Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide has overtaken vinegar as my go-to cleaning agent around my home.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love and use my spray bottle of vinegar frequently, but peroxide makes me feel like my house is so very germ-free!  It’s such a wonderful cleanser, bleaching agent and antiseptic that I find myself reaching for it all kinds of reasons.

Everyone knows that peroxide is a naturally occurring substance, but do you know where it actually comes from?  I wasn’t sure, so I consulted Wikipedi and this is what I found:

“Hydrogen peroxide is naturally produced in organisms as a byproduct of oxygen metabolism. Nearly all living things possess enzymes known as peroxidases, which harmlessly and catalytically decompose low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen.”

Very interesting.

The peroxide I keep around is simply the 3% that you’ll find in those 99 cent brown bottles in your pharmacy.  Cheap, readily available, natural and antiseptic….are you sold yet?

So, now that we have that in our brains, let’s talk about some of my favorite uses for this liquid gold…

  • Keep a 50/50 mix of peroxide and water in a spray bottle in your bathroom and spray down your shower walls, knobs and faucets to keep them sparkling and germ-free.
  • Make a paste of peroxide and baking soda as a whitening scrub for porcelain bathtubs.  Your tub has never been so white and germ-free!
  • Keep another 50/50 mix in your kitchen for wiping down counters, tables  and sinks.
  • After rinsing your wooden cutting boards, pour straight peroxide onto them to kill bacteria left behind from your food.
  • Use it to rinse produce to remove harsh chemicals and residual dirt.
  • Rinse your mouth with a capful of straight peroxide by swishing for several minutes 2-3 times a week. .  This will not only whiten teeth, but fight nasty bad-breath causing germs.
  • Peroxide breaks down proteins, so it’s wonderful for getting blood stains out of clothes.  Just be careful because it is also capable of removing color from fabric.
  • Clean your laminate or linoleum floors with a 50/50 peroxide/water mixture for floors so clean you could eat off of them!

Please….wear gloves when using hydrogen peroxide!

Are you a peroxide user?  Share how you use it in your home!

Ironing boards are funny.

Today I decided to do start doing video tutorials and such and realized that if I’m going to do this, I need to replace my old, ugly ironing board cover. So I took myself to the store and as I explored the options on the ironing board aisle, I suddenly remember Brian Regan’s stand-up bit about them.

I ran home, new cover in hand, and searched youtube.com to find the skit and share it with you guys. What I found was a couple of guys who reenacted it and I got the giggles! Enjoy!

If you haven’t seen his stand-up routines 8 billion times like I have, please, please, please watch him. Every chance you get. He’s brilliant.

And….keep an eye out tomorrow for my video demonstration of Creative Little Daisy’s bias tape trick!

Cheap, green ways to deskunk your life….

(those of you joining us from DoodleBunz, “HELLO!”)

And by deskunk, I literally mean how to get the skunk smell out if one of your pets (or god forbid, YOU) have tangoed with one of these smelly critters….its actually pretty simple, you just need 4 ingredients. White vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and water. If your carpet or couch are affected, I recommend a steam-type cleaner, I used a “Little Green Machine,” made by Bissell.

For carpeting (or upholstery, I’m guessing), sprinkle a liberal coating of baking soda on the affected area….don’t be afraid to use too much…we’ll take care of it in a moment or two. Now, if you don’t have a carpet/upholstery cleaner…you’re going to have to let the next step dry for a bit before you can vacuum it up…but spray some of the white vinegar directly onto the baking soda. It’ll fizz a bit, maybe a lot, depending how much of each ingredient you’re using. My entire house reeked before we did this…and I think if not all the smell, we got most of the smell out in about 10 minutes.

If you’re using a carpet cleaner…spare yourself the spraying and just add as much white vinegar to the resivoir as you would use cleaning solution….fill to where its to be filled with warm water….and apply to the carpet. I recommend spraying it on and letting it do its thing with the baking soda for a few seconds before extracting it all.

For the pet who’s been affected….do this as quickly as possible after the encounter. However, I rinsed our dog w/plain water last night and some shampoo, just to make sure her eyes were ok, and left her sleep on the old couch in the garage….so about 7-8 hours had passed before we tried this….

