Keep Your Home Pet-Odor Free

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Household Tips

While my sense of smell isn’t anything like a dog’s, it is perhaps more keen than many other people’s — and that’s both good and bad. On the bad side, I can’t abide strong, offensive odors (including those that come from sharing my life with pets). On the good side, my nose helps me with my work, since identifying smells is one of a veterinarian’s best diagnostic tools.
I don’t own my own veterinary practice anymore, but I still love to work as a veterinarian when I’m not being one in the media. The two practices where I work when I can (North Idaho Animal Hospital and Lakewood Animal Hospital) are as dedicated as I am to what I call a “smell neutral” environment: fresh, clean hospitals that smell neither like pet odors nor like cleaning products.
Make Your Home “Smell Neutral”
It probably won’t surprise you that my wife and I work hard to make sure our home is also “smell neutral.” Over the years, I’ve picked up a lot of tricks and cleaned up a lot of messes, and since I know pet mess in general is the top complaint of pet lovers, I want to share the secrets of a smell-conscious veterinarian. While products may vary — I am always on the lookout for better, more effective and faster ways to “keep it clean” — the steps to an odor-free home when you live with pets remain the same.
How many times have you looked at an open house or vacant apartment and knew that pet lovers lived there before you dropped in? Even though the place may be empty, the carpets carefully vacuumed and free of pet hair, the smell lingers — and nothing you can spray in the air will override it for long. But I’ve also been in homes where you can’t tell pets were in the family. The difference in many cases is time. When a pet makes a mess, time is not on your side. Don’t neglect the daily duties: When your cat uses the box or your dog goes in the yard, scoop and toss right away.
Simple Tips to Keep It Clean
Assemble your supplies. You’ll always want to have an enzymatic cleaner on hand. Buy a large bottle if you have a very young pet — or an old one — because accidents happen. The enzymes in these cleaners attack the components of pet waste, neutralizing odors along the way (but be sure to follow the instructions to avoid any damage to rugs or carpets). You’ll also want bleach (dilute one half cup of bleach to a gallon of water; it’s a fantastic disinfectant) to clean up wet messes, and baby wipes to wipe down your pet. Since pet odors start with pets themselves, make sure you have pet shampoo, both regular and no-water varieties (your veterinarian can recommend a good one). Save battered towels for pet duty, and have other regular cleaning tools on hand. I like those designed with pet mess in mind, such as Swiffer-type floor cleaners, and vacuums and spot-scrubbers, such as those made by Bissell.
Get into a clean routine. Regular cleaning, especially of areas where your pet likes to spend most of his time, will keep smells from building up and digging in. Wash pet bedding often (weekly is ideal), and sweep, Swiffer or vacuum a couple of times a week or more. Bathing your dog weekly — yes, I said weekly — with a shampoo formulated for pets will not only keep him cleaner and better smelling but it may also help with some skin problems. Keeping long-haired pets cut short will lessen the volume of shed fur and provide less refuge for odors. For in-between clean, swipe your pet with a baby wipe. (Bonus: This may help your own allergies too.) And don’t forget to make time for a regular deep cleaning. Hire someone or rent power equipment, but get in there deep and get it truly clean.
Don’t wait for mess to dig in. The longer a pet mess sits, the more difficult it will be to completely eradicate the smell. Get on it immediately: Pick up what you can, blot off the liquid elements, then get the enzymatic cleaner working. If you can’t clean right away, spray water to keep the problem area moist. Since you want the enzymatic cleaner to have its best chance, apply as directed (always, always read directions!), and then keep the area moist longer by covering carpet with plastic wrap and putting a heavy book over the spot. Make a schedule for routine, preventive cleaning to help prevent the buildup of mess and odors.
Getting Past the Smell of Cleaners
With the right tools and the right cleaning products, the pet smells you’re waging war on will soon be waving the white flag of surrender (until next time, that is). Now, how to get rid of the smell of cleaners? Rinse, rinse and rinse some more. Water takes everything away, both the remains of the mess and the products that vanquished it. Run your rags through the washer and toss one-use products, such as electrostatic wipes, in the trash. What’s that smell? Nothing!
In our family, we wouldn’t trade our pets for a clean home no matter how much you gave us. But fortunately, using the tricks of the veterinary trade, we don’t have to. And you don’t either.

From: http://www.vetstreet.com/dr-marty-becker/keep-your-home-pet-odor-free?WT.mc_id=cc_yahoo

