Guest Post: Household Cleaning The Green Way

Guest Post: Household Cleaning The Green Way

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One of my goals this year has been to make being green a bigger part of our every day life.  This past summer I fell in love with my steam mop not only because it cleans my floors good, but because I no longer have to use harmful chemicals to clean those floors anymore.   Wanting to change the way I clean other things in the house,  I decided to enlist one of my new bloggy friends Danielle Liss to show me the way.

Danielle Liss is the writer of the very cleverly named blog, DanielleLiss.com.  She is a Las Vegas lawyer.  The husband of one of her friends calls her a tree-hugging hippie.  She thinks that is funny since she still loves her air conditioner in the hot Las Vegas summers.

Picture 26 Guest Post: Household Cleaning The Green Way

Once upon a time, during some sort of hoarding moment at Costco, I went insane and bought an irrational amount of cleaning products. I had enough Lysol toilet cleaner to last for at least five years. My bestie was greening her life and I was a bit envious.  I was interested in green cleaning, but I had all of these chemicals in my house and I kept rationalizing things by saying, I’ll start when I use everything.

Then, there was a contest.  Robin (the bestie mentioned above) emailed me and told me that Seventh Generation was having a contest to do an under the sink makeover.  I had to take a picture of my chemical lair and she would nominate me.  We were runners up.  We both received a giant box of Seventh Generation cleaning products.  Here is what my sink looked like before the contest:
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(Yes, that is my hairless cat huffing the chemicals.)
When I got my prize, I decided to try out the Seventh Generation kitchen cleaner.  Since this is a family blog, I won’t actually tell you what I really uttered, but pretend it was, Oh My!  I just cleaned the entire kitchen and I don’t have a raging headache and my eyes aren’t watering.  That was it.  I gathered every chemical cleaner in the house and boxed them up.  THREE BOXES OF CHEMICALS.  They went to someone who likes chemicals.
My husband was less than happy with this change.  He didn’t believe that anything was going to kill germs.  So, I decided to try making my own cleaners.  Again, let’s pretend that I uttered Oh My!  (I am from New Jersey and I curse like a sailor.)  I used some of my friend Robin’s basic recipes that she had on her website.  Here’s where I’ll start getting specific.
All-purpose cleaner:
I used Robin’s general recipe, putting water and a teaspoon of Dr. Bronner’s soap into a spray bottle.  A few drops of essential oils would not be enough to satisfy my hubby that the germs were dead.  So I forwarded him numerous articles about how they use tea tree oil to clean hospitals in Australia.  Then, I discovered that Trader Joe’s sells small glass bottles of tea tree oil with a couple of ounces in it.  Perfect.  One bottle of tea tree oil for each spray bottle of all-purpose cleaner.  Best Cleaner EVER.  Honestly, this worked better than the Seventh Generation Cleaners and wasn’t as heavily perfumed.
Vinegar:
Stock up on white vinegar.  I don’t want to hear any whining that it smells.  Yeah, so does Windex, but we’ve been trained to associate those smells with “clean.”  No more.  The vinegar smell goes away pretty quickly and it does an amazing job on mirrors and glass.  You can use it to clean tile floors.  You can also throw it in your carpet shampooer instead of a chemical shampoo.  (If you have a carpet shampooer.)
Baking Soda:
Baking soda is my best friend.  We have a standard white shower in our master bath.  We must be disgusting people because it turns blackish after a couple of weeks.  After a shower, when the floor is still a bit moist, I sprinkle an heavy dose of baking soda on the floor of the shower and let it sit for a while.  Typically, until I get home from work.  Then, I use a stiff bristle scrub brush and go over the surface.  It sparkles like new every time.  None of my old Chemical cleaners did that.  I would scrub and scrub until I thought I was going to pass out, but the baking soda works the best.
How to unclog a drain:
Pour baking soda down the drain and let it sit for a while.  Then, in a fun science project sort of way, pour vinegar down the drain.  It will bubble like your science-fair volcano, which is fun to watch (and even more fun to show the kids).  For a stubborn clump of hair, open the drain cover and snake it out.  We did this in our shower.  No harsh chemicals needed.
The rest:  I don’t make my own laundry detergent or things like that.  There are tons of recipes online.  If you aren’t sure how to do something, just search it on you tube.  Also, search Robin’s website.  She has a lot of resources for green cleaning.  Oh, and one green product that I can’t live without is Ecover’s limescale remover.  I reviewed the product on another site and you can see the amazing results in the photos there.
Green cleaning is amazingly simple.  I thought it would be much more time-consuming than regular cleaning.  Honestly, I think it is easier.  And I definitely appreciate not getting chemical headaches anymore!
Thank you Danielle for the great tips!  It will be so nice to get all of the chemicals out of my house and start cleaning the green way.
You can find Danielle at her blog, twitter, and facebook for more tips about being green and going from a compulsive shopper to  financially responsible.
 Guest Post: Household Cleaning The Green Way
Lauren is the owner and writer for Crazy About My Baybah. She is a mom that is crazy about her family, art, photography, getting fit, Disney, and living in Las Vegas.
 Guest Post: Household Cleaning The Green Way

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Comments

  1. Great Tips! Thanks for having Danielle GP! :)

  2. Laundry Detergent recipe I use:
    2 cups Fels Naptha Soap (finely grated)
    1 cup Washing Soda
    1 cup Borax
    Mix well and store in an airtight plastic container.
    Use 2 tablespoons per full load.

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  2. Green Cleaning, the Salty Dog and Bloggy Bootcamp in San Diego | DanielleLiss.com says:

    […] me talk about green cleaning and to visit a great parenting website, visit Crazy about My Baybah.  I wrote a lovely article on green cleaning without mentioning the Ionator or the fact that we use a green house cleaning service.  Kicking it […]

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