February 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Home Management Tips and Information

You may be having a splitting headache due to the pungent odors coming in a particular room, a closed cupboard,  your refrigerator or your car. At times the smell is very annoying that you may feel like vomiting.

You can follow simple techniques like keeping the windows open or switching ON the exhaust available provided in the room , burning a candle, using room freshener. The strong smells are not easy to go and needs more attention.

There are few items in your home that can remove the bad odors completely and make you feel like using that particular room, your refrigerator, going for a long ride in your car. Here are a few interesting tips that you will apply after reading this article.

1. Charcoal

remove foul smellsCharcoal is on top of my list as it is one of the best absorbent agents that can absorb and soak up the bad odor. Charcoal is also widely used as water filters and in most odor removing commercial products. You can put a medium-sized chunk of charcoal inside your smelly refrigerator for instance, and leave it there for a couple of days. You will notice that it can effectively remove the bad smell.

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda is also a good absorbent. Put a generous amount of baking soda in an open container and leave it for several days. Remember the size of the container depends upon the size of the confined room. You may also place small bowls in 2 to 3 areas of the room for better action. Remove the baking soda and replace it with new one and leave it for a couple of days. Continue replacing the baking soda until it has cleared the bad smell. The only caution is that green leaves will wilt quickly

3. Lemon or Lime rinds

Just put some lemon or lime rinds into an open container and leave them inside the confined area for a couple of days. The citrus smell will naturally replace the bad smell. You can also place lime rinds in a small bowl containing water.

4. Fresh Ground Coffee

Ground coffee has a nice, crisp natural aroma. Just put about a cup of fresh ground coffee in a flat, uncovered container. Place the container inside the confined space for several days. If the bad smell is extremely horrible, put more ground coffee. The area will smell of fresh coffee for many days.

5. Tea Bags

If you don’t like coffee, you can use tea bags instead. Just place 2-3 tea bags inside the confined space. The tealeaves in the bags will not only absorb the bad smell but also will release the natural aroma of tea.

6. Pandan Leaf (also known as Screwpine or Kewra in Hindi)REMOVE FOUL SMELLS

It is easy to get pandan leaf in tropical countries as it is widely used in Southeast Asian cooking to add aroma to dishes. It s known as the “Vanilla of the East”. Its pleasant aroma also acts as natural air freshener. Just take a few strips of the pandan leaves and tie them into knots. Place the leaves inside the confined space and leave them until the leaves withered or dried up. Replace the leaves regularly until the smell goes away. The dried leaves are of no use, only fresh leaves work well.

7. Vanilla Essence

Pour several drops of vanilla essence on a couple of cotton wools. Toss the cotton wools inside the confined space such as your wardrobe. Leave them for several days and you will notice that the area smells nice.

8. Mint Extract

If you favor neither the smell of citrus nor vanilla, you can perhaps use mint extract instead. Pour several drops of mint extract on a couple of cotton wools. Toss the cotton wools inside the confined space and leave them for a couple of days.

9. Orange and Cloves

Get an orange and poke it with sharp objects like needle or fork to form small holes. Place each of the cloves inside these small holes until most of the orange surfaces are covered. It may look like a hedgehog with the cloves jutting out of the orange fruit. Leave it in the confined area for a couple of days. The area will smell nice with the said combinations.

10. Old Newspaper and Slices of Bread

Old newspaper and two slices of bread also work wonders in absorbing the bad odors particularly inside the refrigerator. Just place some crumpled old newspaper and two slices of bread , uncovered inside your refrigerator and leave them for two days. Replace the newspaper and bread slices regularly until the bad smell is removed.

You can also remove foul smell from plastic containers in which you previously stored minced cabbage, pickles that remain past expiration dates. Simple stuff crumpled newspaper and leave the container closed for three to four days. The smell vanishes away.

11. Vinegar

Vinegar works wonderful to remove smells of fried cooking especially fish. To remove the smell boil vinegar on the stove in a small bowl. The distinct odor of vinegar will be replaced .