Mix two quarts of hydrogen peroxide with 1/2 a cup baking soda and rub into the pet’s fur. Let sit for just a moment or two…as long as you can with a wiggly critter. Then, rinse them well, and voila! They’ll be clean and should be stink free. If it doesn’t work, its safe to repeat…hopefully you’ll be lucky like we were and not have to repeat a second time.

If you actually need these tricks….I’m so sorry. ;) We discovered very quickly that its not a pleasant experience. Hoping you never need to know this stuff….. Diane

The power of baking soda!

This past weekend, Shayne and I moved the kids into separate bedrooms and during the rearranging process, I discovered this very ugly stain on the carpet:

It’s a mystery in substance and in shape. The kids aren’t allowed to have food or drink in their rooms, so I’m really not sure what it could have been. The shape is quite interesting though, don’t you think? Not your standard roundish blob of a stain.

Anyway, I came into the kitchen and poured myself a delicious glass of baking soda. Yum. Okay, no. Not yum. I added a sprinkle of water to it–not enough to even make a paste, just enough to make a crumbly mixture. I took it and worked it into the stain with my fingers and let it sit overnight.

After using the brush attachment on the vacuum, I discovered this:

At least…I think that’s the right area. The stain was so completely gone that I was sure exactly where it had been. And that’s a good thing.

Never underestimate the power of baking soda. And rest easy knowing you green-cleaned your baby’s carpet.

How to be green in the kitchen

Green wives often want to prepare their families food, whether it be mainstream, vegan or even just a snack, but aren’t sure how to “green up” their kitchens without going too far out of their way. There are several products that make being green in the kitchen a lot more convenient.

Using a dishwasher is a popular convenience that many enjoy. How in the world can this be a little greener? First, make sure you run the washer only with a full load of dishes. Take a moment one day and figure out how you can load your dishes most efficiently, so that the most dishes fit, yet still get clean. Another way is to find a naturally derived dish detergent, such as Seventh Generation brand. This detergent doesn’t have dyes or perfumes, and is naturally based, and biodegradable. This minimizes the chemicals in the waste water.

Paper towels can be a large part of a family’s routine. Because of the increasing cost of most items, they are also a somewhat unnecessary expense. “HOW can they be considered unnecessary, when I use them for everything?” Quite simply, replace them with a product such as an “unpaper” towel. “What is this,” you ask? Very often, it’s a layer of fabric, approximately the same size as a traditional paper towel, with one side being smooth, and the other being slightly “scrubby.” These “towels” are as absorbent as a paper product and wash up nicely with your regular laundry. They’re also much more durable than a paper product, so where several paper towels would be needed, many times one “unpaper” towel will do the trick.

Even opening a slow drain can be more environmentally friendly than using a bottled chemical product. First, remove any visible obstruction from the drain. Then, add about 1/8 to ¼ cup of baking soda, whatever brand you prefer, to the drain, as close to the pipes as you’re able to get. It’s recommended to remove any sink traps before beginning this. To the baking soda, add up to one cup of white, distilled vinegar in small increments. This will create a bubbling, steaming reaction (it can get quite hot, use caution). Very often, your drain will be open after this. For particularly stubborn clogs, the baking soda and vinegar procedure may need to be repeated.

Composting is a viable option for discarding scraps of food and leftover bits of food, even for those who live in small apartments! New York City is one of several cities that advertise its composting project, providing drop off sites for food scraps. Their website describes how to create a worm bin for those who wish to compost at their residence. The soil created from this compost can be used in window boxes, parks and many other places. It could also be used to fertilize indoor gardens and vegetable pots.

There are undoubtedly many other ways to be Earth-friendly in the kitchen. Won’t you share some of your favorite tips?

Where can I find the products mentioned in this article?

- Try your local grocery store. Many are beginning to carry brands such as Seventh Generation.

- DoodleBunz carries UnPaper Towels

- NYC and cities such as Vancouver provide residents with supportive websites and drop off sites for composting. Call your municipality and see if anything exists in your town. If not, encourage local education.