Sunday, October 9, 2011
Cleaning Green Equals Saving Green
Chances are, if you cloth diaper your little people you're doing it for one of two reasons. Maybe even both of the big reasons. You want to save the planet? You bet. You want to save some money? YOU BET! (I'll admit it, when I first started cloth diapering my children, my motives were not that altruistic. It was about saving some green. Dollars.) Now, my motives for switching to greener cleaners was to preserve my families health. And that's what we're talking about today. Savings of several things. Our wallets. Our planet. Our HEALTH.
I started looking for ways to use less chemicals in my home. My kids tend to find the odd food item on the floor and almost always put it into their mouths. So of course we don't want toxic chemical residue to even touch our children. That lead me to discovering three tried and true natural cleaners that you most likely already have in your kitchen! Vinegar, Baking Soda and Lemon. Easy peasy, you can clean just about anything with these three magic, nature made ingredients and it will cost on average less than $3 for all three combined.
Vinegar (the distilled white variety):
1. Use 1/2 to 1 cup in your laundry as a natural fabric softener and odor eliminator.
2. Use equal parts vinegar to water combined with a spray bottle and you have a wonderful multi-surface cleaner. This is a great way to get sparkling clean windows!!
3. Place shallow dishes around the house to absorb lingering odors. (this is also a great way get rid of paint fumes) Or use a bowl microwaved for 30 seconds and allowed to sit in it to clean tough, cooked on gunk in your microwave.
1. Pour equal parts vinegar and baking soda down a clogged drain to help break up buildup in blocked or slow draining pipes. Chase with a pot of boiling water.
2. Sprinkle baking soda in your sink and bathtubs to give it a good, abrasive scrub without damaging the finish. Bonus: It rinses clean far easier than commercial brand chemical cleaners.
3. Like Scrubbing Bubbles? Pour baking soda into toilet bowl and scrub, then add vinegar to get a good fizzing clean going on.
4. Brush your teeth with a brush head dabbed in baking soda for a super fresh and noticably whiter smile.
1. Spray or dab lemon juice on mildew stains in the shower and let sit. Come back and scrub with a baking soda and a stiff brush for shiny clean grout and less soap scum.
2. Use lemon juice and vegetable oils to polish and shine your wood furniture.
3. Dump your used lemon peels into the garbage disposal for a citrus fresh kitchen deoderizer and garbage disposal cleaner.
4. Apply lemon juice to stained garments and allow to sit. Even better, allow to sit in the sun. Combined they make a powerful bleach alternative.
That's just brushing the surface of cleaning green to save you green. There are so many natural, yet tried and true methods out there that have the mark of approval by generations of wives, mothers, and housekeepers that have come before us. If you are interested in saving green, give one or two of these "recipes" a try. Chances are everthing you need to get started is already in your kitchen. All that's lacking is your elbow grease and the willingness to want to change the way we interact with our most constant environment, our homes.