4 Best Household Items that Remove Carpet Pet Stains

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Household Tips

He may be a member of the family, but sometimes your dog sure doesn’t smell like one.
Rolling around in the dirt. Getting into things he shouldn’t. Accidents that happen more often than you’d like. All of these things can leave your pet – not to mention your rugs – smelling like the furthest thing from roses.
And even after you give him (and your carpet) a good scrubbing, pet odors can still linger. So we asked the team at brightnest.com to test four pet-safe common household products, like club soda, that can eliminate those funky ground-level stains and scents.
“While my wife and I were out of the country, our dog sitter let my two Golden Retrievers explore the tomato garden,” says BrightNest CEO Justin Anthony. “If you don’t know what happens when dogs dine on tomatos, let me share – a very messy carpet. So I asked our team to explore the best techniques for turning my living room back into a space where you’d want to live.”
1. White Vinegar
If you have a urine spot on your carpet that’s still wet, opt for eco-friendly white vinegar, which neutralizes odors due to its high acidity – and works well even if the stain or smell has been there for a while. Start by blotting the area, rather than rubbing it, which will only push the stain further into the carpeting fibers. Then mix equal parts white vinegar and cold water, and pour the mixture generously over the soiled section. Blot well, and then let it dry. (A fan can speed up the process.) Once dry, run a vacuum over the area.
2. Baking Soda
For a urine spot that has already dried, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the soiled section, and then let it sit for a couple hours before vacuuming.
Dr. Tina Wismer, DVM, DABVT, DABT, medical director of the ASPCA Poison Control Center, just advises owners to use a baby gate or an overturned laundry basket to keep pets away from the area while the baking soda sets. Although this cleaning method is safe to use in homes with critters, “if ingested, baking soda can cause stomach upset and electrolyte imbalances,” says Dr. Wismer.
3. Club Soda
When it comes to pre-treating a soiled carpet, club soda works great for nearly any type of pet stain. Since it’s only effective while the soda is effervescing, the treatment may need to be applied several times. Start by blotting the section before pouring the club soda over it. Once the solution has stopped fizzing, immediately blot the spot again, repeating as necessary. If the stain isn’t fresh, you’ll likely need to follow up with the above baking soda treatment.
4. Bleach
To tackle caked-in stains and odor on a light-colored carpet, you can also try diluted bleach, using 10 parts water to one part bleach. Spray the solution on the stain, and then let it sit for 15 seconds before thoroughly rinsing the area with warm water. If you can still see the stain, repeat the process until the spot is gone.
And if you’re unsure of whether your carpet could be discolored by bleach, test a few drops of the diluted solution on an unseen area. Let the bleach sit for one minute, and then rinse it away with water. If it doesn’t leave a discoloration, the mixture is safe to use on other areas of your carpet.
For Dr. Wismer, considering these natural cleaners is a no-brainer: “Not only are they easy to use, but they’re readily available and safe for pets when used correctly. Keeping your house clean and smelling fresh for pennies is an added bonus.”

From: http://shine.yahoo.com/pets/4-best-household-items-remove-carpet-pet-stains-175000573.html

25 ways to clean with vinegar

Posted by: flirtations  /  Category: Household Tips

The cleaning aisle at just about any grocery store is stocked with a dizzying array of options—and when it comes down to it, there are a lot of expensive, toxic, superfluous products crowding the market. Chances are, you already have one of the best, all-purpose cleaning agents in your pantry: white vinegar. As noted earlier, vinegar actually works as a great laundry booster, stripping away the chemical build-up that detergent leaves behind (and gets rid of clingy odors in the process). And beyond that, there are tons of other applications for the stuff around your home. Here, from vinegartips.com and frugalfun.com, 25 ideas for making the most of vinegar:
1. Deodorize the sink: Pour 1 cup baking soda, followed by 1 cup hot vinegar, down the drain. Let sit for at least 5 minutes, then rinse with hot water.
2. Deodorize the garbage disposal: Make ice cubes out of vinegar. Run the disposal with a few vinegar ice cubes and cold water.
3. Clean countertops: Wipe down surfaces with a rag dipped in vinegar.
4. Clean the fridge: Use a mixture of half water, half vinegar to wipe down the interior shelves and walls.
5. Remove soap build-up and odors from the dishwasher: Once a month, pour 1 cup of vinegar into an empty dishwasher and run the machine through its entire cycle.
6. Bust oven grease: If you’ve got grease spots on the oven door, pour some vinegar directly on the stains, let it sit for 15 minutes, and wipe away with a sponge.
7. To make old glassware sparkle: To get rid of the cloudy effect, wrap a vinegar-soaked towel around the glass and let it sit. Remove and rinse with hot water.
8. Get rid of lime deposits on your tea kettle: Fill the kettle with vinegar and let it boil. Allow it to cool, and rinse with water.
9. Remove stains in coffee cups: Create a paste using of equal parts vinegar and salt (or in lieu of salt, baking soda) and scrub gently before rinsing.
10. Treat Tupperware stains (and stinkiness): Wipe the containers with a vinegar-saturated cloth.
11. Remove stains on aluminum pots: Boil 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup water.
12. Deter ant infestations: Spray outside doorways and windowsills, and anywhere you see a trail of critters.
13. Clean can openers: Scrub the wheel of your can opener with vinegar using an old toothbrush.
14. Remove stickers or labels: Cover the sticker with a vinegar-soaked cloth. Let it sit overnight—it should slide right off by morning.
15. Shine porcelain sinks: A bit of vinegar and a good scrub should leave them sparkling.
16. Clean grout: Pour on some vinegar, let it hang out for a few minutes, and buff with an old toothbrush.
17. Clean the shower door: Spray them down with vinegar pre-shower, or post (after you’ve squeegeed the glass) to remove hard water deposits.
18. Clean a grimy showerhead: To get rid of scum, fill a Ziploc with ½ a cup of baking soda and 1 cup vinegar and tie it around the showerhead. Let it sit for an hour, until the bubbling has stopped. Remove the bag and run the shower.
19. Make a toilet sparkle: Pour in a cup or two of vinegar and let it sit there overnight before scrubbing with a toilet brush.
20. Polish linoleum floors: Add 1 cup of vinegar for every gallon of water you use to wash the floor.
21. Clean paintbrushes: Soak paintbrushes for an hour before simmering them on the stove to remove hardened paint. Drain and rinse.
22. Clean grills: Spray vinegar on a ball of tin foil, then use it to give the grate a firm scrub.
23. Disinfect wood cutting boards: Wipe down wood boards with a wash of vinegar.
24. Clean the microwave: Fill a microwave-safe bowl with 2 cups water and ½ cup vinegar. Heat it on full power for 3-4 minutes until it comes to a boil. Keep the door closed for a few minutes longer to let the steam fill the microwave, loosening the grime. Remove the bowl (carefully!) and wipe down interior walls with a sponge.
25. Polish patent leather accessories: Give them a rub with a vinegar-soaked cloth. Buff with a dry cloth.
(via: http://shine.yahoo.com/event/haven/25-ways-to-clean-with-vinegar-1371277/)

