Friday, March 21, 2008

Natural Cleaners

Every newsletter we send out includes a little section called "What I Know." It's my musings not just on our products, but on organic living. I look forward to your comments!

So, you're eating organic foods, and using organic bath and body products. But how "clean" are the cleaners you're using? Oftentimes the fumes and toxins in household cleaners are more of a risk than any pesticide residue in food or even chemicals in bath and body products. But here's the good news: green cleaning doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. I'm going to give you some tips for simple cleaning success.

I used to not be able to live without my Scrubbing Bubbles, but I was always bothered by the strong fumes. With the aid of some simple ingredients I have rid my house of the nasty stuff. Plain old baking soda does the trick when it comes to scrubbing sinks, bathtubs and toilets. Case in point: this week my kitchen sink had all kinds of stains from tomato sauce to grape juice. I simply sprinkled baking soda all over the sink, let it sit for a minute or two, then started scrubbing. The stains were gone and the sink was cleaner than ever. No bleach needed!
Then, it came time to clean the mirrors in my bathroom. How to do it without Windex? Just follow my simple recipe. In a spray bottle combine:

1 cup vinegar
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
2 cups water

This recipe works better than any window cleaner--it totally cuts through that yucky film that can build up on your mirrors, and even works great on calcium buildup on shower doors.

Here are some more recipes for non-toxic cleaning success:

Floor cleaner.

1 tbs liquid dish detergent
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup lavender tea (optional)

Add to your mopping bucket and fill to the line with water. Then, get mopping!

I prefer Planet brand dish detergent because it is biodegradable, unscented, and uses gentle, naturally derived ingredients. Plus, it's more affordable than the other natural brands. Lavender tea will add a nice clean scent, and it also has antibacterial properties, and vinegar helps add a nice clean shine to the floors. This recipe can be used on tile, vinyl, or laminate. For hard wood floors, leave out the dish detergent.
For regular tips like these, sign up for our newsletter!

Have other good ideas for cleaning? Post your comments below!

Sign up for our Email Newsletter


Anonymous said...

I also use baking soda to do my laundry (a tip I read in Green Babies, Sage Moms). I put about 3/4 cup in with each load. I stopped using laundry detergent altogether and my daughter's mysterious rashes disappeared after I switched.

Anonymous said...

I found a great book that includes recipes for dozens of natural household cleaners using five basic ingredients (baking soda, vinegar, lemon, salt and borax), four of which are edible! It's called Clean: the humble art of zen-cleansing, by Michael de Jong. I highly recommend it!

Heather Martin said...

My favorite all purpose cleaner came from Sophi Uliano's book--Gorgeously Green. It works great and now we are all addicted to the clean crisp smell.
32 oz spray bottle
2c distilled/filtered water
1/2 c white vinegar
1 tsp pure castille soap (I use 2 tsp)
3/4c hydrogen peroxide
20 drops tea tree oil
20 drops lavender or lemongrass

Suitable for acrylic, granite, ceramic tile, wood, and marble