By: Jennifer Chait

This week our green audit is cleaning supplies. We’ve already discussed the dangers of traditional, commercial cleaning supplies, so now we’re moving on to solutions. I will be going over some options available for purchase this week, but first we’re going to look at homemade cleaners.
Benefits of homemade cleaners:
  • Less packaging waste. You’re not buying new bottles over and over.
  • Less expensive. I actually started making homemade products before I was really all the way green – why? To save money.
  • Less harmful (often not harmful at all) to humans, animals, and the earth.
  • Less noxious home smell. Homemade natural cleaners always smell better than store bought. Well, except vinegar – but I have major vinegar issues. There are ways to mask the smell of vinegar though – not completely, but somewhat. Lavender essential oil and lemon juice both work some to hide the icky vinegar smell.
Here we go. Homemade cleaners, from basic recipes to a few that are more advanced…

1. Clogged sink and bathtub drains: prevent clogs altogether with the amazing drain trap. I’m shocked at how many people don’t use a drain trap. I got one at Home Depot for under two dollars – five years ago. If you have a sluggish drain, pour a cup of white vinegar plus one cup baking soda into the drain. Let that sit for a few minutes (it will bubble). Flush with a teapot full of boiling water. If you really have issues, use a snake or plunger. Drain cleaner is honestly something you should never have in your home – it’s hands down one of the more dangerous cleaning items.

2. Air freshening options: Light a natural candle, burn organic incense, boil orange peels and spices on your stove top, diffuse essential oils, open your windows, buy some air cleaning plants, use cedar blocks sprinkled with lavender in your closets, or make potpourri. Learn more:

3. Soap scum removal: Apply baking soda (it is non abrasive). Scrub with a damp cloth or sponge. I have an older bristle brush I use for icky scum – like when I go to long without cleaning (bad me). You can use Borax or vinegar too; but Borax can scratch. Vinegar can be applied directly, left to sit, and scrubbed down.

4. Small carpet stain: Two words – club soda!

5. Bigger tougher carpet stains: Sprinkle Fuller’s earth or cornstarch onto the spot. Allow it to sit for about 20-30 minutes. Scrub with one cup vinegar mixed with three cups water. If it really won’t come out try a natural soap based carpet cleaner.

6. Carpet deodorizer: Sprinkle baking soda around the room – my son thinks this is the most fun ever. Add some dried crushed lavender or basil. Wait about 1/2 hour. Vacuum.

7. Oven cleaning prevention: Don’t let spills sit. That’s the best cleaning procedure hand’s down. Clean the oven sooner rather than later. Line your oven bottom with foil to catch spills.

8. “Oh no, I didn’t follow the oven cleaning prevention tip above!”: Ok, if you have a hot spill, sprinkle it with salt. Mix some baking soda – I just toss maybe two tablespoons with into a cup, with some water to make a thin paste. Use an old toothbrush or bristle brush to scrub it down.

9. Everyday toilet cleaning: Sprinkle some baking soda and lemon juice into your toilet and walk away. Eventually you’ll want to return and scrub it with a toilet brush.

10. Bachelor pad toilet cleaning: No offense guys – I’ve seen my fair share of bachelor pads though. Spray vinegar around the bowl, sprinkle with baking soda, scrub.

11. Metal rust: Mix 2 tablespoons salt with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Apply and rub well.

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7/9/2012 03:02:12 am

First time reading this blog, just wanted to say hi.

11/17/2013 02:15:21 pm

Hello,,,, Always use good cleaning products for your carpet and never wash your carpet because washing method is not better for carpet so use only vacuum cleaning machine for its cleaning. If you are not able to clean your carpet perfectly so you can use any popular cleaning service for excellent cleaning

11/18/2013 03:40:32 am

Really, Permanent furniture cleaning labels will normally be found under the seat cushion. When spot cleaning furniture, it is always a good idea for consumers to first pretest the fabric for discoloration and shrinkage on an inconspicuous part of the furniture. thank for sharing the useful site

12/7/2013 05:38:19 am

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