Thursday, July 16, 2009

Go Green - Green Cleaning

The biggest bulk of our green living comes from switching to non-chemical and natural cleaning products. I always believed before that a good cleaning requires chemicals to really clean and I should have bought stock in Comet, for as much as I used.

But after getting pregnant and with The Good Baby here, I wanted to lessen her and my exposure to household chemicals. After all elbow grease is free.

Before my cleaning supplies looked like this:

Now they look like this:
You will find that several ingredients can accomplish what all the previous cleaners did. Baking soda, borax, salt, lemons and vinegar will go a long way in providing for a clean house.

All Purpose Kitchen Cleaner (instead of Comet)
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups hot water
1/4 cup liquid soap

~Mix everything but soap in a spray bottle and shake. Add 1/4 cup liquid soap last. Mix gently. Apply and wipe clean. Good for counters, wood work, appliances, etc.

Scouring Powder (instead of Comet)
Baking soda

~Pour in shaker and sprinkle in sink or on pans. Scrub with a pad and rinse.

Scouring Paste (instead of Comet)
2/3 cup baking soda
1/2 cup liquid soap
2 tablespoons vinegar

~Mix soda and soap to form a paste. Add vinegar and stir. Keep paste in a tub at the kitchen sink for scouring pots and pans or the sink itself.

Drain Cleaner
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup vinegar

~Pour baking soda down the drain followed by vinegar. Let it bubble for 15 minutes, then pour down a teakettle full of boiling water.

Garbage Pail Deodorizer
1 teaspoon tea tree oil
1 cup baking soda

~Mix and work out all the lumps with a fork. Sprinkle in bottom of pail after liner is removed. Periodically rinse pail with vinegar and water and let dry.

Oven Cleaner (instead of Off!)
1 tablespoon liquid soap
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup salt
3/4 cup baking soda

~Spray oven surfaces with soapy water. Mix salt and baking soda and sprinkle on wet surface. Spray again so that the mixture is damp and pasty. Let stand overnight. Scrape off with putty knife or wet pumice stone.

Floor Cleaner (instead of Mr. Clean)
1/2 cup vinegar
1 gallon water

~Combine in a bucket or sink and use on vinyl or title floors

Fabric Softener

~Add 1-2 cups of vinegar to rinse cycle to deodorize and soften fabrics.

Tub and Tile Cleaner
1 2/3 cup water
1/4 cup liquid soap
1/4 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons vinegar
A few drops of essential oil (optional)

~Add soap to water and let dissolve. Stir in baking soda, then add vinegar. Store in a squirt bottle and shake before using. Rinse thoroughly to avoid leaving a residue.

To clean grout, mix lemon juice and baking soda and apply to grout. Let dry and then rinse.

Mold and Mildew and Soapscum
Equal parts vinegar and water

~Spray and wipe clean.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Tub and Tile Cleaner (see above)
1/4 teaspoon tea tree oil (optional)

~Spray inside of toilet bowl with cleaner. For tough stains, sprinkle baking soda on a wet bowl brush, scour and rinse. Clean bowl thoroughly and often.

TIP: Drain water from the toilet bowl for better cleaning. For serious stains or rust, empty water out of bowl and scrub with a wet pumice stone. When wet, the stone will not scratch porcelain.

To remove hard-water rings: spray undiluted vinegar around the inside of the toilet then sprinkle borax onto the vinegar. Let it soak for about half an hr. Repeat if necessary.

Wood Polish
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar
10 drops essential oil (optional)

~Mix and apply. Wipe clean.

Glass Cleaner (instead of Windex)
1/8 cup vinegar
1 cup water

~Mix ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake and apply. Wipe clean with newspapers.

Carpet Deodorizer
1 pound box baking soda
1 teaspoon essential oil

~Mix using a fork to work out lumps. Sprinkle on carpet. Vacuum after 1 hour.

Carpet & Upholstery Stain Remover
Equal parts vinegar and water

~Mix and use to remove tough stains including grass, perspiration, rust, jam, coffee, orange juice, wine, beer, ketchup, barbeque sauce, chili, urine and pet stains.

TIP: Never use warm or hot water on stains containing sugar!

Powder Laundry Detergent (not recommended if you cloth diaper)
1 bar of soap (I use Dr. Bronner's Mild Baby)
1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda
1 cup washing soda

~Grate the soap on a cheese grater and combine all three. Use 1 tablespoon for small loads or in high efficiency machines and 2 tablespoons for regular loads.
*Soap tip- Grate it and let it sit for a few days to dry out the soap. Use your fingers to crush the soap to a finer consistency. This will help it dissolve better.

Powder Dishwasher Detergent
1 cup washing soda or baking soda
1 cup borax

~Mix thoroughly and store in a plastic container, use approximately 2 tablespoons per load. Use vinegar in the rinse compartment as a rinse agent to help prevent residue

To deodorize microwave, place a bowl of water with a few slices of lemon or a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice. Cook on high for about a minute. Doing so also makes it easier to clean the interior of the microwave (the steam it creates loosens hardened spills).

To clean the refrigerator: use a sponge moistened with vinegar, it helps prevent mildew. For hardened spills, make a paste of lemon juice and baking soda, scrub and wipe with the cloth moistened with vinegar.

To clean the coffeemaker glass pot: use lemon juice and salt and rub with a sponge or lemon juice and baking soda. Rinse well.


Anonymous said...

This is a great list. I have it bookmarked for future reference. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to try out the drain cleaner tonight since H hasn't done anything about the clogged drain in our bathroom.

I know the Good Family doesn't have a cat, so I thought I'd add my litter box deoterizer: 1 box of baking soda and three drops of lemon scented essential oil. I sprinkle it periodically in the kitties boxes.

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Katie said...

This is a great list! thanks! :)

Erin Sutton said...

Hi, I just found your blog and am so excited to start making my own cleaning supplies...I have never made it before, so your blog is going to be very helpful. I do have a question for you though. When you mention liquid soap, do you use a particular brand? If so, what is it?

The Good Wife said...

Hi Erin,
I originally used Dawn since it was good at cutting grease but now I use Dr. Bonner's Baby soap.

Thanks for reading and I'm glad you found the post helpful.

Hamlett Daily Dose said...

This is a great list - thanks so much! I have never tried to make any of my own cleaning products, but I think I will now.

PS: One of your laundry room inspiration pics is my laundry room. I just happened across your blog and was sort of taken aback to see it (in a good way though :)


The Good Wife said...

Jenna, I'm glad you like the list. I would start with something easy and effective like the window cleaner.

I linked your photo to your blog. Sorry I didn't give your photo credit. I have now.


MAMA P said...

I just found your site and love it. I plan to make my own cleaning supplies ASAP. The other ones are dodgy, fo sho! Thanks. MamaP

alissa2128 said...

What a great list! I have two questions. First, for the tub/tile cleaner, does the baking soda dissolve in the cleaner? I am worried about it scratching our tub (we have an acrylic tub.
Second, for the toilet bowl cleaner, you mention starting with the tub/tile cleaner, but then it says to sprinkle on the bowl brush. I'm just confused by that because the tub/tile cleaner is a spray, right?

The Good Wife said...

Hi Alissa.
The baking soda does dissolve in the cleaner. I wouldn't worry about the baking soda scratching anything. It is a lot gentler than something like Comment and I used to use that stuff on EVERYTHING and never got a scratch.
Second, I am sorry about any confusion. I will reword that post. You would spray the cleaner into the bowl and if there are tough stains, I sprinkle straight baking soda on the toilet brush before scrubbing.
I hope that clears it up for you.
Thanks for reading and don't hesitate to ask me any questions if you are still confused.

alissa2128 said...

Thanks for clarifying!
I was wondering what you use to clean the bathroom sinks?

The Good Wife said...

I use the tub and tile cleaner for sinks. I like the baking soda in it b/c it works as a scrubber.

Anonymous said...