White vinegar can be used to neutralize many of the same smells as baking soda. An open cup of vinegar in the fridge is an alternative to the box of baking soda, or an open cup or bowl of vinegar can be left in a room where you want to eliminate an odor.

12. Oats

Just put a cup of oats in an open container where you are having the foul smell. And lo…the smell has vanished after a few hours. Oats is a good odor absorbent. Do not dispose off the oats that has reached shelf life , retain it for this purpose.

You can also use the combination of any of the above tips together, to effectively remove bad smell. Try those tips and you can keep all the foul smell at bay.


You may have come across few house cleaning products being very strong smelling and pungent when the cap is opened. It makes you cough or sneeze. Just imagine the load on your baby who is lying in the cradle or may have started to crawl around.

Harsh household cleaners can affect a baby’s eyes, airways, skin, and more. In fact elders have problem like itching or hand becoming rough and dry. To keep away the odors you may use a room freshener.

You can keep your house clean , spic and span and at the same time relieve yourself of the worry that the child will get affected.

Few safety measures to be followed.

  • Keep your stock out of the reach of children. Preferable keep in lock and key. You may have across news regarding babies accidentally tripping the container or consuming it due to attractive colors. You can imagine the risk in case of ingestion due to its strength and composition.
  • Close the caps of the containers tightly to avoid leakage if tripped. Keep cleaning accessories away from the common rooms. Use separate cleaning buckets for diluting cleaners and mopping the house without harsh chemicals-safe for baby
  • Do not carry the baby in the course of your cleaning activities. Wash your hands thoroughly and then carry the baby.
  • Plan your cleaning activities such that baby does not get disturbed. Do not do cleaning activities with the baby in the room. Ventilate the room before baby is brought in. This will prevent harsh chemicals come into contact.

Common problems associated with Household cleaners:

Household cleaners with harsh ingredients not only kill germs and remove tough stains, they can affect your baby’s health in a number of ways.

Breathing problems. Powerful fumes from household cleaners can irritate your baby’s airways, making allergy or asthma symptoms worse.

Eczema. A baby’s skin is sensitive, and studies have found that irritants and allergens in household cleaners and detergents can cause skin irritation.

Allergies. Some researchers believe that having a home that’s too clean can increase the long-term risk of allergies in a child. It’s called the hygiene hypothesis.  For the child’s immune without some exposure to germs, a child’s immune system might not develop normally. Instead, it becomes hypersensitive and begins to overreact to harmless allergens, like pollen or dander.

Eye irritation. Household cleaner fumes can also irritate your baby’s eyes, causing redness and watering. If accidentally the solution is splashed directly into the eyes, some cleaners can cause serious damage.

Unknown health effects. Few household cleaners have fragrances that contain chemicals like phthalates . Some studies have found a possible connection between phthalates and disrupted hormone levels.

Phthalates are mainly used as plasticizers for plastics. It increases the softness, flexibility and better processing of plastics

To be cautious, many parents try to reduce the use of household cleaners that contain harsh chemicals.

Tips for Baby-Safe Cleaning

Every woman wants to have their house spic and span, sparkling clean. There are lots of good ways to practice child-safe cleaning.  You need to make a balance between cleaning your home and the safety of your baby. There is no need to break your back and clean every inch of your home.

Allocate time for getting things organized, away from the floor. Minimize dust entry and remove unwanted things in the room. They actually collect dust and becomes impossible to clean.

Opt  safer household cleaners. Select household cleaners that are less caustic and friendlier to both the environment and the body. Look for “green” and “nontoxic” cleaners, or products that say, “petroleum-free,” “biodegradable”, “phosphate-free”, “Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) free”, or “solvent-free.”

Less is more. Household cleaners can be diluted with water and it cleans quite effectively. Diluting a cleaner is an easy way of making it less harsh and better for child-safe cleaning. Diluting a cleaner will have cost benefits too. The only caution is not to retain the diluted cleaning solution. It will not be effective for later use.

