While on the GAPS diet (or for anyone, really) it’s important to reduce the number of toxins you are exposed to. I switched to just using baking soda and vinegar for all my cleaning a little over a year ago in an attempt to reduce the number of chemicals around me and to save some money.
Overall, it has worked really well. I clean my countertops, mirrors, and sinks with a 50/50 blend of white vinegar and water. I use baking soda to scrub the toilet or soak pans with baked-on food. I mop my floors with vinegar and water. Vinegar is my usual choice of fabric softener in the laundry. It’s so nice to not breathe in noxious fumes while getting my cleaning done. Plus, baking soda and vinegar are extremely inexpensive, especially when compared to the cost of green cleaners which I had been previously using.
The problem I have been noticing the most over the past year, though, is that my bathtub was getting dingier and dingier. It seemed that no matter how much I scrubbed it, it still looked dirty after I was done.
I recently picked up The Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen from the library. It sounded interesting, but I wasn’t specifically looking for any cleaning tips. It turns out they had a few very helpful ideas!
First of all, they add a little bit of castille soap to their vinegar/water solution for the kitchen to help cut through grease. I still need to try this out, but I’m thinking it will be even more effective than my current method of just vinegar and water.
The next big thing that stood out to me was that they use baking soda for scrubbing their tubs and sinks. How did I miss that?! That makes a lot more sense to use than vinegar and water. I’m switching to that now and saving the vinegar/water solution for countertops and mirrors.
The trump card, though, was their recipe for “Magic Soft Scrub” to use on tubs, sinks, and other items with soap scum build up. It’s amazing! You just mix about a half cup of baking soda with castille soap. You keep adding the soap until the mixture resembles frosting. I then spooned it onto my scrubbing brush and started scrubbing away. I can’t believe how well it worked! My bathtub and sink both look so much better now. Plus, my scrubbing brush looks brand new again and it was getting pretty disgusting.
There’s a great quote in the book that I totally get now. “It is so pleasant to use (especially if it smells like peppermint, like ours does), you might end up wandering around looking for more things to scrub.” Mine happened to smell like lavender since I was using Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Castille soap. But I definitely felt the same way.
How do you clean your home? Do you have any other great tips and tricks to use when cleaning with using baking soda, vinegar, and castille soap? I’d love to hear about them, but first I think I need to go scrub my kitchen sink…