1: Week one we made friends with vinegar and you should continue to
use it as normal. But when you want a means to give the bad nasties a
disinfecting kick in the keister follow up your vinegar cleaning
immediately with a spray of hydrogen peroxide. It will also give
bathroom mold a run for its money. It's just as effective as clorox
and it won't kill you. So, get your extra spray bottles and lablel
them 3% hydrogen peroxide (two
is sufficient -- one for the kitchen and one for the main bathroom or
heck, go all out and put one in each bathroom). Keep the bottles out
of the light or use spray bottles that aren't clear or are covered with
paper to keep the light out.
Step 2: This week you should concern yourself with evicting your normal liquid soap and detergent and get rid of the chemical cleaning products stuffed in your cabinets. I know, I know, you may have still some left. So you can wait, but there is no time like the present! You shouldn't have much trouble pawning them off on family or donate them somewhere. At the very least, buy the replacements so that as soon as you run out you aren't tempted to buy something handy while you are too busy to "look for the good stuff."
Brand doesn't really matter, go with what is on sale or easily accessible. When I started out Ecover was the only one available to me and but other brands like 7th Generation are available more and more. I recommend free and clear, but there are some kinds that have orange or lemon scents.
week we include in sodium percarbonate to the laundry room. It is
normally found in pool supply or hardware stores, but Ecover makes a
"non chlorine bleach" that is pure sodium percarbonate. All sodium
percarbonate is, is a mixture of washing soda and hydrogen peroxide
making it essentially a dry version of hydrogen peroxide! I bet you
didn't know that the mystery amazing cleaning agent in Oxyclean is
simply sodium percarbonate and washing soda! Washing soda is also
known as Soda Ash.
Purchase evironmentally sound:
1. Dish soap
2. Laundry detergent (I use 7th generation delicate dye and scent free)
3. Regular soap (yes, the kind you wash with...go with Kirk's Castille Soap if you can get it or something similar. Kirk's is Fragrance free and only a dollar where I live. Otherwise pick your favorite. A castille soap is soap made with olive oil or another vegetable oil. I think it is the best kind. )
**You should be able to identify all ingredients in a quality soap! You might see something like: saponified oil OR olive oil and lye/NaOH/sodium hydroxide. They all mean the same thing. Soap is a mixture of lye and oil/fat, nothing more.**
Your First Recipe! Dishwasher Detergent Replacement
Mix 3 cups baking soda with 3 cups sodium percarbonate in a jar or container (make as much or as little as you like...equal parts. For something stronger do 3 cups baking soda and 4 cups percarbonate for something less strong do 3 cups baking soda and 2 cups sodium percarbonate. (Some people add a bit of borax for more power which is really unnecessary...I don't recommend borax for everyday cleaning as I've stated before...but if you do be sure you use very little and that it rinses thoroughly). If you don't need it don't use it. Proportions depends on if you have hard water or a particularly nastly load to clean. Use in place of dishwasher detergent (keep a spoon or little scoop in the jar for convenience or alternately you can use a bottle instead to control the pour). Yes you can BUY essentially the same thing in the store. So if you are so inclined read the labels and you should be able to identify the ingredients.
Deodorizing and Cleaning Your Dishwasher
To clean and deodorize the dishwasher: sprinkle baking soda on the bottom and run the dishwasher through a short cycle on the hottest setting. You may need to apply some elbow grease to clean out the corners of the door, gasket, and drain. Then pour a cup of white vinegar in the bottom and run it through another short cycle. (To wash a really musty smelling dishwasher -- mix baking soda with borax and run an empty cycle and double rinse to remove any residue)
Disinfect those Baby Toys
your baby's toys in straight vinegar and then follow up with a spray
and wipe down with hydrogen peroxide. Clean and safe!
To Make Your Glasses Sparkle and Deodorize at the Same Time
Add vinegar to the "jet dry" reservoir in your dishwasher. If you don't have this feature, pour 1/4 cup of vinegar into the dishwasher just before its rinse cycle.
COOL TIP: use a marker to date the products you buy so that you know how long it takes you to use them up.
FRUGAL TIP: Because you are using laundry boosters you can use HALF or less of the detergent amount you usually do. I recommend starting with 2 TBSP of your liquid or dry detergent and see how that works. You want to see some bubbles but you don't want so much that they hide your clothes and are still quite frothy in the rinse.
BUILDUP TESTING TIP: How do you know if you are using too much detergent or you have buildup? Wash you clothes in plain water. If you see suds you got residue! If you get to the rinse cycle and you STILL see bubbles, you really have some residue issues! Cut WAY back.
The Triple Threat and Sidekick Fight Grime
Let's face it, sometimes that greasy, grimy, gummy gunk is really hard to get off of the stove hood and the refrigerator. Instead of reaching for the Formula 409, make your own all-purpose-grime cutter.
Your Second Recipe!
