Monday, March 5, 2007

Natural Cleaning solutions

One surefire way of living green is to use environmentally friendly products for everyday use. By doing so, we reduce waste and pollution. There are a number of commercial household cleaning products available which are "green", but many of them are expensive.

Here are some alternatives that can replace store-bought products with homemade recipes that cost pennies and protect your home environment from bleach and petroleum products:
  • Tub and toilet scrub: Sprinkle baking soda over an area to be cleaned, then spray with white vinegar and scrub with sponge.
  • Carpet deoderizer: Combine 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup cornstarch and several drops of lavender essential oil. Sprinkle on rug, let stand 30 minutes, then vacuum.
  • Mildew remover: Mix 1 tsp. tea tree oil (an all-natural anti-fungal liquid) and 1 cup water in a spray bottle and apply to affected area.
  • Furniture polish: Mix 1 tsp. lemon juice with 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil. Wipe down wood furniture with mixture.
  • Dishwasher detergent: Combine 2 Tbs. borax (a boric acid mineral) and 2 Tbs. baking soda in detergent compartment, then fill rinse drawer with white vinegar. Run dish-washing cycle as usual.
  • All purpose liquid cleaner: Mix 1 cup each water and vinegar plus 2 Tbs. baking soda in spray bottle. Use as you would any cleaning liquid.
  • Carpet and floor scrubbers: Mop floor with a solution of 1/2 cup distilled vinegar and 1 gallon warm water.
  • Scratch-free scourer: Sprinkle baking soda on a used lemon half and use as a scratch-free scrubber on counters, tiles and stainless steel.
  • Window treatment: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, spritz on glass surgace and wipe with newsprint for a streak-free shine that won't leave tiny fibers behind.
  • Hand-washing delicates: To whiten garments without bleach, soak them for 30 minutes in a solution of 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide and 4 cups water.
By Meg Donohue in Vegetarian Times (March 2007)

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