B and O Railroad Museum Christmas 2009

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Step One on the Green Path (Green Cleaners)

So here is the short story of how I got sucked into the whole green movement. When I first got pregnant with Will, I was letting everyone know how I was fully intending on using drugs for childbirth, I had no idea about disposable diapers, and was truly the biggest fan of bleach and anti-bacterial anything (thanks Bath and Body!!)

Well, after using the theknot.com for planning my wonderful wedding, I took the next step to thebump.com (used to be part of thenest.com.) I started out on the first trimester board and moved to the second trimester board without incident. Then there was an explosive debate about cloth diapers vs disposable during my second trimester. I never really considered it, but got completely sucked in by the drama! (Very easy to do on discussion boards!!) I ended up being redirected to the Eco Friendly Family Discussion Board and started to do my research. I was hooked. Paul and I decide to cloth diaper and my first step was to get greener with our cleaners!!

I wish I knew where I found this list but it now is copied to my notepad on my iPhone and I use all the recipes constantly! Sorry to the website I got this list from, I wish I could credit it! But, here is the list, hope someone can use it! Ok, I don't know how to cut and paste on blogger. So, I just did it in the comment section. If someone would like to school me on it, I would love the help!!


  1. I couldn't copy and paste the recipes in the post, so I am doing it in the comments. Sorry!! I have a lot to learn...

    Household Cleaner

    Mix together:
    1 tsp. liquid soap (castile, peppermint)
    1 tsp. borax
    Squeeze of lemon
    1 qt. warm water
    ¼ c. baking soda
    ½ c. borax
    ½ c. vinegar
    1 gal. water

    For surfaces that need scouring, try moist salt or baking soda and a green scouring pad.

    Window Cleaner

    Mix together:
    2 tsp. vinegar
    1 qt. warm water
    2 tbsp. borax
    3 c. water

    Rub dry with newspaper to avoid streaking.


    Mix together:
    ¼ c. borax
    ½ gal. hot water

    Kitchen/Bathroom Cleaners

    Oven Cleaner

    Mix together: ¼ c. baking soda
    2 tbsp. salt
    Hot water, as needed to make a paste.
    Let paste sit for 5 minutes. Caution: Keep off wires/heating elements.
    2 tbsp. liquid soap (castile, peppermint)
    2 tsp. borax
    1 qt. warm water
    Spray on oven and wait 20 minutes, then clean. For tough stains, scrub with very fine steel wool and baking soda.

    Drain Cleaner

    Pour together: ½ c. borax in drain followed by
    2 c. boiling water
    ¼ c baking soda down the drain, followed by
    ½ c. vinegar
    Cover drain and let sit for 15 minutes. Follow with 2 qts. boiling water.
    Use a plumber's "snake" and boiling water.

    Toilet Bowls

    Pour: ¼ c. baking soda into bowl and drizzle with vinegar.
    Let sit for ½ hour. Scrub and flush. Add borax for stains.

    Air Fresheners

    Commercial fresheners work by masking smells, coating nasal passages and deadening nerves to diminish sense of smell. Instead:

    Find source of odors and eliminate them;
    Keep house and closets clean and well-ventilated;
    Grow lots of house plants;
    Simmer: Cinnamon sticks
    Orange peel, cloves

    To absorb odors, place 2 to 4 tbsp. baking soda or vinegar in small bowls in refrigerator and around the house and pour ½ cup baking soda in the bottom of trash cans.

    Ceramic Tiles

    Mix together: ¼ c. vinegar
    1 gal. warm water

    Basin, Tub, and Tile

    Mix together: ½ c. baking soda
    2-3 tbsp. liquid soap (castile, peppermint)

    Garbage Disposal Freshener

    Grind ice and lemon or orange juice in the disposal.

  2. The rest of them...

    Mildew Remover

    Dissolve together: ½ c, vinegar
    ½ c. borax in warm water.
    Apply with sponge or spray bottle.


    Rug and Upholstery Cleaner

    Sprinkle corn meal, baking soda or cornstarch on dry rugs and vacuum. Use club soda or soap-based rug shampoo.

    Carpet Cleaning Foam

    Mix together: ¼ c. vegetable oil-based liquid soap
    3 tbsp. (or more) water
    Whip ingredients in bowl with egg beater. Rub foam into problem areas of the rug. Rinse well with water.


    Mix together: ½ c. white vinegar
    1 gal warm water
    Polishing with skim milk after floor is dry will make the floor glow!


    Furniture Polish (Wood Surfaces)

    Rub toothpaste on wood furniture to remove water marks.
    Polish wood with 2 tsp. lemon oil and 1 pint mineral oil in spray bottle. Spray, rub in and wipe clean.
    Mix two parts olive oil to one part lemon juice. After rubbing the mixture in, let stand for several hours and then polish with a soft, dry cloth.
    Melt 1 tbsp. carnauba wax into two pints mineral oil. Use sparingly and rub hard.

    Metal Polishes

    Silver Polish

    Soak: 1 qt. warm water
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. salt
    small piece of aluminum foil
    Rub toothpaste on silver, let it dry and rinse off.

    Copper Cleaner

    Rub lightly with fine table salt wetted with vinegar and lemon juice.


    Rubbing alcohol, or a small amount of ammonia with hot water. Also try white flour in a damp rag.


    Equal parts salt and flour, with a little vinegar.


    Use wheat pastes, glue sticks or double-sided tape instead of petroleum-based glues or spray fixatives.
    Use water-based, unscented, non-toxic markers.
    Use water-based, non-toxic paints and inks which also reduce the need for solvent cleanup.


    Feed your pet one tablet (or 1 tbsp.) brewers yeast daily to give the skin a scent that fleas avoid.
    Place cedar chips around bedding area.
    Comb with flea comb.


    When making the initial switch from a detergent to a soap laundry cleaner, wash items once with washing soda only. This will eliminate detergent residues that might otherwise react with soap to cause a yellowing of fabrics.

    Laundry Soap

    Add 1/3 cup washing soda (sodium carbonate) to water as machine is filling. Add clothes. Add 1 ½ cups of soap. If the water is hard, add another ¼ cup soda or ¼ cup vinegar during the first rinse.
    Add 1/3 cup washing soda to water before placing clothes in machine and substitute soap flakes or powder for detergent. Add ½ cup borax for additional cleaning power.

    Soak heavily soiled items in warm water with ½ cup washing soda for 30 minutes. Rub soiled areas with liquid soap.

    Fabric Softener

    Add 1 cup vinegar or ¼ cup baking soda during final rinse. To reduce static cling in tumble-dried synthetics, dampen hands when folding or line dry instead.

    Spray Starch

    Dissolve 2 Tbsp. cornstarch in 1 pint cold water in a spray bottle. Shake before each use. For delicate fabrics, dissolve 1 package unflavored gelatin to 2 cups of hot water. Dip a corner of the fabric into the solution to test; if fabric becomes sticky when dry, add more water.

    Dry Cleaning

    Buy items you can wash or clean on your own. Most dry cleaning solvents, such as perchloroethylene are toxic. If you must dry clean, air clothing out thoroughly before bringing indoors. Many garments whose labels specify "dry clean only" can be safely hand-washed using mild soap.