Five “All Natural” Cleaners that Really Aren’t that Natural

Five All Natural Cleaners that Really Aren't that Natural


In the world of home cleaners there are many different varieties, from fresh smelling, super strength, long lasting, and all natural. It can be confusing to choose the one best suited to the task at hand. What does “all natural” mean when it comes to cleaners, and which ones aren’t quite as natural as they might appear?

Air Fresheners
Avoid aerosol air fresheners at all costs. Even if they claim to be all natural, nearly all air fresheners are not. Instead, open a window when possible to allow fresh air in, simmer a cinnamon stick on the stove, or use organic essential oils.

Antibacterial Soaps
The ingredients used in antibacterial soaps and detergents kill the bad and good bacteria, which can lead to the development of drug resistant bacteria. If you do use it, make sure it’s only once in a while. Especially when cleaning your kitchen or where you store food like the refrigerator, make sure you’re not encouraging bacteria resistance. Use only warm soapy water and clean rags.

Cleaners in Plastic Bottles
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that has been used for some time in the production of plastics and in the lining of metal canisters. Studies have shown it can cause brain and behavior problems to those exposed to it regularly. It is especially dangerous to infants and children. Seek out cleaners in glass bottles or plastic labeled BPA free.

Cleaners with Sudsing Agents
Most people like to see suds and soap bubbles form when cleaning, as it makes us feel like we are really getting the area clean. Unfortunately, those suds are anything but natural. While some natural surfactants do exist, they tend to make products more expensive. Read the labels and make sure they are naturally occurring.

Cleaners with Phthalates
Phthalates are very dangerous and very easily absorbed into our bodies. These endocrine disrupting chemicals affect male hormone production and normal brain development and function. They have been linked to various problems, such as autism, cancer, and fertility problems.

As more and more people are seeking out better ways to keep our Earth and our families safe and healthy in a world filled with increasing numbers of chemicals and man-made substances, it can be difficult to choose the best and most natural choices. Just because an item claims to be “all natural” or “eco” does not mean it is good for the environment or the people exposed to it. Some can be deceiving, so it is important to look carefully at the ingredients before making your decision. Look for bottles labeled “kid and pet safe” and avoid products that say “toxic, poison, or danger” to help you make safe decisions. So whether you just got a new IG refrigerator from or are looking to disinfect an old microwave, make sure you have the right tools needed to clean it safely.


Uses for Baking Soda – My Mom Was Right!

By Dr. Mercola
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a staple in many homes for baking and cleaning purposes – but there’s a good chance you’re not taking full advantage of all that baking soda has to offer. For instance, did you know there’s a whole gamut of medicinal uses for baking soda, such as safely removing splinters from your fingers, or just brushing your teeth? It rates right up there with hydrogen peroxide as one of the most inexpensive and safe health tools around (you can buy an entire box of baking soda for about $1), so it makes sense to learn all you can about the many, many uses of baking soda.


A Brief Baking Soda History

In its natural form, baking soda is known as nahcolite, which is part of the natural mineral natron. Natron, which contains large amounts of sodium bicarbonate, has been used since ancient times. For instance, the Egyptians used natron as a soap for cleansing purposes. Later, anecdotal reports throughout history suggest that many civilizations used forms of baking soda when making bread and other foods that required rising. However, it wasn’t until 1846 when Dr. Austin Church and John Dwight began to manufacture and sell the compound we know as baking soda today. By the 1860s, baking soda was featured in published cookbooks, and in the 1930s was widely advertised as a “proven medical agent.”1 Come 1972, the idea to keep a box of baking soda in your fridge to keep food fresh was born, and it really caught on … raise your hand if you have a box in your fridge right now! Baking soda was popularized by Arm & Hammer more than 150 years ago, and while many are aware of its versatile qualities for cooking and household use, few people realize that baking soda also has potent medicinal properties.