Eliminate Kitchen Odors

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Household Tips

The kitchen can be home to many sweet-smelling feasts, but when those aromas are overpowered by a reeking appliance or accessory, the family would probably prefer to stay hungry. If you’re battling offensive odors from your garbage disposal, refrigerator, trash can, dishwasher or stove top, read on for easy solutions to keep things clean and fresh-scented year round.
The Stink: Garbage Disposal
The Solution: Pour a cup of boiling water through the disposal, which will clean off the blades. Then grind up citrus peels like lemon or orange rind.
The Stink: Refrigerator
The Solution: Soak a cotton ball in vanilla extract, then put it in a little bowl on the lowest open shelf. Remove in a few days when dry. (If you prefer the smell of coffee, try a bowl of used coffee grounds instead.)
The Stink: Garbage Can
The Solution: Try SimpleHuman Charcoal Filters. These ingenious strips of charcoal stick to the inside of the lid, and can be recharged by placing in sunlight. ($3.99 for two at SimpleHuman.com)
Learn how to solve your toughest household cleaning problems.
The Stink: Dishwasher
The Solution: A half-full dishwasher can stink up a kitchen in no time, so run the light rinse, with no soap. The steam will remove most of the food. If odors persist, get in the empty machine with a sponge and nailbrush, and clean out all the filters and parts on the bottom—something is likely stuck.
The Stink: Stove
The Solution: Before you turn on the burner, turn on the range hood—every single time. Why? Some of the particles and gases that come off the stovetop while you’re cooking have been connected to respiratory health problems, particularly in children. And regularly clean your range hood filter (you can usually access it by snapping off the tabs near the vent).

