Is it Worth Choosing Organic Veggies?

By Emma Cockrell

With my ongoing emphasis on including more vegetables in the diet – whether a Nutritionhelp anti-candida diet or general healthy diet – it serves us well to consider the question of whether we should be buying organic. We are aware that produce may be carrying a residue of pesticides and fungicides, but does this really matter? You can access the government reports on pesticide residue on a number of foods here. This seems to be a fair and transparent documentation, with the main summary being “…we do not expect these residues to have an effect on health.”

However, since pesticides are designed to be toxic – to kill insects, plants and fungi – it is not surprising to know that they can have an impact on health. The problem is that the impact isn’t seen immediately or obviously. Samantha Jakuboski at Green Science writes,

After countless studies, pesticides have been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, ADHD, and even birth defects. Pesticides also have the potential to harm the nervous system, the reproductive system, and the endocrine system. Pesticides can even be very harmful to foetuses because the chemicals can pass from the mother during pregnancy or if a woman nurses her child. Although one piece of fruit with pesticides won’t kill you, if they build up in your body, they can be potentially detrimental to your health and should be avoided as much as possible.

Children, in particular, take in more pesticides relative to body weight than adults and have developing organ systems that are more vulnerable and less able to detoxify toxic chemicals.

veg

In contrast, consider the results of research at Newcastle University on the nutrient benefits of organic produce. The study concluded that there are “statistically significant, meaningful” differences, with a range of antioxidants being “substantially higher” – between 19% and 69% – in organic food. It is the first study to demonstrate clear and wide-ranging differences between organic and conventional fruits, vegetables and cereals.

So while in theory we would prefer organic produce, it is not always available or affordable. This is where the following chart, taken from Pesticide Action Network UK, can be useful. It helps us to understand which vegetables are most contaminated (follow link for information on fruits) and therefore which ones to opt for organic when possible.

The worst produce are generally those that require a shiny exterior to promote sales. These often have petroleum-based wax coatings which also encourages contamination from pesticides to ‘stick’. With non-organic produce therefore it is well worth peeling, to reduce the toxic load. In contrast, organic produce should be eaten unpeeled (but well-washed) to obtain maximum nutrients.tomatoes

A natural bristle brush is helpful for scrubbing produce thoroughly, removing as much pesticide residue as possible.

Best & Worst Food for Pesticide Residues E-mail
% of Samples That
Contain Residues
% of Residues that Exceed MRLs
 % of Samples that contain Multiple Residues
 

Best Vegetables


Corn (cob)
alt
0 0 0
Leeks
alt
8 1.4 4.2
Aubergines
alt 20 5.7 5.7
Onions
alt
29 0 2
Ginger
alt 33 0 0
Chilli
alt
9 6.5 22
Potatoes
alt
44 1 8.3
Peppers
alt 45 0 34
Celery alt 46 0 12.5
Spinach alt 47 2.5 22


Worst Vegetables


Tomatoes
alt
81 2.1 52
Parsnips
alt
77 0 67
Cucumber
alt
64 1 36
Carrots
alt
63 0 32
Lettuce
alt
59 0 27
Beans in a pod
alt
58 14 39
Peas in a pod
alt
57 4.1 37
Sweet Potatoes
alt
57 0 6.4
Courgettes and Marrows  alt  48 0 13
Yams  alt  48 22 28

The following chart, also by Pesticide Action Network UK gives a window into the endeavours of UK supermarkets into addressing pesticides on their produce. There is quite a contrast  between the attitudes of the companies compared! However, most of the companies listed below are working to increase their organic range of produce.

What are UK supermarkets doing about pesticide problems?