Baking Soda May Help Fight Colds and the Flu

Some people believe that when taken internally, baking soda can help maintain the pH balance in your bloodstream. This is likely the basic premise behind its recommended uses against both colds and influenza symptoms. In their booklet “Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Medical Uses,” published in 1924, Dr. Volney S. Cheney recounts his clinical successes with sodium bicarbonate in treating cold and flu:2

“In 1918 and 1919 while fighting the ‘flu’ with the U. S. Public Health Service it was brought to my attention that rarely anyone who had been thoroughly alkalinized with bicarbonate of soda contracted the disease, and those who did contract it, if alkalinized early, would invariably have mild attacks. I have since that time treated all cases of ‘cold,’ influenza and LaGripe by first giving generous doses of bicarbonate of soda, and in many, many instances within 36 hours the symptoms would have entirely abated.


Further, within my own household, before Woman’s Clubs and Parent-Teachers’ Associations, I have advocated the use of bicarbonate of soda as a preventive for ‘colds,’ with the result that now many reports are coming in stating that those who took ‘soda’ were not affected, while nearly everyone around them had the ‘flu.’


Not too certain though about how valid the pH optimizing is as to baking soda’s mechanism of action, as clinically I have frequently used diluted hydrochloric acid intravenously to also help people nearly instantly recover from acute infections. Obviously this is pushing the pH in the opposite direction, yet both appear to work, suggesting that the mode of action may be other than pH mediated. The administration is easy enough, and is relatively harmless even if you should not experience relief from your cold symptoms. Simply dissolve the recommended amount of baking soda in a glass of cold water and drink it. Recommended dosages from the Arm & Hammer Company for colds and influenza back in 1925 were:

  • Day 1 — Take six doses of ½ teaspoon of baking soda in glass of cool water, at about two-hour intervals
  • Day 2 — Take four doses of ½ teaspoon of baking soda in glass of cool water, at the same intervals
  • Day 3 — Take two doses of ½ teaspoon of baking soda in glass of cool water morning and evening, and thereafter ½ teaspoon in glass of cool water each morning until cold symptoms are gone

11 More Baking Soda Medicinal Uses

You’ll be amazed at the myriad of remedies you can whip up if you have a box of baking soda handy. Among them:

  • Ulcer Pain: I have personally recommended this to many including family members and have been surprised how remarkably effective it is. This would make sense, as the baking soda would immediately neutralize stomach acid. Dosing is typically 1-2 teaspoons in a full glass of water.
  • Splinter removal: Add a tablespoon of baking soda to a small glass of water, then soak the affected area twice a day. Many splinters will come out on their own after a couple of days using this treatment.
  • Sunburn remedy: Add ½ cup of baking soda to lukewarm bathwater, then soak in the tub for natural relief. When you get out, let your skin air dry, rather than toweling off the excess baking soda, for extra relief. You can also add a mixture of baking soda and water to a cool compress and apply it to the sunburn directly.
  • Deodorant: If you want to avoid the parabens and aluminum found in many deodorants and antiperspirants, try a pinch of baking soda mixed with water instead. This simple paste makes an effective and simple natural deodorant.
  • Enhanced sports performance: Distance runners have long engaged in a practice known as “soda doping” – or taking baking soda capsules — before races to enhance performance,3 a measure that’s thought to work similarly to carbohydrate loading. While I don’t suggest you try this at home, it’s another example of baking soda benefits.
  • Plaque-busting tooth and gum paste: For an incredibly effective tooth and gum paste, use a mixture of six parts of baking soda to one part of sea salt. Place them in a blender and mix for 30 seconds, then place in a container to use. Wet the tip of your index finger and place a small amount of the salt and soda mixture on your gums. Starting with the upper outside gums and then the inside of the upper, followed by the lower outside of the gums then the lower inside, rub the mixture onto your teeth and gums. Spit out the excess. After 15 minutes rinse your mouth. This mixture is incredibly effective at killing bacteria.
  • Insect Bites: Apply a paste made of baking soda and water to insect bites to help relieve itching. You can also try rubbing the dry powder onto your skin. This is also effective for itchy rashes and poison ivy.
  • Teeth whitener: For a natural way to whiten your teeth, crush one ripe strawberry and mix it with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Spread the mixture onto your teeth and leave on for five minutes. Then brush your teeth and rinse. This method should be used no more than once a week, as excessive use could potentially damage your tooth enamel.
  • Foot soak: Add three tablespoons of baking soda to a tub of warm water for an invigorating foot soak.
  • Exfoliator: A paste made from three parts of baking soda combined with 1 part water can be used as an exfoliator for your face and body. It’s natural, inexpensive and gentle enough to use every day.
  • Detox bath: Baking soda and apple cider make a wonderful spa-like bath for soaking away aches and pains and detoxing. It also cleans the tub and the drain, as a bonus!

