Go Green and Clean!

By Sarah Bankoff~

Everyone likes to have a clean house, but no one particularly likes to use caustic chemicals to get it clean! Commercial cleaning products can contain all sorts of chemicals that, besides being unpronounceable, can be harmful to your pets, kids and to our oceans.  So, next time you’re spring cleaning, instead of reaching for the under-the-sink chemicals, reach for the fridge! All you really need to clean an amazing variety of household surfaces and items are some lemons, hot water, baking soda, white vinegar and some dish soap, preferably castile-based vegetable soap.  (An added perk: you can scent your cleansers any way you like with a few drops of your favorite essential oil.)

To clean the bathtub: put about ½ cup of baking soda into a bowl or jar, add enough dish soap to make a creamy, frosting-like texture. This scrub is wonderful, it cleans and polishes and it’s soft enough not to scratch the surface.

To clean windows and glass: ½ tsp of dish soap, 3 tbsp of vinegar, 2 cups water, 3-4 drops of essential oil. Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle, and use anywhere you’d use commercial window cleaners.

To kill mold: 2 tsp. tea tree oil, 2 cups water. Mix together in a spray bottle, spray on mold, let sit, than wipe off. Repeat as needed.

To polish furniture and wood
:  2 tsp olive oil, jojoba oil or almond oil, ¼ cup of lemon juice, ¼ hot water. Mix together and apply with a soft rag to wood surfaces, wipe dry.

To clean toilets: ½ cup lemon juice or vinegar, and enough baking soda to make a thick paste.  Apply paste to inside of toilet bowl, allow to sit for 1-2 hours. Scrub off, and rinse. No more stains!

To clean floors:  for wood, use ¼  cup of white vinegar and 2 gallons of hot water, for linoleum or tile use 1 cup of white vinegar and 2 gallons of hot water. Mix in your mop bucket, and watch your floors sparkle

To clean stainless steel: use a paste made from baking soda and water, use white vinegar to remove spots.

To unclog drains
: pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, follow with 1 cup of hot vinegar (you can just heat it up in the microwave). Let it sit for 5 minutes, than flush with ½ gallon of boiling water. Repeat if necessary.  This can also be used to clean garbage disposals.

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