Saturday, October 1, 2011

Green Cleaning

aka Safe Cleaning

I wrote this on August 30, 2009, and I found to share again. A few notes:
1. I think I have the same bottle of lavender essential oil, and I still use it to clean all the time! Well, maybe I've bought two?
2. The liquid soap I use is the blue Dawn dish soap. It does an AMAZING job against soap scum and other grime.
3. Once a month (or every other month) I clean with bleach and other harsh chemicals. But every other time I use these recipes for a safer clean. (Except when I have raw meat in the kitchen. To be safe, I clean up after that with a bleach spray.)
4. I use the Cleaning Spray to clean counter tops, stove, refrigerator, and windows. I use the Cleaning Frosting to clean the kitchen and bathroom sinks and the bathtub. I Steam Clean my microwave the same way I did when I wrote this post. I haven't tried the Green Carpet Spot Remover again... but I haven't had any stains to clean up... Or I would have. I'm most lazy when it comes to green cleaning the toilet. Most of the time I still use commercial toilet cleaner with bleach.
5. I edited it today to add the Dryer Spray and Mop Solution.

I still LOVE all of these cleaning products! They are cheap, healthy, and do a great job keeping my home clean!

Yesterday we cleaned our apartment. I've been reading a lot lately on the toxins and 'bad stuff' in household cleaning products. (You can get pretty much any book on green cleaning or look it up online, and it will tell you what I'm talking about.)

I made a bunch of green cleaning concoctions yesterday. I'm SO happy with them I'm going to give you the recipes. =)

First I took a spray bottle and added distilled white vinegar. I know what you're thinking. Vinegar? To clean? Yep. It's high level of acidity kills most germs, bacteria, and even mold! It stinks though so I added lavender essential oil, which besides smelling good is an antiseptic and an anti-fungal. I used this to wipe down my counters and fridge. (And the inside of my trash can.)

Cleaning Spray
a spray bottle full of distilled white vinegar
15 drops lavender essential oil

Mix ingredients in a spray bottle by swirling the bottle. This will save for a long time if you keep in a cool, dark place.

I know it's a tiny bottle! And it's $6. But I went to Hobby Lobby and used a 40% off coupon. Plus it will last me a long time.

I also filled up another spray bottle with water and vinegar for wiping down counters and to use instead of a dryer sheet. I read that you can soak a wash rag with vinegar and hair conditioner to make your own dryer sheets. I did this awhile but I hated that my hands always got gross wringing out the rag before I tossed it in the dryer. Plus I didn't want to have to keep buying conditioner. (Not even the cheap stuff!) So I tried spraying about 10 squirts of the vinegar/ water into the dryer onto the wet clothes before turning the dryer on. It does a great job as anti-static and fabric softener.

Dryer Spray
1 part distilled white vinegar
3 parts water 

I also mop with vinegar and lavender. 

Mop Solution
1 part water
1 part distilled white vinegar
15 drops lavender essential oil
Next I made a carpet stain cleaner. I made it up, dumped some on the stains, rubbed it in with my fingers for thirty seconds, and left it to sit for 2 hours. I came back and was really worried that I should have 'tested it in an inconspicuous place' to make sure it didn't harm my carpet. The whole wet spot was dark, and I was scared I had made the stains worse. I got a towel and pressed it on the spot to dry up the solution. The more I pressed, the more came up in the towel! Once it was completely dry, I vacuumed over the spot to make sure I had gotten everything. I WISH I WOULD HAVE TAKEN A BEFORE PICTURE. Oh well. The stains are gone. Would you like the recipe?

Green Carpet Spot Remover
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon salt

Stir in the salt until it has dissolved.

Then I decided to clean the dreaded (disgusting) microwave. I'd put this off longer than I should have because you can't use chemicals in the microwave, so I used to just scrub and scrub and scrub with water. But no more! I made this solution, microwaved it on high in a glass bowl for 5 minutes, waited for the bowl to cool down before I moved it, dipped a cleaning cloth in some of the solution, and WIPED the microwave clean! Then I wiped it down with some clean water. Amazing!

Steam Clean Your Microwave
1 cup water
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

Stir both ingredients into a microwave safe bowl.

This another TRULY amazing product. It was time to wash the bathtub. This is the one I was sure I would have to use more elbow grease than I would if I used something with bleach in it. (And I had to use a lot of elbow grease with bleach!) I turned the water on long enough to get the bathtub wet, put the cleaning 'frosting' on a washcloth, and easily scrubbed the soap scum and other grime away. I was so shocked! Then I rinsed.

Cleaning Frosting
1/2 cup baking soda
2 to 3 tablespoons castile soap or liquid detergent
15 drops lavender essential oil

Pour the baking soda into a bowl. Slowly add soap, mixing with a fork until you reach the consistency of frosting. Mix in lavender essential oil.
FYI: This keeps for a long time. It dries out a little but still does a great job cleaning.

Two staples for cooking or cleaning!

Last but not least, Fizzy Toilet Scrub.
1 tablespoon castile or liquid soap
1/3 cup baking soda
1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
8 drops lavender essential oil

Squirt soap into toilet, douse with baking soda, drop lavender oil, and pour in vinegar. Let it fizz for 2 to 3 minutes and then scrub and flush.

So I know this was A LONG post. But wasn't it worth it? Do you have any secrets on keeping a clean house without using harsh chemicals? Please share!

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