Print E-mail
PAN UK’s summary comparison on whether supermarkets are addressing the following issues;
Pesticide policy criterion
Aldi
ADSA co-op lidl m&s morrisons sainsbury's somerfield tesco Waitrose
Publish its residue testing results?
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
A company mentions the issue but gives no detail on how this is implemented, or lacks targets or reporting on progress.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
A company is taking concrete actions for a specific criterion and describes in some detail the aims and methods.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
A company mentions the issue but gives no detail on how this is implemented, or lacks targets or reporting on progress.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
Action plans to tackle residue problems beyond legal compliance?
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
A company is taking concrete actions for a specific criterion and describes in some detail the aims and methods.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
A company is taking concrete actions for a specific criterion and describes in some detail the aims and methods.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
Commit to phase out specific hazardous pesticides?
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
A company is taking concrete actions for a specific criterion and describes in some detail the aims and methods.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
A company is taking concrete actions for a specific criterion and describes in some detail the aims and methods.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
A company mentions the issue but gives no detail on how this is implemented, or lacks targets or reporting on progress.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
Stated aim and actions to reduce use of pesticides?
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
A company mentions the issue but gives no detail on how this is implemented, or lacks targets or reporting on progress.
A company is taking concrete actions for a specific criterion and describes in some detail the aims and methods.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
A company is taking concrete actions for a specific criterion and describes in some detail the aims and methods.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
A company is taking concrete actions for a specific criterion and describes in some detail the aims and methods.
A company mentions the issue but gives no detail on how this is implemented, or lacks targets or reporting on progress.
A company mentions the issue but gives no detail on how this is implemented, or lacks targets or reporting on progress.
A company mentions the issue but gives no detail on how this is implemented, or lacks targets or reporting on progress.
Pest management strategy promotes alternatives to pesticides?
A company may be addressing the issue, but does not provide any information on it, or the information is too vague to judge whether it is making a genuine effort
A company mentions the issue but gives no detail on how this is implemented, or lacks targets or reporting on progress.
A company is taking concrete actions for a specific criterion and describes in some detail the aims and methods.
A company may be addressing the issue, but does not provide any information on it, or the information is too vague to judge whether it is making a genuine effort
A company is taking concrete actions for a specific criterion and describes in some detail the aims and methods.
A company may be addressing the issue, but does not provide any information on it, or the information is too vague to judge whether it is making a genuine effort
A company is taking concrete actions for a specific criterion and describes in some detail the aims and methods.
A company is taking concrete actions for a specific criterion and describes in some detail the aims and methods.
A company mentions the issue but gives no detail on how this is implemented, or lacks targets or reporting on progress.
A company is taking concrete actions for a specific criterion and describes in some detail the aims and methods.
Technical support for growers to reduce reliance on pesticides?
A company may be addressing the issue, but does not provide any information on it, or the information is too vague to judge whether it is making a genuine effort
A company mentions the issue but gives no detail on how this is implemented, or lacks targets or reporting on progress.
A company is taking concrete actions for a specific criterion and describes in some detail the aims and methods.
A company may be addressing the issue, but does not provide any information on it, or the information is too vague to judge whether it is making a genuine effort
A company is taking concrete actions for a specific criterion and describes in some detail the aims and methods.
A company may be addressing the issue, but does not provide any information on it, or the information is too vague to judge whether it is making a genuine effort
A company is taking concrete actions for a specific criterion and describes in some detail the aims and methods.
A company may be addressing the issue, but does not provide any information on it, or the information is too vague to judge whether it is making a genuine effort
A company mentions the issue but gives no detail on how this is implemented, or lacks targets or reporting on progress.
A company is taking concrete actions for a specific criterion and describes in some detail the aims and methods.
Information for consumers on pesticide use issues?
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
A company is taking concrete actions for a specific criterion and describes in some detail the aims and methods.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
A company mentions the issue but gives no detail on how this is implemented, or lacks targets or reporting on progress.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
A company mentions the issue but gives no detail on how this is implemented, or lacks targets or reporting on progress.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
Engage with consumers on unnecessary use of pesticides for cosmetic appearance of fruit & vegetables?
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.