15 Brilliant Uses for Toothpaste

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Household Tips

Toothpaste: it whitens, brightens, deodorizes, removes stains, and restores and protects enamel. But toothpaste’s cleaning capabilities work wonders on many things besides our teeth. The same ingredients that help polish our pearly whites can also soothe some common ailments, make household items sparkle, and even get rid of stains and pungent smells. Try out these fifteen tricks with a white, non-gel toothpaste (unless otherwise noted), and watch that cavity-fighting, breath-freshening tube of wonder work its magic.
1. Relieve irritation from bug bites, sores, and blisters. These skin irritations all tend to weep and, in the case of bug bites, often itch. Apply a drop of toothpaste to a bug bite or insect sting to stop the itching and decrease any swelling. When applied to sores or blisters, it dries them up, thus allowing the wound to heal faster. It’s best when used overnight.
2. Soothe a stinging burn. For minor burns that don’t involve an open wound, toothpaste can deliver temporary cooling relief. Apply it delicately to the affected area immediately after a burn develops; it temporarily relieves the sting and prevents the wound from weeping or opening.
3. Decrease the size of a facial blemish. Want to speed up the healing of a zit? Apply a tiny dot of toothpaste to the affected area at night before bed. Wash it off in the morning.
4. Clean up your fingernails. Our teeth are made of enamel, and toothpaste is good for them, so it stands to reason that toothpaste would also be good for our fingernails. For cleaner, shinier, and stronger nails, simply scrub the underneath and tops of fingernails with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
5. Keep hair in place. Gel toothpastes contain the same water-soluble polymers that many hair gels are made of. If you’re looking to style and hold an extreme hair creation, try gel toothpaste as your go-to product if you’re out of regular hair gel. (This is also a great trick for making baby barrettes stay in place.)
6. Scrub away stinky smells. Garlic, fish, onion, and other pungent foods can permeate the skin cells on our hands. Scrubbing hands and fingertips briefly with toothpaste removes all traces of smelly odors
7. Remove stains. Toothpaste can make tough stains on both clothing and carpets disappear. For clothes, apply toothpaste directly to the stain and rub briskly until the spot is gone, then wash as usual. (Note that using a whitening toothpaste on colors can sometimes bleach the fabric.) For carpet stains, apply toothpaste to the stain and scrub it with an abrasive brush, then rinse immediately.
8. Spruce up dirty shoes. This tactic works great on running shoes or scuffed-up leather shoes. As with carpet stains, apply toothpaste directly to the dirty or scuffed area, then scrub with a brush and wipe clean.
9. Remove crayon stains on painted walls. Rub a damp cloth with toothpaste gently on the marked-up wall and watch the Crayola marks disappear.
10. Make silver jewelry and other silver pieces sparkle. Rub toothpaste onto jewelry and leave overnight. Wipe clean with a soft cloth in the morning. Make diamonds shine by giving them a gentle scrub using a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a little water. Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of toothpaste. Do not use this method on pearls, as it will damage their finish.
11. Remove scratches on DVDs and CDs. This remedy has been used with mixed success rates, but it seems to work fairly well on shallow scratches and smudges. Apply a thin coating of toothpaste to the disc and rub gently, then rinse clean.
12. Tidy up piano keys before tickling them. Piano keys retain oil from the skin, which then attracts dust and dirt. Clean away grime gently with a damp, lint-free cloth and toothpaste; after rubbing in the toothpaste, wipe the keys clean with a second lint-free cloth.
13. Deodorize baby bottles. If baby bottles develop a sour-milk smell, a good cleaning with some toothpaste and a bottle scrubber will clean away residue and deodorize. Always make sure to rinse well.
14. Remove the burned crust on irons. For those of you who still use an iron, you may find that after time, the plate of the iron develops a burned crust. The silica in toothpaste gently grinds away this rusty-looking layer.
15. Defog goggles. Scuba divers, swimmers, and triathletes may already know about this handy little trick: Rub a small spot of toothpaste into each lens of your goggles, then rinse thoroughly, and voila! There’ll be no need to ever buy expensive defogger gels again. Avoid rubbing too vigorously, though, as the abrasive ingredients in toothpaste could scratch the lenses.
I can see how using toothpaste could save me time and money over the course of a year, not to mention help me reduce my shopping time and cleaning-supply collection. I’d like to see my toothpaste work harder anyway. After all, if I’ve got to suffer through itchy bug bites, they might as well smell fresh.