Baking Soda is an Excellent Household Cleaner, Too

After you’ve stashed a box of baking soda in your medicine cabinet, put one under your kitchen sink, in your bathroom and with your cleaning supplies too …

  • Baking soda is great to scrub your bath and kitchen with. Put it in a glass grated cheese container with a stainless steel top that has holes in it, and just sprinkle the baking soda on the surfaces and scrub. You may add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to this. Lavender and tea tree oil have potent anti-bacterial qualities.
  • Baking soda mixed with apple cider vinegar is a bubbly combination that has many uses. As a drain cleaner, sprinkle baking soda down the drain, then add apple cider vinegar and let it bubble for 15 minutes, then rinse with hot water. This is a safer alternative to dangerous drain cleaners.
  • Soak pots and pans in hot water and baking soda for 15 minutes to easily wipe away baked-on food.
  • Use baking soda to scrub your barbecue grill.
  • Clean baby toys in a mixture of 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 quart of water.
  • Baking soda can also be used as a fabric softener in your laundry, or to get your clothes whither and brighter (add one cup to your laundry load).
  • Baking soda is a natural carpet cleaner. Sprinkle it onto carpets, let it sit for 15 minutes, then vacuum it up.
  • To polish silver without using toxic silver polish, fill your kitchen sink with hot water, add a sheet of aluminum foil and baking soda, and let the silver pieces soak until clean. It is an easy and fun way to clean silver.
  • Sprinkle baking soda in your shoes for a natural deodorizer.
  • In the event of a minor grease fire in your kitchen, use baking soda to help smother out the flames.

Not bad for around $1 a box, right?




How Well Is Your Kitchen Organized?




Kitchens can be incredibly functional or incredibly disorganized.  What’s yours like?

Small kitchens are really a challenge because it seems like you don’t have room for everything and the cabinets can be full and overflowing.  If that’s the case, then the first step is to go through everything and take away the things that you don’t need.  For instance, the fancy dinnerware and serving dishes can be put in a box and stored in your basement until those special occasions.


How many plates do you really need to keep in the cabinet?  If you have children, usually the more plates and silverware available to be used, the more dirty dishes you’ll have hanging around.  Keep it to a minimum – four people – four plates, four glasses, etc.  Pack up the extras and store them elsewhere.

Plastic containers everywhere?  How well do they stack together?  What about the lids?  Are they falling all over the place?  Again, how much do you really need to have on hand?  Pack some of it away and get a lid holder that can be hung inside the door or placed neatly on the shelf to hold them.

Do you have pots and pans that you don’t use?  Same principle applies – pack some of them up or better yet, donate them to goodwill or the Salvation Army.  Once you decide which ones you absolutely need, then maybe you want to get a pot & pan organizer for your cabinet.

Once you’ve gone through everything and packed some things away.  After a few months, go and look at those items again.  Do you really need them?  Can you donate them or give them to friends and family?  Think about it.  Did you really miss using certain things?  If not, then it says that you really don’t need them.  You can keep your kitchen clutter free and organized without a lot of extra stuff hanging around.  Good luck!

How to Deal With Attic Pests and Invaders


Ladies, we have to take care of the kids, our men and the home.  Our work list is an endless one.  Here is some practical advice on home care – which we will be offering more of in the future!


Pests are a homeowner’s greatest nightmare and when it comes to attics, it seems that the problems never seem to end. As attractive as it may seem to create a small, secluded corner for yourself in your attic, there are a few things you should consider before you do so. Most attics are made from wood, and as a result they are sensitive to moisture, mold and pests like termites. Unwanted attic guests are actually so hard to get rid of, that you might end up spending more to do this than to renovate the place if you aren’t paying attention. Fortunately, you don’t have to panic because there are many ways of dealing with these pesky critters, and as long as you take precautionary methods, you will be okay.

