Thursday, July 24, 2008

Green Cleaning

By Annie B. Bond, author of Clean & Green (Ceres Press, 1990). And posted to OWR by Queen Leo.

Most modern synthetic cleaning products are based on age-old formulas
using natural ingredients that were passed down through the
generations because the chemistry was right. Going back to the
original naturally derived ingredients is a way to make cleaning
products that work, don't pollute and save you money. Most are found
in your kitchen cupboards. Mix and match with well-chosen and
environmentally friendly green cleaning products found in health food
stores, and you can easily and simply transform your home into a non-
toxic and healthy haven.

Non-toxic cleaning can give you a deep feeling of gratification in
knowing that your family's health is protected, and that your home is
a place for your bodies to rest and recuperate rather than promote

Making your own nontoxic cleaning kit will take you no time at all
with these simple, straightforward directions, and with this kit you
will be supplied with enough cleaning product for months of cleaning.

As an added bonus, ounce for ounce homemade cleaning formulas cost
about one-tenth the price of their commercial counterpart—and that
includes costly, but worthwhile essential oils, and concentrated, all-
purpose detergents for homemade recipes.

Baking soda
Washing soda
White distilled vinegar
A good liquid soap or detergent
Tea tree oil
6 clean spray bottles
2 glass jars
more about these 5 basic cleaning ingredients, and a vinegar update.

Simply pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough
liquid detergent to make a texture like frosting. Scoop the mixture
onto a sponge, and wash the surface. This is the perfect recipe for
cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn't leave grit.
Note: Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to the mixture and store
in a sealed glass jar, to keep the product moist. Otherwise just make
as much as you need at a time.

1/4-1/2 teaspoon liquid detergent
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups water
Spray bottle
Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and
use as you would a commercial brand. The soap in this recipe is
important. It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you
might have used in the past.

1 cup or more baking soda
A squirt or two of liquid detergent
Sprinkle water generously over the bottom of the oven, then cover the
grime with enough baking soda that the surface is totally white.
Sprinkle some more water over the top. Let the mixture set overnight.
You can easily wipe up the grease the next morning because the grime
will have loosened. When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess,
dab a bit of liquid detergent or soap on a sponge, and wash the
remaining residue from the oven. If this recipe doesn't work for you
it is probably because you didn't use20enough baking soda and/or

1/2 teaspoon washing soda
A dab of liquid soap
2 cups hot tap water
Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing
soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag.

1/2 teaspoon oil, such as olive (or jojoba, a liquid wax)
1/4 cup vinegar or fresh lemon juice
Mix the ingredients in a glass jar. Dab a soft rag into the solution
and wipe onto wood surfaces. Cover the glass jar and store

Keep a clean spray bottle filled with straight 5 percent vinegar in
your kitchen near your cutting board and in your bathroom and use
them for cleaning. I often spray the vinegar on our cutting board
before going to bed at night, and don't even rinse but let it set
overnight. The smell of vinegar dissipates within a few hours.
Straight vinegar is also great for cleaning the toilet rim. Just
spray it on and wipe off.

Tea Tree Treasure
Nothing natural works for mold and mildew as well as this spray. I've
used it successfully on a moldy ceiling from a leaking roof, on a
musty bureau, a musty rug, and a moldy shower curtain. Tea tree oil
is expensive, but a little goes a very long way. Note that the smell
of tea tree oil is very strong, but it will dissipate in a few days.
2 teaspoons tea tree oil
2 cups water
Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem
areas. Do not rinse. Makes two cups.

Vinegar Spray
Straight vinegar reportedly kills 82 percent of mold. Pour some white
distilled vinegar straight into a spray bottle, spray on the moldy
area, and let set without rinsing if you can put up with the smell.
It will dissipate in a few hours.

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