Green Cleaning is the Way to Go

“Cleanliness is not next to godliness. It isn’t even in the same neighborhood. No one has ever gotten a religious experience out of removing burned-on cheese from the grill of the toaster oven”. – Erma Bombeck

Green cleaning is generally defined as the use of products and cleaning methods that include environmentally-friendly elements that “protect health without harming the environment”. The term “green cleaning” can also refer to a type of human behavior that encourages the exclusive application of healthy, eco-friendly products on a regular basis, as well as advising other consumers about how green cleaning can be effectively utilized every day. There has even been a steady increase in the availability of products offered in biodegradable packaging via environmentally-friendly manufacture and distribution methods.

In the past few years, there has been a vocal groundswell in the amount of people across the nation expressing the desire to ditch their expensive and chemical-filled cleaning products, electing instead to choose more simple, good-for-the-Earth techniques. In fact, some men and women who are wholly invested in the green cleaning lifestyle swear by the use of a tiny dusting of baking soda in favor of costly underarm deodorants! They even sing the praises of old shirts, socks and towels that have been cut up and used as disposable sweeper cloths and window-washing squeegees, as opposed to pricey fabric cleaning dusters.

If you become dizzy while scrubbing away with your vast array of colorful multi-purpose sponges, toilet brushes and kitchen mops and start to feel lightheaded, you might need to ask yourself if you really trust the numerous unknown chemicals in the cleaning products you continually use. Instead, here are some great homegrown cleaning recipes that everyone can use:

All-Purpose Cleaner: This simple mixture can clean, disinfect, and deodorize a variety of surfaces, so you can wipe down kitchen and bathroom countertops, stovetops, kitchen appliances, and much more. Here’s what you’ll need:

-1 cup of white vinegar
-1 cup of water
-1 spray bottle

Instructions: Mix white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray on surface and wipe with a cloth or sponge. Caution: If you don’t properly dilute the white vinegar, you can actually end up harming the surface you want to clean. Make sure you test the concoction on a small area first to assess its efficacy.

Surface Scrub: If you have any of those disgusting spots, streaks or stains on your countertops that never seem to leave, this green remedy can be used in place of many commercially available products. Here’s what you’ll need:

-1 ½ cup of baking soda
-½ cup of water

Instructions: Mix the baking soda and water in a bowl to create a creamy paste. Spread the paste over the surface area and, after letting it sit for about 10 minutes, wipe it down with a moist sponge. If the stain is really stubborn and refuses to budge, let the paste stand for between 20-25 minutes before trying to sponge it off. If needed, repeat this a few more times if it doesn’t vanish after the first attempt. Caution: Be sure not to use overly abrasive sponge pads that may damage the surface.

Fabric Softener: For those with sensitive skin, detergents with “normal” ingredients can still cause awful rashes and other skin irritations. Adding half a cup of white vinegar to the soak cycle of your wash on laundry day is a fantastic organic fabric softener. Here’s what you’ll need:

-½ cup of white vinegar

Instructions: Pour the white vinegar in during the rinse cycle, or into the fabric softener compartment if your washing machine has one.