Natural Car Care Recipes

Car Wash Have you ever wanted that collection of different car care products to make your car look show room perfect? That wide variety of car products are not only expensive, but can also be very toxic. Here is a collection of natural car care product recipes you can make yourself, save money and reduce the dangerous chemicals in our environment.

 

Car Wash Solution

Add a couple drops of liquid castile soup (found in health food stores) to a bucket of water and wash with a sponge or soft cloth.

Window Cleaner

Fill clean spray bottle with full strength white vinegar. Allow it to sit for a few minutes. Then, wipe dry with a piece of newspaper.

Chrome Cleaner

Mix together equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Then, spray it on your wheels; and work it in with a sponge or cleaning rag. Note: Vinegar should not be used on aluminum alloys.

Tire Cleaner

Mix baking soda and water together to form a paste. Then, work the paste into the tires with a scrub brush. Let it sit for several minutes. Then, rinse off.

Carpet and Upholstery Stain Remover

Mix white vinegar and baking soda together to form a paste. Then, work the paste into any carpet and upholstery stains with an old toothbrush or something similar. Allow the paste to dry. Then, vacuum up the baking soda, and the stains should be gone. Note: Some stains may need to be treated more than once.

Interior Cleaner

Mix together equal parts white vinegar and water. Then, spray it on any vinyl, plastic, wood, or leather surfaces in your car that need cleaning. Allow it to soak in. Then, wipe dry with a clean rag. Note: As with any leather cleaner, you should test on a small area before applying to the entire surface.

Interior Protectant / Dressing

Combine 1 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup lemon juice in a spray bottle or bowl. Then, use a clean cloth to wipe a small amount of the dressing into the dashboard and any other plastic or vinyl surfaces. Finish by wiping off the excess with another cleaning rag. Note: Do not use on the steering wheel, pedals or any other controls where slipperiness could pose a hazard.

Windshield Washer Fluid

Mix half white vinegar with half water and fill your windshield washer fluid reservoir. The acetic acid in the vinegar dissolves grime, bugs, and sap. It also helps keep windows frost free in the winter.

Car Wax

Combine 1 cup linseed oil, 4 tablespoons carnauba wax (available in automotive stores), 2 tablespoons beeswax, and 1/2 cup vinegar. Put in double boiler or saucepan and heat slowly until wax has melted. Stir and pour into a heat resistant container. After was is solid, rub it on the car with a lint free cloth. Saturate a corner of a cotton rag wiht vinegar and polish the wax to a deep shine.

Photo Credit: Melodi T via stock.xchng

Natural Bleach Alternative Recipes

Bleach, although inexpensive, is a toxic chemical that can produce caustic fumes. There are safer alternatives that we can feel more comfortable using in our homes and around our family and pets. These natural bleach alternatives are made from common household items, which you may already have. Here are some recipes that you can try the next time you need to “bleach” something.

To Whiten Clothes

Add a cup of lemon juice to the wash cycle to boost the whitening action of your laundry detergent.

To Remove Stains from Clothing

Pour lemon juice over the stain, rub the area with salt, then place the clothing in the sun for a few hours. Wash as usual.

To Remove Stains from Countertops and Other Hard Surfaces

Create a paste of lemon juice and baking soda, apply the mixture to the stain, and allow to sit for a few hours. Wipe clean.

Note: Some stains may require a second treatment.

 

Ultimate Garage Sale Guide

Garage Sale Guide Garage sales are a great way to reduce your household clutter and make some extra cash at the same time. This guide will keep you organized throughout the garage sale planning process and assist you with managing a successful sale.

 

7 days or more before the sale:

  • Gather the items for the sale – Look through your home and garage for all the items you wish to get rid of. This is the time to clean any items that need it, and make sure everything looks good to sale. Children’s items (clothing and toys) are always good sellers, also think about furniture, kitchen items, books, magazines, movies, tools, sporting equipment, etc.
  • Obtain needed permits – Permit requirements vary with location. Check with your local permit department or clerk’s office for your local requirements. If you have a homeowner’s association, you may also need approval from them.
  • Check the weather forecast – If rainy weather is expected, do you have an inside alternative? Consider rescheduling to a different weekend.

 5 – 6 days before the sale:

  • Start pricing – Pricing each item will take some time, so now is the time to start. Put a price on each item so you won’t get stuck negotiating each price the say of the sale. Colored stickers can also be used for either a common price (for instance blue for 50 cents or yellow for $1, or to identify the owner of the item for multiple family sales. Items in “like new” condition can start out at 50% of the new value, and “fair” condition items at 25% of original value; as a rule of thumb.
  • Advertise – If you plan to advertise in a local newspaper, call the newspaper to find out how far in advance they need your ad. You can also advertise online at Craig’s List.

