4.22.2008

Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day

I think we as an American society have been bamboozled into thinking we need to buy strong, store bought chemicals to clean our homes. I think many people think you have to buy your cleaning products from a store.
I tell ya, you can make it at home.
Safe, effective, CHEAP.
For most everyday cleaning, I prefer to use natural products. My all purpose cleaner is a mixture of half white vinegar with half water and a couple drops of dish detergent. I keep it in a squirt bottle which can be purchased almost anywhere. I think I got mine at Wallyworld for a couple bucks...it was in the cleaning isle of all places hehe.

It's great for cleaning and sanitizing kitchen counter tops, the appliances and bathrooms. It can be used to clean windows. Not only does the vinegar solution clean, but it also sanitizes. Oh yes. It does sanitize.
Be sure to mix only a small amount because it will loose it's strength over time. I mix about 1 cup at a time.

Many people do not like the smell of vinegar. I used to hate it, but have grown quite accustomed to it. If you dislike the smell, try lemon juice instead. You can use real lemon juice or the stuff that comes in a bottle, or the plastic lemon. :) Just as effective. Same portions, 1 to 1 ratio with just a drop of dish detergent.

For a gentle abrasive, mix baking soda with vinegar, lemon juice or water into a paste.
Works wonders on stuck on messes.

To clean your kitchen and bathroom drains, pour half a cup of baking soda into the drain, and splash half a cup of vinegar down the drain after. Let sit for half an hour. Your drains will smell sweet again.

Run your dishwasher empty with a cup of vinegar on regular wash once a month, as well as your washing machine.

Adding some vinegar to your mop water will really clean your floors. Safe for laminate.

Boil up a bowl of water with lemon juice in your microwave.
Let the bowl stand in the nuker for at least 10 minutes after the timer goes off without opening the door. The steam will help loosen the stuck on bits and will be virtually effortless to clean and the lemon will make it smell nice and sanitize it. You can use the lemon water to clean the nuker, but be careful, the water will be hot. Wear rubber gloves.

Borax is another natural product you can add to your regular laundry detergent to boost it's effectiveness, and to make your clothes smell sweet, not perfumy. Ugh. I hate scented laundry detergent. I use Tide Free and throw in Borax sometimes. Unscented is my favorite scent. It is also phosphate free.
Tide cost more then other detergents, but I have tried many other brands, and IMO, Tide is the best. It's worth it because you will use less of it to clean your clothes. Purex is the second best.

Occasionally, I do use bleach or commercial toilet cleaners for really stuburn stuff, but for the most part, I stick with vinegar and baking soda.

I confess, I like Windex to clean my windows. :)

These are just a few green cleaning tips.
These are safer, not just to the environment, but to you and your family.
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