Posted by: conradvisionquest | January 11, 2010

My Green Clean Kit

Ahhh, cleaning house… My favorite thing to do.  Oh how I glide gracefully about wearing my pink tu-tu and listening to the Gypsy Kings with a big smile on my face, not wanting to be anywhere else!  Ok, Sarcastic is awake!  But seriously, I do wear a tu-tu while I’m cleaning. You think I’m kidding…

Getting rid of toxic cleaners was probably one of the very first things I did to green our house years ago.  It’s good for you, and good for the environment! I have a little household reference book I used, but then just stuck with tried-n-true recipes. It’s so easy to make your own cleaners with natural ingredients, not to mention much less expensive.  And you know exactly what you are spreading all over your house, things you can actually pronounce!  You can clean most every part of your house if you have the following common items:

  • Baking Soda (don’t use Arm&Hammer, they test on animals!)
  • Vinegar
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Lemons

Here are some recipes that we use around the house to clean without chemicals.

Clothes Stain Remover

This has nothing to do with green cleaning, but boy I wish I looked like this when I cleaned!

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide

Make this as you need it, and don’t save any leftovers, as it will lose it’s effectiveness.  I used this on a white tablecloth after serving my butternut squash soup, which of course ended up all over the tablecloth!  I pre-treated the spots and let it set overnight, then washed it the next morning.  No stains!  I could see a VERY faint ghost of the stains, but only the big ones and only because I knew where to look.

Steel Sink Cleaner, Tub and Tile Scrub

  • Sprinkle of baking soda
  • Splash of Vinegar
  • Splash of Hydrogen Peroxide

I use this recipe to clean my steel kitchen sink and it makes it sparkle every time! Not to mention deodorizes and disinfects!  This is also a great scrub for the bathroom.  I just pour a little baking soda where I need it, then add the vinegar and h202.  It’s great stuff and CHEAP!  And I feel like Mr. Wizard when it goes all fizzy!

Garbage Disposal Deodorizer

If I’m ever cooking something with lemons, I save the rinds and cut them up into little chunks.  Then I put them down the garbage disposal with a few ice cubes and run it for a few seconds.  It makes the kitchen sink smell great!

Window Cleaner

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • squirt dish detergent (liquid)

I’m sorry to say I’ve been bad about making window cleaner lately.  I usually just get the Seventh Generation kind or Mrs. Meyers.  This recipe is good, but I guess I am psychologically addicted to store-bought window cleaner.

Other uses for vinegar:

In case you didn’t know, there are a gazillion uses for vinegar.  Among those are fabric softener, hair rinse, deodorizer, stain remover, disinfectant, the list goes on!  In fact, you can view the list on this handy web site.  After ditching my store-bought shampoo habit and switching to natural shampoo soap, I use an apple cider vinegar rinse on my hair every now and then.  At first, you smell like a freshly-dyed Easter egg, but it’s not long (less than an hour) until that odor fades and your hair takes on the smell of what you washed it with.  So clean and fresh!

Other uses for baking soda:

Yes, we all know that baking soda is great for getting rid of odors in the fridge or freezer, but did you know that baking soda can also be used for putting out fires on the stove or in the oven?  Or that it could eliminate that foul odor in your stinky shoes?  Baking soda is another wonder ingredient that has many uses you wouldn’t have thought of.  Check ’em out here.

Commercial Marketing Scams and the Green Movement

Of course, now that being “green” is becoming more popular, the big bad corporations want their piece of the pie.  Unfortunately, they do this deceptively.  I know, you are shocked and surprised!  Being naive, I must confess that I have purchased the GreenWorks line of cleaners by Clorox when they first came out.  I thought, “Yay, the big guys are getting a conscience!”  Not so.  Check out this article that explains these “green” cleaners contain nasty chemicals, just like all the other guys. So, as always, do your homework!  Or do what I have found to be the cheapest and make your own.

Do you have some great tips for green cleaning?  You know the drill, leave a comment silly!

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Responses

  1. Well if this don’t be helpful information! Thanks so much Wendy! I have a barrel full of fresh lemons that I’m going to put to some really good use… I’m a little skeptical about the vinegar in the hair, but if you say so, I’ll give it a try.

  2. yeah, the vinegar is supposed to get rid of buildup from using conventional shampoos and conditioners. i wash my hair a few times a week, and i’ve done the rinse a handful of times. i use my natural shampoo bar with a vinegar rinse first, and no conditioner. it takes some getting used to, but i like it! my husband complains if he walks into the bathroom and i’m washing my hair, cuz it makes the bathroom smell like vinegar. oh well!

  3. Tired of paying high prices for bad chemicals, I’ve started using white vinegar for a lot of cleaning purposes. I use it in the fabric softner dispenser in the washer and as a rinse agent in the dishwasher. Clothes are soft and dishes are squeaky clean, not to mention the gunky build up in the dishwasher is gone.
    I just cleaned the carpet in the house today using a vinegar and waterr solution to get rid of pet smells- a.k.a dog pee.
    I’m also on my second batch of homemade laundry detergent and the family loves it.
    My other new favorite find is Dr. Bronner castile soap especially the Sal Suds.
    As far as windows, I grew up with plain old ACV and water in a bucket. Tried the blue stuff and went back the tried and true.
    Keep up the good work


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