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12 Ways to Use Temperature Instead of Chemicals to Clean

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2. Boil away drain clogs

Verdict: Undetermined

Last year, I had a particularly nasty clog in a bathroom sink. My first line of attack was a pot of boiling water. It did nothing but, to be fair, drain chemicals and a hand auger also failed. I had to call in a local plumber. Since then, I have poured a monthly pot of boiling water down each drain to keep it clear. So far so good, but it’s hard to definitively say the boiling water is helping.

Some, including my plumber, recommend just using boiling water. Others say it should be followed by salt or sodium carbonate. Still others swear by a more complicated tincture: Thoroughly mix 1 part cream of tartar with four parts salt and four parts baking soda. Pour ¼-cup of the solution down the drain, then add one cup of boiling water. Watch it bubble, then flush with cold water.

For a slow or blocked drain, try pouring in one cup of salt and one cup of baking soda, then flush with a pot of boiling water.

3. Boil away pan stains

Verdict: Fail

We mixed two tablespoons baking soda with ½-cup vinegar in a non-stick frying pan with stubborn stains and burn marks, then giggled as we watched it fizz. We added a cup of water and boiled the mixture for 10 minutes. The pan was still stained at the end of the test, but the range was dirtier. Cover the pot to avoid splattering little white spots all over the stovetop. To be fair, this mixture may work on other stains, but it didn’t take care of the black spots on our pan.

4. Boil kettles clean

Verdict: Success

To remove calcium and lime deposits from coffeepots, kettles, etc., boil equal parts water and vinegar, then let it work overnight. Rinse thoroughly and the item should look like new. This has long worked perfectly on our electric kettle.

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Read more: Conservation, Crafts & Design, Food, Green Home Decor, Green Kitchen Tips, Health & Safety, Home, Household Hints, Materials & Architecture, Non-Toxic Cleaning, , ,

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502 comments

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2:32PM PDT on Jun 28, 2014

Cool?

2:46AM PDT on Jun 23, 2014

I use boiling water and a peroxide based product to kill germs in my dish and face clothes.

2:38AM PDT on Jun 23, 2014

Great information. Very useful.

9:29AM PST on Jan 29, 2014

Again, excellent information! Thanks!

3:42AM PDT on Sep 10, 2013

In that way, it's more likely to be a win-win situation, for the human and the environment

6:54AM PST on Feb 18, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

3:05PM PST on Jan 14, 2013

Janice R. - it kills the ants too!!
they can be a nuisance, but they are part of the eco-system - maybe we should be looking at ways to live with the animals that we get in the way of, rather than kill the ones that get in our way - and many who don't get in our way at all.

2:54PM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

I'm blessed I have a clothesline to hang my clothes . The sun really brightens them. Only use dryer when I have to!

10:13AM PDT on Mar 28, 2012

ty

10:29AM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

tanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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