23 Ingenious Uses for White Vinegar

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Household Tips

About 10,000 years ago, ancient people discovered a product that would change lives forever. Wine had been around for a while, but after some was allowed to oxidize, vinegar was born. It became an immediate hit. The Babylonians used vinegar as a preservative, as did Ancient Greeks and Romans. Some peoples, including the Chinese, believed that vinegar was a tonic that would give them strength and vitality, as well as bestow healing properties. Legend has it that Hannibal only succeeded in crossing the Alps because his armies heated mountain boulders and doused them with vinegar, causing the rocks to crumble and clear the path.
Vinegar’s magic ingredient is acetic acid, which comprises about 5 percent of the finished product. Vinegar has been produced commercially for about 2,500 years, making it one of the oldest products in use by humans. There are many different types of vinegar out there, all produced by the oxidization of alcohol into acetic acid, but white vinegar is the most useful and the most versatile by far.
White vinegar has dozens of household applications, and the best part is that it’s green. It’s enjoying a newfound popularity as many people try to avoid toxic or harsh cleaning chemicals around their pets and children, as well as save money by making their own cleansers. Not to mention that vinegar is cheap, it’s versatile, and it doesn’t irritate allergies like some fragranced cleansers. Chances are, whenever you run into a household funk, vinegar is your answer.
Kitchen Remedies: Besides adding zest to salad dressings, white vinegar is handy for many cooking tasks.
1. Adding a few tablespoons of white vinegar to the water when poaching eggs helps the whites stay formed. Add a few tablespoons to the water when boiling eggs, and if any shells crack, the whites won’t leak out.
2. If your leafy veggies are wilted, soaking them in cold water with a little vinegar can perk them right up.
3. After chopping an onion, you can eliminate the odor from your hands by rubbing them with a bit of white vinegar.
4. When cooking any vegetables from the cabbage family (like broccoli or cauliflower), adding a little vinegar to the water will perk up the taste and reduce the gassiness they can induce. This also works when cooking beans, making Mexican food a far more attractive option.
Cleaning House: Vinegar can help with a variety of cleaning tasks, since the acid acts as a disinfectant and an odor neutralizer.
5. Clean and deodorize the garbage disposal by mixing equal parts vinegar and baking soda and putting it down the drain. After letting this fizzing mixture sit for a few minutes, flush out the drain with warm water for a clean and stink-free sink.
6. The steam from a boiling a bowl of vinegar and water can loosen caked-on food and get rid of odors in the microwave, too.
7. One of my favorite vinegar remedies and my personal weapon against fruit flies is to set out a small dish of white vinegar and some smashed fruit, covered with plastic wrap with some holes in it–the flies crawl into the trap, but can’t get out.
8. If your stemware is cloudy from the dishwasher, wrap the glasses in paper towels soaked in vinegar, let them sit, and the cloudy deposits will rinse right off.
9. There’s no need to use bleach on tile grouting when you can let vinegar soak on it and then scrub with a toothbrush.
10. Bring lightly scuffed or dirty DVDs back to life by wiping them down with some vinegar on a soft cloth.
11. If you have water condensation marks on your wood, just rub the piece of furniture with equal parts vinegar and vegetable oil to remove them. Make sure to rub with the grain, and then invest in a set of coasters.
Cleaning Clothes: Vinegar works magic on upholstery and fabric, too.
12. If a child has an “accident” on a mattress, clean it with a solution of vinegar and water. Afterwards, pour some baking soda onto the mattress, and brush or vacuum the residue once it’s dry.
13. Spraying vinegar onto deodorant-stained shirts before the wash can remove the discoloration. It’s also great for fighting mustard, tomato sauce, or ketchup stains.
14. Adding a cupful of vinegar to the rinse cycle of your washing machine can freshen up bright colors and give you cleaner laundry. Acetic acid won’t harm fabrics, but it dissolves the soap residue that can dull dark clothing. It also acts as a fabric softener, a static reducer, and a mildew-inhibitor.
15. Vinegar will also loosen chewing gum stuck to car upholstery, rugs, and carpeting.
Outdoor Solutions: Tough enough even for the outdoors, vinegar can function as a car cleaner and an organic pest remover.
16. If your car still sports a bumper sticker from two elections ago, remove it by spraying the decal with white vinegar to saturate the area, and the sticker will peel off in a few hours. (You might need to spray it a few times.)
17. Wiping down your car windows and windshield with a three-to-one vinegar-water mixture can keep them frost-free in the wintertime.
18. Kill weeds and crabgrass growing in sidewalks and driveways by pouring vinegar onto them. A half-and-half solution of vinegar and water can even kill garden slugs if it’s sprayed directly onto them.
19. To extend the life of cut flowers, add a few tablespoons of vinegar to the water in their vase, along with a teaspoon of sugar.
Pet Protection: There’s no need to use chemicals near pets when vinegar can handle most cleaning and bathing tasks.
20. Wipe out itchy ears with undiluted vinegar to keep dogs and cats from scratching at them.
21. Cats avoid vinegar, so to keep them from scratching furniture or sitting on certain areas, spray a vinegar solution onto the spot.
22. For outdoor areas, soak a sponge in vinegar and place it in the forbidden area to keep cats away. If kitty likes to mark his territory, spraying the area with vinegar can help eliminate the smell and deter recurrences.
23. Vinegar also gets rid of skunk odor. Soak the animal with a half-and-half vinegar and water solution, and then rinse with fresh water.
Vinegar can disinfect, deodorize, and de-gunkify just about everything. From shower curtains to sofa cushions, there’s not much that it can’t do. As an alternative to expensive and harsh cleaning chemicals, vinegar is something you can feel good about keeping in your cupboards. White vinegar and baking soda can even remove product buildup from hair and leave it soft and manageable. A product that can clean you, the dog, your car, and your house is what I’d call a good, green buy.

40 fantastic uses for baking soda

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Alternative Medicine

Most of us know that baking soda can be used for more than just making homemade cookies and other dough rise. It’s not uncommon to see an open box of this leavening agent deodorizing refrigerators, for example. But did you know that there are at least 40 different ways to use baking soda?
Baking soda makes a perfect stand-in for many personal care, cleaning, and deodorizing products. The list of benefits is long: It is inexpensive, free of toxic chemicals, versatile, and effective.
Wondering how baking soda, aka sodium bicarbonate, works its magic? It helps regulate pH — keeping a substance neither too acidic nor too alkaline. When baking soda comes in contact with either an acidic or an alkaline substance, its natural effect is to neutralize that pH. Beyond that, baking soda has the ability to retard further changes in the pH balance, known as buffering.
This dual capability of neutralizing and buffering allows baking soda to do things such as neutralize acidic odors (like in the refrigerator) as well as maintain neutral pH (like in your laundry water, which helps boost your detergent’s power). It’s a simple reaction, but one that has far-reaching effects for a number of cleaning and deodorizing tasks.
And so without further ado, here are some of the many creative ways you can use baking soda.

