Saturday, March 26, 2011

Green Cleaning Recipes

Clean & Green

Excellent nontoxic alternatives exist for those harsh chemical cleaners and many of them are already sitting on your kitchen shelf. 

Baking soda works well for cleaning glassware, especially coffee pots, and removes red wine stains from carpeting. 

A baking soda and water paste removes tea stains from ceramics and polishes silver and stainless steel.

Use coarse salt to scour copper pots and other cookware. It will also help clean up fresh spills in the oven.

Lemon juice removes grease from stove tops and other kitchen surfaces.

Olive oil (3 to 1 with vinegar or 2 to 1 with lemon juice) makes a great wood furniture polish.

Here are some specific recipes for a clean — and healthy — home:

Air Freshener
4 oz. distilled water, 2 oz. rubbing alcohol, 30 drops of essential oil of choice (can blend fragrances. For example, 15 drops of orange and 15 drops of clove can be combined for a winter holiday air freshener)
Combine in a carefully labeled spray bottle and enjoy!

Carpet Freshener
In a container with a tight-fitting lid, combine 1 cup crushed dried herbs (such as lavender or rosemary) with 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 2 teaspoons baking soda. Shake well to blend. Sprinkle the mixture on carpet and let sit for one hour. Vacuum.

Copper Cleaner
With a rag or sponge, coat dirty copper with an even layer of ketchup. Allow ketchup to penetrate the tarnished metal for approximately 20 minutes. Rinse with warm or hot water and buff to a shine.

Disinfectant — Heavy-Duty
Combine 1/4 cup powdered laundry detergent, 1-tablespoon borax, 3/4 cup hot water and 1/4 pine oil. Slowly stir the detergent and borax into the water to dissolve. Add the pine oil (available at hardware stores and supermarkets) and mix well. For bathrooms, use the mixture full strength. For kitchens, dilute with water.

Drain Clearing Agent
Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda in and around the drain opening. Follow with 1 cup of white vinegar. Repeat if necessary and flush with hot water.

Glass Cleaner
Combine 1/4 cup vinegar and one quart of water. Plain club soda also works!

Grease Stain Remover
Cover stain with a mixture of borax and water. Rub in and wipe off. Rinse well after applying stain remover.

Kitchen Disposal Freshener
Just drop in a few lemon wedges and flip the switch.

Laundry Bleach
The only ingredients are 1/4 cup of lemon juice and some sunshine! Use the lemon juice in the washing machine's rinse cycle. After clothes have spun, hang in the sun to dry.

Multipurpose cleaner:
Combine 1-teaspoon borax, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon dishwashing liquid, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 2 cups hot water.

Mold Remover
Saturate a sponge with full-strength vinegar and scrub the moldy area. Rinse well.

Oven Cleaner
Make a paste of equal parts salt, baking soda and water. First, wipe away any grease and scratch off burnt spots with a scouring brush or steel wool. Finally, apply the paste, let stand five minutes and wipe clean with a damp rug. Scrub if necessary. Do not allow baking soda to touch heating elements or wiring.

Rust remover:
Sprinkle salt on the rust and then squeeze a lime over the salt until it is soaked in juice. Let the mixture sit for up to three hours. The leftover lime rind can be used as a handy scrubber to remove the rust. Another option is to rub the rust with balled-up aluminum foil after wetting it with water. Use caution as aluminum foil will scratch chrome.

Silver Cleaner
Rub the silver with toothpaste; wipe off tarnish and then rinse. Dry with a soft cloth.

Tile floor cleaners:
Mop floor with solution of 1 to 2 teaspoons of liquid dish soap dissolved in 3 gallons of warm water. Rinse with 1 cup of white vinegar in 3 gallons of cool water.

Toilet bowl cleaner:
Combine 1-cup borax with 1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice to make a paste. Apply it to the inside of the toilet bowl and let it sit for one to two hours before scrubbing.

Wall and wallpaper cleaner:
Dissolve 1/4 cup borax in 1-gallon hot water. Stir to blend. Use a sponge or rag.

Window Cleaner
Mix 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water. Add 5 drops lemon oil or, if you like suds, 5 drops favorite all-natural dishwashing liquid.

Use to wash windows, other glass or mirrors. This mixture can also be kept in a covered container with a rag submerged in the liquid. For damp dusting, simply wring the rag out and wipe surfaces clean.

Wood floor polish:
Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup vegetable oil. Rub on floor and buff with a clean, dry cloth.

These cane be found here at the Whole Foods Market Website.

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