Off-Grid & Natural House Cleaning

Ok, we're considering going off grid, or the power has gone out, and it might stay out. What are the options for cleaning around the house? Additionally, it's good to use cleaning products without toxins and chemicals.

Natural Household Cleaners & Deodorizers

Nix the chemicals when you clean your home. These days, nontoxic cleaning products seem to be all the rage. While it may be better for the environment and our health, it's not always so ideal for the wallet. Luckily, there are tons of ways to clean your home using organic products, without having to break the bank. Here are some ways to clean your house top-to-bottom the all-natural way.
  • Natural Disinfectant: Grapefruit seed extract (Essential Oil) has antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, and antifungal properties. By combining 20 drops with two cups of water in a spray bottle, you can easily get all your dirty surfaces clean.
  • Natural deodorizer: Baking soda is a cheap and effective tool to clean up messes and get rid of odors. Since it takes a few hours to set in, you can sprinkle the baking soda overnight and scrub the area clean the next day.
  • Natural Floor Cleaner: Use a combination of hot water, olive oil or jojoba oil, white vinegar, and lemon essential oil. All you have to do is grab a mop and start polishing!
  • Natural Fabric Softener: Pour ¼ cup of white vinegar into the final rinse cycle to achieve the same effect.
  • Natural Silver Polish: Use any natural toothpaste (without baking soda to avoid scratches), and gently rub your items with the paste, rinse them off, and let them dry. You'll be amazed by how nice they look.
  • Natural Drain Cleaner: Pour half cup of baking soda down the drain, then add half cup of white vinegar and cover the drain with a towel. Let it sit for as long as you can and then run water to push the mixture down. You can say good-bye to clogs after that!
  • Natural Soft Scrub: Mix half cup of baking soda with half cup of dye-free, fragrance-free dishwashing soap. Stir this mixture together until it forms a paste and then you're good to go.
More Natural Cleaning Hacks Video
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The Many Uses of Baking Soda

If your home is like most, you have a few boxes of baking soda laying around. You likely keep one in the refrigerator, one in the cupboard, and maybe one in the pantry. But it has hundreds of uses and, as you use it, you're likely to discover many more. It is THE most versatile cleaning product to have in the house. Here are just a few uses:
Personal Care: Deodorant, Toothpaste, Hair Care, Hand Cleaner, more
First Aid: Bug Bites and Stings, Canker Sores, Heartburn, Indigestion, and Ulcer Pain (Antacid), Poison Ivy, Diaper Rash, sunburn, more
Cooking: Fruit and Vegetable Wash, Meat Tenderizer, Baking Powder Substitute, more
Food: Sport Drinks, Remove Wild Animal/Game Taste, more
Personal Hygiene: Body odor deodorant, Foot/Body Soak and Exfoliator, Hand Cleanser, Whiten Teeth, Mouthwash
Kitchen: Refrigerator, Microwave and Dishwasher Cleaner and Deodorizer, Silverware Polish, fruits/vegetables rinse, grease-cutter, more
Fire Extinquisher
Bathroom: Clean Sink, Toilet, Bath/Shower, Drain, combs, Tooth and Hair Brushes, more
Laundry: Deodorize Smelly Clothes, Boost Laundry Detergent, more
General Cleaning: Carpet Freshner and Stain Remover, Smelly Shoes, Air Freshener, Surface Cleaner, Pet/Animal Smell Remover, Deodorize Cat Litter, more
Garden & Outdoors: Animal Deterrant, Snow Melt, more
Household Bug Repellent
Car: Windshield Rain Repellent, Interior Deodorizer, Battery Cleaner, more
Baking Soda Uses
MORE . . .

