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Green Cleaning

Green Cleaning with Homemade Products

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Cleaning: some of us like to do itmore than others. It’s not just the time and labor spent that can make a person eager to put it off until tomorrow, but also the harsh chemicals and fumes used in most cleaning products.

There has been a recent interest in environmentally-friendly cleaning products, and the “green” section of the drugstore cleaning aisle continues to grow.  Brands such as Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day and Seventh Generation have many loyal fans and many traditional cleaning product brands are dipping their toes into the world of green cleaning.

Along with the interest in finding cleaning products that are gentle on the earth, many consumers are now faced with tighter budgets.  So what’s the best way to combine effective cleaning, green dreams and newfound frugality? Make your own cleaning products, of course!

Mary Hunt, who has a well-known syndicated column called “Everyday Cheapskate” and a website called Debt-Proof Living, is a proponent of making your own cleaning products.  Not only will you save lots of money (her main concern), but you’ll also be helping the planet.  Most homemade cleaning solutions use products found around your house like: soap or detergent, baking soda, vinegar or lemon juice.

Here are some tips to make your own cleaning agents. For more tips, visit the Debt-Proof Living website and learn more about making your own cleaners.

To clean pretty much everything, combine ½ cup ammonia, ½ cup vinegar and ¼ cup baking soda in a gallon of warm water.  This would work especially well for cleaning countertops since the baking soda helps get rid of any food odors that might be lingering.

Need to remove some tough stains from glass? In a spray bottle, mix together ammonia and rubbing alcohol in equal parts.

Mary offers a couple recipes for bathroom cleaning. For bathtubs and shower tiles, mix together 1 2/3 cups baking soda, ½ cup liquid soap (no detergent!), ½ cup water and two tablespoons white vinegar.  For cleaning toilets, a green way is to brush baking soda and vinegar around the bowl.

It is worth pointing out that none of these recipes contain bleach. Remember that it can be deadly to mix bleach with ammonia, vinegar or another acid-producing substance.

Be safe, be green, be cheap and be clean!

Photo Courtesy of The Healthy Shoppers on Flickr