July 2016 – Natural Products Part II

This is second part of a series on natural products, they are good for you and the environment and also save money.

A 50-50 vinegar and water mix is great for cleaning glass mirrors, windows and getting rid of hard water stains on glassware.  Did you know it is also a disinfectant? The 50-50 mix can be used on light switches, door knobs and faucet handles.  Remember this when cold and flu season arrives.

Vinegar is not good for granite, marble or natural stone due to the acidity.  You will read mixed reviews about using it on wood.  One of the best cleaners for my wood floor was black tea.  Only use it on medium to dark wood.  Bring a half gallon of water to a boil and steep a few black tea bags in the water for 10-15 minutes and then let it cool to room temperature.  Apply a small amount to your floors with a rag. Tannins in the tea can enhance the coloring of the wood and help hide small scratches.  Make sure you sweep or vacuum the floor well before you begin to clean it.  Also test the tea mixture on a small, hidden spot on your floor to make sure it does not darken it too much.

Baking soda was my go to for years for oven cleaning, getting burn marks off pots and pans and freshening my refrigerator.  It is great for sensitive skin too. The best thing for irritation for me was making a paste of baking soda and water letting it sit on my skin for 15 to 20 minutes. Irritation and redness was gone in a few days. Warning, this treatment is messy as the paste will dry and leave a fine white powder everywhere you walk so be careful.

For soft skin a sugar body scrub was recommended to me at resort. Just combine sugar with a little oil to remove dry skin. This also works on dry lips.

Europe has been way ahead of us on laws for disclosing ingredients in cosmetics and informing consumers of harmful components. Canada requires disclosure in cosmetic products under their Food and Drug Act. I’m glad the interest in using natural products is growing.