In keeping with the spirit of that green outside our windows, there are a number of ways you can create effective green household cleaning products – using natural household ingredients.
- Porcelain and Tile. Instead of store-bought cleaners with potentially toxic chemicals, try baking soda and water. Dust surfaces with baking soda and then scrub with a wet sponge or cloth. For tougher grime, try some kosher salt and apply some good old-fashioned elbow grease for clean and green results. Lemon juice and vinegar also are great on stains, mildews and grease streaks.
- Disinfectant. Instead of using bleach, try mixing two cups of water, three tablespoons of liquid soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil.
- Windows and Mirrors. Rather than strong-smelling store-bought cleaners, try mixing two tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water in a spray bottle. No more streaks. Some people use newspaper instead of paper towels or cloths to reduce dust and streaks.
- Hardwood Floors. We all know hardwoods don’t like wet mopping, so try this. Combine ¼ cup white vinegar with 30 ounces warm water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto a cotton rag or towel until lightly damp and mop your hardwoods.
- Kitchens. Baking soda is a recurring theme in green cleaning solutions, and the kitchen is no different. Dust countertops with baking soda and wipe with a wet cloth for sparkling surfaces. For tough oven stains, make a paste from baking soda and water. Spread it throughout your oven and let it sit overnight. Scour it clean for spotless surfaces.
- Carpets. Club soda works wonders if you pour liberal amounts on a spill right away. The carbonation brings the spill to the surface and salt in the soda fights stains. For bigger spills, dump cornmeal onto the spill and let it sit for up to 15 minutes. Then vacuum up the cornmeal and, very likely, the spill.
Going green isn’t just the environmentally conscious thing to do. It will save you money while you’re cleaning, with results right on par with store-bought products.