You've probably guessed that vinegar is a key ingredient in cleaning most everything - my grandmother's been telling me this for years. Clear the clutter of your cleaning supplies and replace it with a bottle of vinegar, baking soda, and a few other kitchen ingredients and you'll have an environmentally friendly, hard working collection of cleaning products all for under $5 total.
The 10 lb bags of baking soda (in the photo) are sold at Costco, but the price isn't significantly better than the $0.43 for a box of Wal-Mart store brand.
How does the vinegar and soda stand up as disinfectants?
I've been using vinegar and baking soda to clean with for years, a tip from my beloved great aunt! I also read in Hints from Heloise several years ago that vinegar has most of the same anti-bacterial capabilities as our harsh chemicals. I think we're going to see a big change in cleaning products soon! I don't think we know what we've been inhaling all these years, but I'll bet it's not good!
And you all do realize that baking soda and vinegar are just common chemicals. Many of the cleaning products are no more harmful than these two. And, of course, if you mix baking soda and vinegar, you have neutralized them. Use one or the other, but when you combine them, you have salt water, not some magic elixir with super strength.
Good stain removers include hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, and laundry soap bars, such as Zote, Lirio, and other brands available at Latino or Afro-Carribbean stores and on line. They are safe for you and the environment.
Hydrogen peroxide can be poured directly on whites, blood stains, chocolate stains, baby formula stains and others. Leave on the area an hour or more and rinse. Your T-shirts, collars, diapers, all laundry will shine white. A bar of laundry soap rubbed directly onto wet clothing removes dirt, many stains, and cleans up those gym socks without chlorine.
A capful of alcohol or mouthwash can be poured into a wash (diapers, underclothing, towels, kitchen linen, or poured straight into a spray bottle). It sanitizes clothing and is a great all purpose wipe for phones, faucets, and many other washable surfaces that contact dirty hands. With a microfiber cloth in one hand and a spray bottle in the other, I am a cleaning force to be reckoned with. Start with the cleanest surfaces first, then work your way down to the dirtiest, rinsing your cloth as needed or using different cloths for different areas. Inexpensive and effective.
By SAT from Silver Spring, MD
I have been buying a lot of products to clean the bathroom, kitchen, laundry, and my stove. The problem is everything, makes me have coughing fits. Does anyone know of something that I don't have to wear a mask to use, and that I can use to clean all these items? It is costing a fortune to use them once and then I can't use the product any more. Thank you. Rose
By mizz_rosa01 from Melbourne, Victoria
I use baking soda or/and vinegar for sinks and fixtures. If you don't want to make your own cleaner a company called Method makes great non toxic products. They are environmentally friendly as well. We use their hand soap and my sensitive child does not break out. Good luck.
I use a product called Simple Green that cleans everything and smells great. It is non toxic and cleans everything from clothes to stoves to tires on cars! You can check out all of the uses on their website www.simplegreen.com! Hope this helps.
Go to the Thrifty Fun Index and look up January 9th, 2009. There is a post called Saving Money on Cleaning Products with LOTS of green ideas for cleaning.
Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep. Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc.
Mold in bathroom tile grout is a common problem and can be a health concern. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with two parts water in a spray bottle and spray on areas with mold. Wait at least one hour before rinsing or using shower.
Mix equal parts of borax and washing soda, but increase the washing soda if your water is hard.
Mix 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar and 3 cups hot water. For stronger cleaning power add 1/4 teaspoon liquid castile soap. Wipe on with dampened cloth or use non-aerosol spray bottle. (This is not an antibacterial formula. The average kitchen or bathroom does not require antibacterial cleaners.)
To disinfect kitchen sponges, put them in the dishwasher when running a load.
For light drain cleaning, mix 1/2 cup salt in 4 liters water, heat (but not to a boil) and pour down the drain. For stronger cleaning, pour about 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, then 1/2 cup vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction can break fatty acids down into soap and glycerine, allowing the clog to wash down the drain. After 15 minutes, pour in boiling water to clear residue. Caution: only use this method with metal plumbing. Plastic pipes can melt if excess boiling water is used. Also, do not use this method after trying a commercial drain opener--the vinegar can react with the drain opener to create dangerous fumes.
For varnished wood, add a few drops of lemon oil into a 1/2 cup warm water. Mix well and spray onto a soft cotton cloth. Cloth should only be slightly damp. Wipe furniture with the cloth, and finish by wiping once more using a dry soft cotton cloth. For unvarnished wood, mix two tsps each of olive oil and lemon juice and apply a small amount to a soft cotton cloth. Wring the cloth to spread the mixture further into the material and apply to the furniture using wide strokes. This helps distribute the oil evenly.
Mix 1 cup Ivory soap (or Fels Naptha soap), 1/2 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup borax. Use 1 tbsp for light loads; 2 tbsp for heavy loads.
Marks on walls and painted surfaces:
Many ink spots, pencil, crayon or marker spots can be cleaned from painted surfaces using baking soda applied to a damp sponge. Rub gently, then wipe and rinse.
Mold and Mildew:
Use white vinegar or lemon juice full strength. Apply with a sponge or scrubby.
Oil and Grease Spots:
For small spills on the garage floor, add baking soda and scrub with wet brush.
Moisten oven surfaces with sponge and water. Use 3/4cup baking soda, 1/4cup salt and 1/4cup water to make a thick paste, and spread throughout oven interior. (avoid bare metal and any openings) Let sit overnight. Remove with spatula and wipe clean. Rub gently with fine steel wool for tough spots. Or use Arm & Hammer Oven Cleaner, declared nontoxic by Consumers Union.
Sprinkle a little salt on the rust, squeeze a lime over the salt until it is well soaked. Leave the mixture on for 2 - 3 hours. Use leftover rind to scrub residue.
For top of stove, refrigerator and other such surfaces that should not be scratched, use baking soda. Apply baking soda directly with a damp sponge.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner:
Mix 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar, pour into basin and let it set for a few minutes. Scrub with brush and rinse. A mixture of borax (2 parts) and lemon juice (one part) will also work.
Tub and Tile Cleaner:
For simple cleaning, rub in baking soda with a damp sponge and rinse with fresh water. For tougher jobs, wipe surfaces with vinegar first and follow with baking soda as a scouring powder. (Vinegar can break down tile grout, so use sparingly.)
Mix 2 teaspoons of white vinegar with 1 liter (qt) warm water. Use crumpled newspaper or cotton cloth to clean. Don't clean windows if the sun is on them, or if they are warm, or streaks will show on drying. The All-Purpose Cleaner (above) also works well on windows. Be sure to follow the recipe, because using too strong a solution of vinegar will etch the glass and eventually cloud it.
How do I check to confirm that an, advertised as green, cleaning product like this one: http://getwipeout.com, is really green? What ingredients shouldn't be there in order for it to be environmentally friendly?
By dreamclean from NY, NY
Google each and every ingredient, one at a time, and read exactly what each of those ingredients are. Company's can call their products 'Green' or 'Natural' willy nilly because there are not yet strict enough federal governmental controls for the advertisement of these products.
Oh! I was just going to look up exactly what ingredients are in that product you're asking about and when I tried to check out the link you mentioned (by copy and pasting in to search engine) McAfee has a question mark for every single link regarding getwipeout. Guess I would say at this point not to buy it. ;-)