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Green Ways to Clean or How I Saved Enough to Take a Vacation

Updated on November 18, 2012
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Country Living Tips

Growing up in the country one amasses a lot of information, especially from the older folks in the area. I learned and was told things that I never thought that I would use, but in this recessionary time, I found that anything and everything helps. The amazing thing, is that the best things don’t need to be expensive, and they work just as well, if not better than those commercial cleaners that aren’t necessarily environmentally friendly. I guarantee that if you adopt some of these things, as your lifestyle dictates, you will save money, which in turn, will make you much happier.

For Stained Sinks

Much less toxic and more environmentally friendly than bleach, you can clean stained sinks. Cut open an older lemon that has lost its freshness, and wipe the sink down with it. Let it work for about 10-15 minutes, sprinkle on some baking soda, then scour.

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Toilet Cleaner

Fresh, clean, and less poisonous to the environment: pour a bucket of water in the toilet to lower the water level. Put a few tablespoons of baking soda around the inside of the bowl. Dampen the baking soda a bit with a little vinegar. Scrub the bowl with a toilet brush, then flush. Look what you get with no pollution, but just a little elbow grease.

Oven Cleaner

Commercial oven cleaners are some of the nastiest things that I have ever run across. Sprinkle salt on fresh spills generously while still hot, as the salt will absorb most spills, then turn ashlike. This powder you can easily brush off once the oven is cool.

Also for the oven, but meant to work overnight for the periodic cleaning of normal buildup, preheat to 200 degrees, then turn off. Put two cups of ammonia in a shallow, non-aluminum pan on the center rack. Close the oven door and let stand overnight. The ammonia gas will cut through the grease and turn it into a soapy sludge that you can wipe off. MAKE SURE THAT YOU VENTILATE WELL. While you’re at it, put your stained Pyrex in during this treatment, and they will clean at the same time.

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Automatic Dishwasher Soap

You can save tremendous amounts of money with this, and it is a lot healthier for you and your family. If you have soft water, use straight borax. For hard water, add some washing soda, but you will have to play it by ear with the amount. Use just like you would with the commercial powders.

Preserve Outdoor Garden Tools

Simply coat them with oil to keep them from rusting. If you wax them periodically, after you take off all the dirt, they will slide into the ground like butter. Use a parrafin wax stick available in the canning section of the hardware store or Target.

Silver or Copper Polish and Tarnish Remover

Use a paste of water and wood ashes. Equally as effective, use half a lemon sprinkled with salt to clean copper. For tarnish, rub with toothpaste, ketchup or Worcestershire sauce. Rusty scissors will come clean with lemon juice and salt paste. Rub it off and repeat. Make sure that you dry them after, or they will rust again.

To Clean Refrigerator

Use a weak solution of baking soda and wipe down for a fresh smelling and clean fridge.

Urine Smells

Cover the area with wheat germ, then allow to dry for no stain and no smell.

Removal of Fresh Paint

Rub the painted area with cooking oil. This works especially well with cleaning up the kids from their projects.

Now, go!

This should give you a little bit of information for now, which I will add to at a later date. In the meantime, start saving for that great vacation. Tell 'em that I sent ya!

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    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I appreciate your efforts, Mama Kim. I will also be returning to your place to read more of your great material, too.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Fantastic hub! I use some of these already but I will have to try the ones I don't for sure! Voting this up and sharing!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      The toxic stuff isn't good for anyone, Letitia, even if you have plenty of air movement. It gets into everything.

    • LetitiaFT profile image

      LetitiaFT 4 years ago from Paris via California

      This is great! I have some very tarnished copper in my kitchen, but I just hate bringing out those toxic products. I'll try the lemon and salt. Thanks for that tip and the others!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Billy. It pays to be frugal, as well as protect our environment and our health.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great information and useful tips my friend; this fits in very nicely with my frugal living series. Nice job!

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, kashmir, thanks! I appreciate the votes and the sharing. We will all benefit from green living, and stay healthier in the process, too.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Actually, Connie, I have more that I will be sharing at a later date. You know me, though, my birds always come first. Thanks for all the nice things that you said.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, Mycee, it is, but I do subscribe to the notions for green living. I will have more to share on that topic soon enough.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, moonlake. I'm nearly done with my laundry detergent, so I am going to use cclitgirl's formula that she put on a hub.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, precy anza. It makes sense to use eco friendly cleaners now. This could be why we have so much cancer in the world now, with all those toxic chemicals.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Oh, Mhatter, you look just fine. That is the best way to clean windows, too. The newspaper doesn't leave streaks.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Glad that I could help, Kris. I have a few more stored in the ol' noggin, as well!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      WOW what a great well written hub with a lot of useful and valuable advice and ideas to clean the green way and not use chemical products.

      Vote up and more !!! SHARING !

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      You are a girl after my own heart, Deb! Baking soda and vinegar are my go-to cleaners. The half lemon and baking soda works well on stained laminate countertops as well as on stainless steel stuff. I can remember cleaning the copper on the bottom of my Mom's saucepans with baking soda and vinegar. And if you have a woodstove with glass in the door, wad up some newspapers and watch it take all the soot off!

      I love that you shared all your green cleaning tips. Using these kind of cleaners will not only save money, but they are much better for the environment and water supply. Voted Up, Useful, Awesome and Interesting and Shared. Good Stuff.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Wow Deb..this is amazing hub..very different from msot hubs you've written. I used baking soda with calamansi for toilet and sinks. Perfect combination for gettign a whiter sink.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Lots of good cleaning information. I use some of them. The dishwasher items are new to me. Vote uP.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 4 years ago from San Diego

      Agree that best thins doesn't need to be expensive :) I use baking soda on cleaning too. And I prefer it than the commercial cleaners. I must try that salt, haven't heard of it. Voted up and shared :)

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      One of my first lucrative jobs as a boy was window washer. I used vinegar, sponge, warm water and newspapers. (and, of course, the old ladies loved my good looks - too bad that can't be recycled)

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

      These are great tips. I've heard of and used some but not all - now I've got some to add to my list to try!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Way to go, bdegiulio. If we don't buy the bad chemical products, the manufacturers may become enlightened to our way of thinking.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great tips avian. I think the only one I have heard of is the lemon/baking soda combo on the sink. Some great ideas here to not only save some money but the environment also. I'll have to put some of this to use. Voting up, useful, etc....

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, gamby. Yes, I know what you mean about animals.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Any time, hecate-horus. I have a few more of them, too. You will see more.

    • gamby79 profile image

      gamby79 4 years ago

      Great tips! Know some of them but a few I hadn't heard before. The use of wheat germ is one I have never heard that I MUST definitely try especially after 'Nylabones' has been in the house. Rated up!

    • hecate-horus profile image

      hecate-horus 4 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Great tips...some I use, some I didn't know about. Thanks for sharing!

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