Personal Care

1. Make toothpaste
A paste made from baking soda and a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution can be used as an alternative to commercial non-fluoride toothpastes. (Or here’s a formula for a minty version.) You can also just dip your toothbrush with toothpaste into baking soda for an extra boost.
2. Freshen your mouth
Put one teaspoon in half a glass of water, swish, spit, and rinse. Odors are neutralized, not just covered up.
3. Soak oral appliance
Soak oral appliances (like retainers, mouthpieces, and dentures) in a solution of 2 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in a glass or small bowl of warm water. The baking soda loosens food particles and neutralizes odors to keep appliances fresh. You can also brush appliances clean using baking soda.
4. Use as a facial scrub and body exfoliant
Give yourself an invigorating facial and body scrub. Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub in a gentle circular motion to exfoliate the skin. Rinse clean. This is gentle enough for daily use.
5. Skip harsh deodorant
Pat baking soda onto your underarms to neutralize body odor.
6. Use as an antacid
Baking soda is a safe and effective antacid to relieve heartburn, sour stomach, and/or acid indigestion. Refer to baking soda package for instructions.
7. Treat insect bites and itchy skin
For insect bites, make a paste out of baking soda and water, and apply as a salve onto affected skin. To ease the itch, shake some baking soda into your hand and rub it into damp skin after bath or shower.
8. Make a hand cleanser and softener
Skip harsh soaps and gently scrub away ground-in dirt and neutralize odors on hands with a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water or 3 parts baking soda with gentle liquid hand soap. Then rinse clean.
9. Help your hair
Vinegar is amazing for your hair, but baking soda has its place in the shower too. Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda into your palm along with your favorite shampoo. Shampoo as usual and rinse thoroughly — baking soda helps remove the residue that styling products leave behind so your hair is cleaner and more manageable.
10. Clean brushes and combs
For lustrous hair with more shine, keep brushes and combs clean. Remove natural oil build-up and hair product residue by soaking combs and brushes in a solution of 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a small basin of warm water. Rinse and allow to dry.
11. Make a bath soak
Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your bath to neutralize acids on the skin and help wash away oil and perspiration. It also makes your skin feel very soft. Or just focus on soothing your feet. Dissolve 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a tub of warm water and soak feet. Gently scrub.

Cleaning

12. Make a surface soft scrub
For safe, effective cleaning of bathroom tubs, tile, and sinks — even fiberglass and glossy tiles — sprinkle baking soda lightly on a clean damp sponge and scrub as usual. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry. For extra cleaning power, make a paste with baking soda, coarse salt, and liquid dish soap — let it sit then scour off.
13. Hand-wash dishes and pots and pans
Add 2 heaping tablespoons baking soda (along with your regular dish detergent) to the dish water to help cut grease and foods left on dishes, pots, and pans. For cooked-on foods, let them soak in the baking soda and detergent with water first, then use dry baking soda on a clean damp sponge or cloth as a scratch-less scouring powder.
14. Freshen sponges
Soak stale-smelling sponges in a strong baking soda solution to get rid of the mess (4 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of warm water). For more thorough disinfecting, use the microwave.
15. Clean the microwave
Baking soda on a clean damp sponge cleans gently inside and outside the microwave and never leaves a harsh chemical smell. Rinse well with water.
16. Polish silver flatware
Use a baking soda paste made with 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub onto the silver with a clean cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly and dry for shining sterling and silver-plate serving pieces.
17. Clean coffee and tea pots
Remove coffee and tea stains and eliminate bitter off-tastes by washing mugs and coffee makers in a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. For stubborn stains, try soaking overnight in the baking soda solution and detergent or scrubbing with baking soda on a clean damp sponge.
18. Clean the oven
Sprinkle baking soda onto the bottom of the oven. Spray with water to dampen the baking soda. Let sit overnight. In the morning, scrub, scoop the baking soda and grime out with a sponge, or vacuum, and rinse.
19. Clean floors
Remove dirt and grime (without unwanted scratch marks) from no-wax and tile floors using 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water — mop and rinse clean for a sparkling floor. For scuff marks, use baking soda on a clean damp sponge, then rinse.
20. Clean furniture
Clean and remove marks (even crayon) from walls and painted furniture by applying baking soda to a damp sponge and rubbing lightly. Wipe off with a clean, dry cloth.
21. Clean shower curtains
Clean and deodorize your vinyl shower curtain by sprinkling baking soda directly on a clean damp sponge or brush. Scrub the shower curtain and rinse clean. Hang it up to dry.
22. Boost your liquid laundry detergent
Give your laundry a boost by adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to your laundry to make liquid detergent work harder. A better balance of pH in the wash gets clothes cleaner, fresher, and brighter. Or you can add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle for fresher sheets and towels or to neutralize gym clothes and odoriferous clothing.
23. Clean and freshen sports gear
Use a baking soda solution (4 tablespoons baking soda in 1 quart warm water) to clean and deodorize smelly sports equipment. Sprinkle baking soda into golf bags and gym bags to deodorize and clean golf irons (without scratching them!) with a baking soda paste (3 parts baking soda to 1 part water) and a brush. Rinse thoroughly.
24. Remove oil and grease stains
Use baking soda to clean up light-duty oil and grease spills on your garage floor or in your driveway. Sprinkle baking soda on the spot and scrub with a wet brush.
25. Clean batteries
Baking soda can be used to neutralize battery acid corrosion on cars, mowers, etc., because its a mild alkali. Be sure to disconnect the battery terminals before cleaning. Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and apply with a damp cloth to scrub corrosion from the battery terminal. After cleaning and reconnecting the terminals, wipe them with petroleum jelly to prevent future corrosion. Please be careful when working around a battery — they contain a strong acid.
26. Clean cars
Use baking soda to clean your car lights, chrome, windows, tires, vinyl seats, and floor mats without worrying about unwanted scratch marks. Use a baking soda solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. Apply with a sponge or soft cloth to remove road grime, tree sap, bugs, and tar. For stubborn stains use baking soda sprinkled on a damp sponge or soft brush. Eliminate odors by sprinkling baking soda directly on fabric car seats and carpets. Wait 15 minutes (or longer for strong odors) and vacuum up the baking soda.

