How To Clean It Green
Environmentally Friendly Cleaning
Chemical allergies and sensitivities are on the rise. The more chemicals that we expose ourselves to on a daily basis the more likely we are to become sensitive to them. Production of chemical cleaning products is hard on the environment in several ways. The actual production process leave a heavy carbon footprint, and then there is the transportation, disposal of packaging materials, and the chemicals themselves. Reading the packages is a frightening thing with all of the warnings not to swallow, not to get it on your skin, and not to breathe in the fumes.
I ask you, how does one clean without getting up close and personal with the cleaner? I understand about the not swallowing. In fact there was a big news thing last year in my area because one of the cleaning products that is popular locally was produced in bright colors and children were mistaking it for kool-aid type drinks!
We all want a clean home and we are willing, for the most part, to work hard to get it that way. Is it possible to have a clean home and a clean environment at the same time?
Homemade Cleaning Products
Sure! Think about it. For centuries women have been cleaning their homes with things like salt, vinegar, baking soda, and various combinations of these. Beeswax and lemon oil were used for polishing, lavender was used to keep insects out of linens, and vinegar had, as it has now, a thousand uses. Homemade cleaning products are safe for the environment, work as well as the chemical ones, and best of all, they are frugal. Most can be made for pennies with things you probably all ready have around the pantry.
Storage is easy. Canning jars with lids are good reusable containers for powdered things like cleanser, dishwasher soap, and laundry soap. You can buy spray bottles at nearly any store for glass cleaner and all purpose cleaner. Save those baby wipe containers because you can make your own convenient cleaning wipes as well! Read on!
Three Recipes For All Purpose Cleaner
This is a heavy duty spray cleaner for counters, appliances etc. You can leave the essential oil (available at most health-food stores or online) out if you like. It is mostly for scent although some essential oils have antibacterial qualities. I have given my favorite combination, the signature scent for my home, if you will. You can use any combination that you like.
All Purpose Cleaner
2 Tbs White Vinegar
1 Tbs borax
1/4 c Dr. Bronner's Peppermint oil soap
12 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
6 drops lemon essential oil
2 c hot water
Shake together in a spray bottle
All Purpose Cleaner 2
1/4 c baking soda
1/4 c lemon juice
2 Tbs borax
1 tbs liquid soap
6 drops rose otto essential oil
6 drops tangerine essential oil
1 gallon warm water
shake together in large container. Use in a spray bottle or directly from container
All Purpose Cleaner 3 (disinfecting)
1 c Dr Bronner's Sal Suds
10 drops tea tree oil
2 1/2 c warm water
Mix together. Makes 22 oz of concentrate. Shake well before use. Add 1/4 c per gallon of warm water.
Scouring Powder 1
1 c baking soda
1 c salt
1 c borax
10 drops rose otto essential oil
10 drops tangerine essential oil
shake together. Use as you would cleanser.
Scouring Powder 2
actually this is more like soft scrub
1/2 c soap flakes
2 tsp borax
2 tsps whiting
1 1/2 c water
Equal parts baking soda and warm water plus a few drops of essential oil
3 c borax
3 c baking soda
Mix and add 2 TBS per load. Pour 1/4 c vinegar in the rinse cycle to make dishes shine.
1/2 lb of plain soap like Ivory.
1/2 gallon of water
4 drops rose otto essential oil
4 drops of tangerine essential oil
Grate soap into water. Boil, stirring, for 10 minutes or so. Add essential oil.Pour into jar. Let cool. Store covered. This is very concentrated. Add a bit to sink and fill with hot water.
If you really need it to be blue then add a few drops of food coloring.'
Glass Cleaner 1
1 c white vinegar
1 c water
3 drops rose otto essential oil
3 drops tangerine essential oil
Glass Cleaner 2
2 Tbs rubbing alcohol
2 quarts water
Color safe bleach
1 c hydrogen pyroxide
4 c water
Mix together. Soak fine washables in this solution 15 minutes or so.
Laundry Soap 1
2 c soap flakes
4 tbs washing soda
Laundry Soap 2
1/2 c borax
1/4 c baking soda
1/4 c Dr Bronners Sal Suds
Add 1 c to full load of laundry
A Cute Cartoon About Clean Cleaning
Tips For Using Cleaners
This is by no means an all inclusive list. There are thousands of other cleaning recipes out there, just waiting for another post about Eco Friendly Cleaning. Be sure to keep these cleaning products away from children and pets. Store in covered containers in dark places. I am planning on posting more eco-friendly recipes so check back often!
Save your commercial containers to hold your homemade products- recycling at it's best. Save baby wipe containers to hold your won convenient cleaning wipes. Just cut up an old towel or similar scraps to fit and put several pieces in the container. Cover with any of the all purpose cleaners and use as needed. When done cleaning, just throw towels in the laundry!