We all know that green cleaning products are great way to Do A bit Better. But these products can also be pricey and not readily available at your local supermarket. But, whether you realize it or not, your kitchen is a virtual cornucopia of terrific all-natural cleaning products! Here are just a few green cleaners you probably already have on hand:
White vinegar is your kitchen’s all-purpose cleaner. Vinegar’s natural slightly acidic properties make it a great choice for disinfecting and deodorizing just about any room in your house. To create a gentle-but-effective cleaner, simply mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. For areas that need a little more “oomph”, simply add a little more vinegar and a little less water. (But don’t go too crazy with the vinegar, as too much can be damaging. It’s always best to spot treat your solution on a hidden area, and avoid using on any natural stone such as marble, granite, travertine, or limestone.)
Vinegar isn’t just a surface cleaner – it is also a terrific all-natural fabric softener. Simply add ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle in place of store-bought fabric softener. Not only does vinegar reduce the amount of lint, but it also breaks down laundry detergent effectively, which is great for family members with sensitive skin.
Salt & Club Soda
Not just for popcorn and cocktails, salt & club soda are a highly effective duo for eliminating the dreaded red wine stains. The key to removing red wine stains is to treat the stain as quickly as possible. To begin, assess the damage: if the stain is on the carpet or table cloth you can work directly on it, but if the spill hit the drapes or an article of clothing, remove and place the stained item on a flat surface. Next, liberally pour the club soda cover over the entire stain. The carbonation in the club soda will help lift the stain. Once the stain has been lightly soaked, pour ¼ inch of normal table salt directly on the stain– just dump it on. The salt will begin to lift the red wine out of the area being cleaned. Dab gently with a damp cloth to remove the remaining salt. Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone.
Baking soda is a great deodorant. Simply place an open container in the back of your refrigerator, freezer, or by your trash cans to eliminate the smell. Got teenage boys at home with that not-so-great teenage boy smell? Simply pour baking soda into old socks and stuff inside their shoes to naturally deodorize while they are not being worn.
Lastly, we have nature’s natural cleaner – the lemon! There is a reason why so many commercial cleaners are citrus based: the pleasing scent and natural acidity make for an unbeatable cleaning combination. Lemon juice can dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits, or you can use it to clean and shine brass & copper. Or, mix 1 part lemon juice with 2 parts olive oil to make to make your furniture shine. For other surfaces, try mixing lemon juice with vinegar or baking soda to make cleaning pastes – just be aware that lemon juice can act like a natural bleach, so be sure to spot test the lemon juice in a hidden area before using. When you are done squeezing the cleaning power out of the lemons, toss the peels down the drain to help make your disposal smelling fresh & clean.