I'm currently building up a natural cleaning arsenal of baking soda, white distilled vinegar, salt, dawn dish soap, and hydrogen peroxide so I can try some of these links that I've provided up in the tab. My grandparents always had baking soda, vinegar, and peroxide on hand, always! Be it for cleaning around the house or personal care. Well, those and bleach, for one grandmother.
I had already knew the secret of deodorizing your carpets and fridge with baking soda, as well as using baking soda and peroxide together for toothpaste, but my eyes were opened one clogged evening. (As a note, I sprinkle baking soda on my carpets about 1-3 months, leaving it on for 15 minutes, then vacuum it up--it helps with my dust allergies, and animal stench.)
It wasn't until I took a tip from Facebook and saw what all of the hubbub was about. I used that one recipe for clearing out clogged drains: vinegar, baking soda, and hot water. Draino wasn't working--none of the industrial "sure-fire" chemicals were working against my and my husband's long and thick hair! I needed something. Preferably a cheaper, natural method. At the time, I was pregnant, and if you've ever read the ever-growing lists of PREGGO NO NOS, using many cleaners are on the list. How else was a SAHW gonna clean the house? I needed an alternative!
Now granted, hubby could've helped, after all it's half his mess, too; but as a Hestia devotee, cleaning is spiritual for me, and it is one of my ways of honoring myself, my home, and my Goddess.
Away to the bathroom I went. First I tried it out on the sink drain, not using any measurements at all--that's usually how I roll, btw, I just go by my eye, taste (when cooking), and judgement. It worked okay. Then I went to the tub. I poured in 1 cup of baking soda, then 1 cup of vinegar and covered the drain. If you've ever made a volcano in elementary school, you're aware of the chemical reaction that occurs when the two are mixed. Safe, but foamy!
After about 15 minutues, I uncovered the hole and poured a kettle of boiling water down the hole and had success.
I repeated the process with the sink drain, and eventually got it to work, only I had to wait longer than 15 minutes! It was GUNKED up!
Well, that worked, what else would work? I turned to an old kettle who's insides were chalky with stuck on lime scale. I poured in some vinegar and waited a few hours. I poured it out and saw that some of the nastiness was still there. So I poured again and decided to turn up the heat. After a few minutes of boiling, I poured, washed, and saw that the lime scale was gone. Nifty!
I moved onto cleaning my stinky, clogged, POS dishwasher. Following the instructions from 1001 Uses of Vinegar, I simply put some vinegar in a bowl, set it in the dishwasher, and ran a cycle. Stunk at first, due to the sitting water, but it worked! I don't use my dishwasher for washing dishes, because it's a piece of shit, but I do use it for drying my dishes. Once a month, I run the vinegar cycle.
Over the past week, I've use vinegar to clean my loofa, bathroom/toilet scrubber, too.
So far, every time I've used vinegar, baking soda, whatever cleaning recipe it's worked. The only failure I've encountered was when I had a fruit fly problem. I sat out the bowl and only attracted a few of them. It was like, for every one I killed 8 took it's place. I found the source of the little buggers--rotting onions in a drawer, that I didn't even know were there!--cleaned it, drowned the drawer with lysol. Eventually, they died out, but my bowl of vinegar remained untouched. So, good for cleaning, not so good for fruit flies.
I still have many other uses left to try, but my stock is ready for it! So far, I'm impressed. I think one of the reasons why something so simple has fallen by the wayside, is because people nowadays want result here and now. They're not willing to wait. Personally, I'm not one for a bandaid or harsh chemicals. So far, I've found that the recipes I've tried have cleaned better than most of the other main brands I've tried. Yeah, it may take a little while, but it's better than me dealing with the chemicals (especially since I'm expecting #2), or having to spend money on a new appliance, fixture, or repair person!
Have you had much success with the vinegar method? Failures? Thoughts?