… and I buy it by the gallon.  Today, in fact, I will be using it to help clear our extremely slow-draining bathroom sink.  I’ve also talked about ways to put vinegar to work in household cleaning and laundry, but there are even more ways to substitute vinegar for other remedies and, in some cases, it helps you stay green and avoid chemicals.

Think about this list:

  1. Acne remedy and skin conditioner – dilute 50/50 with water to use as a toner or dab, full strength, on the problem areas.
  2. Clean lime deposits and calcium – we’ve all had build-up in our coffee makers and washing machines.  Fill the coffee maker with lunchboxvinegar and brew it, or add a cup to your washing machine and run a cycle without clothes to give it a good cleaning.
  3. Condition dry hair – shampoo your hair then rinse it with a mix of one cup of apple cider vinegar and two cups of water. (Feel free to wash the vinegar out after that initial rinse!)
  4. Deodorize a smelly lunchbox – soak a cloth in vinegar and close it up in the lunchbox overnight to eliminate nasty odors.
  5. Get rid of unwanted weeds – pour in the cracks or crevices or spray directly on the culprits!
  6. Heal a bruise – apply white vinegar for an hour and it will reduce the discoloration and aid healing (time consuming, but it works!).
  7. Prevent cracked hard boiled eggs – add two tablespoons per quart of water before boiling the eggs.
  8. Remove skunk smells – (let’s hope this has happened to your pet and not YOU!) but apply, full strength to your pet’s fur,antz rinse with cold water, and it will reduce the smell dramatically.
  9. Repel pesky ants – mix equal parts vinegar and water and spray in the problem areas.
  10. Stop bug bite itching – dab on the area of the bite and it will relieve the itch.

Undoubtedly vinegar isn’t always the most aromatic and pleasant smell on the planet but given the choice of vinegar over harsh chemicals, I’ll pick the vinegar any time!

Do you have more uses?  Share them!

It’s the first day of Spring… time to “Green Clean!”

Spring has sprung!  And along with the first peek at daffodils and tulips comes the time honored (read: dreaded!) tradition of Spring Cleaning.  There are a lot of aspects to this task… this really (REALLY!) dreaded task!  (Can you tell I simply prefer the daffodils and tulips?)

cleaner-basketFirst comes the actual cleaning – the elbow-grease, sweaty-job of getting rid of winter’s grim, gick and dirt.  For just about anything, I recommend vinegar, baking soda and water.  It can take care of it all.  You can find every use and combination I know by checking out Vinegartips.com.  Remember to forgo the paper towels and use those old t-shirts and towels that are too tattered for donating and would otherwise meet the trash can.  They can always be washed and reused for an even longer life.

Next comes the purge – getting rid of those “things” that no longer have a place or a purpose in your life.  Whether it’s clothing, household items, toys, furniture, books… find them a new home (granted they still have some life in them).  Donate them to a charity, list them on Freecycle or Craig’s List, or sell them, but don’t let them “find the curb” in a plastic garbage bag!

Then comes the discard of magazines, catalogs and unneeded “paper” (of every sort) – and make sure they get recycled.  Even cardboard boxes have a new life if you list them with Boxcycle or Usedcardboardboxes or again, Craig’s List. In fact, with every bit of cleaning-out you do, consider if it’s recyclable.  Example:  food cupboards.  Those boxes and cans are recyclable. You’ll be amazed!cardboardbox

I’ve always considered Spring the true “new beginning” of the year, so your new beginning doesn’t need to stop with only the cleaning part.  Consider making changes too, like switching to CFLs, buying those reusable shopping bags you’ve been avoiding, checking for leaks in your plumbing and even giving your car a good tune-up!

A fellow green mom has put together a kit to help us with all of these little “extras” too – check out Kathy’s Climate Kit.  She has condensed it down into one fine package and is offering all of my friends here a 10% discount to boot (just enter code: FESTIVAL at check out!).  Plus, a tree will be planted with American Forests Global Releaf Program for each kit sold.

So “start your cleaning engines” and let the Green Clean Games begin!