Green Living and Your Home
Practicing green living is a great way to make your home a chemically free and healthy space. Here are a few different all natural substances that can be used in a variety of different ways to help maintain the cleanliness of your home. From utilizing vinegar to clean your windows or baking soda to scrub your floors, enjoy these simple and practical household cleaning tips that will surely keep your home fresh and toxic free.
To clean windows or mirrors, use 1/4 cup of vinegar added to 2 or 3 cups of water. Some recipes call for a few drops of liquid detergent, and still others suggest you use only lemon juice added to water. You can use a newspaper to wipe, if newspaper inks don’t bother you, or use a clean old cotton rag.
Clean your kitchen cabinets and any woodwork in an inexpensive, green way. Mix equal parts of white vinegar with hot water (you can use less white vinegar if your cabinets are not real dirty, smudged up, greasy prints, etc.) add a few drops of olive oil
Use vinegar for everything in the kitchen. If you double mop floors the vinegar first helps cut the grease on the floors from regular cooking troubles.
White vinegar will also whiten your white clothes and it is not as damaging as chlorine bleach. You can use it in every load, not just once a month!
For hard water stains on your shower door and chrome use lemon oil. It will make it look brand new.
You can clean anything sticky off any surface with a drop of lemon essential oil and a cotton ball or by rubbing lemon rind (where the essential oil comes from) on the surface.
To scrub pots and pans, cut a lemon in half, spray the pan with water, sprinkle it with salt, and then scrub with the lemon. It cleans remarkably well, smells great, and is not dangerous.
Unclog the bathtub drain. First, cover the overflow with a small face towel. Then pour a steaming hot pot of water down the drain. Be sure to boil your water, the faucet water from the bathtub will not be hot enough. Alternate by pumping down the water. Do it at least 4 times. This will keep your pipes flowing smoothly.
Clean stuck-on grease and sticky messes in the kitchen with boiling water. It works so much better than any degreaser and is completely organic and chemical free!
Buy a hand steamer for cleaning. It cost under $30. All you do is put plain tap water in it, plug it in and you are ready to go! It “steams” away grease & grime from stove tops, ovens, microwaves, trash can lids and more! After you steam it, you wipe it clean with a cloth and no more mess. No scrubbing.
Keep a closed container of baking soda and a sponge on the ledge of the bathtub. When you shower, put some baking soda on the sponge and clean one wall. That way the wall is cleaned and there are no chemicals on you. Since the walls are already wet you don’t have to wet them down and worry about getting wet when you’re already dry!
Use baking soda in the kitchen. If you spill drops of grease or get grease splatters on stove or counter sprinkle a little baking soda on it, let it sit for a minute or two and then brush it into your hand to throw away without the grease smearing and making a bigger mess. Also, for the kitchen sink, sprinkle baking soda in it and then wipe to get the stains out of white sinks.
Sprinkle baking soda in stainless steel sink and clean it with a damp sponge. Then rinse and dry the sink. The sponge goes in the dishwasher to be sanitized, and the baking soda washed down the sink keeps away odors from the disposal.
To clean stainless steel items without damage make a paste of baking soda and water. Rub it on and it will take off grease and just about anything else with a little rubbing and no damage to stainless!
For more ideas and information on green cleaning practices and tips visit the EPA’s information center by clicking here.