How To Use Household Cleaners With Safety

Shelves in pantry with cleaners for home close-up - household cleanersToday’s household cleaning products not only make life easier, they are said to make it a lot healthier, as well. Whatever the cleaning challenge, you can probably find a product that’s perfectly suited to getting the job done right.

Cleaning and killing germs are serious business, plus the medical community agrees that cleanliness practices — such as regular hand washing and keeping your living area clean, are key in reducing the spread of infectious diseases.

Today many individuals, like us here at Splendid Recipes and More have turned to cleaning products that have been labeled “Green,” meaning their products that are environmentally friendly to the earth, as well as the one using the product.

Using Household Cleaners With Safely

But what if you the reader hasn’t decided yet to give up traditional cleaning products as of yet, like all-purpose cleaners, ammonia, bleach, and toilet bowl cleaners, among many others, are you cautious when using them?

The following information are reminders for cautious cleaning when using such cleaning products.

all-purpose cleaner - household cleanersAll-Purpose Cleaner

Some commonly purchased all-purpose cleaners include:

These type of products are designed for diverse in home tasks.

The FDA recommends not using such cleaners that contain antibacterial properties, like dimethyl benzyl ammonium, which is an organic salt (note: not all salts are inorganic like NaCl), composed of the (negative) anion Chloride (Cl-) and an organic (positive) cation, dimethyl ethyl benzyl ammonium ion (Yahoo Answers).

The FDA says that cleaning products with antibacterial agents can actually help create forms of bacteria that are much harder to kill or disinfect.

The Journal Antimicrobial Chemotherapy published a study in 2008 on the use of antibacterial consumer products containing ammonium compounds and drug resistance in the community.

The researchers reported that after 1 year of assigned product usage, were one group used cleaning products with ammonium compounds and triclosan, were as the other group received cleaning products without antibacterial agents – and found that the group using ammonium compounds and including triclosan made bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli resistant to one or more antibiotics.

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The More You Know

Antibacterial Cleaners: Can They Do More Harm Than Good?

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Ammonia

ammonia - household cleanersTrace quantities of ammonia are found in the earth’s atmosphere, which is produced by the decaying process of nitrogenous animals and vegetable matter. Ammonia and ammonium salts are also found in rainwater but in small quantities.

The global industrial production of ammonia in 2014 was 176,300,000 tonnes,  a 16% increase over the 2006 global industrial production 152,000,000 tonnes (Waste Disposal Professionals).

Ammonia can cut grease, but so can many other cleaners. If you use this solution for doing so, it is best to dilute it with 8 parts water to 1 part ammonia. When mixing, always add the water to the ammonia, and not the other way around.

When working with ammonia wear gloves and in a ventilated area. The solution though found in nature, can cause blindness if splashed into the eyes. It may be best to wear eye coverings when using it.

CAUTION: Never mix ammonia with bleach. If you do, it will cause a vapor that will immediately cut off your breathing as the vapor enters your lungs. If you pass out, CPR will not revive you.

Bleach

clorox bleach - household cleanersBleach is a powerful bacteria killer. It is best for use to wipe away mildew or cleaning the kitchen surface after preparing raw meats.

CAUTION: Be careful not to mix bleach with toilet-bowl cleaners or ammonia.

Always wear gloves and work in a ventilated area to protect yourself when cleaning with bleach.

Glass Cleaner

windex - household cleaners

The name speaks for itself, as glass cleaner is used to clean glass and windows.

It is best not to use full strength ammonia-based window cleaners.

Test performed by Consumer Reports noted that you can dilute glass cleaners and still get your windows and glass clean.

Toilet-Bowl Cleaner

These cleaners are used to not only clean, but also disinfect your toilet. A word of Caution from the American Association of Poison Control Centers, corrosive toilet-bowl cleaners are top on the list as the most dangerous toxic cleaning solution found in homes.

It is recommended to only use such toilet-bowl cleaners when you really need them for rust and stains.

Toilet-Bowl Cleaner - Household cleanersKeep in mind that there is no US law that requires manufacturers of cleaning products to list ingredients on their labels or to test their products for safety.

It is also estimated that the average US home contains anywhere from 3 to 25 gallons of toxic materials, most of which are in cleaners.