Deodorizing

27. Deodorize your refrigerator
Place an open box in the back of the fridge to neutralize odors.
28. Deodorize trashcans and recyclables
Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your trashcan to keep stinky trash smells at bay. Clean your recyclables container periodically by sprinkling baking soda on a damp sponge. Wipe clean and rinse. Also, sprinkle baking soda on top as you add recyclables to the bin.
29. Deodorize drains and garbage disposals
To deodorize your sink and tub drains and garbage disposal and keep lingering odors from resurfacing, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain while running warm tap water — it will neutralize both acid and basic odors for a fresh drain. (This a good way to dispose of baking soda that is being retired from your refrigerator.)
30. Deodorize and clean dishwashers
Use baking soda to deodorize before you run the dishwasher and then as a gentle cleanser in the wash cycle.
31. Deodorize lunch boxes
Between uses, place a spill-proof box of baking soda in everyone’s lunch box to absorb lingering odors.
32. Remove odor from carpets
Liberally sprinkle baking soda on the carpet. Let set overnight or as long as possible (the longer it sets the better it works). Sweep up the larger amounts of baking soda, and vacuum up the rest. (Note that your vacuum cleaner bag will get full and heavy.) An added bonus: You’ll also deodorize your vacuum cleaner.
33. Freshen closets
Place a box on the shelf to keep the closet smelling fresh.
34. Deodorize pet items
Cover the bottom of your cat box with baking soda, then fill as usual with litter. To freshen between changes, sprinkle baking soda on top of the litter after a thorough cleaning. Eliminate odors from your pet’s bedding by sprinkling liberally with baking soda, wait 15 minutes (or longer for stronger odors), then vacuum up.
35. Deodorize sneakers
Keep odors from spreading in smelly sneakers by shaking baking soda into them when not in use. Shake out before wearing.
36. Freshen stuffed animals
Keep favorite cuddly toys fresh with a dry shower of baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda on and let it sit for 15 minutes before brushing off.

Miscellaneous

37. Cure all camping needs
Baking soda is a must-have for your next camping trip. It’s a dish-washer, pot-scrubber, hand-cleanser, deodorant, toothpaste, and fire extinguisher, and has many other uses.
38. Extinguish fires
Baking soda can help in the initial handling of minor grease or electrical kitchen fires, because when baking soda is heated, it gives off carbon dioxide, which helps to smother the flames. For small cooking fires (frying pans, broilers, ovens, grills), turn off the gas or electricity if you can safely do so. Stand back and throw handfuls of baking soda at the base of the flame to help put out the fire — and call the fire department just to be safe.
39. Care for the septic system
Regular use of baking soda in your drains can help keep your septic system flowing freely. One cup of baking soda per week will help maintain a favorable pH in your septic tank.
40. Scrub fruits and vegetables
Baking soda is the food safe way to clean dirt and residue off fresh fruit and vegetables. Just sprinkle a little on a clean damp sponge, scrub and rinse. Here’s another way to clean your vegetables as well.

Essential Oils Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Alternative Medicine, Aromatherapy, Essential Oils

Safe for consumption application code for essential oil use
Many essential oils are safe for ingestion. In fact, all essential oils that are identified as Safe For Consumption can be taken as a dietary supplement, to promote physical well-being.
Some oils (e.g.: valerian, lemon, grapefruit, orange, nutmeg, tangerine, etc.) are even more effective when taken orally.
Things to remember when using essential oils as dietery supplements:
Remember to dilute the oils in oil-soluble liquids, such as a Mixing Oil or some other vegetable oil, olive oil, Agave nectar or goat/rice milk prior to ingestion. More or less dilution may be required, depending on how strong the oil is. Usually, no more than 2-3 drops should be ingested at one time, during any 4-8 hour period.
Essential oils should not be given as dietary supplements to children under 6 years of age. Parents should exercise caution before administering essential oils orally to a child, and oils should always be diluted prior to ingestion for children.
But please bear this in mind: Use only Essential Oils that are therapeutic-grade for ingestion. Most other essential oils on the market today are not produced to such high standards, and may pose serious risks if taken internally.
Essential oils for which dilution is not required
The following oils can be used topically without dilution, in most instances. If your skin is very sensitive, dilution is still recommended. They are generally regarded as safe for use on children over 6 years of age.
You will still want to dilute these oils for ingestion.
Bergamot
Roman chamomile
Cistus
Elemi
Fennel
Galbanum
Hyssop
Jasmine
Lavender
Lavandin
Melissa
Myrrh
Neroli
Onycha
Palmarosa
Patchouli
Petitgrain
Rose
Rosewood
Sandalwood
Spikenard
Valerian
Vetiver
Blue Yarrow
Ylang ylang
Essential oils for which dilution is recommended
For the following essential oils, dilution is recommended for both topical and internal use. Always dilute before using on sensitive areas — such as the face, neck, etc. — and before ingestion.
Keep out of reach of children.
Anise
Angelica
Basil
Cajeput
Cardamom
Cedarwood
Celery seed
Citronella
Coriander
Cumin
Dill
Eucalyptus globulus
Balsam fir
Frankincense
Geranium
Ginger
Goldenrod
Grapefruit
Helichrysum
Juniper
Laurus nobilis
Lemon
Lime
Mandarin
Marjoram
Melaleuca alternifolia
Myrtle
Nutmeg
Orange
Pepper
Pine
Rosemary
Sage
Spearmint
Spruce
Tangerine
Tarragon
Tsuga
Essential oils for which dilution is always recommended
Always dilute these oil before applying topically or taking internally. Keep out of reach of children.
Cassia
Cinnamon bark
Clove
Lemongrass
Mountain savory
Oregano
Peppermint
Thyme
Wintergreen