I made the Dishwasher detergent and my dishes came out with a white dusty film on them. Any suggestions?

The Good Wife said...

To get rid of the white powder, I would add either white vinegar or powdered lemon kool aid to the machine. I would add the vinegar in the rinse compartment and the powdered lemon -it has to be lemon - kool aid to the soap compartment. That should get rid of the powder. I hope that helps!!

Thanks for reading.

maria smith said...

I also have switched to all green products for my home. I haven't started making them, just store bought ones. I have stated using a green cleaning service. But I keep reading all these recipes for green cleaning products that sound so easy. I may have to start making my own.

graham goch said...

Very advisory and effective collection of stuff.Homejoy

Pete Viti said...

Drain Cleaning & Rooter Service Baltimore can use a variety of machines to keep your drains running freely. They the potential of solving the problems like water leakage, broken outlet pipes, the choked drains, and the discolored water coming in tanks

Kyle McDonald said...

I love that I'm not the only green cleaner around. I used to hate cleaning, because I was worried all of those toxins would hurt my chinchilla. But I have been green for two years, and me and Mr. Snuffles are doing great!


Thank you so much for your all great explanation, I liked reading this. Total Clean

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Wow!! i am very impressed with your lovely post.I want to suggest you that you should take the service of utah green cleaners and they will provide you best service and you will be satisfied with your investment.

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Lori K said...

For "liquid soap" I highly recommend Dr Bronner's Sal Suds. I just mix it with water in a spray bottle and it cleans everything from granite countertops to bathroom tile to wood floors. Cuts through grease like nothing else.

Global Maket said...

I am in love with this steamer!
Black and Decker steam mop

rokn elbeet said...

تعتمد شركة ركن البيت على افضل الخدمات الاساسية المميزة التى تساعد فى الوصول الى افضل النتائج المميزة التى تؤدي الغرض المطلوب حيث لدينا شركة تنظيف بالرياض تساعد فى تحقيق افضل ما هو مطلوب في خدمات النظافة بعيد عن اعمال التنظيف اليدوية التي تستخدم اساليب فعليك ان تتعاون وتتصل بنا في شركتنا حيث يمكنك الاستعانة بخدمة تنظيف الفلل من خلال التواصل مع قسم شركة تنظيف فلل بالرياض التي تحقق كل ما هو جيد في اعمال التنظيف والسعى الى التنظيف من الالف الى الياء كما يوجد لدينا خدمات اخري في النظافة مثلا تنظيف الخزانات التي تحتاج الي مختص فني في تقديم اعمال نظافة الخزنات من خلال شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض
التي لديها خدمة متخصصة في القضاء علي البكتريا والرواسب التي توجد في قاع الخزانات من خلال شركة تسمي المتميزة في التعقيم والتظهر للحصول علي كل ما هو صحي من خلال شراء اغلى انواع المنظفات والمساحيق والمعطرات المميزة التى تساعد فى الوصول الى اى نتيجة يرغب العميل بها فشركة ركن البيت هى افضل الشركات التى تهتم باعمال التنظيف لمنزلك التي توجد لديك مثل خدمة شركة تنظيف مسابح بالرياض مهما كانت مساحته ومهما كانت درجة الاتساخ فلاتتردد فى التعامل معنا لدينا خدمات اخري يمكنك متابعتها مثلا بعض الناس يعتمدون علي شركة مكافحة حشرات بالرياض والتي تعتبر من افضل الخدمات الاساسية داخل مدينة الرياض التي تحتاج عناية شديدة في اعمالها من خلال تعاملها مع قسم شركة رش مبيدات بالرياض والتي يستخدم مبيدات طبيعية والتي تقتل جميع الحشرات المنزلية مثل الصراصير والنمل الابض والفئران بالاضافة الى ان الشركة تهتم بتوفير افضل الخدمات الاساسية فى اعمال الرش فاذا كنت فى اى مكان وتعانى من وجود حشرات فعليك التخلص منه من خلال شركتنا المتميزة