1.      Identify the Enemy

The first rule of war is to know thy enemy, and this also applies to unwanted home invaders. It is not only termites or bugs that can nest in your attic, but also small animals like bats or rats. They are extremely dangerous, because besides the diseases that they carry, they also chew through electrical wires, and destroy insulation. In order to save your “fortress” you must know what you are dealing with. Identify the type of invader that is destroying your home, and then use a trap to kill it.

But how exactly do you identify it? If I were you I wouldn’t go snooping around with a flashlight in search of diseased animals, so if you get the chance to see it from afar, make sure you manage to at least narrow down your searches. Conduct research related to their shape, size and pattern. For example, mice are 1/8 inches long and pellet shaped. Rats are shorter and fatter, while raccoons are, well, very hard to confuse.

2.      Prepare for Battle

Although it is advised to hire an exterminator, you can also try to fix things on your own. If you decide to do so, make sure to follow the Centers of Disease Control’s recommendations, and start to clean up the mess. I recommend that you open the windows and wear a mask during the procedure. Once you are done, exit the room and wait for fresh air to come in. Along with protective masks, you should also make use of gloves. Sanitizing spray and cream is a must, and toxic substances that kill the critters are also to be considered.

3.      Rats and Mice and Everything not so Nice

Mice can become especially problematic as they reproduce with lightning speed. If only two manage to get in, you might be faced with a serious problem in the near future. They follow electrical wires and walls which they usually destroy. And usually when mice find a nice home, they bring the entire colony.  During the winter months, mice appreciate being inside where it’s warmer.  Rats on the other hand, are not curious by nature, and they shy away from unknown environments. They can however take off traps, so make sure to screw them on the floors. Never, and I mean NEVER, attempt to get rid of raccoons or bats on your own. They are extremely aggressive and carry many diseases. In such cases you should definitely call an exterminator.

4.      Wrapping Up

Someone once said that the best way to make sure that pests do not enter your house, is by not letting them in in the first place. Make sure that your house is very well insulated and sealed. Repair wholes, secure pipes and frequently check the roof for rotting fascia or foundation cracks. Once the pests have invaded your attic you have to take appropriate steps to deal with the situation.


Get Empowered by Spring Cleaning



Submitted by Nicole Sanders, Atlanta, USA


With the coming of warmer weather, most of us like to throw open our windows and let the fresh air blow through the house, taking away the stale air that has been trapped in our homes all winter long.  It is time to think about spring cleaning as well, a task some people find to be a burden, while others embrace it as an almost meditative act.


Spring cleaning can be empowering as we clear out the clutter in our homes, rediscover items that have been packed away or shoved in a closest for a long time and brighten our rooms with the scent and look of fresh plants and flowers.  Opening up the blinds and curtains to let the sunshine power into the house can help us with our moods, especially after a cloudy, cold winter spent indoors.


People with depression can benefit and feel better just by cleaning out their rooms or their homes since they have to change their posture in order to clean their surroundings properly. Depressed people usually maintain the same posture with their head hung down over their shoulders slightly, their feet plodding along and their eyes downcast.  Cleaning requires them to look up, lift their head and look around them, which can help lift their depression. Having a sparkling clean, fresh room makes them feel better as well..


You can also give yourself a boost mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally by using non-toxic cleaning agents in your home.  Many people suffer from sensitivities to chemicals like ammonia and bleach.  Chlorine, which is the key component in the main ingredient in bleach, is not good for the body.


When chlorine gets into the body through breathing it in, skin contact, or by ingestion, it reacts with the water in our bodies to produce corrosive acids that can harm our cells. It can cause trouble with breathing, eye and skin irritations, even chest tightness. The less chlorine we use, the better.


Baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice are some safe, non-toxic substances you can use to clean the kitchen, your bathroom, scour your pots and pans, clean or polish metals, and even for glass cleaning. Not only are they safe, they are much less expensive than chemical commercial products created for cleaning.  Search online for ways to use them to clean your home.plant


You can also add plants to your home as well to help create more oxygen and introduce a natural living element to your home’s decor.


Ultimately, the goal is to have a clean living space, as cleanliness is linked to lower stress levels and more efficiency around the home. Sometimes we don’t have enough time to clean or might be away from the house for a few days. In that case, a maid cleaning service might be helpful in alleviating any mess or help out with spring cleaning if you don’t have the time to complete a total clean-up of the house or apartment.



