Friday, April 18, 2008

Happy Hippy Christmas! (Earth Day) - Celebrate with Green Cleaner Recipes

Did you know that vinegar eliminates microbes like E.Coli from surfaces and sponges as effectively as commercial cleaners? In fact vinegar kills between 90 and 98% of bacteria! And most importantly it is SAFE for your family not to mention cheaper than dirt!

Well I hosted a Green Cleaning Party last Sunday and it was a great success! I was so pleased with the amazing discussion that evolved and we had a great time making our all purpose cleaner and creamy soft scrub. We indulged in 3 flavors of my homemade hummus (lemon, Thai hot chili and roasted garlic yum), mini pizzas, chocolate cookies, iced green tea and red wine. Even though the sprayers ended up being broken, at least the company is replacing them. If you have a party..make sure to test your sprayers before the big day!
The party was inspired by Women's Voices for the Earth which is "a national, women-centered environmental health and justice organization that works to eliminate or substantially reduce environmental toxics impacting human health and to increase women’s participation in environmental decision-making."
Vinegar: deodorizes, dissolves mineral deposits and grease, removes soap traces, mildew and wax build up, polishes brass, chrome, copper, pewter and stainless steel, cleans brick and stone, removes decals and stickers & removes water spots on leather. Not only does Vinegar eliminate microbes like E.Coli from surfaces and sponges as good as commercial cleaners but it also effectively eliminates between 90 - 98% of bacteria (as previously mentioned but its so cool that I had to restate).
Baking Soda neutralizes acid, scrubs shiny materials without scratching, deodorizes refrigerators, carpets, upholstery, vinyl and drains, extinguishes grease fires and cleans and polishes aluminum, chrome, jewelry, plastic, porcelain, silver, stainless steel and tin!

Here are the recipes...try them for yourself! I am V satisfied with the all purpose cleaner. We used organic lemongrass essential oil as it has antibacterial and anti viral properties.

All-Purpose Cleaner
suggested uses: hard surfaces like counter tops and kitchen floors, windows and mirrors
2 cups white distilled vinegar
2 cups water
20-30 or more drops of essential oil (optional)

Tip: Warming in microwave until barely hot will boost cleaning power for tough jobs. Only microwave in a glass container.

Creamy Soft Scrub
suggested uses: Use this creamy soft scrub on kitchen counters, stoves, bathroom sinks, etc.
2 cups baking soda
½ cup liquid castile soap*
4 teaspoons vegetable glycerin (acts as a preservative)
5 drops antibacterial essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, rosemary or any scent you prefer (optional)
Mix together and store in a sealed glass jar, shelf life of 2 years.

Tips: For exceptionally tough jobs spray with vinegar first—full strength or diluted, scented—let sit and follow with scrub.
Dry soft scrubs can be made with baking soda or salt (or combination of both) with 10-15 drops essential oil to scent

Furniture Polish
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
20-30 drops lemon essential oil
Shake well before using
(2 teaspoons lemon juice may be substituted for lemon oil but then must be stored in refrigerator)

Dip a clean, dry cloth into the polish and rub wood in the direction of the grain. Use a soft brush to work the polish into corners or tight places.
Tips: To remove water spots rub well with toothpaste. To remove scratches use 1 part lemon juice and 1 part oil, rub with soft cloth.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Option 1
Sprinkle toilet bowl with baking soda, drizzle with vinegar, let soak for at least 30minutes and scrub with toilet brush.

Option 2
Put ¼ cup borax in toilet bowl and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Swish with a toilet brush and then scrub. A few drops of pine oil can be added for increased disinfecting. (Note: some people are allergic to pine oil.)
Tip: Let ingredients soak for a while to make for easy scrubbing, especially on persistent stains like toilet bowl rings

Drain Opener
½ cup baking soda
½ cup vinegar
Pour baking soda down the drain and follow with vinegar. Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Flush with boiling water.
Tip: Prevent your shower form clogging by using a drain trap to catch hairs.

Laundry Detergent
1 cup soap flakes
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax
Soap flakes can be made by grating your favorite pure vegetable soap with a cheese grater. Mix ingredients together and store in a glass container. Use 1 tablespoon per load (2 for heavily soiled laundry), wash in warm or cold water.

This standard recipe can be adjusted for soft water by using 1 cup soap flakes, 1/4 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup borax. For hard water, use 1 cup soap flakes, 1 cup washing soda, and 1 cup borax.

Note: Borax should not be ingested.
Tips: Add 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to rinse as a fabric softener. For a whitener, use hydrogen peroxide rather than bleach. Soak your dingy white clothes for 30 minutes in the washer with 1/2 cup 20% peroxide. Launder as usual.
Off to celebrate Earth Day...with a fabulous spring weekend of outdoor adoration and amusements. Love your mama!


feefifoto said...

I've been using vinegar as a laundry booster for a few years and I really like it. It's a well-kept secret.

baby~amore' said...

wow - thanks for sharing these Paula I will give some of them a try.

I think vinegar wrecks something in cloth nappies(diapers though)