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Living Green  - 
Building Natural & Green  -  Cleaning the Green Way 
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What is "Cleaning Naturally"?
Last Updated on:  06/25/2015 06:31 AM

 

Instead of buying cleaning products off-the-shelf, make your own!
You probably have the ingredients in your spice collection, kitchen cupboard or refrigerator.

All-Purpose Cleaner
Ant Hotel
Baking Soda Oven Cleaner
Clean Brass

Clean Drains
Clean Silver
Flea & Tick Repellent
Fabric Softener
Furniture Polish
Holiday Air Freshener
Moth Ball Substitute
Plant Spray
Sink & Tub Cleanser
Stain Remover
Sterilize Sponges
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Rug Deodorizer
Vinegar Window Cleaner

Cleaning the Green Way

Clean Brass - Use ingredients that have natural acid such as Tabasco  sauce, vinegar, ketchup and/or tomatoes, lime or lemon juice, and milk to remove tarnish. The tarnish washes away if you polish  the brass item with or soak it the listed sources.  Blot the excess moisture with a clean cotton towel.
Moth Ball Substitute - wrap cedar chips, lavender flowers, rosemary, mint, or white peppercorns in a clean cotton cloth. Tie with a pretty ribbon and place in clothes closets or drawers.
Clean Silver -   Home remedies suggest that plain ol' white tooth paste will shine your silver.  Rub in a dab with your finger or cotton cloth.  Baking soda paste also works well on larger pieces with a damp sponge.   In both cases, rinse with hot water and polish dry with a soft, clean cloth. For badly tarnished silver, leave the baking soda paste on the silver for an hour or so, before cleaning off with the help of the sponge and hot water.

Alternative Method:  Boil 2 to 3 inches of water in a shallow pan with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and a sheet of aluminum foil. Totally submerge silver and boil for 2 to 3 more minutes. Wipe away tarnish. Repeat if necessary. (Do not use this method on antique silver knives. The blade will separate from the handle.)

Alternative Method:  Another alternative is to use nonabrasive toothpaste.

Sink & Tub Cleanser -   As an alternative to using store-bought cleansers, make your own soft scrub.  The "recipe" is simple:  mix 1/4 cup baking soda with a few drops of dye-free liquid detergent.  Use the scrub on a cotton cloth to clean the sink, tub or countertop. 
Plant Spray - Wipe leaves with mild soap and water; rinse.
Baking Soda Oven Cleaner - Begin by sprinkling 1/4 inch baking sowing over the bottom of the oven.  Spray water until the baking soda is damp.  Keep it damp during the process (4 - 6 hours).  Scoop out the baking soda and the grime.  Rinse the oven to remove the residue.  (do not use this method in self-cleaning or continuous-cleaning ovens)

Alternative Method:  Clean spills as soon as the oven cools using steel wool and baking soda; for tough stains, add salt (do not use this method in self-cleaning or continuous-cleaning ovens).

Vinegar Window Cleaner - What is more natural than vinegar?  Try this recipe:  2 C water + 1/4 C white distilled vinegar + 1/4 t clear liquid soap.  It works best if you fill the spray bottle with water and vinegar then add the liquid soap.   If you reverse the order, the soap bubbles when water is added.  Spray on and use newspaper to wipe dry.
Rug Deodorizer - Deodorize dry carpets by sprinkling liberally with baking soda. Wait at least 15 minutes and vacuum. Repeat if necessary.
Fabric Softener -  add a 1/2 C baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to each wash load.
All-Purpose Cleanser - 1/2 t washing soda + 2 t borax + 1/2 t clear liquid soap + 2 C hot water
Mix well and pour in spray bottle.  Spray cotton cloth and use to clean most surfaces.  Use common sense when using the all-purpose cleanser.
Holiday Air Freshener - Simmer 2 sticks cinnamon + 5 or 6 whole cloves +8 C water
Fills the house with the most wonderful, welcoming scent.  Be sure to check the water level and replenish when necessary.
Clean Drains - To keep drains free of clogs try this simple step once a week.  Pour 1 C baking soda down the drain followed by 2 C hot water.   To eliminate odors in the drain pour 1/2 C vinegar.

Alternative Method:  An ingredient free method is simply to use a plunger or plumber's snake.

Sterilize Sponges - Drop sponge in boiling water.  Leave for 3 - 5 minutes.  If you have a dish washers, put them on the top basket and simply wash with the next load of dishes.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner - Use a toilet brush and baking soda or vinegar. (This will clean but not disinfect.)
Furniture Polish - To make your own natural furniture polish simply mix 1/2 t olive oil + 1/4 C vinegar.  Kept in a glass jar, this polish may be stored indefinitely.  To use dip a clean cotton cloth into the jar and apply to wooden surfaces.  Buff clean.

Alternative Method: 
Mix 1 t of lemon juice in 1 pint of mineral or vegetable oil, and wipe furniture.
Ant Hotel - To eliminate unwanted ants (you know the insects, not your parent's sisters) mix 1 C borax + 1 C sugar + 4 shallow glass jars with lids (baby food jars or something similar). 

Mix the borax and sugar in a bowl.  Into each jar put 1/4 of the mixture.  Fill each jar with water, leaving a 1/2 - 1 inch space. Before screwing on the lids, hammer holes (6 is a good number) in them.   Screw on the the lids and place the jars in areas where you have ants (but keep away from pets and children).  This method will capture the worker ants but not the queen because she remains in the nest.
Stain Remover - Ivory soap works well for most stains.  Wet the stain and rub Ivory soap in the stain.  Rinse.  Repeat as needed.
Flea & Tick Repellent   - Put brewer's yeast or garlic in your pet's food; sprinkle fennel, rue, rosemary, or eucalyptus seeds or leaves around animal sleeping areas.
 

Please suggest other ideas      


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