Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Save some green while you clean!

I was online looking up my new favorite homemade household cleaner and figured, why not blog about it? I don't spend a lot of money on cleaning supplies. I'm also not extremely comfortable with all the toxic chemicals and antibacterial products on the market. They are not without their place. I have bleach at my house that I use occasionally and a couple of other products.

The main motivation for looking for healthier cleaning supplies came when we were living with Paul's parents. Paul's mom cannot tolerate any kind of strong smell, whether it be natural or man made, so obviously most commercial cleaning products were out of the question. You can easily spend a fortune on buying "natural" or unscented cleaning supplies, but why? Some of the cheapest and most effective cleaning supplies are things that you already have at home.

I use a combination of vinegar and baking soda frequently to clean sinks and the bath tub. Baking soda is abrasive without damaging and the combination of the two cuts through the worst of soap scum. (If it sounds like I don't clean my bathroom often enough, you're right!)

Making your own window cleaner is a snap! There are quite an array of recipes out there that contain many variations upon a mixture of water, vinegar, and detergent. The simplest recipe that I found is 2 tsp of white vinegar to 1 quart of warm water.

Here is the recipe for my favorite new cleaner:
2 tsp borax
4 tablespoons white vinegar
3 cups hot water
1/4 tsp liquid castille soap (optional)

Put in a spray bottle and voila! I also added a few drops of essential oil (lemongrass, although I want to get some orange or lemon) and it smells divine! And it works REALLY well. Apparently Borax has disinfectant properties too. I use this on kitchen countertops, on my vinyl tablecloth, spot cleaning the floor and the high chair tray.

Here are just a few things to have in your homemade cleaning supply closet:
salt, baking soda, lemons, vinegar, Borax

Another thing worth mentioning is my steam cleaner. I was given one as a gift, but I honestly believe they are worth the investment. Nothing is simpler or more effective than using plain old steam. They work really well.

Here are a couple of good websites:

http://www.eartheasy.com/live_nontoxic_solutions.htm

http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Prairie/8088/clngrn.html

3 comments:

Liam's Mom said...

I agree on the steam cleaner! I love mine. Worth every penny.

Nancy said...

I have a laundry soap recipe that is really inexpensive to make and works better than some name brand detergents!! I'll send it your way, if you don't already have it?

Andrea said...

I'd love to have the recipe - is it the same one that Emily has used? Also, is it something that can be used in a front loader?

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