Labels of household cleaners that contain the words,  DANGER, WARNING and POISON give only a general idea about the seriousness of the substances a product contains. In fact, a New York Poison Control Center study found that 85% of product warning labels are inadequate (GAIAM Life).

These are household cleaners that contain the words DANGER, WARNING and POISON:

  • Drain cleaners
  • Oven cleaners
  • Laundry detergents
  • Glass cleaners
  • Floor and furniture polish

The take away of this article should be to use caution and safety when using traditional household cleaners.

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What Would We Do Without Vinegar?

What Would We Do Without Vinegar? - white distilled vinegarWhite Distilled vinegar is great for cleaning. Cleaning with vinegar is much safer than using commercial products that are filled with chemicals.

Were you aware that distilled vinegar can be made from rice, malt, wine, fruit, balsamic, apple cider, kiwifruit, coconut, palm, sugar cane, raisins, dates, beer, honey, and kombucha (fermented tea), among other food items?

Not only can vinegar be make from many foods, it also has many uses around the home, inside and out.

After reading what those uses are, you might just ask – What Would We Do Without Vinegar?

Many Uses For Vinegar Other Than In Culinary

White vinegar contains a higher percentage of acidic content, therefore making it more ideal a household cleaning agent over darker vinegar’s, like apple cider vinegar.

Glassware – 1/2 cup of distilled vinegar added to a gallon of rinse water, will remove soap scum or film from glassware.

Coffee Maker -Till the coffee maker reservoir with vinegar and run it through the brewing cycle. Doing this will remove stale coffee residue. After running vinegar through one brew cycle, run fresh water through it twice to remove any vinegar taste.

Top Cleaning Secrets

Image credit: Top Cleaning Secrets

Iron – Have stains on your electric clothes iron? Remove them by mixing one part salt with one part vinegar in a heated small aluminum sauce pan. Use this mix as well to polish your iron the same as you would silverware.

Chrome – To polish chrome and stainless steal, moisten a cloth with distilled vinegar and wipe clean.

Windows – Are your windows stained with water spots dew to your sprinkler system? Straight vinegar will remove the spots.

Bathroom – Vinegar and baking soda together will remove the soap film build-up from your bathtub, as well as deodorize your toilet. Just pour some undiluted vinegar into the toilet bowl and let stand about 5 minutes, then flush. If you have hard to work with stains, you may need to use some elbow power.

Grease – They say that vinegar will remove filmy dirt residue from the stove and refrigerator. we found it works best when baking soda is used with it.

Culinary Uses For Distilled Vinegar

wilted vegetables restored

Image Credit: Food Hacks

Vegetables – Any slightly wilted vegetables in your kitchen? Bring them back to life by soaking them in cold water and vinegar.

Cabbage – Add vinegar to the water before cooking cabbage. Doing so will prevent the smell of this cruciferous vegetable’s smell from penetrating the house.

Meat – 1/2 cup of your favorite vinegar and a cup of liquid bullion makes a great meat tenderizer.

Rice – when cooking rice, add a teaspoon of vinegar to the boiling water for fluffy rice all the time.

Fish –  Maybe you might know where we are going with this one, as fish can smell up the house. Reduce the fishy odor by rubbing the fish with white distilled vinegar before scaling it.

Cheese – This one was a knew one for us…To keep your cheese fresh for longer, just wrap it in a clean cloth that has been dampened with vinegar and then sealed in a air-tight container.

Eggs – To produce better formed egg whites, such as when poaching eggs for Eggs Benedict, just add a tablespoon of vinegar to the water.

A guest post at Thrifty Fun wrote, “If you want to make poached eggs, vinegar is very helpful. If you add a tablespoon of it to the boiling water and then slide your eggs into the water, your egg whites will stay together and not mix with the water very much. Your poached eggs will look like the shape of an egg as opposed to looking like a pancake. I just learned this trick and I’m quite pleased with it.”

Onion Odors – After you have prepared your culinary dish that called for onions, just apply some distilled vinegar to your hands to remove any onion odor.

White distilled vinegar is also best to use when pickling. Dark vinegar’s, like cider, red wine, dark balsamic, are great for pickling, but these darker vinegar’s can discolor lighter colored pickles, like pears, onions, or cauliflower. White vinegar will not discolor your lighter colored pickles.

