Sunday, June 2, 2013

Household Mostly Green cleaning Tips

Household Mostly Green cleaning Tips
Tried and truly helpful low cost make it yourself products and instructions

Green Cleaning
( Rid yourself of chemical house cleaning products )
People who enter a naturally cleaned home tend to love the way they feel. I hear this over and over again. I think it is because natural cleaning ingredients infuse the space with their subtle scents and natural, nontoxic presence. On some level, our bodies must brace themselves for a chemical onslaught when faced with mainstream cleaners. What better time of year to make your kitchen feel great and welcoming, than when preparing for all the festive holiday cooking? Here are my best cleaning formulas:

To clean my oven, I sprinkle baking soda all over the bottom until it is covered completely with about 1/4 of an inch of baking soda. Then, using a clean spray bottle, I spray the baking soda with water until the baking soda is thoroughly damp but not flooded. After that, this lazy cleaner goes off and does other things. When I think of it, I dampen the baking soda again if it is drying out. Before I go to bed, I do that again. When I wake up in the morning, the baking soda can effortlessly be scooped out of the oven with a sponge, bringing all the grime with it. That's it! The only downside is that you need to rinse out the white residue left by the baking soda, but it sure beats Turkey à La Oven cleaner because there are no fumes!


While I recommend people cut meat on plates and wash the plates in a dishwasher so that the hot water sterilizes the plate, I am aware that most of us use our cutting boards for a wide variety of chopping duties.

Reduce concern about deadly bacteria growing in your cutting board using these simple options:

Option One:
The Environmental Protection Agency notes that soap and water kills bacteria. Wash the cutting board with soap and water (note to use real liquid soap, such as Dr. Bronner's); it is effective to do this using a good scrub brush, to get into all the nooks and crannies.

Option Two:
Wash with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide alternated with straight white distilled vinegar. Let each material rest on the cutting board for 10 minutes or so before rinsing.

Option Three:
If you like the smell of lavender, make an antibacterial spray by mixing about 10 drops of the pure essential oil of lavender to 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake to blend. Spray on the cutting board and don't rinse.


During the time of the Black Plague a family of perfumers robbed the dead. As perfumers they knew well the antiseptic essential oils, and they infused them in vinegar and rubbed them on their bodies; by doing so they protected themselves from certain death. The doctors of the time used the same herbs and essential oils to to protect themselves while tending so many who were contagious. They wore big cloaks over their heads that reached down well below their shoulders. Attached to the cloak over the nose and mouth was a 10" long canoe-like shaped beak full of antiseptic herbs and essential oils. Here is the famous Vinegar of The Four Thieves recipe; it is sometimes called Grave Robber's Blend.

Place a small handful each of dried lavender, rosemary, sage, rue and mint in a large jar, and cover completely with organic apple cider vinegar. Cover tightly and set for six weeks. Strain into a spray bottle. Whereas no home can be made to be sterile, spray the powerfully antiseptic Vinegar of Four Thieves recipe in areas of concern, such as on cutting boards and door knobs, always making sure to avoid your eyes.


Here is my alltime favorite formula, great for cleaning porcelain or stainless sinks, counter tops, and more .

Basic Soft Scrubber Formula
1/2 cup baking soda
Enough liquid soap or detergent to make a frostinglike consistency (see note, below)
5 drops antibacterial essential oil such as lavender, tea tree oil, or rosemary (optional)

Pour the baking soda in a bowl; slowly pour in the liquid soap or detergent, stirring all the while, until the consistency reaches that of frosting. Scoop the creamy mixture onto a sponge, wash the surface, and rinse.

Note: If you have hard water, you will want to choose a liquid detergent instead of a liquid soap. Most health food stores offer all-purpose liquid detergents and soaps. These are the best choices because they include no synthetic perfumes and dyes, and tend to be the most concentrated. If you are lucky enough to have soft water and can use a liquid castile soap in your softscrubber, consider one in which peppermint has been added, for extra antibacterial action.

Tip: Where to Find a Green Soap or Detergent
Take a trip to the health food store for an all-purpose liquid detergent. Ecover makes one that is commonly available. If you have soft water you could use Dr. Bronner's castile soap; try the lavender variety for some added ant-bacterial quality with a sweet natural scent, or peppermint for freshness. Alternatively, use some of your green liquid dish detergent, such as from Seventh Generation, a brand that is making it into mainstream supermarkets slowly but surely.


Around Earth Day 1990, every newspaper in the country (or so it seemed) offered recipes for nontoxic cleaning with the basics we all have in our kitchen cupboards, and the recipe for windows was invariably just plain vinegar and water with the option of drying the windows with old newspapers.

People by the thousands tried this and swore off cleaning with homemade recipes for good because the formula left streaks on their windows.

