1 Gallon Vinegar
2 cups Epson Salts
1/4 cup Dawn Dish Liquid
Mix in a gallon sprayer, spray on the weeds in the morning after the dew is gone. Weeds will be dead by the evening. :)
*For chewing insects use Rotenone
*For sucking insects use Neem oil
*Always helps- dish liquid and water mixed, spray on plants, knocks off the insects…sometimes they don’t come back!
*walk through your garden often, looking under leaves…squishing those bad bugs is very therapeutic! :)
Some great websites for more detailed information:
extensive organic pest control guide, alphabetically listed and you can click on the insect name to see a picture of the pest. Also features organic information on: fertilizers, lawn care, rose care and mosquito controls.
more info and tips, including organic pest control recipes.
*Remember: even organic controls kill beneficial bugs as well as the bad bugs….use sparingly and only when absolutely necessary.
Household Uses for Baking Soda
1. Deodorize – Neutralizing smells is baking soda’s claim to fame. However, baking soda is only as effective as you are diligent to use it correctly. That box of baking soda in your refrigerator will absorb odors for awhile, but the humidity will form a crust on the top layer. Stir up the box every two weeks, and replace it after two months. Sprinkle fresh baking soda in trash cans or diaper pails every time you change the liner, in smelly sneakers, litter boxes, musty areas and any other odorous places.
2. Drains – When you replace boxes of baking soda used for refrigerators, throw them down the drain or pour into your toilet tanks to sit overnight before flushing.
3. As a carpet freshener – Use as you would a store-bought brand and sprinkle it on the carpet, wait for about thirty minutes, then vacuum.
4. Salvage books from mildew – Humidity is the enemy of any paper product, but once the damage is done, you can erase the smell by sealing the book in a container with some baking soda for a few weeks.
Cleaning with Baking Soda
5. Stains – Baking soda is a gentle cleanser for stubborn stains in coffee mugs, tea cups, and plastic ice tea jugs, and safer to use than bleach. Make a paste and scrub stains away.
6. Lift grease – Douse baking soda on barbecue grills and let it sit overnight before scrubbing with a wire brush and warm water. You can also use it for grease spills on the garage floor.
7. Clean marble countertops – Marble countertops are easily damaged from ordinary household products like lemon juice, but baking soda is a safe and recommended cleanser. It also reaches those tiny crevices that occur naturally in marble. Use a toothbrush sprinkled with baking soda to scrub the cracks, and wipe the counter with a baking soda and warm water solution. Rinse thoroughly.
8. Clean silver –To remove tarnish from your silver, line a glass casserole or stainless steel pot with aluminum foil. Place the silver on the foil so that each piece has contact, then sprinkle it with 2 to 3 tablespoons each of baking soda and salt. Pour boiling water over it just to cover, then let it soak. Rinse and wipe the pieces dry. Do not use baking soda as a paste to rub on silver.
9. Clean cutting boards – Don’t like to use bleach on cutting boards? Use a paste of baking soda, salt, and water. Rinse with hot water.
10. Microwave – An easy, safe way to clean stubborn splatters is to put 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a glass of water, then heat for 3 minutes. Wipe it clean.
11. Scrubbing power – Use it to gently cleanse porcelain, enamel, tile, fiberglass, and stainless steel surfaces. Safely scour away crayon or marker doodlings on walls and floors.
Personal Uses for Baking Soda
12. Toothpaste – Major toothpaste manufacturers already add baking soda to their products, touting its whitening properties.
Plain baking soda sprinkled on a toothbrush and dampened with water works equally well, though the taste is not preferable. It’s a good alternative for those who are concerned about consuming too much fluoride.
13. Facial scrub – Mix a solution of three parts baking soda to one part water to exfoliate your skin. This home remedy works well to soften skin, but it can be slightly drying if used too often, so modify it to your skin’s needs. Mix baking soda and oatmeal in a blender; the oatmeal seems to offset baking soda’s burning sensation. If you have sensitive skin, try mixing baking soda with Cetaphil for a daily exfoliating scrub.
14. Soothing Bath – For sunburns or itchy rashes from eczema, insect bites, poison ivy, or chicken pox, a tepid bath with baking soda provides some relief.
