Dear Reena: I have used many of your solutions to natural and nontoxic cleaning. One that appeared recently got my interest, but when I tried it, it didn't quite work.
It was the laundry stainremover with vinegar, dish soap, water and baking soda. I tried it in a plastic spray bottle. The spray bottle became clogged with the baking soda mixture. Should I have used a much larger bottle?
The stain was removed, for the most part; but I am stuck with a non-functioning spray bottle but will shop around for a larger style, the effort is worth the results. This really is a great tip for getting rid of stains. In my opinion, there is nothing more toxic than stain removers on the market.
On another note, what does one do to stop the insidious spread of so-called air fresheners and fabric softeners? These are so toxic to us and our environment. I use vinegar and essential oils to sanitize and freshen my environment.
Thanks again, and please give me some advice on how I can host a workshop in my neighborhood.
Dear Suzanne: Thanks for the great feedback. The holes in spray bottles come in varying sizes, so it might be simpler to mix and then pour the solution directly onto the stain instead of spraying it. I'm glad the solution was effective.
Many of us buy commercial products and forget the success of the products our grandparents used to remedy household messes. Vinegar, as you point out, is often more effective as a cleaner, meat tenderizer, stain remover, fabric softener and air freshener than many of the products on the market. Many people are turned off by the smell of acetic acid, but essential oils (such as lavender, available from health food stores added to vinegar makes an aromatic freshener that is healthy and environmentally friendly.
Good for you for making an effort to share the powerful uses for natural products with your neighbours. If you want to hold a class, you could demonstrate formulas for making cleaners and air fresheners for your audience.
I travel the country each year offering workshops on cooking, cleaning and gardening using less toxic products. Contact me if you would like me to visit your area.
Regarding using ibuprofen in shampoo to prevent dandruff.
Dear Reena: I enjoy your column very much and have used several of your tips. However, as a former registered nurse, I'm greatly concerned about one tip. The scalp is an extremely vascular area - meaning it is loaded with blood vessels, which is why any cut to the head bleeds so profusely. This vascularity also means that the area will absorb things far better than most other areas of the body, except perhaps for the tongue and the gums. Putting an unknown amount of ibuprofen in shampoo can be dangerous. If a person is on blood thinners, aspirin for heart attack prevention or any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, the ibuprofen from the shampoo could possibly cause bleeding or even an overdose. If regular, over-the-counter dandruff remedies are not working, then people should speak to their pharmacist or family doctor. This remedy could be harmful. Keep up the good work.
Fabulous Tips of the Week
I work in a senior's home where many people say a healthy drink helps them feel really good. I want to share the recipe:
In a blender combine 5 washed lemons (peel on), 3 garlic cloves, 1 quart water and 2 Tbsp honey. Blend and sieve. Take 1 Tbsp each morning.
Reena is the author of the bestselling books, Household Solutions 1 with Substitutions, Household Solutions 2 with Kitchen Secrets and Household Solutions 3 with Green Alternatives. To ask Reena to visit your area and present a workshop, please call 204-320-2757. To submit questions and tips, visit Reena's website, householdsolutions.org.