Green Cleaning Products - Make your own and save money and the environment!
What's in those commercial cleaning products? Chances are, if you can't pronounce it or you need an interpreter to read it, it's not going to be good for your environment.
With very little effort, you can make these homemade cleaning products while saving money and the environment here on the Suncoast.
1/2 cup (125 ml) pure soap
1 gallon (4 liters) hot water
Add a clean scent and help cut grease by adding 1/4 cup (60 ml) of lemon juice.
This solution is safe for all surfaces, should be rinsed with water. For a stronger cleaner, double the amounts of soap and lemon juice. Simple!
Mix 50-100 ml of eucalyptus oil with a liter of water. Shake, and wipe or spray surfaces. Always shake the mixture before using to disperse the oil.
Use a firm bristle brush or scouring sponge and scrub with pure soap combined with either table salt or baking soda. Baking soda alone on a damp sponge is very effective on most surfaces. Wipe down with water afterward to pick up any residue.
For tough oven jobs, scrub using straight baking soda or combine with the stronger version of the all purpose cleaner. Wear gloves to protect your hands.
Commercial air fresheners work by masking smells and coating the nasal passages with chemicals which diminish the sense of smell by deadening the nerves (avoid these when possible). Alternatively, try all-natural air purifiers - house plants! Combine with natural recipes to diminish even the toughest odors and add a fragrant smell to your house:
- Add baking soda in your garbage or refrigerator to help reduce odors at their source.
- Dissolve 1 tsp (5 ml) of baking soda in 2 cups (500 ml) of hot water, add 1 tsp (5 ml) lemon juice. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray as you would air freshener.
- Place a few slices of a citrus fruit, cloves or cinnamon in a pot with enough water to simmer gently for an hour or two.
Liquid Dish Soap
Follow these directions for a natural commercial alternative:
- Grate a bar of pure soap into a sauce pan.
- Cover with water and simmer over low heat until they melt together.
- Add some vinegar to the water for tough grease removal.
- Pour into a reusable container as you would any liquid soap.
Mirrors, Glass and Windows
Use these mixtures with washable, reusable cheese clothes instead of paper towels or use old newspapers for a streak-free finish.
- Light cleaning formula - Spray or wipe with a solution of 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water.
- Heavy cleaning formula - Wash with pure soap and water, rinse with a solution of 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water.
To fully clean and deodorize carpets, follow these easy steps:vacuum, liberally sprinkle baking soda, leave one hour, then vacuum again.
Tough stains? Try cold soda water or repeatedly blot with vinegar and soapy water.
Many store-bought polishes contain solvents harmful to the environment so we present these Eco-friendly alternatives:
- Furniture Polish: Dissolve 1 tsp (5 ml) lemon oil in 1 cup (250 ml) vegetable oil. Apply with a clean dry rag.
- Floor Polish: Melt 1/8 cup (30 ml) paraffin wax in a double boiler. Add 1 quart/liter mineral oil and a few drops of lemon oil. Apply with a rag, allow to dry and polish.
- Copper: Lemon juice and a little salt, or hot vinegar and a little salt on a rag.
- Chrome: Use white flour on a dry rag.
- Brass: Mix equal parts salt and flour, with a little vinegar on a dry rag.
- Silver (sterling silver only): Bring to a boil in a large pan: 1 quart/liter water, 1 Tbsp salt, 1 Tbsp baking soda and a strip of aluminum foil. Drop in silver, boil for 3 minutes and polish with a soft cloth. Alternately, polish with a paste of wood ash and water.
If you've made any of the aforementioned products, you've saved money by using and making friendlier products for the environment here on the Suncoast. Great!