Avoid the antibacterial soap. Despite the popularity of antibacterial soaps, plain old soap and water will get the germs off just as well. Antibacterial soap not only contains chemicals you don’t need, but in the long term it may increase the risk of creating tougher, resistant bacteria. Your child will not have resistance  to external conditions and will fall sick when exposed to climatic changes

Preferably use natural cleaners available in the kitchen – baking soda , lime and vinegar. In case you engage a cleaning service or a maid to do the task, explain them the cleaning resources and the areas to avoid any confusion and incidents.

cleaning house without harsh chemicals-safe for babyIf you are planning to remove cobwebs that got accumulated, cover all furniture and baby items. Dust thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner. Otherwise the dust will spread from one surface to the other. Change all bed covers where the baby will come into contact.

Stop dirt from getting in the house.  Place a huge door mat to wipe your feet as you come in the house, it will keep out dirt as well as any contaminants from outside. The better option will be to place a shoe rack outside to prevent dust and contaminants coming into the house. You are confident to make your baby move around inside the house.

When you make a transition to child-safe cleaning routines, there’s one thing you might miss: that clean smell. The fact is the smell is just chemically produced. “Real clean doesn’t have a scent.”

When you start practicing the simple cleaning methods your house will be clean but will not smell as if you are in a garden. Your bathroom and toilets will be clean but not antiseptic as an operation theatre. You are doing your best in a safe manner to keep your child free of infection.


multipurpose uses of baking sodaBaking soda is a chemical compound that appears as a fine powder. Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) or bicarbonate of soda (alkali). The related names are Cooking soda , bread soda, and bicarbonate of soda . Baking soda has an indefinite shelf life if stored in a sealed container in a cool dry place.

Baking soda is salty in taste and releases bubbles of carbon dioxide when it interacts with an acid and a liquid. It is commonly used in baking, where it acts as a leavening agent. Mentioned below are some of the popular uses of baking soda apart from making muffins ,cakes soft and fluffy. If added to the product base you need to bake quickly to avoid flattening if delayed.

To test baking soda’s effectiveness: mix 1/4 teaspoon baking soda with 2 teaspoons of vinegar and the mixture should bubble immediately.

Heat causes sodium bicarbonate to act as a raising agent by releasing carbon dioxide when used in baking. The carbon dioxide production starts at temperatures above 80 °C. Since the reaction does not occur at room temperature, mixtures (cake batter, etc.) can be allowed to stand without rising until they are heated in the oven.

Label the container in which you store baking soda to avoid any mix-up.

Health Benefits of Baking soda

1. Baking soda is an antacid, neutralizes stomach acidity.

2. Baking soda can be used as underarm deodorant by applying it with a powder puff.

3. Use Baking soda as a face and body scrub.

4. Relieves skin itch from insect bites and pain from sunburn.

5. Take a baking soda bath to relieve skin irritations.

6. Shampoo your hair as well with diluted solutions.

7. Baking soda can be used for first aid too.

8. Freshen your mouth by gargling half a teaspoon of baking soda mixed water.

9. Unblock stuffy nose by adding a teaspoon of baking soda to your vaporizer.

10. Useful in removing splinters from the skin.

Usage of Baking soda at Home

11. Put an open container of baking soda in the fridge to absorb the odors.

12. Sprinkle it on your ashtrays to reduce bad odor and prevent smoldering.

13. Sprinkle it on your slippers, boots, shoes, and socks to eliminate foul odor.

14. Put out small fires on rugs, upholstery, clothing, and wood.

15. Wipe your windshield with it to repel rain.

16. Improve the smell of dishrags by soaking them in baking soda and water.

17. Suck it in with your vacuum cleaner to remove the odor.

18. Put it under sinks and along basement windows to repel cockroaches and ants.

19. Put out small fires on rugs, upholstery, clothing, and wood.

20. Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding a teaspoon to the water in the vase.