Unfortunately, the commercial products they had used for so many years had left a wax buildup and vinegar alone wouldn't do the job of removing the residue. Adding dab of dish soap to the vinegar and water would have removed the buildup.

Make a great all-purpose window cleaner by combining 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap or detergent, and 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Combine in a spray bottle. Shake to blend.



If you have a small job, the best silver polish is white tooth paste. Dab some on your finger, and rub into the tarnish. For bigger pieces, use baking soda and a clean, damp sponge. Make a paste of baking soda and water. Scoop the paste onto the sponge, and rub the paste into the silver. Rinse with hot water and polish dry with a soft, clean cloth. For badly tarnished silver, leave the baking soda paste on the silver for an hour or so, before cleaning off with the help of the sponge and hot water.  (BTW this is how I clean all my silver jewelry - baking soda and a toothbrush.  Betty)

There are easy, good ways to clean brass without using a synthetic commercial cleaner that may have toxic ingredients.

Most commonly used kitchen cupboard or refrigerator ingredients that contain a natural acid, such as vinegar, Tobasco Sauce, ketchup, tomatoes, milk, and lemon or lime juice, will remove tarnish on brass. The tarnish washes away with an acid rub or soak. You might have to remove the lacquer cover if the brass is new. Do this by submerging the brass in boiling water with a few teaspoons each baking soda and washing soda (available in the laundry section of the supermarket). Once the lacquer has peeled off, polish dry.

It is hard to clean pewter, but the tarnished look is part of its appeal. The best folk formula I know to clean pewter is to grind up a piece of chalk and add enough vodka or gin to make a paste. Massage the paste onto the metal, rinse, and polish dry with a clean cloth.


New stainless steel is protected for a number of years by a chromium film that protects the metal from rusting, stains, and even tarnishing. But if you don't keep up with the stains as you go along, the film can be compromised and actual repair after that is difficult.

Here is a stainless steel cleaner that is as good for everyday cleanup as well as more heavy duty cleaning that is sometimes needed:

½ cup baking soda
A few squirts of a green liquid soap or detergent.

Place the baking soda in a bowl and add enough liquid soap or detergent to make a texture like frosting. Scoop some of the mixture onto a sponge and scrub the stainless steel. Rinse well.

After cleaning with the above soft scrub, some people like to bring the stainless steel to a high polish by rubbing the surface with straight household vinegar. I've found that just rinsing the soft scrub well does the trick.

Stay away from all chlorine-based products on stainless steel.


How about drinking some of the fragrant source of the holiday scented air freshener? Try Holiday Mulled Cider Air Freshener.

like to use this spicy air freshener during the holiday season. It makes our home smell welcoming, and the best part of all is that you have mulled cider ready on the stove to offer friends and family at a moment's notice. Here\'s my favorite recipe for hot mulled cider.

2 sticks cinnamon
5 or 6 whole cloves
8 cups organic apple cider, or as needed
Choose a large nonaluminum pan (apples are acidic and can leach aluminum from the pot), and add the spices and organic apple cider. Simmer over low heat for 3-4 hours, adding more cider as it evaporates. When you are ready to drink it, strain out the herbs, and serve it in cups and mugs.


Until the dry cleaning industry changes, we can take charge of getting our "dry clean only" fabrics cleaned safely by learning the wet clean process. Through hard earned experience--I shrunk a lot of rayon outfits three sizes before I finally figured out what I was doing wrong--I've finally learned how to wet clean wool, rayon and silk. The most critical bit of information you need to know is that it is the agitation of wool, silk and rayon that causes the shrinkage of the fabric, not just hot water. Even the agitation of the gentle cycle in a washing machine is too much agitation for these fabrics. Make sure to spot-test the fabric for colorfastness first.

    Wet Cleaning Wool and Silk

Hand wash in a sink by gently swirling the clothes in cool water; never twist or wring out wool or silk.
Use a mild detergent with a pH below 7 for wool, such as Infinity Heavenly Horsetail, available in health food stores. A mild liquid castile soap such as Dr. Bronner's baby soap is best for cleaning silk, since it won't strip the natural oils. Any harsh lye-based soap with a pH above 10 will destroy silk.
If necessary, spot clean with vinegar or lemon juice, but test for dye color fastness first.
Gently press water from the fabric. Block wool--lay it flat on a towel and stretch it to the correct size and shape--before drying; it will dry to the blocked size. Wool is resilient and recovers quickly from wrinkling if hung. Hang dry silk.

Rayon absolutely must not be agitated at all; it is a weak fiber and shrinks easily.
Follow washing directions for cleaning wool and silk, with one big difference: rayon is an alkaline fabric, and acidic detergents can harm the fabric. Don't spot clean rayon with acidic vinegar. Most all-purpose detergents will be fine to use, or a liquid castile soap. Even a harsh detergent won't harm rayon.
Gently press out water, and hang dry.
Note that I haven't tested this method on expensive wool coats and jackets. I spot clean such clothes with vinegar.