Key

green A company is taking concrete actions for a specific criterion and describes in some detail the aims and methods.
yellow A company mentions the issue but gives no detail on how this is implemented, or lacks targets or reporting on progress.
blue A company may be addressing the issue, but does not provide any information on it, or the information is too vague to judge whether it is making a genuine effort.
red There is no policy commitment or no information provided for consumers.
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Natural Air Fresheners

It is not unusual for clients with an overgrowth of the gut yeast Candida albicans to be sensitive to a number of environmental factors, such as perfumes and house-hold paint. A contributing factor to this situation is helpfully explained by Ralph Golan in his book, ‘Optimal Wellness’. Golan yeast immune response   In the left hand diagram, there is a balance between beneficial bacteria and yeast (the large dark dots), allowing the helper cells (H) to stimulate the the B cells to make antibodies. Antibody production (A) is kept in balance by suppressor cells (S), preventing B cells from over producing antibodies.

In the right hand diagram, the small grey dots represent yeast toxins. These are produced since intestinal yeast and beneficial bacteria are no longer in the correct ratio (dark dots). Yeast toxins inhibit suppressor cell (S) function, so now helper cells (H) are unopposed in their production of antibodies, leading to inappropriate and over-production of antibodies (A). This can potentially result in a heightened state of allergy, with an individual showing sensitivity to environmental factors and foods. Working to balance gut ecology is therefore key, and a Nutritionhelp programme can help to provide the guidance and recommendations to do this.

Limiting environmental toxins in your home may be helpful while working to support health nutritionally. One area to consider is air fresheners, which are now seen as an essential part of keeping a home clean and fresh, but ironically they may be filling your home with toxins. Kimberly Snyder has written a helpful post on the dangers of air fresheners and recommends some natural alternatives.

Air fresheners come in many different forms, from air and fabric sprays to plug in “burners” to solids. While they can perfume the air of your home, they don’t actually neutralize smells and they can wreak havoc on your home’s air quality.

What’s in Air Freshener

According to the EPA1, air freshener contains four basic ingredients: formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, aerosol propellants, and p-dichlorobenzene.

Formaldehyde can cause a number of health effects including:

  • Watery eyes
  • Burning eye, nose, throat and other mucous membranes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea
  • Asthma attacks

Petroleum distillates come from petrochemical manufacturing, which contribute to air, soil, and groundwater pollution. The effects on human health include:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Asthma
  • Chemical pneumonia
  • Pulmonary damage

Aerosol propellants can harm earth’s ozone layer. Likewise, they can damage human health including:

  • Increased cancer risk
  • Breathing problems
  • Development of chronic health issues

Paradichlorobenzene (p-DCB) is often found in mothballs and may cause:

  • Anemia
  • Skin lesions
  • Liver damage
  • Loss of appetite
  • Changes to the blood

Of course, air fresheners also contain fragrance, often in the form of perfumed chemicals.

Indoor Air Quality

It’s quite ironic, really, that something designed to “improve” indoor air quality by making it smell better actually winds up making your home more toxic. Studies show that use of air fresheners in the home can trigger asthma and allergies, along with other breathing problems. Because your home is a relatively closed space, adding elements that diminish air quality can harm your family and contribute to the toxic brew of chemicals that wind up trapped in your system. Air fresheners can also harm pets, which have a faster metabolism. They may also be especially dangerous for people with pulmonary conditions such as asthma, allergies, or COPD.

Alternatives to Air Freshener

Everyone’s home can get a little stale from time to time. If you’d like to sweeten your environment, however, you can make far healthier choices than air fresheners. Here are a few suggestions.

1. Make a pomander. Stud an orange with whole cloves and cure it in the oven on low heat for about an hour – or place it in a paper bag somewhere cool and dry for about six weeks. Hang it with a ribbon or set in a pretty bowl to sweetly scent the area.

2. Open the windows. Every house can benefit from a good airing out. On a day with good air quality and a slight breeze, open your windows for a few hours. Open windows on all sides of the house to create a cross breeze that gets air moving.