Other Uses For Distilled White Vinegar

got weeds use vinegar

Image credit: Pinterest

Molly Maid (located in the U.K.) shares these many uses for vinegar outside the home.

Weed Remover – Pour or spray white distilled vinegar onto weeds growing in the cracks between paving stones or in your driveway. Saturate them so that the vinegar reaches the roots. Reapply on any new growth until the weeds are gone.

Barbecue Cleaner – Vinegar can help remove charcoal build-up from your grill. Spray white distilled vinegar onto the cooking grate and clean the surface with a soft cleaning brush. Scrub the grate thoroughly, then rinse.

She also explains how white vinegar can be used to clean garden furniture, shine your dogs coat, prevent mildew, and how to keep your cut flowers fresher for longer. Link here to find out more: Molly Maid.

We mention how you can use white distilled vinegar to make poached eggs for Eggs Benedict – try our recipe by linking here.

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Household Chores You Need To Take Care Of This Spring

Opened window with a green field outdoorSpring is the perfect time of the year to give your house a good, thorough cleaning inside and out. You may have a list of things you do every spring to deep clean your home.

Here are seven chores you may have not thought of doing as part of your spring cleaning inside the home, as well as outside. What are they you ask? Let’s examine.

Inside The House

Dryer

dryer vent fire

Image Credit: Air Duct Cleaners

Dryer vent cleaning can help improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your dryer, as well as safety. How so? An Austin, Texas based company called – Air Duct Cleaners – explains that about 15,500 fires are started every year due to dryer vents being clogged.

Air Duct Cleaners say that a lint clogged dryer vent can cost a home owner an extract $18-24 a month to dry their clothes. A clean duct means shorter drying time, and your dryer lasts longer.

If you find your dryer taking longer than 40 minutes to dry clothes, or the top of your dryer is hot, there is excess lint on your clothing, or your clothes have a musty, moldy smell, then it’s time to clean your vents.

Furnace

If you keep your home fairly clean, then changing the furnace filter every 3 months is a good idea, and also the manufactures recommendation. Changing out your filter regularly will not restrict air flow (as a dirty filter will), and keeps the furnace from over working. A clogged filter that over works the heater can increase the risk of a carbon monoxide leak.

Sump Pump

sump pump in a house basement

Image Credit: Indiana Foundation Service

 

For those who may not know, a sump pump is used to remove accumulated water that has collected in the sump basin, commonly found in homes that have a basement.

The water enters the basement through the perimeter drains of a basement waterproofing system, funneling into the basin from rain water or natural ground water, specially if the basement is below the water table level (Wikipedia).

If you have a basement with a sump pump, spring is a great time to test it to see that it is clean and operates correctly. Make sure as well that the outflow is draining properly.

Battery Check

carbon monoxide detector Most homes now days have either or both a smoke alarm, and a carbon monoxide detector.

Both units use a 9 volt battery, and it should be changed for a new one every spring, even though the battery may have 6 months to a year more life.

Better to change it than have your home burn to the ground, or stop breathing during the night due to a carbon monoxide leak, because of a dead battery.

Outside The House

There are two things you will want to add to your spring cleaning list outside of your home and they include gutter cleaning, and tree limb trimming.

Gutters

You might clean your gutters in the fall season, but doing it in the spring as well, will save you some costly repairs to your home.

Gutters have drains and spouts, and if they are clogged with last years falling leaves, then rain will not be able to freely flow off your roof.

Gutters and Guards Inc. explain that if your gutters are neglected it can fill with debris, like dead leaves, dirt, pollen and even shingle grit. With spring showers you will have water overflowing, which will cause, water leaks, foundation damage, soil erosion, mold and mildew growth, and standing water.

Clean gutters help carry water away from your homes foundation, so there is no costly repairs.

Tree Trimming

Be sure to prune any dead limbs or branches so they do not break off during fierce seasonal winds. Also if a tree that is covering your walk way leading to your door has dead limbs, you have an increased risk of the limb breaking and falling on visitor’s to your home.

What’s For Lunch

While spring cleaning you may get hungry, so here are some great lunch ideas…

Organic BBQ Hot Dogs and Potato Pack

Rotisserie Chicken Baguette Sandwich With Basil

Orange Ginger Pork Meatball Soup found under – Pork – That’s What’s For Breakfast Lunch And Dinner

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