Nicole Sanders is a proud mother of two boys who graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Communications.  She currently lives with her husband and boys in the metro Atlanta area.


Home Cleaning Tips

Submitted by Grace Bailey from the UK


Cleaning the home is a hard and can be an expensive task. You should not only spend some time on doing it but also should invest a small amount of your budget into buying abstergents for all rooms in your house or apartment. But the simple truth is good cleaning does not necessarily mean expensive abstergents. As a matter of fact, you can clean your place without spending too much money on the task. Just keep in mind the following useful tips.


The bathroom is one of the most problematic rooms in your home. Hard water usually causes stains on the tiles and on the shower handset. These stains can be easily removed with the help of some lemonvinegar. This is easy and cost effective. If the stains are very persistent, leave the vinegar over them for a couple of minutes and then wash it out. In order to refresh the air in the bathroom there is no need to buy expensive air fresheners. Probably you have noticed that most fresheners have a lemon scent. You can use the very same idea without spending a lot of money from your budget. Just slice a lemon and use it to clean the sink channel. Put the lemon slices inside and leave them for about a minute, then wash away. You can use the very same trick for your kitchen sink also. This simple lemon trick will guarantee you fresh and nice scent in the air in your bath and kitchen. Lemon will also help you clean your microwave. Squeeze one lemon, pour the juice into a glass and place it into the microwave. Then heat it up until it boils out. The microwave walls will be covered with the juice and you will easily remove it along with all of the dirt by cleaning it with a cloth. If necessary, use saleratus to help you remove the persistent dirt.


Mold is another very unpleasant part when it comes to cleaning. It is something that is hard to avoid, especially when there is a wet area such as the bath tub and sink. Instead of investing your budget into expensive abstergents that are based on chemicals and are very harmful to you and your family, you can simply use bleach. Just pour some bleach over the area with mold and leave it for a while before washing it. Do not forget to keep the window or the door open during the whole procedure.


Also, avoid using too thick carpets and rugs as they keep very high amounts of dust in them. And if you are a fan of these types of flooring, make sure to regularly clean them (at least once in every two weeks.


For cleaning your glasses, vases, pitchers that are made of glass you can use toothpaste. It will make them shine like crystal.  Take your time and make it work for you. Soak kitchen utensils that are too dirty before washing them, and moisten surfaces with stains before cleaning them. This will save you time, efforts and money.


Following these simple tips will guarantee you a clean home and hence a healthy way of living for you and your family. And healthy place brings health to you.



You can read more house cleaning tips and tricks thanks to Grace.

Tips on Cleaning Your Kitchen

Submitted by Grace from the UK



Perhaps one of the most annoying things you can encounter in your kitchen is the remains of a meal someone has given up on eating. Whenever you see such things just take the food into a small compact plastic container and clean the utensils and dishes used for the certain leftover. If no one returns for the remainder of that half-eaten meal feel free to eat it yourself or just throw it away in the container or outside of it. It depends whether you want a mess in your garbage or not.



Garbage disposal is in general very helpful but there can be frequent reasons for complaints connected to it like its noise and troubles with the cleaning system. For example, many people mistake the kitchen light for the garbage disposal switch. If this is your case then all you have to do is to mark the buttons differently so that they can be differentiable. Another popular and frequently occurring problem is the connection of the dishwasher with the garbage disposal. It is a good idea to turn the garbage disposal on whenever there is hot water running through. This will ease up the cleaning process significantly. Following these two tips will allow garbage disposal to be of great use to you.



The kitchen is one of those places in which you can’t escape from stains and you just have to know how to deal with them. Objects and devices made of hard metal, like steel for instance are pretty much the first to get stained. Any stains on them are easiest to remove with vinegar on a sponge. After you have rubbed hard and washed, make sure you dry the spot in order to avoid any marks on the surface.

If you check out heel marks anywhere in the kitchen, there is a very simple answer to the problem of removing them –  a pencil eraser.