2 – 4 days before the sale:

  • Plan your display strategy – Deciding how to display your items can make or break your sale. It is important for your items to be both attractive from the street and comfortable enough for the browsers to take their time looking at everything. Do you have enough tables for your kitchen items? A rack for hanging clothes? The more you plan now the more relaxed you can be the day of the sale.
  • Curb appeal – People will often make a decision on your sale from the appearance of your home and yard. Does your yard need to be mowed? Any shrubs or bushes need to be trimmed? Does the porch or driveway need to be swept? Small things like this can make a big difference.
  • Gather packaging – Make sure you have enough grocery bags, boxes and old news papers to package the items sold. If you don’t think you have enough, ask your friends or put in a request at freecycle.org.

The day before the sale:

  • Get Change – Obtain plenty of quarters and dollar bills to make change, from the bank. You may want to have $50 – $100 of change on hand, depending on the size of your sale. Place the change in a fanny pack, so you won’t have to worry about keeping an eye on the money the day of the sale.
  • Hang Signs – Hang signs around the neighborhood, as permitted in your area. On the signs make sure to include your address along with start and end times. You may also want to advertise the types of items you may have a lot of, such as furniture or children’s items.
  • Plan tomorrow’s meals – You will be busy the day of the sale. By planning for a quick and easy lunch and dinner for the sale day, you won’t end up wasting some of your earnings on take out.

Sale day:

  • Cluster like items together – Arrange kitchen items together, all the books and magazines together, etc. You may want to have a $1 table or 25 cent table if appropriate.
  • Gather miscellaneous needed items – Gather pens, additional stickers, tape, scissors, and packaging materials you may need and place in a basket or box. This way you will have everything you need in one place, and can work your sale instead of searching for items in the house.
  • Reduce prices as needed – If some items aren’t selling as you thought they would about half way through your sale, consider reducing the price or creating a buy one get one free table (or box).
  • Decide on left over item disposal – Invariably, there will be items left over after your sale. Decide how you plan to discard the remaining items that don’t sell, so they won’t end up cluttering up your home again. Freecycling or a local charity are great options for the leftovers.

 

Photo Credit: Ayhan Yildiz via stock.xchng

Natural All Purpose Cleaner Recipes

Recipe 1

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a clean spray bottle. This makes a great all-purpose cleaner for counter tops and quick clean ups all over the house. The acetic acid in the vinegar kills viruses, germs, bacteria, and mold. For stronger clean up jobs, full strength white vinegar can be used. Note: Do not use on marble.

Recipe 2

In a two cup glass measuring cup mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of borax. Add 1 cup of hot water and stir until the borax is dissolved. Let this mixture cool a few minutes and then pour into a 16 ounce spray bottle. Add more water to the bottle leaving enough room to add 1/4 cup of castile soap. To scent, add 15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil.

Recipe 3

Baking soda on a damp sponge or cloth can be used for a mild abrasive cleaner. It cleans and deodorizes all kitchen and bathroom surfaces.

Recipe 4

Mix vinegar and salt together for an abrasive surface cleaner.

Recipe 5

Combine 3 tablespoons of white vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon washing soda, 1/2 teaspoon castile soap, and 2 cups of hot water. This solution can be placed in a spray bottle or bucket to clean surfaces.

 

Natural Air Freshener / Deodorizer Recipes

Recipe 1:

Use baking soda here, there, and everywhere — down the drain, on baby spit-up, in diaper pails, refrigerators, cat litter box and the kitchen sponge. It’s easy and simple.

Recipe 2:

Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar. Spray around the house as needed, on carpets, shoes, trash cans, diaper pails, and other sprayable surfaces. For wipeable surfaces, soak sponge or rag in vinegar and wipe down surfaces, like refrigerators and lunch boxes.

Recipe 3:

Unscented kitty litter placed in bowls will absorb room odors.

Recipe 4:

To freshen bathrooms add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil to the inside of the cardboard toilet paper roll. The fragrance is released in the room when the turn of the roll.

Recipe 5:

Combine a pint of water and 4 drops of essential oil of choice. Pour into a spray bottle and use as a finishing rinse on surfaces after cleaning. Suggested essential oils to use: Eucalyptus, Pine, Lavender, Cypress, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Thyme, Grapefruit, Orange, Wintergreen, Rosemary, and Sage.