Do you detest the toxic chemicals of the commercial cleaners on the market? Have you switched to green cleaning products? Or perhaps you're thinking about making the switch, but you're confused and don't know where to start.
Green cleaning DIY to the rescue! It's not complicated either. All you need are a few basic ingredients for all your household cleaning to transform your cleaning supplies.
The basic supplies you need are:
• Baking Soda
• White Vinegar
• Hydrogen Peroxide
• Essential oils, like tea tree oil, lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, or lemongrass oil
• Castile Soap (like Dr. Bronner's)
• Fresh Herbs, citrus, or citrus peels
• Vegetable Oil
These are inexpensive, easy-to-use, and environmentally safe alternatives, which can safely be used in place of commercial household products. They can be used alone or in combination for a wealth of household applications.
Here's what you can do with these products.
Baking Soda - cleans, deodorizes, softens water, scours.
White Vinegar - cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains and wax build-up.
Hydrogen Peroxide - removes laundry stains, whitens clothes, cleans fruits and veggies, sanitizes, de-germs.
Essential Oils - effective against most household bacteria.
Soap - unscented soap in liquid form, flakes, powders or bars is biodegradable and will clean just about anything. Avoid using soaps which contain petroleum distillates.
Fresh Herbs, Citrus, or Citrus Peels - cleans, deodorizes, effective against bacteria.
Vegetable Oil - polishes wood
Salt - abrasive
All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep. Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc.
All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix 2 cups water, 1 cup hydrogen peroxide, and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Store and keep. You can use this cleaner for everything from streak-free mirrors to wiping out the cat litter box.
You'll find a list of simple green cleaning recipes at Earth Easy.
What's are your favorite natural cleaning alternatives?
I've always been a fan of the “hands and knees” floor cleaning method over the dirty, messy mop and bucket. Can’t get into crooks and crannies with the mop; however, I have an 800 square-foot open laminate floor area, since moving out to the country some years ago. Getting on my hands and knees for that amount of space is a bit daunting. Thankfully most of the areas don’t get heavy traffic. Being of the DIY mindset for skin care and cleaning products, I found the perfect solution to my cleaning problem . . . and it’s SO easy! Oh, and be sure to read all the way to the end for a BIG surprise!!
Make Homemade Laminate Floor Cleaner
Here’s all you need. Use a measuring cup or jar and add equal parts:
2) White Vinegar
3) 70% Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol
To this mixture, add:
4) Few drops of liquid dish detergent * (Make your own dish soap! See instructions below.)
Mix all these ingredients together and pour into a fine mist spray bottle.
a) Sweep or vacuum floors first
b) Spray floor cleaner in a fine mist over the area to be cleaned
c) Allow to set for a few minutes. Then use a microfiber mop or towel to wipe it up. (I use a Swiffer with a cloth or reusable cover.) ** (Check out the homemade Swiffer covers below.)
You'll notice immediately that this cleans easily and effectively, quickly dries and is so simple to use. NO BUCKET REQUIRED! The only step I take after this is to hand-wipe the flooring around the baseboards and to get into all the corners. Easy peasy!
When you have finished mopping, just toss the microfiber mop head or towel into the laundry until next time. Don’t use fabric softener or dryer sheets when laundering cleaning towels or else they will lose the ability to absorb liquids effectively. (Just use vinegar as your fabric softener.)
* Make Your Own Dish Soap
Instead of using commercial dish soap, make your own.
· 1 cup liquid castile soap
· 3 tablespoons water
· a few drops essential oil (optional)
Combine in a bottle of your choice, mix well, and use. (Yes, it’s that easy!) I like Dr. Bronner’s baby-mild castile soap, but any castile soap will work.
** Make Your Own Swiffer Covers
Reversible Swiffer sock instructions.
If you don't want to make your own, you can buy handcrafted readymade reusable Swiffer covers.
What’s the big surprise I promised? After testing this on my laminate flooring and loving the results, I tried it on my windows . . . whoa, it worked GREAT! Then I tried it on mirrors . . . no more streaks! It even works on stainless steel appliances, so it has become my SUPER ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER. Really, this cleaner is fantastic!
What great cleaning tips have you discovered?
Thou shalt not go to bed without first removing makeup. Gals, this is a major no-no. When the accumulation of dirt, oil and makeup is left on your face for more than 24 hours, you’re just begging for acne. Wash with a mild facial cleanser, tone, if desired, and moisturize.
Thou shalt not ever leave the house without applying sunscreen. Sun is the number one skin-aging culprit. Worse still, harmful UV rays can lead to more serious skin diseases like skin cancer.
Thou shalt never forgo water for soda. Drink 8 glasses (approximately 2 liters) of water per day to flush out toxins and re-hydrate the skin.
Thou shalt not skip regular beauty sleep. We can’t always get 8 hours of sleep a night, but 8 hours most nights of the week will allow your body the time it needs to recuperate. You will awake refreshed and glowing.
Thou shalt not allow stress to consume your life. Sure, we all get stressed out once in a while, but a life wrought with stress is a face wrought with wrinkles.
Thou shalt not sacrifice beautiful skin for junk food. No doubt junk food is likely responsible for the majority of pimples. So nix the potato chips and French fries for some yogurt, granola and fruit. You don’t have to cut junk food totally out of your life, just enjoy it in moderation.
Thou shalt not pick and pop pimples. Your dermatologist will agree, popping and picking at pimples only spreads oil and dirt around your face – causing more pimples. It can also result in acne scarring that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Thou shalt not use the same soap on your face that you use to wash your body and hands. Shower washes, body washes and hand soaps are too harsh for your face and continual use will lead to dry, flaky skin. Use a mild cleanser, especially made for the face.
Thou shalt not refrain from moisturizing just because you are a male. That’s right men – listen up! Your skin collects oil and dirt, and it dries out just like the rest of us. So test out your mom’s, wife’s, girlfriend’s or sister’s facial cleanser and moisturizer to see if you like it…we won’t tell.
Thou shalt not use heavy foundations if you’re prone to acne. Most teenage girls cake on the foundation in the hopes that they’re covering acne and blemishes. When in reality pancake powder and heavy foundations just block pores and create more acne. If you have acne-prone skin, choose a light foundation and wash your applicator sponge or brush after every foundation application.
Got anymore tips you'd like to add?
Welcome! I'm Stephanie (Jo to close friends), founder of EdenSong. Aside from my university studies, I have a natural passion for all things organic. I enjoy living and learning about natural ways, all things health related, cooking, gardening with herbs and flowers, photography, DIYing, yoga, bicycling, ballet, traveling and being with family and friends. A quirk of mine is my near obsession of Asian culture, particularly Korean history and its language. Would you like to know more? Find out about us.
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