If you have problems with soap film you can easily remove it by putting one ordinary cup of vinegar in the dishwasher, of course without putting any utensils or plates in the machine. Everything inside will be as clear as it was the first day you bought it. Soap film isn’t dangerous or unhealthy but it doesn’t feel good when you take out your dishes and they have old cleaning material on them.



If you ever open the fridge and realize that the mixture of smells inside are strange and unpleasant that means that you are not using it right. You have to put everything in a separate container and the fridge will smell as fine as ever. If you want to give the fridge a pleasant smell just drop some cotton into vanilla and let it stay in the corner of the refrigerator. You could also put some lemon juice on the cotton. You will not regret doing it and you most certainly won’t regret the pleasant smell.


If you ever take out your dishes from the dish washer, or if you are cleaning them by hand and see that a piece of food won’t come off, just put some baking soda over it and run the hottest water through your sink. Stuck food won’t stand a chance. You just have to wait for the soda to take effect and then you need to place the dish under the hot stream.


Grace is a writer and an expert in the field of house organization and  cleaning. Read more at: .

Easily Achieve a Clean Bathroom

Submitted by Cleaning Expert Gwen Bailey


Nobody enjoys cleaning during their free time. It is a well-known fact. However, some parts of the household cannot be neglected, and whether you like it or not, you must make sure they are in a good condition. Such important place is the bathroom. Each member of the family, plus guests, use it on a daily basis (even more than once a day) and one can only imagine what will become of it if it is not taken good care of. It is the place which people ‘visit’ to brush their teeth, take a shower, shave, or simply put – to maintain a clean look. This is the reason why you must never let your bathroom turn sordid. And you need not forget that a lot of people judge their hosts upon the level of cleanliness of their bathroom. For example, what would you think of the person’s cleaning habits if his bathroom is kept dirty? What follows are some easy steps on maintaining a clean bathroom. It is true that in this fast paced life people barely have time for themselves, let alone for cleaning, but keeping the bathroom neat is mandatory!



1. The first thing you need to do is to take out of the bathroom anything that can be removed, namely, things that do not belong there, but also ordinary toiletries that will just stand in the way. Since detergents, high on toxic materials, will be used, you would not want them touching the surface of objects which will be used on your body afterward. You can even remove the shower curtains, which will make the cleaning even easier.


2. Make a list of all the things you will need and be sure that you have them all within reach when the cleaning starts. Otherwise, you will have to go in and out of the bathroom quite a lot and this will slow you down. A list makes everything run smoother and faster. Make sure to prepare the basics – mops, rubber gloves, scrubbers and various detergents.


3. The first object in your list in terms of cleaning needs to be the bathtub/shower area. For the purpose, use a heavy duty spray cleaning agent. If the surfaces are too dirty, let the detergent sit for a while. Never forget to clean the bathtub/shower area of all the hairs and even consider cleaning the drain for it might be clogged. Afterward, clean with a scrubber and rinse. And make sure not to leave the walls behind. The gaps between the tiles tend to trap a lot of dirt, which stays there if not removed manually. Be prepared for serious scrubbing!


4. Next on the list are the counter tops and mirrors. For the mirrors, as well as for all other glassy surfaces, you can consider preparing an effective homemade cleaning agent. Two tablespoons of vinegar mixed with a liter of water. Pour it in a spray bottle and use as detergent. Also, instead of rags, which only smear the area, try using newspaper. In case the smell of vinegar doesn’t appeal to you, you can substitute it with lemon juice. The sink and counters can be cleaned with the same product you used for the bath tub. And do not forget the sink’s faucets. For the hard-to-reach parts try using cotton swabs or a toothbrush.


5. The cabinets and drawers get dirty too. But they can be cleaned quite easily, using only warm soapy water.


6. Finally, the dirtiest area of them all – the toilet bowl. Pay extra attention to it for it is the biggest source of germs. It is highly recommended to use the strongest cleaner possible, preferably one with bleach in it. Pour it into the basin of the toilet and don’t forget the area behind/under the rim. Let it sit for at least half an hour, or even more. Clean the lid, the seat, as well as under and behind it. For those tricky areas you can use a toothbrush. As for the basin, where you poured the cleaner, scrub with the toilet brush. When you are done doing so, flush it all down.


