Basic Recipes for Green Cleaning - Green living information & advice for a greener lifestyle

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Tips for Greener Cleaning - Basic Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Recipes

Industry is by far the largest source of hazardous and toxic chemical pollution. But many of us also contribute to pollution with the cleaning products we choose, the gardening chemicals we use and the energy we consume.

Protecting and preserving the environment starts right in your own home. Here are some recipes that will not only save you money, but they are also safer for you, those you care about, and for the environment.

All-Purpose Cleaner
This solution is safe for all surfaces, should be rinsed with water, and is very effective for most jobs. For a stronger cleaner, double the amounts of soap and lemon juice.

1/2 cup (125 ml) pure soap
1 gallon (4 liters) hot water
For a clean scent and to help cut grease add 1/4 cup (60 ml) of lemon juice.

Natural Liquid Dish Soap
- Grate a bar of pure soap into a sauce pan.
- Cover with water and simmer over low heat until they melt together.
- Add some vinegar to the water for tough grease and to remove spots.
- Pour into a container and use as you would any liquid dishwashing soap.

Environmentally Friendly Mirror, Glass and Window Cleaner
- Wash with pure soap and water
- Rinse with a solution of 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water.
- Use washable, reusable cheese cloth instead of paper towels.

Scouring Powder
- Use a firm bristle brush and scrub with pure soap combined with either table salt or baking soda.
- Baking soda alone on a damp sponge is also effective on most surfaces.
- You can also personalize your scouring powder by adding an aromatic herb or flower. Put the ingredients in a blender and run until the fragrance has infused the powder.
- For oven spills, scrub using straight baking soda or combine with the stronger version of the all purpose cleaner.

**Remember to wear gloves when scrubbing.

Clean and Deodorize Carpets the Healthy Natural Way
- Vacuum, liberally sprinkle cornstarch or baking soda, leave one hour, then vacuum again.
- For tougher stains, try cold soda water or repeatedly blot with vinegar and soapy water.

Natural Furniture & Metal Polishes
Most store-bought polishes contain solvents harmful to the environment. Aerosol sprays are wasteful and also contain harmful gases.

Furniture Polish: Dissolve 1 tsp (5 ml) lemon oil in 1 cup (250 ml) vegetable oil. Apply with a clean dry rag.

Floor Polish: Melt 1/8 cup (30 ml) paraffin wax in a double boiler. Add 1 quart/liter mineral oil and a few drops of lemon oil. Apply with a rag, allow to dry and polish.

Copper: Try lemon juice and a little salt or hot vinegar and a little salt on a rag.

Chrome: Try white flour on a dry rag.

Brass: Try equal parts salt and flour, with a little vinegar on a dry rag.

Silver: Bring to a boil in a large pan: 1 quart/liter water, 1 Tbsp (15 ml) salt, 1 Tbsp (15 ml) baking soda and a strip of aluminum foil. Drop in silver, boil for 3 minutes and polish with a soft cloth. Or polish with a paste of wood ash and water. Note: These methods should be done on sterling silver only and not on silver plate.

Natural Alternative Air Freshener Recipes
Commercial air fresheners work by masking smells and coating the nasal passages with chemicals which diminish the sense of smell by deadening the nerves. Avoid these products. Instead, try the all-natural air purifiers — house plants. Or try these natural recipes to diminish odor and add a fragrant smell to your house:

- Use baking soda in your garbage or refrigerator to help reduce odors at their source.

- Dissolve 1 tsp (5 ml) of baking soda in 2 cups (500 ml) of hot water, add 1 tsp (5 ml) lemon juice. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray as you would an air freshener.

- Place a few slices of a citrus fruit, cloves or cinnamon in a pot with enough water to simmer gently for an hour or two.

Environmentally Friendly Drain Cleaners & Uncloggers

Your drains can be kept open, clean and odor-free without the use of corrosive drain cleaners. There are two simple rules: never pour liquid grease down a drain and always use a drain sieve.

• Use this preventive measure for drains once a week: mix 1 cup (250 ml) baking soda and 1 cup (250 ml) salt. Pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) of this mixture into the drain. Follow with a pot of boiling water, and flush with cold water. Done once a week, your drain should remain open and odor free.

• For clogged drains, pour in 1/2 cup baking soda followed by 1/2 cup white vinegar. Close the drain until the fizzing stops (approximately 20 - 30 minutes) and flush with 2 quarts boiling water. As a last resort, use a plumber’s snake, available at most hardware stores, but beware, it can damage pipes.

Green Living Tub and Tile Cleaning Ideas

Most commercial tile cleaners do more harm than good because many contain chlorine, a serious irritant to the eyes, nose and skin, and one of the most dangerous chemicals found in municipal sewers.

• For bathroom cleaning, use a firm bristled brush with either baking soda or the mild all-purpose cleaner and baking soda. Rinse with hot water.

• For hard-water areas use vinegar or lemon juice to dissolve the mineral build-up. For really tough jobs, saturate a rag and lay it on the problem spot for a few hours before rinsing.

• For mould and mildew, rub tiles and grout with a cloth which has been moistened with vinegar and scrub with an old toothbrush.

Green Household Cleaning Recipe Ingredients
Environmentally Friendly General Cleaning Recipes

Natural Laundry Recipes