Eco-friendly cleaners


From Consumer Reports, February 2009:

  • Baking soda – remove stains from tile, glass, and china; remove baked-on food from pots and pans
  • Borax– a laundry freshener and deodorizer
    • For a toilet cleaner, mix borax and lemon juice
  • Castille soap – for cleaning countertops
  • Cream of tartar – removes spots from aluminum cookware; lifts stains from sinks and tubs
  • Lemon juice – removes tarnish from brass, copper, aluminum, and bronze
  • White vinegar– kills germs; removes some carpet stains
    • Clean wood floors with one cup white vinegar mixed with one pail hot water

All-purpose cleaner and disinfectant – for bathroom and kitchen surfaces:
2 c. hot water
1/4 c. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. washing soda
15 drops tea tree essential oil
15 drops lavendar essential oil

Combine all ingredients in a reusable spray bottle and shake well. Spray on surfaces and wipe with a dry cloth.

Cleaner for greasy surfaces:
3 tbsp. liquid castile soap
1tbsp. borax
1 quart water

Put in a spray bottle and use for cleaning greasy surfaces.

Soap scum cleaner:
1/4 c. baking soda
1/2 c. white vinegar
1 c. ammonia
1 gallon warm water
Mix ingredients well; use rubber gloves and maintain adequate ventilation when using.

Solution for dry Swiffer cloths:
1/2 c. hot water
2 tbsp. olive oil
Juice from 2 lemons, or 6 tbsp. bottled lemon juice

Pour the ingredients into a glass bowl.  Add pieces of Swiffer-sized sheets made from t-shirt scraps; cover and let soak for about 2 hours.  Remove the sheets and let dry.  Use for floors or dusting; wash after use and re-soak in new solution to re-activate.

Ant repellant:
Find where the ants are coming into the house, and sprinkle the area with chili pepper, dried peppermint, or borax to relel them.

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