7. Mop the floor on your way out so that you give the place an overall neat look. It’s a smart idea to leave the door and windows of the bathroom open for a while in order to let the detergent fumes out.


Perform this cleaning procedure at least twice a month and you will ensure your household the clean bathroom you deserve.

Mold Removal and Prevention



by Gwen Bailey


Mold can be a truly annoying occurrence in our homes, be it in bathrooms or basements and sometimes even a dangerous, toxic one too like Stachybotrys, commonly known as black mold. For that very reason it is imperative to rid ourselves of our mold problem as soon as possible.


Black mold is a very dangerous substance and should NOT be disturbed unless you hire a specialist in its removal since its spores contain mycotoxins and their effects are very detrimental to your health. Use extreme caution if you recognize something like this in your home. Black mold can be identified by the greenish-black color it has and the slimy-looking layer on top. If the moisture in the surroundings has dissipated the mold can survive even in powdery form and still retain its toxic capabilities. Whatever you do don’t disturb the black mold as its spores are capable of easy dispersal and are easy to inhale.


Keep in mind there are several types of mold which look like black mold but aren’t really anything like it. If you have any doubts about it you should call a specialist to verify if the type of mold present. Symptoms of black mold most commonly are respiratory problems, inflammation of the skin, irritation off the mucous membranes (the nose mostly) and in the worst cases hemorrhaging, damage to your internal organs, a suppressed immune system and mental impairment. As you can see this is a serious danger so if you have any doubts and any of those symptoms are present at the time you discover mold in your home you should contact a specialist.


Luckily most types of mold are nothing like it, so they can be cleaned with rather mundane chemicals by following these guidelines:


  • Bleach can be a wonderful way to rid yourself of mold in your bathroom or kitchen since it kills pretty much any spores it comes in contact with and it sanitizes the area to a point where future growth in the same spot is suppressed. Use a ratio of 1/10th bleach and water and keep in mind it produces dangerous fumes so keep the area well ventilated and also wear gloves to protect your hands from the chemicals. The downside of bleach is that it can’t reach into porous surfaces like drywall so its virtually useless outside of treating non-porous surfaces. Bleach is a corrosive substance which poses dangers if its not applied properly so take heed and don’t overdo it.
  • Borax is another way to deal with mold, avoiding the corrosive aspects of it. Its a high pH substance mineral powder used in cleaning which has no toxic qualities and when mixed with water in about the same ratio as bleach it is the natural enemy of mold. Apart from eliminating it its application serves in prevention of future growth.
  • Vinegar is another great natural way to deal with the majority of common molds. It has a very high kill rate and the added bonus of being non-toxic to humans. Spraying it with a spray bottle on spots of mold and leaving it there for about an hour will do it, after which you’ll be able to wipe it off. Repeated applications will keep the area mold-free.
  • Ammonia is another way to destroy mold, but it is also a highly toxic and harsh chemical with qualities close to those of bleach. Whatever you do NEVER mix bleach and ammonia together as this will create a toxic gas.
  • Other substances you can use are hydrogen peroxide, laundry detergent and water, baking soda, tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract. For the most part borax is the best choice and also vinegar if you want to avoid toxic fumes buildup by using one toxic substance to destroy another.

Want more information?  Visit Grace’s site:


Tricks on How to De-spot the Dishes

Submitted by Gwen Bailey

It may sound strange but although you think you know how to take care of the household dishes, there are some useful tips which you might not know about and which will help you to become even a better housewife. Usually, we learn how to do the dishes as children, and this activity is probably the first that our parents entrust to us, and just because it requires basic skills, we continue to perform it the same way for years. Your experience grows in the course of the years, but why don’t you try to make the dish washing more effective and easy than the style you got used to?

Let’s start with the most common problem – breakage. A successful way to deal with it is to place the safe glasses of the dishwasher not on the spokes of the racks but between them. This step will also secure you a spotless result. More fragile utensils, such as the wine glasses, require the most delicate washing program, and by lowering the top rack, you are securing safer environment for the long-stemmed glasses. To complete the gentle cares for your favorite set of wineglasses and to make them perfectly shining, wipe them out with paper towel – this way, not even a single remnant of a drop will spoil the beauty of their surface, and your guests would definitely be impressed. Don’t underestimate the choice of а rinse agent; some of the detergents available on the market leave undissolved spots on the surface, and you have to rinse them again additionally.

