Level III Natural Cleaning Hacks for Managing Eczema & Atopic Dermatitis

This articles follows from the Article on Level I & II Hacks

Level III Hacks (everything else) 

Drain Cleaner:

For light drain cleaning, mix 1/2 cup salt in 4 litres water, heat (but not to a boil) and pour down the drain. For stronger cleaning, pour about 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, then 1/2 cup vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction can break fatty acids down into soap and glycerine, allowing the clog to wash down the drain. After 15 minutes, pour in boiling water to clear residue. Caution: only use this method with metal plumbing. Plastic pipes can melt if excess boiling water is used. Also, do not use this method after trying a commercial drain opener–the vinegar can react with the drain opener to create dangerous fumes.

Carpet Stains:

Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray directly on stain, let sit for several minutes, and clean with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water.
For fresh grease spots, sprinkle corn starch onto spot and wait 15 – 30 minutes before vacuuming.

For a heavy duty carpet cleaner, mix 1/4 cup each of salt, borax and vinegar. Rub paste into carpet and leave for a few hours. Vacuum.

Floor Cleaner and Polish:

Most floor surfaces can be easily cleaned using a solution of vinegar and water. For damp-mopping wood floors: mix equal amounts of white distilled vinegar and water. Add 15 drops of pure peppermint oil; shake to mix.

Here are solutions for other more specific floor materials:

  • Vinyl and linoleum: mix 1 cup vinegar and a few drops of baby oil in 1 gallon warm water. For tough jobs, add 1/4 cup borox. Use sparingly on linoleum.
  • Wood: apply a thin coat of 1:1 vegetable oil and vinegar and rub in well.
  • Painted wood: mix 1 teaspoon washing soda into 1 gallon (4L) hot water.
  • Brick and stone tiles: mix 1 cup white vinegar in 1 gallon (4L) water; rinse with clear water.

Furniture Polish:

For varnished wood, add a few drops of lemon oil into a 1/2 cup warm water. Mix well and spray onto a soft cotton cloth. Cloth should only be slightly damp. Wipe furniture with the cloth, and finish by wiping once more using a dry soft cotton cloth.

For unvarnished wood, mix two tsps each of olive oil and lemon juice and apply a small amount to a soft cotton cloth. Wring the cloth to spread the mixture further into the material and apply to the furniture using wide strokes. This helps distribute the oil evenly.

Lime Deposits:

You can reduce lime deposits in your teakettle by putting in 1/2 cup (125ml) white vinegar and 2 cups water, and gently boiling for a few minutes. Rinse well with fresh water while kettle is still warm. To remove lime scale on bathroom fixtures, squeeze lemon juice onto affected areas and let sit for several minutes before wiping clean with a wet cloth.

Marks on Walls & Painted Surfaces:

Many ink spots, pencil, crayon or marker spots can be cleaned from painted surfaces using baking soda applied to a damp sponge. Rub gently, then wipe and rinse.

Metal Cleaners and Polishes:

  • Aluminium: using a soft cloth, clean with a solution of cream of tartar and water.
  • Brass or bronze: polish with a soft cloth dipped in lemon and baking-soda solution, or vinegar and salt solution. Another method is to apply a dab of ketchup on a soft cloth and rub over tarnished spots.
  • Chrome: polish with baby oil, vinegar, or aluminium foil shiny side out.
  • Copper: soak a cotton rag in a pot of boiling water with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 cup white vinegar. Apply to copper while hot; let cool, then wipe clean. For tougher jobs, sprinkle baking soda or lemon juice on a soft cloth, then wipe. For copper cookware, sprinkle a lemon wedge with salt, then scrub. A simpler method is to apply a dab of ketchup on a soft cloth and rub over tarnished spots.
  • Gold: clean with toothpaste, or a paste of salt, vinegar, and flour.
  • Silver: line a pan with aluminium foil and fill with water; add a teaspoon each of baking soda and salt. Bring to a boil and immerse silver. Polish with soft cloth.
  • Stainless steel: clean with a cloth dampened with undiluted white vinegar, or olive oil. For stainless cookware, mix 4 tbs baking soda in 1 qt water, and apply using a soft cloth. Wipe dry using a clean cloth. For stainless steel sinks, pour some club soda on an absorbent cloth to clean, then wipe dry using a clean cloth.

Alternatives to Mothballs:

The common mothball is made of paradichlorobenzene, which is harmful to liver and kidneys. Cedar chips in a cheesecloth square or cedar oil in an absorbent cloth will repel moths. The cedar should be ‘aromatic cedar’, also referred to as juniper in some areas. Cedar chips are available at many craft supply stores, or make your own using a plane and a block of cedar from the lumberyard.

Homemade moth-repelling sachets can also be made with lavender, rosemary, vetiver and rose petals.

Dried lemon peels are also natural moth deterrents – simply toss into clothes chest, or tie in cheesecloth and hang in the closet.


Moisten oven surfaces with sponge and water. Use 3/4cup baking soda, 1/4cup salt and 1/4cup water to make a thick paste, and spread throughout oven interior. (Avoid bare metal and any openings) Let it overnight. Remove with spatula and wipe clean. Rub gently with fine steel wool for tough spots. Or use Arm & Hammer Oven Cleaner, declared nontoxic by Consumers Union.


Sprinkle a little salt on the rust, squeeze a lime over the salt until it is well soaked. Leave the mixture on for 2 – 3 hours. Use leftover rind to scrub residue.

Stickers on Walls:

Our children covered the inside of their room doors with stickers. Now they are grown, but the stickers remained. To remove, sponge vinegar over them several times, and wait 15 minutes, then rub off the stickers. This also works for price tags (stickers) on tools, etc.

Toilet Bowl:

Mix 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar pour into basin and let it set for a few minutes. Scrub with brush and rinse. A mixture of borax (2 parts) and lemon juice (one part) will also work.

Tub and Tiles:

For simple cleaning, rub in baking soda with a damp sponge and rinse with fresh water. For tougher jobs, wipe surfaces with vinegar first and follow with baking soda as a scouring powder. (Vinegar can break down tile grout, so use sparingly.)

Wallpaper Remover:

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and hot water, apply with sponge over the old wallpaper to soften the adhesive. Peel of the lifting paper and reapply the mixture to stubborn patches. Open the room windows or use a fan to dissipate the pungent vinegar smell.