Cleaning of Toilets

No Scrubbing Toilet Tank with Citric Acid Powder [Video]: One of my least favorite house cleaning tasks is the toilet, especially the tank because it's so difficult to maneuver around the components. So when I found this easy solution that worked, I wanted to document and share.
  • Turn off the water supply to the toilet and remove the tank lid
  • Flush the toilet while holding down the handle to drain as much water as possible from the tank
  • Manually fill the tank with warm water
  • Add one (1) cup of Citric Acid Powder to the tank
  • Stir to help better disolve the Citric Acid into the water
  • Wait one (1) hour or more to let the Citric Acid do its work
  • Stir once more to loosen any remaining soil
  • Flush to empty the tank and see the results
  • Repeat the process for stubborn stains
  • Turn on the water supply to the tank and flush the toilet
  • Some Citric Acid residue may remain in the tank but it will eventually disolve

Preventing & Solving Moisture and Mold Problems

Whether it's the slimy black spots on your shower curtain, the fuzzy white patches on your basement floor, or the slick orange film that forms on your kitchen drain, household mold is more than unsightly. In some cases, mold in your home can make you sick, especially if you have allergies or asthma. It's impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores in your home, but because mold spores can't grow without moisture, reducing moisture in your home is the best way to prevent or eliminate mold growth. Here's what you can do to combat mold problems, and take care of yourself and your home.
  • Use dehumidifiers and/or air conditioners to reduce moisture in the air.
  • Keep indoor humidity below 60% if possible.
  • Keep air conditioning drip pans clean. Make sure drain lines are free of obstructions and flow properly.
  • Keep the house warm in cool weather. As the temperature goes down, the air is less able to hold moisture and it condenses on cold surfaces, which can encourage mold growth. Mold does not do well at temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit or above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it can still grow outside of these temperatures if the conditions are just right. This is what makes it so difficult to ultimately determine what temperature kills mold.
  • Add insulation to cold surfaces, such as exterior walls, floors, and windows to reduce condensation.
  • Dry wet areas within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  • Fix leaks and seepage.
  • Modify landscaping to the ground sloped away from your house.
  • Have a heating and cooling contractor check your heating and cooling system to make sure it's sized and operating properly to remove humidity. If your system is too big or the airflow is incorrect, your air conditioner will not remove humidity like it should. Also, ask the contractor to check your duct system for air leaks, and proper size and air flow to each room.
  • Open doors between rooms to increase circulation, which carries heat to cold surfaces. Increase air circulation by using fans and by moving furniture from wall corners.
  • Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchen to move moisture outside (not into the attic).
  • Turn off certain appliances if you notice moisture on windows and other surfaces.
  • Check for leaks around the kitchen sink, refrigerator ice makers, and other sources of water. Repair if necessary.
  • Empty and clean refrigerator drip pans if necessary.
  • Put a plastic cover over dirt in crawl spaces to prevent moisture from coming in from the ground. If there is standing water or the soil is wet, dry it out with fans before covering the floor.
  • Be sure crawl spaces are well ventilated by using fans and having vents installed in outside walls if necessary.
  • Consider painting concrete floors and using area rugs instead of wall-to-wall carpet in basements.
  • Have your basement floor checked for leaks and have them repaired if necessary.
  • Make sure gutters are working properly and that outdoor landscaping causes water to run away from -- not toward -- the house.
  • Do not finish basement walls with insulation and wall board unless your basement is very dry.
  • Vent your clothes dryer to the outside.
  • Make sure the vent is clear of obstructions, such as lint, and that there are no holes that leak air. If the vent duct is damaged, replace it with a metal duct. Have the duct cleaned at least once a year.
  • Avoid leaving damp clothes in the laundry basket or dryer. Wash and dry them promptly.
  • Check for leaks around basins and tubs and have them repaired if necessary.
  • Open a window (and/or use exhaust fan) when showering.
  • Avoid leaving damp towels on the floor or in the laundry hamper.
    Non-Toxic Ways to Clean Mold
    Related Video - Mold Professional Scam

Suggesting Readings:
Off Grid House Cleaning
Homemade All-Natural Cleaning Recipes
Baking Soda and Vinegar to Clean Clogged Drains - Myth Buster?
Off-Grid Laundry
Personal Care