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Monday, September 27, 2010

Green Cleaning: Tips, Tricks, Products and Recipes

I'm not sure if it was the 5 hours I spent cleaning and reorganizing my daughter's room this morning or the day I spent working at the preschool cleaning everything with harsh chemicals, but I was inspired to do a post with some of my favorite green cleaning recipes and some great green cleaning products. 

5 Green Cleaning Basics
The basic ingredients in green cleaning are:
  1. Baking Soda
  2. Borax
  3. Soap
  4. Washing Soda
  5. White Vinegar or Lemon Juice
Ecocycle has many great basic recipes for green cleaning products made from the above ingredients.  Click here for their free green cleaning recipes.

Green Laundry
Vinegar is great for almost any laundry stain.  If I have a tough stain, I put on vinegar and let it soak.  Sometimes a combination of vinegar and baking soda is what it takes. 

Another crazy laundry stain idea to get out tar is to rub butter on it.  This actually works by the way because my daughter sat in tar in a brand new outfit at the park.  Butter and soap took all of the tar out.

A great basic green laundry detergent recipe is:

1 gallon of hot water
1/2 bar of soap (like ivory or some other non-perfumes soap) - grated
1 cups Baking soda

Over Medium High heat melt the soap in 2 cup of hot water.  Once it's melted mix in the remaining gallon of hot water.  Then add the baking soda.  Allow it to coll and then you can store it in an old milk jug or plastic coffee can.  Use 1/2 cup per  load or 1 cup for heavily soiled laundry.

For a more environmentally responsible green version of fabric refresher try spritzing your clothing with a couple of spritzes of vodka and than allowing the item to air out.  Vodka kills odor causing bacteria and the smell of the vodka will dissipate quickly. 

For more green laundry solutions and free green laundry detergent recipes check out Tipnut.com.

Furniture Polish - Black Tea

Strange but true, you can polish your furniture with black tea.  Steep a pot of black tea with several tea bags.  Allow it to cool and then polish furniture with a cotton cloth dipped in the cooled tea.  Tannic acid will remove residue and build-up on furniture.


Household Deodorizers

First, get some plants.  House plants clean the air in your home and help reduce odors. 

You can place out dishes of lemon juice and baking soda to absorb smells. 

For cooking odors you can boil a little vinegar and water on the stove while you are cooking and you can clean off cooking utensils and cutting boards with vinegar after cooking with fish or other seafood. 

I also love to boil cinnamon sticks and whole cloves on the stove if I am having a party or make some hot spiced cider to full the whole house with great smells.

Deodorize carpeting and floors with baking soda.  I even use this try on my hardwood.  I sprinkle some baking soda on the floor and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes (sometime I leave it overnight).  Then vacuum or mop it up. 

Great Green Products
For everyone who doesn't have the time to actually make their own green cleaning items, I found some great products on etsy.  

'Green Clean' by c1h8r9is


Large Wool Dryer Ba...

$16.00
Fresh Bamboo Handma...

$4.50
Reusable Swiffer Cl...

$23.45
CLEAN AND HEALTHY P...

$6.95
26 Bird-E Towels (e...

$25.00
Vegan Natural Laund...

$5.00
Do it all Cleaner -...

$7.00
Six Apple Dish Scru...

$14.50
eco-scrubby (handm...

$11.10
Laundry dryer bags

$4.00
SALE Lemongrass Sag...

$4.00
Soap Nuts Natural L...

$25.00
Organic Hand Saniti...

$8.50
Dish/Wash Cloths - ...

$10.00
Set of 5, Fleece Wa...

$17.00
Ecofriendly All Nat...

$4.85

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