3. Simmer spices. You can simmer spices such as whole cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg on the stove top or in a simmering pot.

4. Odour absorbers: Use a neutral odour absorbent such as a box of baking soda in a stinky area, or sprinkle especially smelly spots (such as the garbage can) with a little vinegar and baking soda.

5. Vinegar can remove odors from surfaces when you spray a little on and wipe it up.

6. Create your own potpourri from bulk herbs, flowers, and spices and leave a little in a bowl.

7. Use essential oils. Dab a little on a light bulb or a warmer to gently scent a room.

8. Put a little citrus peel down the garbage disposal and turn it on to de-stink your drain.

9. Eliminate cooking odors by placing a shallow bowl of vinegar nearest the scent.

10. Soak a cotton ball in vanilla and place it in a bowl where you want your home to smell better.

Non-Toxic Cleaning

An over-growth of the gut-yeast Candida albicans can affect health in many different ways.  One aspect which can be over-looked is the way in which it might influence the immune system. When a client lists a number of food and environmental allergies, it is helpful to understand that this isn’t simply ‘just another symptom’, but may be directly linked to yeast over-growth.

Ralph Golan MD writes very helpfully about the workings of the immune system in his book ‘Optimal Wellness’. Ordinarily, the correct balance between friendly bacteria in the gut and yeast allows for normal immune-cell function. ‘Helper’ cells and ‘suppressor’cells are in ratio to keep antibody production by ‘B’ cells in balance . However, intestinal yeast when over-grown can release toxins into the blood stream which inhibit ‘suppressor’ cell function. This leaves the antibody production by ‘helper’ cells to be unopposed, leading to inappropriate production of antibodies, which may result in a heightened state of allergy.

Once again, supporting the correct balance of friendly bacteria and yeast within the digestive tract is of vital importance. For tailor-made nutritional recommendations to help you in this, visit www.nutritionhelp.com.

Meanwhile, a heightened state of allergy for some clients means that they react to simple day-to-day environmental factors, such as cleaning fluids, forcing them to find and use  natural alternatives. Other clients become more aware of the level of toxins all around and want to make an effort to reduce toxin levels from cleaning agents within the home, in order to support the health of the whole family. The following article by Annie B. Bond, reported at Food Matters has some helpful tips for making your own house-hold cleaners.  Where she refers to detergents and soaps, use one of the natural ones available in most supermarkets or wholefood shops, or visit the ethicalsuperstore.com for a good selection of cleaning materials.

 Going back to the original naturally derived ingredients is a way to make cleaning products that work, don’t pollute and save you money. Most are found in your kitchen cupboards. Mix and match with well-chosen and environmentally friendly green cleaning products found in health food stores, and you can easily and simply transform your home into a non-toxic and healthy haven.

Non-toxic cleaning can give you a deep feeling of gratification in knowing that your family’s health is protected, and that your home is a place for your bodies to rest and recuperate rather than promote harm.

Making your own nontoxic cleaning kit will take you no time at all with these simple, straightforward directions, and with this kit you will be supplied with enough cleaning product for months of cleaning.

As an added bonus, ounce for ounce homemade cleaning formulas cost about one-tenth the price of their commercial counterpart—and that includes costly, but worthwhile essential oils, and concentrated, all-purpose detergents for homemade recipes.

SUPPLIES: What You Need To Get Started

  • Baking soda
  • Washing soda
  • White distilled vinegar
  • A good liquid soap or detergent
  • Tea tree oil
  • 6 clean spray bottles
  • 2 glass jars

1. CREAMY SOFT SCRUBBER

Simply pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough liquid detergent to make a texture like frosting. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and wash the surface. This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn’t leave grit.

Note: Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to the mixture and store in a sealed glass jar, to keep the product moist. Otherwise just make as much as you need at a time.

2. WINDOW CLEANER

1/4-1/2 teaspoon liquid detergent
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups water
Spray bottle

Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use as you would a commercial brand. 

