Previously, this was a blog mostly to harass my poor friends and family with the details of my life. Don't worry-- that will continue. However, I'm also going to use this as a terrible forum for dialogue about green tips and eco-revolutions. Hopefully it will be helpful and entertaining...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Green cleaning!

I realized I never uploaded my awesome green cleaning extravaganza recipes! The main reason for that was that a kit containing everything needed for this kit was one of my wedding presents to my best friend, Viki, and one of my birthday / starting college presents to my little sister, Marlie.

In case you're interested, each kit consisted of a home depot bucket containing:
  • Baking Soda
  • Washing Soda
  • 3 Spray Bottles
  • White Distilled Vinegar
  • Cloths (I used the ones from Trader Joe's)
  • Liquid Soap (I used Dr. Bronner's)
  • Tea Tree Oil
Without further ado, here are the "recipes" for cleaning your house eco-style:

General Cleaners

Simple Cleaner
Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge or cloth and use as a gentle non-abrasive cleanser for kitchen counter tops, sinks, bathtubs, ovens, and fiberglass.

Creamy Soft Scrubber
Pour ½ cup of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough liquid soap to make a texture like frosting. You can also add in the juice of half a lemon for some extra cleaning power. 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.

All-Purpose Spray Cleaner
Combine ½ teaspoon washing soda, a dab of liquid soap, and 2 cups hot tap water in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag.

Vinegar Dissolver
Vinegar can also be used to dissolve calcium build-up in coffee pots and dishwaters and generally cut through grease and soap scum.

Window Cleaner
Put ¼ - ½ teaspoon liquid soap, 3 tablespoons vinegar, and 2 cups water into a spray bottle, shake it, and use as you would a commercial brand. Wipe clean with newspaper or a 100% cotton cloth. The soap in this cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past. You can eliminate the soap after a few washings.

Cigarette Smoke Eliminator
To get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke, mix one-part vodka to three parts water, spray and let dry.

Kitchen Cleaners
Cutting Board Cleaner
Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and use to clean cutting board. The smell dissipates within a few hours. You can also rub with a lemon.

Lightly Lavender Antibacterial Spray
Pour 1 cup water into a spray bottle and add 20 drops of essential oil of lavender; shake to blend. Spray on the surface and let set for at least 15 minutes, or don’t rinse at all.

Quick Oven Cleaner
The best tip is to not wait to clean your oven when it gets dirty. An old stain is harder to clean. To clean oven stains naturally, sprinkle table salt liberally on the hot spill before your oven cools down. Allow the oven to cool. Grab a damp cloth and rub off the spill.

Oven Cleaner
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 soap on a sponge, and wash the remaining residue from the oven. Steel wool also works to add a little extra elbow grease where needed.

Stovetop Cleaner
Add a few squirts of liquid Castile soap to 2 cups hot water. Apply to the stovetop, the burners, and the vent hood to cut through accumulated grease.

Plastic Dish-Washing
To bleach stains from tomato soup and other acidic foods on dishwasher-safe items, rub lemon juice on the spots, let dry in a sunny place, then wash as usual.

Garbage Pail Clean-Up
Sprinkle borax in bottom of garbage pails to fights mold and bacteria.

If the machine smells, sprinkle borax in the bottom, let it sit overnight, then wipe down with a damp sponge. No need to rinse; just run the next load.

Pots and pans
Rub borax into cookware with a damp sponge; rinse well.

Stove burner grates
In a dishpan, soak them in 1 gallon warm water and 1/2 cup washing soda for 30 minutes. Rinse and dry.

Stained teacups and coffee mugs
Fill with 1-part baking soda and 2-parts water; soak overnight; rub down and rinse.

Grills and barbecue utensils
To combat tough grease stains; dip a moist toothbrush in washing soda and scrub away.

Bathroom Cleaners

Simple Toilet Cleaner
Just spray on straight vinegar and wipe it off.

Toilet Cleaner
Pour borax in the bowl and let it sit overnight. Swish the bowl a few times with a toilet brush and flush the next day.

Daily Shower Cleaner
Mix 2 cups water and 3 drops tea tree oil in a spray bottle. Spray down your shower
daily and you don’t need to rinse it.

To combat mineral deposits, pour vinegar into a plastic grocery bag and knot the handles over the neck of the showerhead, securing with rubber bands. Let soak overnight. Rinse with water in the morning.

Floor Cleaners

Simple Carpet Deodorizer
Just sprinkle baking soda on carpets and let sit for a time before vacuuming.

Fancy Carpet Deodorizer
Crush up a handful of dry lavender and mix with a cup of baking soda, and sprinkle that over your carpet. If you'd like to use essential oils, mix a few drops of your favorite(s) in with baking soda (not enough to make it wet), and then break up any clumps and sprinkle that over your carpet.

Carpet Mist
Fill a spray bottle with water and a few drops of essential oil. Use to freshen carpet and upholstery.

Carpet Stains
After blotting stain with cloth, mix one teaspoon dish soap with one teaspoon vinegar dissolved in 2 1/2 cups warm water. Apply to stain and rub gently. Rinse with warm water. Blot dry.

Hard Floor Cleaner
Dissolve 10 drops of essential oil in 1/8 cup vinegar, add 1/8 cup plant-based liquid soap, and then dissolve this mixture in 1 gallon water in a bucket. Mop as usual. A citrus essential oil is one option.

To fight ants, use cedarwood essential oil. For ceramic and stone floors, eliminate soap (which leaves a film) and use 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1 gallon of water. Don't use water on unsealed wood floors. Instead, combine 2 cups of vinegar with 1 tablespoon of olive or jojoba oil in a bucket. Spread a thin coat over the floor with a mop or soft cloth. Let it soak in for 20 minutes; dry mop to absorb excess liquid. Open windows to air out the vinegar smell.

Another Floor Cleaner
You can mop almost any type of floor with a solution of 1/4 cup liquid Castile soap and 2 gallons warm water. If the floors are greasy, add 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar.

Miscellaneous Cleaners
Furniture Polish
Mix ½ teaspoon oil, such as olive or jojoba and ¼ cup vinegar or fresh lemon juice in a glass jar. Dab a soft rag into the solution and wipe onto wood surfaces. Cover the glass jar and store indefinitely.

Tea Tree Oil Mold Killer
Combine 2 teaspoons tea tree oil and 2 cups water in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse. The smell of tea tree oil dissipates in a few days. You can also use lavender or close oils or make a grapefruit seed extract spray by adding 20 drops of extract to a quart of water. Also works for mildew!

Vinegar Mold Killer
Pour 2 cups white distilled vinegar in a spray bottle, spray on the moldy area, and let set without rinsing. The smell will dissipate in a few hours.

Laundry Boosters
Add borax to boost laundry power. Also, add up to a cup of baking soda to eliminate perspiration odors and even neutralize the smell of many chemicals.

Hope you enjoy!!!


Anonymous said...

Hey nice work u do i like it .....Thanks for sharing
Green Cleaning

Vikster said...

Did I ever tell you how much I love this basket!?! It was one of our more memorable gifts, but that's probably cuz we use the spray bottles daily. I'm also totally copying this for a shower gift.