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Green Cleaning Tips and Articles

Make Your Own Green Cleaning Products

Published: July 17, 2014

It is simple and inexpensive to make your own green cleaning products. You not only save money, but protect your family's health and leave a lighter footprint on the environment. The following ingredients for green cleaning your house may already be in your home. If not, you can find most of them in grocery stores. They are generally safe, but a few can be toxic if ingested. Label all formulas and store out of the reach of children and pets. Always refer to safety information and precautions on the package.

ALCOHOL. Denatured (vodka, brandy, etc.) or isopropyl alcohol is preferable to rubbing alcohol because it doesn't contain excess water or perfume. Alcohol can remove stains and also act as a disinfectant. Remember that it is flammable!

BAKING SODA (Sodium bicarbonate). A deodorizer and gentle scrub that comes from soda ash and is slightly alkaline. Use with a damp cloth to clean your kitchen counters, oven, sink and bathtub. Removes acidic stains and polishes shiny surfaces like stainless steel without scratching. Add a cup to your laundry to increase the cleaning power of soap, soften clothes, and neutralize odors. Can also be used in place of toothpaste, for burns, and to extinguish fires). WASHING SODA (Sodium carbonate) is much more alkaline than baking soda, but can be harsh on your skin. Washing soda effectively removes grease and oils; even wax and lipstick Like baking soda, it also neutralizes odors. Avoid using on aluminum, fiberglass or waxed floors.

BORAX (Boron, sodium, oxygen and water). Kills mold, bacteria, and some insects. Deodorizes, removes stains and boosts the cleaning power of soap. Great laundry additive, along with washing soda, and great all purpose cleaner. Cleaning your floors with Borax may help keep bugs away. Always keep Borax and Boric Acid out of the reach of children and pets.

CHARCOAL. Charcoal bricks/blocks are an excellent odor absorber. Just be sure to keep away from children and pets.

CHALK.  This mineral can be used to remove stains. Keep a stick of chalk in the laundry room for treating spills on clothing.

CORNSTARCH. Starches clothes, absorbs oil and grease. This is a good way to get rid of the GMO cornstarch you don't want to use for cooking.

CREAM OF TARTAR. A white mineral that functions as a cleaner for metal, toilets, etc.

DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR.  Cuts grease, deodorizes, and is an excellent water softener. Also removes mold, stains, soap scum, and mineral deposits. Acts as a natural disinfectant to kill germs.

ESSENTIAL OILS.  Aromatic plant oils and herbs add fragrance to the air when diluted in water and sprayed - Add 1 teaspoon of essential oil to 2 cups of water. They can also be added to cleaning formulas. Some, like eucalyptus, lavender, and tea tree, have anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties. Pure essential oils can irritate eyes and skin upon contact, so handle with care and keep away from children.

FLOUR. Serves as an abrasive in environmentally friendly cleaning formulas - or as a quick kitchen fire extinguisher!

HYDROGEN PEROXIDE. Sold in a dilute solution of approximately 3%. It can lift certain stains from fabrics.

LEMON JUICE. A deodorizer, stain remover, and grease cutter. Acts as a mild bleach alternative when exposed to sunlight. Lemon oil can be used instead of fresh lemons or their juice.

LIQUID SOAP (Plant Based).  Look for gentle biodegradable soaps made with oils such as olive, palm, and coconut rather than petroleum derivatives or animal fat. You can find these in natural food stores and other distributors of natural products.

OLIVE OIL.  A natural oil that helps to nourish and polish wood.

SALT. A non-scratching abrasive cleanser.

TOOTHPASTE. A mild abrasive. Cleans crayon marks from walls.

VITAMIN C - CAPSULES OR POWDER (Ascorbic acid). Cleans toilet bowls.

WHITE WINE. Dry white wine cleans and disinfects like vinegar. Can also remove red wine stains from carpet!

For a guide to cleaning your home naturally, and other useful tips, Click here.

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