Keeping a Green Home

Keeping it green in your house, not only is healthier for you and the environment, but for your wallet, too. Making use of mixing simple ingredient to make your own cleaners will save you money.

Many of those so-called “green cleaners” still have questionable ingredients and can be expensive!  And those conventional cleaners, Forget about it!


Here are a few to try in your house and as I discover new ways to clean green, I will be posting!

Around the House

In the Laundry:

  • To brighten your clothes:  Add 1-2 Tbs of Epsom salt into your wash cycle.
  • For washing your whites: Instead of using Clorox bleach, try  “oxygen bleach”. Just let your whites soak overnight in a scoopful + 1/2 cup of  vinegar. 

In the Kitchen:  

  • For streak free and ultra clean dishes with no soapy residue, use white vinegar instead of your regular rinse aid. Just fill your “rinse” dispenser.

In the Bathroom: 

  • For ease and to get into those tiny cracks and edges around tub, floors, etc. use scrubby gloves (the kind you use on your body) instead of a scouring pad or sponge.  Just don’t use the same scrubby gloves you do on your body.
  • Keep one of those “over the cupboard caddies” under my bathroom sink with my cleaning utensils and homemade scouring scrub, so I can scrub the tub right after I get out of it.

Deodorizing Carpets:

  • for fresh smelling carpets, sprinkle on baking soda and let sit for 15 mins then vacuum.
  • Or even better, sprinkle on dried orange peel powder (take small chunks of dried orange peel and process in coffee grinder until made into a powder.)  Sprinkled and left for 15 mins then vacuumed not only makes your carpets smell sweet, but your vacuum, too!


 Cleaners:

  • Scouring scrub:  Mix 1/2 baking soda with equal amount of salt. Add water just enough to make a paste. Place in a recycled plastic container. Great for tubs and sinks, toilets, etc.
  • Window Cleaner (great for mirrors and faucets, too) Fill bottle half-n-half with water and distilled white vinegar.
  • “Oxygen Bleach” For for stained sinks, tubs, and toilets.  Fill sink or tub with water and 1 scoop (2- 3 scoops for the tub) of oxygen bleach. For toilets, just add a scoop to the toilet water. Let soak overnight, scrub with brush as needed, and they’ll be sparkling!

All-Purpose Cleaner

I use this on almost everything.  This cleaner is great for floors, walls, to disinfect doorknobs, light switches, toilets, spray around and in tub after bath to keep mold and mildew at bay. etc. etc.  I also use it in my car and even lightly dust my furniture with it and have noticed it leaves a beautiful shine and  dust doesn’t seem to settle as much in those areas. If using on furniture, best to not spray directly but dust with rag (or sock!) dampened with cleaner.

Ingredients

  • Hot water
  • 1/2 cup of liquid castile soap
  • 1/4 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp tea tree extract – for disinfecting
  • 2 1/2 Tbs of witch hazel – also for disinfecting
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Optional: 4 drops or so of essential oil (I like orange)

Directions:  

  1. Fill spray bottle about 1/4 way with hot water and add in soap. Shake to mix.
  2. Add in all ingredients but white vinegar and essential oil. 
  3. Once all other ingredients are added, add in white vinegar- enough to fill the bottle, and your essential oil. Shake to mix again.  

Tip: May settle later, so just give it the ol’ shakeroo if need be.

Veggie and Fruit Wash

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Tbs of fresh squeezed lemon. Organic would be best. Lemon juice is a natural disinfectant
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar for extra disinfectant
  • 2 cups cold water
  • Optional: sprinkle of salt

Directions:

  1. Pour the lemon, vinegar and water into a clean spray bottle. Cap and shake.
  2. To use, spray on vegetables and fruits and let sit for 5 minutes. Scrub if needed. Rinse fruits or veggies under cold, running water.
  3. For berries, lettuce, etc:  Fill a bowl of water with a few sprays of wash, let fruits/veggies soak for 5 mins.  Drain and rinse .
  4. Optional:  add a  bit of salt  to your bowl of water to kill bugs and have them float to the surface 

For over 100 more uses for vinegar, see here

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