Friday, November 14, 2008

cheap, green cleaning

Sometimes all we need is that little link to ease us into something we've meant to do, but haven't made the time for. My cleaning cupboard is one of those areas. After some internet and book searching, here are few suggestions for creating your own cleaning agents that really work.
Check out Clean and Green for many more ideas for everything from oven cleaning to toilet scrub and non-abrasive soft scrubbers.

Air Fresheners:
  • Add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil to the inside of the cardboard toilet tissue roll. With each turn, fragrance is released into the room.
  • Combine 2 tbsp. baking soda with 2 cups hot water, and stir until dissolved. Add fresh lemon juice or any essential oils. Store in a spray bottle and mist into the air to freshen it.
  • Charcoal placed in a bowl rids rooms--or refrigerators--of odors. Also, 2-3 slices of white bread absorbs refrigerator odors. Remove either and throw away after a few days.
  • Drop some essential oil on a clean cloth and swab wooden surfaces: kitchen tables, coffee tables, doors, cabinets, etc. (thank you fresh-smelling-home-owner, Riley)
All-Purpose Cleaners
  • Vinegar and Salt. Mix together for a good surface cleaner.
  • Baking Soda. Dissolve 4 tablespoons baking soda in 1 quart warm water for a general cleaner.
  • Baking soda on a damp sponge. Baking soda cleans and deodorizes all kitchen and bathroom surfaces. That same grit in your baking soda tooth paste works wonders for kitchen and bathroom sinks.
  • For a general, all-purpose cleaner, try a paste made from baking soda and water or mix salt and water with a little vinegar.
  • 2 tablespoons borax, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 cups hot water. Combine the borax and lemon juice with the water in a spray bottle. Use as you would any commercial all-purpose cleaner.
  • Borax has long been recognized for its disinfectant and deodorizing properties. Mix 1/2 cup Borax into 1 gallon hot water or undiluted vinegar and clean with this solution.
Glass Cleaners:
  • No-Streak Glass Cleaner: 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 quart warm water
    Mix the ingredients and apply with a sponge or pour into spray bottle and spray on. Wipe dry with crumpled newspaper, buff to a shine. (Use crumpled newspaper instead of paper towels for lint-free results.
  • Use undiluted vinegar in a spray bottle or
  • Equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle or
  • 1/2 lemon juice and 2 cups water in a spray bottle or
  • 1/2 cup vinegar or lemon juice, 2 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil based soap (such as Murphy's Oil Soap)
Some great tips from Clean and Green site:
  • To save time and money, make your cleaners in advance and buy the ingredients in bulk for cost savings and to avoid excess packaging..
  • Make large batches of the recipes and store them in reusable airtight plastic containers and spray bottles. Using a pretty spray bottle or container makes cleaning days more fun and pleasant.
  • Label all of your ingredients and keep them out of reach of children. While most of these all natural cleaners are not poisonous, some can be harmful or even fatal if swallowed by children or pets. See specific safety precautions at the bottom of this page.
  • Add your favorite essential oils or herbs to any of these formulas for fragrance

    Rooster Press said...

    If you can reduce you level of chemical exposure, green cleaners are one of the best ways to go. Here's some other green cleaner recipes you might want to try

    Hurtado Family said...

    that's it! I'm motivated. Thanks erin.

    Cathy said...

    Tea Tree oil is a miracle worker! 1-2 drops in the trash can/diaper pail etc...

    Baking Soda works on just about anything. Found out by accident that if you let baking soda and vinegar bubble all over your stove it will get the gross burnt stuff off.