Thursday, January 15, 2009

Clean House, Clean Planet

My girlfriend, who is very environmentally friendly (she puts most of us to shame) passed this book, by Karen Logan, on to me, so I could learn more about eco-friendly cleaning products. This book is filled with recipes on how to make your own, using things you find in your house such as vinegar, club soda, water, liquid dishsoap, etc. Not only are the products natural, hence better for the planet, but ultimately cheaper as well.

For example, for windows use club soda in a spray bottle. That's it. Club soda - go figure.

For an all-purpose cleaner:
2 Tbsp distilled vinegar
1 tsp borax
Hot water
1/4 c. liquid soap (which you add at the very end after the previous ingredients are mixed thoroughly)

I read through the book, and I think the all-purpose cleaner is what I would use the most. I already use a Green cleaner from the store, but I'll give this a shot as well. My only reluctance is effectiveness. When I'm cutting up raw chicken, I want to know that the cleaner I'm using is killing those nasty germs. Your all-natural products don't always have that germ-fighting in them. But for everyday dust, floors, baseboards and sinks, this is definitely a good way to go.

Logan lists recipes for everything from the carpet to the car. It made me realize either a) I'm not that good of a cleaner, or b) all these different cleaners might not be necessary? Because seriously, I use the same spray bottle cleaner from Target for everything from tables to floors to windows to...My only other cleaner is laundry detergent, and with my sensitivity to all things perfume and dyes, there are very few detergents out there that work for me.

So, I think this book is definitely worth a breeze through, to find the recipes that work for the way you clean. But if you're not a person who cleans all the time - I give the house a good once-over every other weekend - then you may only find a few that are right for you.

What do you use to clean? Would this book be helpful to you?


Em said...

It sounds like we are of the same mindset when it comes to cleaning - I use one cleaner for everything and clean about once every other week. I have been thinking about trying to make my own cleaner when this one runs out - but I would probably just use the one.

CMS said...

I recently used baking soda and water when I cleaned the kitchen floor, and it worked great. I also want to try a lime and salt mixture for the bathtub (I wrote about green cleaning "recipes" for the Living Green program one year & am just now getting around to trying them). I used to use Comet for the tub, but now that Adam is taking baths in there, I don't like the thought of him soaking in that.
I'm going to try the club soda "windex" replacement, too -- thanks for the tip. And have you ever used newspapers to wipe a mirror clean? It works, strangely enough, and doesn't streak like rags or paper towels.

willikat said...

I don't make my own cleaners, but I am about one step away from that. Strangely enough when it really came to my attention was when we got Molly.I just couldn't bear the fact that her toys could get coated with toxic ingredients.
I use a lot of Seventh Generation (althouogh the dishwashing soap sucks), Method, Mrs. Meyers, etc. One time in a pinch I had to buy Cascade. You don't realize how poisonous it smells until you stop using it for a while. Blech!

Charley said...

I use a vinegar/water solution and baking soda for every day cleaning, but I think vinegar is pretty smelly, so if I'm doing a big clean, I usually use a Trader Joe's scented cleaner.

4you said...

I felt the same way when I read the book. Boy, I don't clean enough. I feel the same as Willikat, I can't imagine my poor kittens licking their toes and eating up toxic stuff.