The soap in this recipe is important. It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.

3. OVEN CLEANER

1 cup or more baking soda
Water
A squirt or two of liquid detergent

Sprinkle water generously over the bottom of the oven, then cover the grime with enough baking soda that the surface is totally white. Sprinkle some more water over the top. Let the mixture set overnight. You can easily wipe up the grease the next morning because the grime will have loosened. When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of liquid detergent or soap on a sponge, and wash the remaining residue from the oven. If this recipe doesn’t work for you it is probably because you didn’t use enough baking soda and/or water.

4. ALL-PURPOSE SPRAY CLEANER

1/2 teaspoon washing soda
A dab of liquid soap
2 cups hot tap water
A few drops of tea tree oil

Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag.

5. FURNITURE POLISH

1/2 teaspoon oil, such as olive (or jojoba, a liquid wax)
1/4 cup vinegar or fresh lemon juice

Mix the ingredients in a glass jar. Dab a soft rag into the solution and wipe onto wood surfaces. Cover the glass jar and store indefinitely.


6. VINEGAR DEODORIZER

Keep a clean spray bottle filled with straight 5 percent vinegar in your kitchen near your cutting board and in your bathroom and use them for cleaning. I often spray the vinegar on our cutting board before going to bed at night, and don’t even rinse but let it set overnight. The smell of vinegar dissipates within a few hours. Straight vinegar is also great for cleaning the toilet rim. Just spray it on and wipe off.

7. MOLD KILLERS

2 teaspoons tea tree oil
2 cups water

Nothing natural works for mold and mildew as well as this spray. I’ve used it successfully on a moldy ceiling from a leaking roof, on a musty bureau, a musty rug, and a moldy shower curtain. Tea tree oil is expensive, but a little goes a very long way. 

Note: The smell of tea tree oil is very strong, but it will dissipate in a few days.

Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse. Makes two cups.

Vinegar Spray
Straight vinegar reportedly kills 82 percent of mould. Pour some white distilled vinegar straight into a spray bottle, spray on the mouldy area, and let set without rinsing if you can put up with the smell. It will dissipate in a few hours.

Listen to Your Body!

Food matters have produced a helpful guide to 9 symptoms you shouldn’t ignore. As with any symptoms, you should get checked with your doctor and then seek specific nutritional advice, such as a tailor-made programme with Nutritionhelp.  However, the nine points, which I will cover in the coming days, may help you in supporting the health of your family.

By Catherine Guthrie, Experience Life

The body is a magnificent machine. When things go awry, it generally doesn’t just shut down without warning, like an incandescent light bulb popping its filament. Instead it sends us little signals (think of them as gentle biological taps on the shoulder) letting us know that something is amiss.

“Physical signs and symptoms are ways your body tries to alert you to deeper imbalances,” says Elson M. Haas, MD, a San Rafael, Calif., physician with a natural-medicine approach and author of Staying Healthy with Nutrition (Celestial Arts, 2006). “Taking the time to decipher the body’s codes is always better than simply popping a pill and hoping the symptoms just go away. Ideally, we want to get to the causes of problems, not just suppress the end result of ill health.” But interpreting the body’s quirky Morse code requires a deep level of body awareness that, like any skill, takes time and practice to perfect. To that end, we recruited a handful of the country’s leading integrative health practitioners to help identify nine of the most common conditions underlying frequent, and sometimes mysterious, symptoms. Read on to clue into your body’s messages.

You’re drinking too much diet soda…

One likely signal: Headaches

Background: Artificial sweeteners, particularly aspartame (found in Nutrasweet and Equal), can trigger headaches, even migraines. At highest risk are people with a genetic disorder called phenylketonuria (or PKU for short); they lack the enzyme needed to metabolize a substance (phenylalanine) that is created when the body breaks down aspartame. But even those without the genetic disorder may find that drinking diet soda results in brain fog or headache. Why? Animal studies have shown aspartame to be a potent neurotoxin, at least in young rats. I’m concerned about whether aspartame might cause nerve damage in humans, as well — or at least disrupt the nerve signaling that enables the brain to register satiety,” says Sharon Fowler, MPH, a faculty associate at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio who studies the health effects of artificial sweetener use. One of the prime suspects is the methanol in aspartame, which is broken down into formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. People who are sensitive to formaldehyde may experience headaches after ingesting aspartame.