Cooking uses of Baking soda

21. Wash fruits and vegetables with it.

22. Wash meat in water in which baking soda is added. This will remove the typical smell of fresh meat with blood.

23. Soak dried beans to a baking soda solution to make them more digestible and removes flatulence ( presence of excessive gas in the digestive tract )

24. uses of baking sodaIt is also used in breadings and fried foods such as bondas, bajjis, pakoras  to enhance crispness.

25. Remove the fishy smell from your fillets by soaking the raw fish in a baking soda solution for an hour inside the fridge.

26. Make fluffier omelets by adding half a teaspoon of baking soda for every three eggs used.

27. To soften meat baking soda is added.

Benefits of Baking soda for Cleaning Purposes

28. Add a cup to the toilet, leave it for an hour, and then flush. It will clean the toilet and absorb the odor.

29. Use it to scrub sinks, showers, plastic and porcelain tubs

30. Add a spoonful to your dishwasher to make scrubbing dishes easier.

31. Spray it on walls, mirrors, and countertops.

32. Dry clean carpets and upholstered furniture by sprinkling baking soda over the fabric and gently brushing it. Leave it for an hour or overnight, then vacuum.

33. Combine it with water to make a paste for polishing stainless steel and chrome.

34. Remove scratches and crayon marks from vinyl floors and walls.

35. Clean the fridge with it.

36. Remove grease from pots and pans.

37. Soak brushes and combs in a baking soda solution.

38. Mix it with water to wash food and drink containers.

39. Use it to get rid of stale odors from cooling containers and thermos bottles.

40. Scatter it on your greasy garage floor, scrub the floor, and rinse.

41. Remove burned-on food from a pan by soaking it in a baking soda solution for 10 minutes before washing.

42. Clean your ashtrays with a baking soda solution.

43. Keep your drains clean by putting four tablespoons of baking soda in them each week. Flush it down with hot water.

44. Clean your shower curtains by soaking them in baking soda and water.

45. Sodium bicarbonate can be an effective way of controlling fungus growth.

The most amazing thing about baking soda is that it’s very cheap and you get it over the counter at local shops too. You can utilize baking soda for cooking, cleaning, in first aid at a very small cost. Baking soda is truly a miracle product, whether it’s used for baking or not.



Cleaning and organizing your home is a task which gets postponed due to non availability of time or the appropriate cleaning aid. You are at times exhausted just thinking of the house chores that needs to be completed in addition to cooking and organizing your home. Here are a few readily available cleaners in your kitchen that will come handy for you.

No more excuses. Get ready to use in house cleaning aids to have a surprise for your hubby when he is back home. The cleaners are low in cost, no side effects, not smelling and pungent. You will be surprised to know that they had all these benefits. You can infact re-use material or clean within your budget.

Egg shells

Top 6 chemical free cleaners hiding in your kitchenIf you have problem in cleaning a narrow mouthed bottle or flower vase, drop a handful of crushed egg shells into the bottle, add lukewarm water and your dish cleaning liquid. Shake the bottle thoroughly such that the egg shells clean the had to reach surfaces of the bottle or vase.

You have a clean and sparkling bottle in your hands. Wow!!

6 cleaning solutions in your kitchenPaper pieces

In case you do not have egg shells ( you are a vegetarian) no problem…just opt for paper pieces. Re-use paper in this way. This cleaning method is ideal for cleaning the green mossy layer inside the bottles in which money plant grows. The bottle become sparking clean.

Pick a paper from the trash bin , shred it into multiple tiny pieces and drop it into the bottle. Add lukewarm water and then shake the bottle thoroughly such that the paper pieces touch the entire surface of the bottle. Now pour water and clean out with dish washing liquid to keep off the smell.

Your bottle is sparkling and the money plant is a pride to watch in your living rooms.