Mold can be dangerous to your health, even if you aren't allergic. It should be eradicated as soon as it appears. Dry out anything that is damp, such as basements (use a dehumidifier) and carpets. Fix leaks in plumbing and roofs. Wipe up spills. Vigilance will pay off! Here are the recipes that I use to kill mold. Note that the smell of tea tree oil is very strong, but it will dissipate in a few days.

Tea Tree Treasure
Nothing natural works for mold and mildew as well as this spray. I've used it successfully on a moldy ceiling from a leaking roof, on a musty bureau, a musty rug, and a moldy shower curtain. Tea tree oil is expensive, but a little goes a very long way.
2 teaspoons tea tree oil
2 cups water
Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse.
Makes 2 cups
Preparation Time: Under a minute
Shelf Life: Indefinite
Storage: Leave in the spray bottle

Citrus Seed Extract
The advantage of using citrus seed extract instead of tea tree for killing mold is that it is odorless.
20 drops citrus seed extract
2 cups water
Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse.
Makes 2 cups
Preparation Time: A minute or so
Shelf Life: Indefinite
Storage: Leave in the spray bottle

Tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract are available in health food stores.


At this time of year many of us like to waterproof our winter boots, and all the commercially available products for this purpose use toxic solvents, most of them petroleum-based. A wool expert introduced me to lanolin as a safe alternative leather waterproofer. Lanolin is the oil in sheep's wool, and it is a natural water repellent that can be removed with no harm to the sheep. Available in pharmacies as "Anhydrous Lanolin," and in a handy tube, lanolin is a rich, lubricating cream that can easily be rubbed into leather. A one ounce tube costs about $3, but a little dab'l do ya. Health food stores now offer a liquid lanolin used for cosmetic purposes for about $1 an ounce.

showerhead cleaner
Here’s an easy DIY recipe:

-1/3 cup baking soda
-1 cup white vinegar
-1 plastic bag
-1 large bag twisty tie

1. Mix baking soda and vinegar in bag over a sink. Caution: Pour vinegar into bag slowly, there is an “explosive” foaming action that kicks in.

2. Place bag over showerhead. Be sure it is submerged in the baking soda/vinegar solution.
3. Secure with twisty tie.
4. Let the showerhead soak in the solution overnight or for at least 2-3 hours.
5. Wipe off showerhead prior to use
Clean stainless steel
1tbs cream of tartar mix with a few drops of water rub onto stainsteel scrub with sponge then rinse off
Lost Small Items

You want to clean but you don't want to suck up a lost item into the vacuum? Use pantyhose until you find what you are looking for.
to remove pee stains from mattresses and furniture
Getting Started:

You need a measuring cup, tablespoon, funnel, and spray bottle.

8 ounces/237 ml hydrogen peroxide 3% (this can be found in a brown bottle in the first aid aisle of most pharmacies or stores)

3 tablespoons/14.29 grams of baking soda

1 drop of liquid hand dish washing soap

Mix all ingredients into the spray bottle and use within 20 minutes.  Do not attempt to store the leftover solution. because it will leak out of the bottle.  The mixture only works if you use it immediately, because the cleaning byproducts are active for only a short time period.  You should see the stain lift and disappear within 5-10 minutes.  Once the mattress dries, if a baking soda film remains, then simply wipe or vacuum it off.  Reports I read also indicate this method works well for pet urine stains, but I have not tested it yet in this capacity.
have a really nasty pan you can't get clean-Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap with tea tree and scrub
Votive Holders

Make it easy to clean out votives after the candles have burned by coating the insides with cooking spray

Herbal Housekeeping

Plant Tansy around the foundation of houses - ants do not like to pass through it. Same goes for catnip - a sprinkling of it along an ant path will encourage them to turn around and leave.
Houseflies don't like basil, clover flowers and sweet bays. A bouquet of green and purple basil, sweet bay and red clover not only looks and smells good in the kitchen, but keeps away the flies as well.
Mint repels mice - Long stems of it placed along the eaves in the attic will encourage mice to leave. Anise will attract mice, so a little anise oil or a few anise seeds mixed with peanut butter is far more effective than cheese as bait for a mousetrap. Valerian is also good bait for mice, as well as for rats.
Bay leaves will keep weevils out of stored flour, cornmeal, and other grains. Just place a whole bay leaf in the container and don't worry - it will not flavor the food at all.
The fungus that infects dried beans and grains can be prevented by placing a small, cheesecloth "sachet" filled with broken cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, coarsely ground black mustard seed, and green garlic into each gallon can or jar.

Essential oils can be used to create many effective non-toxic (and wonderfully fragrant) cleansers and disinfectants.
The oils that are excellent for cleaning include:
Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Thyme, Spruce, Lemon, Lemongrass, Grapefruit

~Household Odors~

To freshen room air, dampen cotton balls with oil of wintergreen and place out of sight but where air will touch them.