Surprising Healing Benefits of Spices

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Alternative Medicine, Natural Healing

Chances are you sprinkle cinnamon into your morning oatmeal or add a dash of oregano to pizza without giving the spices much thought. But did you know your favorite flavors can actually do your body good? According to Christina Suarez, master herbalist and owner of TheGoodHerbCo.com, while spices are only effective when eaten at least daily, each has its own specific health benefits. Read on to find out which additives can burn fat, ease a sore throat or help you get to sleep, and how you can incorporate them into your daily diet.
Cardamom
Fruit of the Elettaria cardamomum plant in the ginger family.
Health Powers: Eases belching, flatulence and indigestion; treats respiratory conditions like coughing, asthma and loss of voice; aids in the elimination of toxins through your skin.
Daily Dose: Stir a few freshly ground pinches of cardamom pods into a shot of OJ or your morning fruit salad, or mix it with white or brown rice before you boil it.
Cayenne
Fruit of the Capsicum annuum plant in the Solanaceae family, along with chile pepper.
Health Powers: Eliminates gas from the stomach and intestines; soothes sore throat, cold and flu symptoms; increases metabolism for weight control.
Daily Dose: Stir into a cup of hot chocolate or any sweet juice drink for a contrasting flavor kick.
Cinnamon
Bark of a small evergreen tree.
Health Powers: Tames nausea and stomach ulcers; functions as a mild anti-inflammatory; increases insulin sensitivity to help focus fat burn.
Daily Dose: Stir into coffee/tea, yogurt, oatmeal or any boxed cereal.
Cloves
Flower bud found at the base of an evergreen tree.
Health Powers: Soothes digestive tract muscles and is a potent antihistamine.
Daily Dose: Mix into your nightly ice cream treat or sneak into mustard spread.
Nutmeg
Fruit of Myristica fragrans,an evergreen tree.
Health Powers: Improves digestion; eases the symptoms of menstruation; induces calm and sleep.
Daily Dose: Grate a small amount into applesauce or plain yogurt. (Note: It’s safe to grate the entire nut, which you can usually buy whole at the supermarket, but you never want to consume more than one nutmeg per day because too much of this potent spice can cause stomach pain, double vision and other uncomfortable reactions.)
Celery Seed
Seed of the Apium graveolens plant in the parsley family.
Health Powers: Flushes the liver of toxins; lowers blood pressure; combats water retention.
Daily Dose: Think salads—tuna, potato and egg all work—which can be tossed onto a bed of lettuce, eaten alone or spread onto bread.
Coriander
Also known as cilantro; the leaves and seeds of the Coriandrum plant in the aromatic Apiaceae family.
Health Powers: Acts as a diuretic; eases seasonal allergies.
Daily Dose: Cook into couscous and quinoa, which you can store and eat with leftovers.
Fennel
Seed of the Foeniculum plant in the aromatic Apiaceae family.
Health Powers: Calms bowel distress; supports milk production in nursing mothers; combats water retention.
Daily Dose: Add to canned minestrones and vegetable soups.
Oregano
Leaf of the Origanum plant in the mint family.
Health Powers: Loosens mucus; helps treat respiratory illnesses; and calms indigestion.
Daily Dose: Use in any tomato-based foods, like marinara sauces, pizza and soups.
Thyme
Leaf of the Thymus plant in the mint family.
Health Powers: Relaxes the muscle tissue of the gastrointestinal tract; stimulates immune system.
Daily Dose: Toss into any meat-based dishes.
Turmeric
Root of the Circuma plant in the ginger family.
Health Powers: Reduces inflammation (joints, airways); detoxifies the liver.
Daily Dose: Mix in with oil-and-vinegar-based salad dressings.

Nerve Pain Oil

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Alternative Medicine, Aromatherapy, Essential Oils, Natural Healing, Physical

Reduce your suffering from nerve pain with this gentle and effective formula.
Nerve Pain Oil
4 drops chamomile oil
3 drops marjoram oil
3 drops helichrysum oil (if available)
2 drops lavender oil
1 ounce vegetable oil or St. John’s wort oil
Combine the ingredients. Apply as needed throughout the day for pain relief. This formula is even more effective if St. John’s wort oil is used instead of plain vegetable oil. Buy it at a natural food store.

Essential oils for nerve pain: chamomile, lavender, marjoram, peppermint, sandalwood

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