Baking Soda

We have used Baking soda in cooking . There are numerous uses for baking soda. Mix with water and it is a natural cleaner that is great for cleaning all the grimy and tough stains at home. Especially excellent for Stainless steel kitchen sinks without scratching it.

Sprinkle baking soda on a clean damp cloth or sponge and wipe the sink clean. Rinse it with water thoroughly. You will be amazed to see a shining sink .

Top 6 chemical free cleaners hiding in your kitchenCorn flour

You may be upset that your carpet got stained in the last guest visit at home. Not to worry… Try out this simple yet clean method of removing stain. You will be surprised with the result.

Corn flour is used in recipes to thicken the gravy, to give a shiny effect for the dishes. Corn flour is also great for cleaning carpet stains. Mix a spoon of corn flour to water and apply that thick paste on the stained area. The paste will soak the stain and your carpet stain is gone away.

You can also try this with corn starch. Only a change in name but it works wonders.

Top 6 chemical free cleaners hiding in your kitchenBread

Bread is popularly had at breakfast , Kids love sandwiches, used for cutlets and tikkis. Very few know the cleaning benefits of bread. Bread can be used to dust paintings that can be harmed by traditional cleaners.

Wheat flour or the bran of wheat is ideal for cleaning sticky surfaces of kitchen dishes. Usually the oil in frying pans or Kadai’s will require more quantity of water to clean away the oily stickiness.

Vanilla Essence  

Mix 1 teaspoon of Vanilla essence to 2 cups of water in a microwave-safe container . Place it the micro wave oven for 5 minutes in high. After this duration disconnect the plug and then remove the container and wipe down the interior with a soft cloth. If you have stock of vanilla essence, go ahead using it. It is a bit costlier to vanilla essence.

Your grime is gone away and vanilla will leave a distinct aroma increasing your appetite and desire to make something fresh for your family.

You are part of the Go Green campaign !!


Cockroaches are not only undesirable pests but a threat to human health. Cockroaches consume food and thereby contaminate the indoor environment.

home managementCockroaches are known to transfer disease pathogens, such as the various bacteria that produce “food poisoning” in humans, by contaminating food, food preparation surfaces, dishes and eating utensils. Cockroach has an ability to trigger asthma. Cockroach nymphs grow by periodically shedding their “skin” (the exoskeleton). Fragments of their exoskeletons, along with bits of cockroach feces, serve as antigens (foreign protein) that, when inhaled, cause allergic and asthmatic reactions.

Several species of cockroaches live inside structures. Most domestic cockroaches are of tropical origin and the German cockroach, for one, cannot survive temperate winters outdoors. All are primarily nocturnal. Cockroaches prefer warm, moist places where they can feed on human and pet foods, decaying and fermenting matter, and a variety of other items.

Food, water and shelter are basic cockroach requirements. Pest control services can be availed for annual maintenance program.

Getting Rid of Cockroaches:

Controlling cockroaches with borax ( Sodium borate ) is one of the easiest, most inexpensive ways to keep roaches out of your home. Use borax, a jar lid and some sugar to immediately start seeing a reduction in active cockroaches around your home.

Follow the procedure:

  • In a plastic plate pour some borax and sprinkle the same amount of sugar.
  • Mix sugar and the borax together with a clean toothpick and collect the powder towards the centre of the plate.
  • Place the jar lid in an area where you’ve seen cockroaches crawl. Place the borax mixture in places where small children and pets can’t reach it.
  • Repeat the process and put more jar lids around you home where cockroaches roam.
  • Clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Check the borax piles daily. If the borax is spread it means that the cockroaches have taken the bait and have been consuming the borax and sugar mixture. If the piles remain undisturbed, sprinkle more sugar onto your borax piles and mix with a toothpick again.
  • Vacuum your carpet. Sprinkle borax on it. Use a broom to sweep it into the carpet evenly. Let the borax sink into the carpet for a week. Vacuum the carpet after a week to remove the borax, dead bugs and their eggs.