A Green Christmas

I purged.

Clorox, Ajax, Windex, Tilex, Frebreze- BE GONE!

And then I converted.

Just this morning I made an all purpose vinegar cleaning spray, laundry detergent, tile scrub, and hair spray.

Most cleaners warn you to wear rubber gloves and be careful about breathing in fumes. So, obviously, they shouldn’t be in the air or on your body. Why go out of your way to use toxic cleaning chemicals? Apart from the health factor (the increase in cancer, reproductive problems, respiratory illness, and allergies are strongly linked to what we eat, absorb, and breathe), using natural cleaning products is CHEAPER. Who doesn’t love that?! And if you’re thinking that paying a bit more for convenience is worth it, think again. It’s pure and simple. Literally.

They are safe for the environment. Conventional cleaners contain industrial chemicals that pollute the air, water and ground when they enter the wastewater stream. Baking soda, fruit sugars that ferment to make vinegar, and vegetable oils used in pure castile soap already exist in nature, so they won’t cause pollution when you clean with them. Their ingredients quickly biodegrade into safe, neutral elements.

They’re multi purpose. Rather than having a cleaner for each item in the house (toilet, sink, mirror, floor, etc) consider using these two products for multiple tasks. Baking soda works for detergent, a scouring paste that safely scrubs porcelain, deodorizes and removes grease from kitchen surfaces. Vinegar shines windows and mirrors, disinfects kitchens and bathrooms, and gently cleans floors.

Seriously, you can do a TON of things with vinegar.

  1. Counter tops – clean with a rag and vinegar.
  2. Drain or garbage disposal – pour in 1 cup baking soda then one cup hot vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes.  Run hot water down the drain.  (Note: some garbage disposals do not react well to this cleaning method check all manufacturer instructions first.)
  3. Microwave –  mixing equal parts vinegar and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Bring it to a boil inside the microwave. Wipe clean.
  4. Refrigerator – clean with a half-and-half solution of water and vinegar.
  5. Dishwasher –  pour a cup of vinegar inside an empty machine and run through cycle.
  6. Plastic food containers –  wipe them with a cloth dampened with vinegar to remove stains and smells.
  7. Glass – remove film from the inside by letting vinegar sit in them for a few hours. Add a little rice or sand and shake vigorously to loosen stubborn stains. Repeat if necessary.
  8. Tarnished Metal –  make a paste with equal amounts of vinegar and table salt.
  9. Grease – use a sponge soaked in vinegar.
  10. Grill – spray a solution of half water and half vinegar on the cooking surface.
  11. Sponges – placing in just enough water to cover them. Then add 1/4 cup vinegar. Let soak overnight.
  12. Grout – let full-strength vinegar sit on it for a few minutes and scrub it with an old toothbrush.
  13. Germs – spray with full-strength vinegar. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
  14. Mildew and soap scum – wipe with undiluted vinegar then rinse.
  15. Toilets – pour in a cup or more of vinegar and let it sit several hours or overnight. Scrub well with the toilet brush and flush.
  16. Wood – remove water rings with a solution of equal parts vinegar and vegetable oil. Rub with the grain.
  17. Cutting boards – wipe wooden boards with vinegar.
  18. Dusting – use spray bottle filled with half vinegar, half water and lightly spray a rag to dust all surfaces.
  19. Mildew – spray shower walls and shower curtain with half vinegar and half water to help prevent mildew.

Want to go for it?

Okay, once you’ve used up a product or you want to get rid of it, save the bottle and fill it up with this simple recipe:

All-Purpose Cleaner

  • 1 part white vinegar
  • 1 part water
  • 2 Tbsp baking soda
  • a few drops of essential oil if you want it to smell pretty (optional)

For the bath/sink scrub stirred all the ingredients and poured them into a mason jar. Then, I poked holes in the lid with a serrated knife to make it into a shaker:

Scourging Powder

  • 2 parts baking soda
  • 1 part salt
  • 1 part borax powder (found at Target, Wal Mart, and most grocery stores)

*recipe from Wellness Mama

Laundry Detergent

  • 1 55oz. box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 1 76oz. box of Borax Powder
  • 1 bar of soap

1. Grate the bar soap with a cheese grater or food processor

2. Mix all the ingredients together (add a few teaspoons of baking soda if desired)

3. Store in a closed container and use 1/4 or 1/8 cup per load

*recipe from Wellness Mama

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