Other signals: Intense cravings for sweet or salty foods, inability to focus, irritability

How to respond: When the urge for diet soda strikes, Kathie Swift, MS, RD, LDN, chief nutrition adviser for the online-based sites MyFoodMyHealth and My Foundation Diet, suggests drinking sparkling water flavored with a splash of 100 percent fruit juice and a squeeze of lime.

As many have experienced when following a Nutritionhelp protocol, in avoiding sugar and artificial sweeteners, the taste buds regain their ability to taste flavours in all foods.  One client just said to me this morning, “Now I can taste a sweetness in plain oat-cakes!” For family members, a dash of fruit juice in a glass of sparkling water may provide an alternative to sodas, but for Nutritionhelp clients we recommend just a slice of lemon for flavouring.  You will be amazed at how quickly you will get to appreciate this delicate flavour once sugar and artificial sweeteners are out of the diet.

Cleaning the Home Naturally.

A couple of days ago What Doctors Don’t Tell You e-news published some facts on the effect cleaning chemicles may have on health:

There’s a 20 per cent chance your chronic disease is caused by chemical intolerance 

 If you have a chronic health problem – such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or allergies – there’s a 20 per cent chance it’s been caused by a chemical intolerance.  But if it is, there’s almost no chance your doctor will detect it.
Doctors have a blind spot when it comes to chemical intolerances – usually of household products such as cleaners, fragrances, and the fire retardants on new carpets and furnishings. 
In a study of 400 patients attending one health clinic for chronic problems, 20 per cent had a chemical intolerance – but the doctor hadn’t picked up the association.  Instead, they were treated in the usual way – further tests, prescription drugs, even possibly surgery – when just taking the chemical out of their lives would have reversed the condition.
Clues of a chemical intolerance include fatigue, changes in mood, difficulty thinking or concentrating and digestive problems, say researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center.
(Source: Annals of Family Medicine, 2012; 10: 357-65).
Of course, there may be other factors contributing to your current health status, and this is where a Nutritionhelp report and contact with one of our associate nutritionists may be of help. But being careful which chemical cleaners you use around the home may help remove some of the load from an already struggling immune system.  Dr Mercola bloggs about specific cleaning chemicals to avoid and adds some natural replacements for cleaning the home.

Half-a-Dozen Uses for Baking Soda.

 

Here are half a dozen examples of how plain and simple baking soda can replace dangerous commercial cleaning products in your home:

  1. Use as a safe non-scratch scrub — for metals and porcelain.
  2. To clean your oven — simply sprinkle a cup or more of baking soda over the bottom of the oven, then cover the baking soda with enough water to make a thick paste. Let the mixture set overnight. The next morning the grease will be easy to wipe up because the grime will have loosened. When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of liquid detergent or soap on a sponge, and wash the remaining residue from the oven.
  3. To unclog a drain — pour 1/2 – 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, then slowly pour 1/2 – 1 cup of vinegar in after it. Cover the drain and let it sit for 15 minutes. If it bubbles like a volcano, it means it’s working as planned. Flush with a gallon of boiling water.
  4. Deodorize dry carpets — by sprinkling liberally with baking soda. Wait at least 15 minutes, then vacuum.
  5. To rid your garbage disposal of foul smells — add vinegar to water for ice cubes, then let a few of them get chopped by your disposal.
  6. To clean your silver — boil 2-3 inches of water in a shallow pan with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and a sheet of aluminum foil. Totally submerge silver and boil for 2-3 minutes more. Remove silver from the pan and wipe away the tarnish with a clean cotton cloth.