Get one of those extra spray bottles and mark it as: All Purpose Cleaner. Or you can be clever and name it something catchy like Formula 911. Addendum: This is for "spot cleaning" for those extra tough stains that not even more elbow grease can take care of. It's not meant to be used in place of the baking soda and vinegar you are already using. Some types of soap will require rinseing...so start with a couple of drops and add more if you think it is needed. Before you reach for these recipes try reaching for the hydrogen peroxide instead.
Combine and Shake It Up:
- 2 cups hot water (to make dissolving easier)
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons borax(try the cleaner without it first, add only if it doesn't work)
- upto 1/2 teaspoon liquid dish soap
Do you need something with a little more disinfecting power for those tough bathroom grossosities? You should have an empty spray bottle left.
Your Third Recipe!
Get that last spray bottles and mark it as: Disinfectant, Germ Eraser, or Mrs. Clean -- depending on your mood.
Combine and Shake It Up:
- 1 cup hot water (to make dissolving easier)
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup alcohol
- up to 1/2 tsp liquid dish soap
BOOSTER TIP: An easy way to boost the power of your hydrogen peroxide spray bottle (make sure it is a non-clear bottle -- hydrogen peroxide breaks down in light) that you already have handy in the bathroom is to add a few drops of tea tree oil. Tea tree is a mold eater.
Introducing Salt and Lemon (and Citris Cousins)
Lemon and Salt
This week is really simple. You can substitute lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit for vinegar in any recipe thus far. Though it is much better to just add lemon to the vinegar cleaning products you've already made for a fresh citrus scent addition. Oh, they are also very tastey -- I love lemons!
First, purchase yourself a little palm sized grater for zesting if you don't already have one:
Use Lemon and/or Salt to:
Scrub your cutting board: Pour on salt and scrub with half a lemon.
Freshen the disposal: The lemon you just used? Throw it in the disposal.
Clean Copper: Pour on the salt and scrub with the lemon or lemon juice.
Remove wine/grape juice stain: Pour salt on the stain, let sit to absorb, vacuum
Stubborn grape stain on the counter: Let a disc of lemon or lemon juice sit on the stain, cover with baking soda and then scrub it away.
Natural Sunny Bleach: Add lemon juice to the rinse cycle of white clothes instead of vinegar then hang out to dry. The lemon juice acts as a bleach booster for the sun. (also works to lighten your hair)
Grapefruit and Salt: Dip half a grapefruit into salt and scrub your counters free of stains.
Cold Garbage Disposal Cleaner: Freeze used lemon bits into ice cubes and throw a few in the disposal and turn it on. It cleans the blades and freshens (its kind of noisy!) If you want the cubes to do double duty, you can make them water, lemon juice, and lemon zest so they can be plopped into an iced tea or other refreshment.
Groady Fixtures and Shower Head: Make a paste of 3 parts salt, 1 part baking soda, and enough water to make a paste. Schmear it on the fixtures and let it sit for a while then rinse away with vinegar. Shiney!
Citrusy House: Peel the lemon or lime before using (I prefer a knife to get nice thin slices of all zest and dry them out in the oven). The house will smell good and then you can take the dried pieces, cut them into smaller pieces and put them in your vinegar solutions to scent them over time.
Recipe! Baking Soda Carpet Deodorizer
In a jar with holes punched in the lid or in a parmesan cheese dispenser, fill with baking soda and add lemon zest, or orange zest, or lime zest, or dried lavender flowers, or mint, or cinnamon, or potpourri of your choice. Sprinkle on carpet, let sit for a few hours if you can, then vacuum.
SMART TIP: To keep the smell contained and prevent spills, cover the jar mouth with a round piece of paper, foil, or plastic before putting the lid on for storage.
+ + =
The Furniture Needs Love Too!
You've probably run out of spray bottles by now, so decide how many you want this week based upon the new recipes you want to make.
You can use a regular size spray bottle for the cleaner and duster, but for the furniture polish recipe, I suggest buying a small spray bottle. You don't want to mix too much and have the oil go rancid. Halve the recipe if you don't have a lot of wood furniture. Don't forget to label the spray bottles!
If you are worried about the olive oil going rancid (though if you don't use too much and wipe it off well that shouldn't happen), go with jojoba -- it won't go rancid because its really a wax. Almond oil has its own cent -- use your nose and decide what you want. You don't have to use lemon...lime, orange, and grapefruit work just as well.
Recipe: Lemon Fresh Furniture Polish
1/2 cup olive oil/almond/jojoba oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
Shake well before each use. Spray a very small amount on (a little goes a long way) and wipe with a cloth, or spray or dab on the cloth then wipe. Test in an inconspicuous spot before doing the whole piece. (you can also throw in zest pieces to get a deeper infusion)
Recipe: Lemon Fresh Light Furniture Duster
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp olive/almond/jojoba oil
Shake well before each use. Spray on and wipe with a cloth, or spray or dab on the cloth then wipe. Test in an inconspicuous spot before doing the whole piece. (you can also throw in zest pieces to get a deeper infusion)
Recipe: Wood Cabinet and Paneling Cleaner
2 cups hot water
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil/almond/jojoba oil
GOTO WEEK 7-8 ==>
Shake well before use. Wipe on and wipe off. Test it in an inconspicuous spot first.