Green Cleaning Solutions
This is a fabulous eco guest post by Kelly Gurnett
who writes for cash advancelender, QuickQuid,
and runs the blog Cordelia Calls It Quits, where she documents
her attempts to rid her life of the things that don’t matter
and focus more on the things that do.
Many people have gotten into making their own cleaning products. It’s greener, cheaper, and safer for your family than using store-bought products heavy on toxins. But you don’t always have to spend the time mixing up formulas from a recipe in order to clean your home. Some common household products can get the job done all by themselves (or with just one other product)—and you probably already have many of them in your cabinets!
Take a look at these everyday items that can do much more than you’re probably using them for:
Baking soda.You may already know that baking soda deodorizes (put an open box in your fridge to neutralize odors from particularly pungent foods). It can also deodorize your carpets (sprinkle some onto the carpet before you go to bed, then vacuum it up in the morning).
Added to a damp sponge, baking soda can also remove grease from your stove and is great for scouring bathtubs and sinks. You can even create your own drain cleaner by combining ¼ cup of baking soda with 1 cup vinegar and then flushing with hot water.
Dryer sheets.Dryer sheets are great for dusting, especially hard-to-reach places like blinds, fans, and the vents on air conditioning units. Dust and pet hair is drawn to the sheet, which also leaves behind a protective coating that prevents future dust from building up as quickly. They’re also good for removing all that static-y dust that settles on your TV and computer screens.
Lemon.There’s a reason so many cleaning products leave a lemon scent; its citric acid has great antibacterial properties that can clean surfaces like fabric and wood gently, without causing damage to the surface itself.
A lemon and salt solution can clean brass, copper, and chrome. Odors and stains can be removed from plastic containers by soaking them in diluted lemon juice, then scrubbing with baking soda and rinsing thoroughly. Lemon juice by itself can sanitize and clean stains from cutting boards—just rub the juice into the board and let it sit until the stain fades (you can even leave it overnight if need be) and then rinse it thoroughly.
White distilled vinegar.Like lemon, white distilled vinegar can kill household threats like bacteria, germs, and mold without being too harsh. There are any number of recipes for vinegar-based solutions to clean every aspect of your house, but some quick and easy vinegar uses include: as a window cleaner (spray equal parts vinegar and warm water); as a weed killer (spray undiluted on weeds, reapplying as needed until they wither); as a bumper sticker remover (wipe the sticker with vinegar until it’s soaked, wait a few minutes, and peel off); and as a coffeepot cleaner (fill the water reservoir with vinegar and run a brewing cycle, then rinse thoroughly).
Alka-Seltzer.Those little bubbly tablets do more than settle your stomach. Put four tablets in your toilet bowl, let them sit for an hour, and then brush for a sparkling-clean effect. One tablet in a cup of warm water can clean your jewelry in a few minutes. (Word of warning: This is not good for pearls, so keep those away.) If you have build-up at the bottom of a vase, fill it up with water and drop in two tablets to loosen the grime.
*Try these at your own risk.