Do-it-yourself cleaning and cosmetics have kind of become my obsession. I think about how I used to slap down my cold hard cash for all those creepy chemicals, those toxins just sitting under my sink, with their smells that seemed to permeate my every pore. I remember the artificial aqua, the glowing neon green, such unnaturally bright colors. And Iíll never forget that cloying, eye-watering suffocation that came from cleaning a too-tiny bathroom with too many kinds of soaps and powders and pastes and bleaches. Oof.
I think back to those days and I canít help but smile. Because now, Iím spending mere pennies and my cleansers and cosmetics are good enough to eat Ė literally! And my house is just as clean as ever and my body is just as beautiful, and gosh, everything is so much more pleasant.
So itís kind of become a game for me, to find and test new ways of turning healthy wholesome food-based items into awesome and powerful multipurpose players in my cleaning and grooming adventures. Vinegar is an old favorite, an actor in everything from my countertop cleanser to†my laundry detergent to my hair conditioner. And baking soda is invaluable. It makes appearances in†my deodorant,†my toothpaste, and itís†all I use these days for shampoo.
What about . . . tea? Super cheap and slightly acidic, tannin-rich tea just might be the next big untapped oil well in the game of†cleaning my Portland home. Itís all natural. Itís available everywhere. And best of all, itís effective!
Black tea is awesome in about a million and one ways, not the least of which is that it tastes great and keeps me going strong, but it also boasts an†impressive list of DIY prowess. For this particular project, Iíve put it to the test as a†glass and mirror cleaner.
I steeped an extra-strong glass of simple black tea (I used Earl Grey, my favorite) – 3 bags in an 8-oz glass. I let it steep and cool for an hour to really draw out all those tannins. Then I transferred the brew to a spray bottle (ex-chemical cleaner bottles, well washed of course, work well for this), and put it to work on the dirtiest window in my house.
Dog noses and kiddie fingers have pressed at this window for months. Perhaps that says something about my cleaning skills, but letís just say it was for science. On the right hand pane I used plain water and scrubbed with newspaper (newspaper leaves less streaking than rags, and can still be recycled when youíre through). On the left I used tea.
Need I say more? I think the results speak for themselves!
Economical, easy, edible, and efficient; black tea brings it on all four counts. Give it a try, and tell me what you think!
By Sayward Rebhal,†Roofing Networx