Using Baking Soda in the Kitchen
15. Produce – Dissolve several tablespoons of baking soda in a tub of cold water to wash your produce. The baking soda is safer than soap, and will neutralize some of the impurities in the water as well.
16. Meat tenderizer – Rub baking soda on the meat for two to three hours before you need it. Rinse the meat thoroughly before cooking.
17. Counteract acid – Oops! Added too much vinegar to a recipe? Add a pinch of baking soda. Be careful - a little goes a long way. Add a pinch to tomato dishes to balance the acid. Your acid reflux-prone family members will thank you, but forego this baking soda use if anyone in your family needs to reduce their salt intake.
18. No more gas – Add a pinch to bean recipes when you soak them to reduce those unpleasant aftereffects. Rinse the beans before cooking.
Slightly Offbeat Uses for Baking Soda
19. Swimming pools – Replace expensive pool chemicals to maintain the alkalinity in the water. The folks at Arm & Hammer say to use one and a half pounds for every 10,000 gallons of water.
20. Kill cockroaches – Mix an equal solution of baking soda and sugar and set out milk jug lids with this concoction in dark corners.
Roaches love it, but it’s a deadly mix. Although baking soda is considered a safe, non-toxic substance, too much can make your babies and pets sick. Keep these roach traps away from your little ones.
21. Camping friend – Take a large box of baking soda on your next camping trip to cut down on packing space. Use it to wash dishes, scrub pots, put out fires, wash hands, brush teeth, and soften those insects when the fish won’t bite.
22. Corroded Car battery terminals – Make a three-to-one baking soda to water paste and apply to disconnected car battery terminals to scrub away the corrosion. When done, apply petroleum jelly to prevent it from happening again.
Arm yourself with a few boxes of baking soda and try out at least a few of these ideas. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to uses for baking soda. Baking soda is not a cure-all, however, and ingesting too much can be dangerous. If used correctly, it is a safe, economical choice which could make a significant difference in the levels of the world’s pollution, and your pocketbook.
I have been making and using this Laundry Soap for years and find it easy, economical and efficient. You will need 3 basic ingredients; a soap of some sort, washing soda and borax. I have found all of these ingredients at our local Walmart in the laundry detergent aisle.
The Soap: The most typical type of soap to use is Fels Naptha by Purex. It is an old-fashioned type of soap usually found in the laundry supply area. The other options for soap are Ivory or another brand called, Zote. Any of these will work. I have used homemade soap and find it works quite well. If you use Ivory or your own homemade soap you will need to use the whole bar.
Washing Soda: This is not to be confused with baking soda. They are not the same thing. Washing soda is sodium carbonate or soda ash (baking soda is sodium bicarbonate). It is a white powder. Its purpose is to help remove dirt and odors. The brand to look for is Arm & Hammer Washing Soda. I find it in the laundry section of my grocery store. Many people have a hard time finding this locally. I know you can purchase it on-line, even through Amazon.com.
Borax: Borax is a naturally occurring mineral: Sodium Borate. It is a white powder. It’s purpose is as a laundry whitener and deodorizer. The brand to look for is 20 Mule Team. It comes in a 76 oz. box. You should be able to locate this in the laundry detergent aisle. Again as with the washing soda, if you cannot find it ask you store manager or look online.
Homemade Laundry Soap
1/2 bar Fels Naptha or other type of soap, as listed above
½ cup washing soda
½ cup borax powder
Essential oil of your choice
*You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size, with a lid*
Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Add essential oil of your choice for scent. I love Lavender, Lemon or Rosemary. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 4 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will sort of gel up. You use 1 cup per load. I use a little more for really dirty loads. I also put 1 cup of white vinegar in my wash load to disinfect. This white vinegar will also keep your washing machine fresh.
This soap is a non-sudsing soap, so don’t worry about the lack of suds. The ingredients do the cleaning, not the suds. The finished soap in your bucket will not be totally solid…it will be watery, but with thickness. This is normal.
Natural Fabric Softener:
1 cup white vinegar added during the rinse cycle will soften clothes and also eliminate static electricity problems.
Naturally Interesting! from me to you....
Looking for simple, natural ways to live healthy, save money and be self-sustaining...I have encountered some great information that I want to share with you.
Life is good,..Life is natural!
1997 CA&J Farm
Mathews County, Virginia