Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Care-free Cleaning

In my attempt to make my family healthier I started really paying attention to what we eat. I feel since God has placed me in charge of planning and preparing meals it's my job to watch out for them. So, I cut out trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, and so on. As time went on I started noticing the things I was using to clean my house. Actually, what brought it to my attention was a book called "Organic Housekeeping" (great book!) In this book the author talks about all the nasty (and I do mean NASTY) things that go into chemical cleaners. Hmm...with 3 kids that like to lick everything at their level, it got me motivated. So, I started making my own cleaners. I love it! Not only do I not have to worry about my children getting under the sink but I can actually give them a spray bottle and say "Wash the windows!" It also feels good to know that I am not hurting the environment. Oh, and, it will save you alot of money to make your own. I thought I'd share some of my homemade concoctions today.

Floor Cleaner

Distilled white vinegar
Essential Oil (optional)

Okay...this is pretty easy. Get a spray bottle, fill it with equal amounts vinegar and water, then add 15-20 drops oil if you want. (Try peppermint) To use: squirt on the floor and wipe with a clean rag. If you want to mop: do the same just in larger quantities in a bucket. This cleaner can be used on finished wood, ceramic tile, and vinyl.

Tub and Tile Cleaner

1 2/3 cups baking soda
1/2 cup liquid soap*
1/2 water
2 T. distilled white vinegar

*if you use concentrated soap reduce amount
Mix baking soda and liquid soap in a bowl. Dilute with water and add the vinegar. Mix with a fork until any lumps are gone and mixture has a pourable consistency (you may need to add more water). Pour into a squeeze container (I use an old dish liquid container). And shake before using. Make sure you keep the lid closed so it won't dry out. I made a batch of this today and I was in a hurry. So, I mixed everything right in the bottle. Bad idea. Have you ever mixed baking soda and vinegar?? The solution shot straight up out of the bottle and I now have it all over my celing. Nice. Use it on tile, tub, sink, or toilet bowls. Rinse well. If you notice a baking soda residue use less baking soda next time.

Glass Cleaner

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup liquid soap*
2 cups water
Essential oil

*Again, if you use concentrated, use less.

Mix soap and water in a spray bottle. Add vinegar and essential oil (try lemon). Shake well. Just a note:Once you have cleaned your windows a couple of times with this formula, onit the soap ( it removes the waxy residue left hehind by conventional cleaners) and switch to 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 cups of water.

All purpose Cleaner (aka the work horse)

2 T. distilled white vinegar
1 t. borax
16 oz. hot water
1/2 c. liquid soap*

Mix vinegar and borax in a spray bottle. Filly with water and shake until the borax has dissolved. Add the soap. Shake to mix again. To use: spray and wipe. I use this cleaner for everything. Cleaning off high chairs, tables, counters, sinks. It's a gem.

Veggie and Fruit Wash

hydrogen peroxide

Alrighty, most of you probably know that fruits and veggies bought in the store are covered with pestisides and waxy goodness. And most of you probably wash them before you chow down. But, please, don't buy those over prices washes they sell at the store. Here's a much cheaper and simpler way to do it. I keep a spray bottle of vinegar and a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide under my sink in the kitchen. Simply, spray with vinegar first and then hydrogen peroxide. Wait a minute. Take some joy in watching all the little nasty bacterias bubbling away and then rinse!

So there are my homemade, simple, cheap cleaners. I've been very pleased with them all. And if you feel so inclined buy that book "Organic Housekeeping". She goes into details about every nook and cranny of your house. Hope these can help you out and happy cleaning!!

Running the race,



Em said...

This is GREAT! I've been wondering about this...especially the fruit cleaner. Thanks for the 'recipes'. I'll have to give 'em a try!

Leah said...

Awesome! And a great way to go a little more 'green.' :)