Monday, March 12, 2012

Green Cleaning : On a budget

Mainly so I can find them for future use (as I haven't yet had a chance to swap everything over to Eco friendly kind or the budget friendly kind)
I have come across a bunch of tips and recipes.

Tree hugger has some great tips: 

Top Green Cleaning Tips

  1. Employ green cleaning productsAs the health and environmental impacts of conventional cleaning products become more thoroughly understood, more and more brands of healthy, green, and effective cleaning products have started hitting the market and competing for that coveted place of honor under your sink. Many of these products are non-toxic, biodegradable, and made from renewable resources (not petroleum). But if designer labels aren't for you, home-mixed cleaners can get the job done and then some. Vinegar and baking soda can be used to clean almost anything. Mix in a little warm water with either of these and you've got yourself an all-purpose cleaner.
  2. Avoid poor indoor air qualityIt is not uncommon for the air inside a home or office to be more toxic than the air outside. This is because of the presence of toxic materials and substances and the fact that homes and buildings are better insulated than ever before (which is a good thing from an energy standpoint). Keeping windows open as often as possible allows fresh air in and keeps toxins flowing out. This is especially important when cleaning your home.
  3. Be careful with antibacterial cleanersThe antibacterial and antimicrobial 'cleaners' that many people think are necessary, especially during cold season, don't clean hands better than soap and water, and also add to the risk of breeding "super germs," bacteria that survive the chemical onslaught and have resistant offspring. The FDA has found that antibacterial soaps and hand cleansers do not work better than regular soap and water, and should be avoided.
  4. Help your home smell baking soda-liciousBaking soda not only removes those strange smells coming from your fridge, it's also a great odor-eliminator for your carpet. Just sprinkle on a little baking soda to soak up some of those odors and then vacuum it up.
  5. Clean your indoor air naturallySkip the store-bought air fresheners and instead try boiling cinnamon, cloves, or any other herbs you have a fondness for. Fresh chocolate chip cookies also have been known to create a friendly aroma. Also, plants may not make your house smell different but are good for filtering interior air--pretty much any broad green leaf plant will do. Peace Lilies are a favorite choice.
  6. Toss toxic cleaners carefullyWhen replacing your cleaning products, don't just throw the old ones in the trash. If they're too toxic for your home, they won't be good for the drain or the landfill either. Many communities hold toxics & electronics recycling days and will take all of these off your hands. Throwing chemicals in the trash or down the drain means they might end up back in your water supply and come back to haunt you (see How to Go Green: Water for more).
  7. Avoid conventional dry cleanersConventional dry cleaners are the largest users of the industrial solvent called Perchloroethylene, or perc, which is toxic to humans and also creates smog. The two most common green drycleaning methods are carbon dioxide cleaning and Green Earth. Seek out cleaners that use green methods. If you do take clothes to conventional cleaners, be sure to air them outside before wearing them or putting them in the closet.
  8. Employ a green house cleaning serviceFor people don't have the time to clean their own homes, fortunately there are an increasing number of green cleaning services out there to help get things spic and span. If you can't find one in your area (or their rates are outlandish), call around until you find a service willing to use the products and methods you specify.
  9. Leave the toxins at the doorImagine what's on your shoes at the end of the day. Bringing that oil, antifreeze, animal waste, particulate pollution, pollen, and who knows what else into the house is not good news, especially for kids and other critters that spend time on floor level. Keep the sidewalk out of your home with a good doormat or a shoeless house policy. Many green buildings now include entryway track-off systems as a means of maintaining a healthy interior environment. Less dirt also means less sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming, which means less work, water, energy, and fewer chemicals.
  10. Design with clean in mindDesigning houses and other building with cleanability in mind can create spaces that are cleaner, healthier, and require fewer substances to maintain. In larger buildings, good cleanability can also be a big money-saver as cleaning costs can often add up to as much as half of a building's total energy costs. (source)

Recipes that I have found in my travels of the world wide web

 Homemade natural Cream Cleanser

¼ cup bicarb soda
1/2 cup hot water
6 drops essential oil (I usually use peppermint)

Mix all 3 ingredients together to form a (very) wet paste
Scrub the paste into the entire refrigerator including drawers and sides (you may wish to remove these to make things easier)
Rinse with a wet cloth until clean

This can serve as a multi-purpose cream cleanser for stovetops, sinks and appliances. Just scrub on and then wipe clean. You can also wipe clean with vinegar for a very finished shine.  (source)

Homemade Disinfectant Spray 

1 cup of water
1/4 cup of white vinegar
20-30 drops tea tree oil

Store ingredients together in a spray bottle
Should keep for up to 3 months before the oil starts going funny. (source)

 Natural Whitener for your laundry
Magic Sleepy Spray

Homemade Eco friendly All Purpose Countertop Spray

1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tbs bi-carb soda (baking soda)
2 cups water
10-12 drops of essential oil

Put all ingredients in a spray bottle and store in a cool place.
Shake gently before use.
Spray and wipe to your heart's content.
Choose whatever essential you like- pine, rosemary and cloves are a few of my winter favourites, while citrusy scents are great for the warmer seasons. (source)

Beeswax polish

homemade linen spray
small spray bottle
15 drops essential oil (we love mandarin and peppermint, but lavender is always perfect for a calm night's sleep)
1 tbs vodka
water (source)

Homemade oven cleaner
1 cup of bi-carb soda
2 tbs water + 2 tbs white vinegar
castille liquid soap
1/4 cup white vinegar + 1/4 cup water + a few drops of peppermint essential oil

Make a thick paste with the bi carb, vinegar and water and scrub entire oven from top to bottom leaving a thick white paste everywhere.
Let it sit overnight or for at least 8 hours
Then, use the liquid soap, water and a textured cloth to scrub the walls, ceiling and bottom of the oven slowly removing all the bi-carb and dirty residue
Once the majority of grit is removed, spray with the vinegar mixture and wipe down for a fresh smell and smooth surfaces (source)

And Make your own natural Cleaning kit ( i so need to bookmark this one!)

And lets not forget about Soap Nuts and their many wonderful uses!

My eventual overall goal is to switch everything in the house over to non toxic and eco friendly.  I wont have to venture down the cleaning section of the supermarket (which gives me headaches just walking in that section) once it is all switched over, and it will work out to be way cheaper ! 


  1. Great work dude, u gave nice post to us. Thanks for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic Green Cleaning Service .

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment.