By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Sister Knowitall
Ten for ten for a cleaner clean
By Cindy Gilbert

Dear Sister Knowitall,

Can you share some natural replacements for some cleaners in our home. I have small children. I would really like to protect them from toxins in the chemicals in cleaners not to mention the environment.  
Sincerely, Non-Toxomom

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Dear Non-Toxomom,

Natural cleaning companies can be  expensive. Here are some tried and true replacements.  With 10 ingredients I can replace 10 store bought products in your home that clean great.   

1) Baking Soda,  2) Coconut Oil, 3) Lemon,  4) Orange Peel,  5)Hydrogen Peroxide, 6)Essential Oil Staples: Peppermint, Orange, Lemon , Tea Tree and, Lavender, 7)Cinnamon,  8)Salt,  9)Hydrogen Peroxide,  10)White Vinegar

1) Goo Gone - Mix Baking Soda and Coconut Oil together, add a few drops of  orange essential  oil - removes sticky glue and labels from jars.

2) Microwave A cup of Vinegar can smell pretty strong. I prefer half a lemon. Run the microwave for 1 minute, then wipe out with a paper towel. 

3) GoJo- Grease Remover - Coconut Oil and Orange Essential Oil.  Mix in a container with a wide mouth and keep near the sink for that greasy man in your life.

4) Jewelry Cleaner-  Lay  aluminum foil in the bottom of the sink. Fill the sink 25% of very hot water.  Add Baking Soda and Salt and stir until dissolved.  Place your silver or gold jewelry into the water making sure that it touches the aluminum foil. Let soak 10-15 minutes.  Use a slightly abrasive cloth to polish the piece and enjoy the sparkle.  Remedy is not safe for items with pearls or costume jewelry made of  plastic, cheap metals or glue).

5) Comet/Ajax-  Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide- Spray Hydrogen Peroxide in sink or tub, sprinkle on baking soda, let set for 2-4min. Use scrubby .  

6) Bleach/Tilex - Tea Tree Oil, Baking Soda and Water,  Bleach does not kill mold it is a myth. It just bleaches the color. Have you ever noticed that it comes back exactly in the same patterns?  Mix tea tree oil, baking soda and filtered water in a spray bottle. Spray on mold and let it sit.  Spray daily to  prevent new mold.   Scrub away with a brush.   Sprinkle baking soda/tea tree  on heavier moldy area and make a paste with water. Wait 15  minutes, then brush away.  Porous embedded areas such as caulk, drywall, wood and cloth will be difficult if not impossible to remove.  Did you know that a a Peace Lily in your bathroom absorbs mold?  

7) CLR - for Rust Remover -  Make a paste out of water and baking soda.  Use a tooth brush, or just wet the item with rust and scrub away with a bristle brush.  Once rust has eaten away the metal it will leave a hole or groove in your item, so catch it early before it causes permanent damage. 

8) Brasso - for Copper Cleaner-  Ketchup.  Rub ketchup onto your copper item and let sit for 10 minutes min, longer for high patina areas. Use a little elbow grease for a sparkling new penny shine.

9) Windex - White Vinegar Lemon/Lavender Oil and Purified Water

10) Blood Remover - Hydrogen Peroxide, rinse with cold water only. Note that old stains won’t remove completely.  

Cindy Pitts Gilbert is Director of Training for Know It Training for Professional and Personal Development in Gwinnett County.  She is also the Home Remedy Guru of the Blog Sister Knowitall: sisterknowitall.blogspot.com.  She has been learning natural home remedies after she developed allergic reactions to chemicals in household cleaning products. Send your questions to: askme@sisterknowitall.com

Tips are based on Cindy’s experiences, as well as “old wives tales” and local lore. They are not meant to be considered medical advice.