If you usually hand wash the dishes and glasses, you know that you have to secure a good air drying – there are special soft mats which protect the edges of your glassware from eventual damages. If you warm up а couple of cups of white vinegar in the microwave oven, you will have a universal detergent to eliminate the hard-water specks on your glassware. Dip the glasses in the warm vinegar for three minutes and rinse them afterward. When you dry them up, you will gladly welcome your returned to life impeccably sparkling glasses.

Baking soda deservedly falls into the most useful and yet harmless substances that are capable of restoring the brilliance of your utensils. Baking soda conquers the unpleasant coffee stains from your white china and has the almost magical ability to eliminate the little scratches that forks and knives leave on the surface of the dishes. And to make it even more useful, add to the magic set one more trick – baking soda can chase away the dislikable smell out the plastic utensils; you are pretty aware of the fact what an unachievable task this is – just immerse the vessels into a mix of five tablespoons of baking soda and a cup of warm water.

Storing of utensils also needs to be discussed – placing paper on the cabinets’ shelves prevents your dishes from accidental coloring which the wood surface may cause. Avoid to build towers of cups; instead, hook the cups with handles on special hooks on the back side of the cabinet’s door. When arranging your drinkware and dishes, put the heaviest items on the lower shelves and the lighter and most delicate on the top in order to reduce the pressure on the shelves.


Grace Bailey is a desperate housewife , dreamer and  writer. She enjoys writing about Cleaning and Organizing home. You can visit her and read more tips and ideas at

Clever Ways to Get Rid of the Dust in Your House

by Grace Bailey

Perhaps, you feel exhausted to wipe daily dust from the furniture, floors and accessories in your home, and then, just in a moment, dust accumulates again with the speed of light. To win this constant and unequal battle, you need a special strategy. Here are some ideas that will help you deal with dust and dirt for longer and will save you time and efforts.
The solution to most problems in everyday life is to attack their source. In this case, however, this is impossible because house dust accumulation is caused by various sources. According to a research, 90% of dust mites enter the house through people and through the tissues, and the lack of air flow leads to the accumulation of particles on the surfaces. On the other hand, in places where there is constant movement (such as the windows), dust particles circulate in the air; something that is even more harmful than its stratification on furniture. The basic cleaning strategy is to “capture” and destroy the dust instead of spreading it around the room.

Replace Your Linen Weekly
Your bed is a major source of dust as it collects multiple pieces of human skin and tissue fibers. To minimize the risk, replace bedding at least once a week and brush pillows and blankets regularly. However, when changing, fold used sheets carefully to minimize the spread of dust around.

Regular Carpets Brushing
In most homes, carpets are the largest reservoir of dust, especially the thick ones. It is certainly a better choice to avoid carpets and replace them with laminate flooring, linoleum or cork flooring because they are quite easy to maintain. If you do not want or cannot make this change, clean the carpets by vacuuming regularly. Whenever possible, brush them, but not at home, and wash them at least twice a year.

Wash the Curtains
Do not forget that you should wash them at least once in every three months. They collect a lot of dust and germs. Also, they absorb smoke and various unpleasant smells. In the summer, you can store heavy drapes and replace them with light ones. Proceed the same way with the covers and bedding.

Air the House Regularly
This way, you will clean the air in your home of germs and dust mites. To be effective, airing should be made daily for at least 15 minutes. The fresh air flow will not only purify the air but you as well.

While Cleaning the House, Take Care of the Air Purity as Well
Most vacuum cleaners just stir the dust while you are cleaning the room. Part of the dust returns to the already cleaned area. If you have a purifying filter system of the air conditioner, it could absorb some of the particles before they are accumulated somewhere. Another option is to open all the windows in the room and to ensure sufficient amount of fresh air that will take some of the dust away. Certainly, a better solution is to use a vacuum cleaner with a water filter or a steam cleaner; the water filter captures a significant part of the dust deposited on the carpets, curtains and furniture without spreading it around.

Grace Bailey is a desperate housewife , dreamer and  writer. She enjoys writing about Cleaning and Organizing home. You can visit her and read more tips and ideas at