Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Green and Clean for the Holidays

Thank you, Illinois Chapter of Sierra Club, for emailing me the following great tips:

Green and Clean for the Holidays
No doubt will you be cleaning before your guests arrive.  Try mixing up these simple green cleaners that will leave both your house and conscience clean.

All-purpose green cleaner: Combine 2 cups white vinegar with 2 cups water in a spray bottle. You can scent with a few drops of essential oil. As with all acidic solutions, do not use this on marble. It will destroy the finish and can even etch the surface. Another option is 3 tablespoons baking soda dissolved in warm water in a spray bottle.

Vinegar: it naturally cleans like an all-purpose cleaner and also works well as a deodorizer and disinfectant. It is safe to use on most surfaces and has the added bonus of being inexpensive. Improperly diluted vinegar is acidic and can eat away at tile grout. Never use vinegar on marble surfaces. You shouldn’t worry about your home smelling like vinegar because the smell disappears when it dries.

Lemon Juice:
is another natural substance that can be used to dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits. Lemon juice combined with salt is a great substitute to clean and shine brass and copper. It also can be mixed with vinegar and/or baking soda to make cleaning pastes.

Baking Soda:
can be used to scrub surfaces in much the same way as commercial abrasive cleaners. Baking soda is a great deodorizer when placed inside the refrigerator and freezer to absorb odors. Put it anywhere you need deodorizing action.

Salt: perfect for cleaning grungy ovens, this natural abrasive is also great for soaking up fresh carpet stains such as red wine, coffee or ink.

Cloth, not Paper: Think about trading paper towels for cloth rags (old tshirts, socks) that can be reused.  

For more great ideas to help your home and family be healthy and planet-friendly, visit  Sierra Club Illinois Chapter.

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