Homeowners association residents want to take pride in their investments which includes keeping their home clean and tidy. Here are some tips for common household products that are natural and low in cost and can serve multiple uses for you.
Many homeowners already know that a teaspoon of baking soda in the batter will make the muffins rise, but who knew that a pinch of it mixed with scrambled eggs will make them fluffier or added to water will make steamed vegetables stay green?
Aside from cooking, however, everyone knows that an open box of baking soda in the fridge will absorb strong odors. But did you also know that baking soda in the bath water can relieve itchy skin caused by bug bites or poison ivy? Or that pouring a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of hot vinegar down the sink will unclog a drain?
Baking soda also can be used to polish tarnished silver, remove rust stains, extinguish a grease fire, freshen toothbrushes, and clean dishwashers and coffee makers. Add it to kitty litter and the laundry to help freshen and deodorize. Sprinkle baking soda on a wet sponge to scrub residue off a cast-iron skillet. Or use it on the sidewalk and driveway cracks as a non-toxic weed killer. A dusting of it around pet food bowls will keep ants away too.
A couple of cautions about baking soda, though: Its magic powers fade with time, so check the expiration date on the box. Most important, don’t mix it with other cleaning products. The chemical reaction could be toxic.
This website notes several cleaning tips. Here's a list of items and instructions that they provide from their website:
Carpet stain removal: A mixture of 1 teaspoon of liquid detergent and 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar in a pint of lukewarm water will remove non-oily stains from carpets. Apply it to the stain with a soft brush or towel and rub gently. Rinse with a towel moistened with clean water and blot dry. Repeat this procedure until the stain is gone. Then dry quickly, using a fan or hair dryer. This should be done as soon as the stain is discovered.
Streak-free windows: Window cleaning with vinegar will make your windows gleam and will not leave the usual film or streaks on the glass. Mix equal parts of white distilled vinegar and warm water. Dry with a soft cloth.
Water marks on wood: Stubborn rings resulting from wet glasses being placed on wood furniture may be removed by rubbing with a mixture of equal parts of white distilled vinegar and olive oil. Rub with the grain and polish for the best results.
Garbage disposal cleaner: Garbage disposal cleaning with vinegar cubes keeps disposals clean and odor free. Vinegar cubes are made by filling an ice tray with a mixture of 1 cup of vinegar and enough water to fill the ice tray and then freezing it. Run the mixture through the disposal, and then flush it with cold water for a minute or so.
Coffee maker cleaner (automatic): White distilled vinegar can help to dissolve mineral deposits that collect in automatic drip coffee makers from hard water. Fill the reservoir with white distilled vinegar and run it through a brewing cycle. Rinse thoroughly with water when the cycle is finished. (Be sure to check the owner’s manual for specific instructions.)
Clean the microwave: Boil a solution of 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar and 1 cup of water in the microwave. Will loosen splattered on food and deodorize.
Deodorize the kitchen drain: Pour a cup of white distilled vinegar down the drain once a week. Let stand 30 minutes and then flush with cold water.
Ant deterrent: Ant invasions can sometimes be deterred by washing counter tops, cabinets and floors with white distilled vinegar.
Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances: Cleaning with vinegar makes it easier to remove streaks from stainless steel appliances. Apply vinegar with a soft cloth. Try in an inconspicuous place first.
Use these tips from an HOA board to try natural ways to keep your home in tip top shape. Maintaining your home will help protect your investment in the homeowners association.