Monday, August 18, 2008

I can finally clean green

I've had the ingredients for my cleaners lying around the house for a while, but with our crazy schedule I hadn't gotten around to making them. Since we had no plans yesterday and Jesse was next door playing with Bubba, I put Simon down for a nap and got busy!

First I took care of our laundry. Laundry soap of Borax, A&H washing soda and grated soap (I used some Fels Naptha and Ivory though I think I'll just stick with all Ivory next time - it grated much nicer). I must give a shout out to my awesome seester here. She bought me a really swell food processor 8 years ago when I moved out on my own and until this weekend I never once used it. I figured it out this weekend and I can see me using it much more often in the future! To think I've been mixing my meatloaves by hand! Anyway, next was fabric softener. I chose lemongrass as my essential oil for this. I hope Dan likes it!

Dishwasher detergent - Borax, A&H baking soda, sea salt and citric acid (hard to find and pricey so I used unsweetened lemonade Kool-Aid). Vinegar in the rinse assistant resivoir.

Disinfectant - Dr. Bronner's (peppermint - delish!), water, tea tree oil.

All purpose cleaner - water, vinegar, sweet orange oil. Smells awesome!

Water and vinegar for cleaning glass and washing fruits and veggies (this was standard before my interest in green cleaning).

For the bathroom I'll just shake some baking soda, squirt some Dr. B's, spray with disinfectant (toilet) or APC (sink, shower) and scrub/wash. Easy peasy!

Immediately after I finished making my cleaners as I was cleaning Borax off the kitchen floor, Jesse got a hold of a bottle of APC and took off into the living room to spray Simon. He must have thought he was dirty. Dan went after him. He wanted to know what would possess him to squirt his brother. Eh, at least I know Simon was ok. It's not like he sprayed him with Scrubbing Bubbles, Febreze, Clorox Anywhere or any of that other crap I am so happy to be rid of in my house!

Much thanks (and love) to Deirdre and Shelley for inspiration and awesome recipes.


East End Jenn said...

Just like you, I've had the ingredients to start cleaning greener stockpiled for a while. I just need to to get it together and get started. You've inspired me, Jo!

jomama said...

My recipes:

All Purpose Spray - 1/2 water, 1/2 white vinegar, 20 drops of essential oil (I like orange)

Disinfectant Spray
2 tblsp of liquid soap
30 drops of Tea Tree Oil

I used the spray bottle method so I filled the bottle most of the way up with water then put the soap and TTO in (so it doesn't suds up when you're filling it). I used Dr. Bronners soap. I cut up an old receiving blanket in squares and used those as my cloths. Spray and wipe! It worked well, had that smell that I know we all associate with our surfaces being clean and there was no residue.

Tile floors: Bucket of hot water, a smidge of Dr. Bronner's soap (too much will leave a film) and a generous shake of baking soda.

Wood floors: I spray them with my APC and use a Quickie mop with a terry pad to wipe.

Kitchen Counters/Stovetop: I use my homemade APC.

Kitchen sink: Baking soda and Dr. Bronner's soap. It provides light abrasion. You can also use Barkeeper's Friend (it's non-toxic) or Borax as an abrasive.

Oven: I don't clean inside my oven because it's self-cleaning

Stainless Steel Appliances: Spray with APC and wipe. Then, take a soft cloth and pour onto it some lemon or orange oil (or any other citrus oil). Buff the appliance with the cloth. No more fingerprints!

Toilet: Shake in some baking soda, then squirt some Dr. Bronner's and swish. I use my disinfectant spray with a microfiber towel or flannel to spray the outside of the toilet and wipe.

Sink: Same as toilet - baking soda and Dr. B's. I then shine the chrome with cloth.

Bathtub: Same as sink.

Shower: I hate cleaning my shower. It's my cleaning nemesis! I use Dr. B's with baking soda. I haven't found anything natural that will bust bad mildew though.

Glass cleaner and fruit/veggie cleaner in a spray bottle are both 1/2 water, 1/2 vinegar

1 bar of all natural soap, I used Ivory or Fels Naptha.
1C Borax
1C Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda, in laundry aisle)
1/4C OxyClean (optional)

after soap was grated, I changed blades (for the general chopper) left it in the processor, added the other stuff, ran it through a little bit more, then dumped it into a big container.

I made 5 batches of this stuff. I ended up using the entire box of washing soda, about 1/2 of the borax. So, in total, it cost me just a few dollars to make 5 batches. THEN.... the beauty of this stuff is that you only use 1T of the mix for a light load and 2T for a larger/more dirty load. I think it figures out to about $.07-.09 a load. (compared to about $.25 a load for whatever detergent I was using.)

Fabric softener
1 gal white vinegar
25-30 drops of essential oil (which is optional.)

1/4C added to each rinse cycle - we shake before pouring