Get rid of cooking smells in the air with
essential oils.
Lemon, Grapefruit, Lemongrass are all highly
effective at cleaning the air.
Try Lavender with Lemongrass in a spray bottle,
an Aroma Lamp or Aroma Scent Ball.


~Carpet Freshener~

Combine 3/4 cup baking soda, 2 tbsp. corn starch, and 1/4 cup perfumed talcum powder. Sprinkle on dry carpet, let stand 5 to 15 minutes, then vacuum.


For hard to reach spots, slip a sock over the end of a yardstick and secure with a rubber band, then sweep the area. This method works well for cleaning under radiators and refrigerators also.

~Lavender Antibacterial Spray~

1 cup water
20 drops pure essential oil of lavender
Pour the water into a spray bottle. Add the lavender essential oil and shake to blend. Spray on the surface and let set for at least 15 minutes. Makes: 1 cup spray
Shelf Life: Indefinite

~Basic household disinfectant~

Fill a spray bottle with water and a squirt of dishwashing soap. Add 3-5 drops each of lavender, lemon, and pine essential oils. Shake well.

~Musty Smells~

Combine 1 tsp of tea tree oil and 1 cup of water in a spritzer bottle. Spray the area, but don't wipe it off. In a couple of days the smell should be gone and the tea tree oil will have dissipated. If not . . . repeat for a couple of more days.

~Moisture Problems~

Mold and mildew thrive in moist, warm areas. To keep these areas under control place out bowls of unscented kitty litter to absorb the moisture. Replace these once a week.

~Mildew in books~

Place some cornstarch in a sprinkle container and sprinkle the cornstarch onto the pages lightly. Let it sit for a few hours and then wipe and shake clean.

~Cutting Boards~Countertops~

To get rid of strong odors on cutting boards, wipe them with vinegar or baking soda or lemon slices or celery.
For countertops, mix a few drops of essential oil of lemon thyme to one cup water. Spray on the surface and then wipe.


To kill mold use full-strength vinegar. To keep mold under control spray with diluted vinegar on a regular basis.


To keep drains running clear - Once a week pour 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar down the drain, then follow with hot water.

~To freshen a vacuum cleaner~

Sprinkle several drops of lemon oil onto half a tissue or cotton ball and let the vacuum cleaner suck it up. If your vacuum cleaner has a water reservoir, add a few drops of oil into it before cleaning.

~Fighting dust mites~

Eucalyptus oil kills dust mites. 25 drops of eucalyptus essential oil added to each load of laundry or 1/2 ounce to a jug of laundry detergent is all you need.

~Cleaning Concotions~

~ Window Cleaner~

Place the following in a spritzer bottle and shake well.
1/3 tsp liquid Castile or other liquid vegetable based soap
3 tbsp cider vinegar or white vinegar
2 cups water.

~Another Window cleaner ~

Mix in a 1 quart spray bottle:
1 cup White Vinegar
10-15 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
Mix vinegar and water in spray bottle, Add essential oil, Shake and use.

~Kitchens and bathrooms~

The following recipes clean, deodorize, and disinfect, and are great for cleaning cupboards, bathroom fixtures, sinks, tiles, woodwork, carpets, etc...
Mix into 1 quart water:
2 drops rosemary
4 drops lemon
3 drops eucalyptus
4 drops lavender
Shake well and put into a spray bottle. Shake again before using.

~Another all-purpose cleaner~

Mix into 1 quart water:
3 - 4 drops lavender
5 - 6 drops Purification
Shake well and put into a spray bottle. Shake again before using.

~Another all-purpose cleaner~

2 Tablespoons Borax
1 Teaspoon Castile Soap
15-20 drops Essential Oils such as Pine, Lemon, Melaleuca, Citronella, or Lemongrass (or any combination of the above)
Add Borax to a 1 quart spray bottle. Fill with warm water.
Add Castile soap and Essential Oils. Shake and use.

~Floor cleaner~

Add 1/4 cup white vinegar to a bucket of water.
Add 5-10 drops lemon, pine, spruce, melaleuca or Purification.


~Stain Remover

Use one or two drops of Lemon oil on stain. Let it sit a few minutes then rub off with a clean cloth or throw into the washing machine.

~In the Dryer~

Instead of using toxic and irritating softening sheets in the dryer, add 10 drops of lavender, lemon, melaleuca, bergamot, to a dampened washcloth. The oils will not reduce static cling but they will add a lovely fragrance to the clothes.

~Ants and Cockroach Spray

1 crushed clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper, 1 quart of
water. Steep for 1 hour and then add: 1 tablespoon of liquid soap. Then
take the mixture and spray it around the house __._,_.___

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