Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc

Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 12/4/2016

The very best organic, pure and natural all-purpose cleaners and brightness are likely in your pantry. White Vinegar Unleash the might of white vinegar, straight from the bottle or mixed with water, to clean and brighten a just as well or better than the expensive commercial products that take up all the space under your kitchen sink. Use white vinegar mixed with water to clean all the surfaces in your kitchen that come in contact with food. Wipe down the inside of the refrigerator, the micro-wave, stovetop, counters and pantry shelves with vinegar and you will never have stale cooking smells or grease that linger in your kitchen. Vinegar kills yeast, mold spores, and bacteria that can contaminate food and lead to illness. Put white vinegar in a spray bottle and use it to clean around the sink, tub, and toilet in the bathroom. Vinegar kills germs. Just spray on surfaces and wipe clean with a damp cloth. Eliminate odors that cling to plastic containers by wiping them out with a cloth dampened with white vinegar. You can also use white vinegar to remove the stains from coffee and teacups. Scrub the stains with a mixture of salt and vinegar. Your china will be bright and sparkling clean. Stop irritating static cling in clothing by adding a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle when doing the laundry. Acid in the vinegar reduces static and helps keeps dryer lint from attaching to your clothes. Baking Soda To remove pet odors from carpeting, sprinkle the carpet liberally with baking soda. Allow the soda to remain on the carpeting overnight and vacuum in the morning. The carpets will be fresh, bright and odor free. To remove stains from carpeting, especially urine stains from pets make a paste of baking soda and white vinegar and rub into the spot. Let the mixture dry and the vacuum to remove stain and smell in one easy step. If your toilet bowl is stained and dull, bright and lighten with a mixture of one cup of baking soda and one cup of white vinegar. Allow the mixture to remain in the toilet overnight and scrub with a brush as usual in the morning and watch the stains disappear. Sweet Orange Oil Have you ever seen an orange with a bug bite out of it? Bugs are repelled by the scent of oranges. Orange essential oil is not just a flavor-enhancing ingredient for baking cookies and cakes; it will keep bugs out of your home. Dab a few drops on a cotton ball and place in cabinets and drawers to ward off ants, spiders, and cockroaches. Coffee If you have a freezer that smells sour or an ice chest in which food has spoiled, remove offending odors with coffee. After cleaning the refrigerator, freezer or ice chest with white vinegar, place a small dish of fresh coffee grounds in offending item to remove all odor.

Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 7/17/2016

planting flowersWe all want our yard to look perfect, or at least better than the neighbor's. But taking care of the yard takes a lot of work and many of us come to depend on harsh weedkillers or insect deterrents to keep the yard looking pristine. What many don't know is that there are other, more eco-friendly options that will keep the pests at bay. Better yet, many of these solutions are easily made from household items. Follow these tips to keep your yard looking great without filling the ground and air with chemicals.

Killing weeds

What is a weed? Ralph Waldo Emerson lovingly describes a weed as "a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." While this may be true, it doesn't mean we have to let them take over our grass each year. Weeds are invasive because they spread--quickly--and kill off the plants and grasses we want in their place. To combat weeds there's no need for harsh chemicals that harm your yard and break your wallet. Instead, try diluting some white vinegar with water and pouring it on the weeds. This should take care of most of the weeds. However, the vinegar will drastically change the pH of your soil, so you don't want to rely on this for the rest of the season. The next time you see a weed popping up, pour some boiling water directly on it. It will kill the weed but keep your soil healthy so your grass or flowers can keep growing normally.

Insect deterrent

Having bugs in your yard is a good thing. They're part of the natural ecosystem that helps maintain your soil and pollenate your plants. Sometimes, however, insects can become invasive and destructive to the vegetation in your yard. If you notice beetles eating all of your plants' leaves, dilute some plain Dawn dish soap with water and spray it onto the infected leaves. The soap won't harm your plants but it will drive the beetles crazy, sending them off to someone else's yard. Nature has its own insecticides that few of us take advantage of. Plant marigolds, for example, around the perimeter of your property to deter scores of insects and other pests from ever entering your yard. See this helpful list for many other pest controlling plants.

Bug Repellant

We've talked a lot about protecting your yard from invasive pests. But what about protecting yourself? Whether it's pesky flies or biting mosquitos, there are many natural ways to keep the bugs away when you're out in the yard. Most effective commercial insect repellants contain DEET, a strong smelling chemical insecticide. We've all heard about the dangers of DEET, which was developed by the U.S. Army in the 1940s for use in warfare. The chemical compound has been approved and re-approved for use by the EPA since then, but studies have raised questions of its safety. Many people object to using DEET based on its potent smell alone. So, what are the alternatives? Many have taken the bug spray conundrum into their own hands, mixing various herbs and essential oils to keep the bugs away. Check out these recipes and let us know which one works for you!