Green Cleaning for Dummies - Week 3: The Sidekicks
**Green Cleaning for Dummies is an 8 week program
WEEK 3: The Triple Threat Requests Worthy Sidekicks
Step 1: Week one we made friends with vinegar and you should continue to use it as normal. But when you want a means to give the bad nasties a disinfecting kick in the kiester follow up your vinegar cleaning immediately with a spray of hydrogen peroxide. It will also give bathroom mold a run for its money. It's just as effective as Clorox and it won't kill you. So, get your extra spray bottles and lablel them 3% hydrogen peroxide (two is sufficient -- one for the kitchen and one for the main bathroom or heck, go all out and put one in each bathroom). Keep the bottles out of the light or use spray bottles that aren't clear or are covered with paper to keep the light out.
Step 2: This week you should concern yourself with evicting your normal liquid soap and detergent and get rid of the chemical cleaning products stuffed in your cabinets. I know, I know, you may have still some left. So you can wait, but there is no time like the present! You shouldn't have much trouble pawning them off on family or donate them somewhere. At the very least, buy the replacements so that as soon as you run out you aren't tempted to buy something handy while you are too busy to "look for the good stuff."
Brand doesn't really matter, go with what is on sale or easily accessible. When I started out Ecover was the only one available to me and but other brands like 7th Generation are available more and more. I recommend free and clear, but there are some kinds that have orange or lemon scents.
REMEMBER: Last week we include in sodium per-carbonate to the laundry room. It is normally found in pool supply or hardware stores, but Ecover makes a "non chlorine bleach" that is pure sodium per-carbonate. All sodium per-carbonate is, is a mixture of washing soda and hydrogen peroxide making it essentially a dry version of hydrogen peroxide! I bet you didn't know that the mystery amazing cleaning agent in Oxyclean is simply sodium per-carbonate and washing soda! Washing soda is also known as Soda Ash.
Purchase environmentally sound:
1. Dish soap
2. Laundry detergent
3. Regular soap (yes, the kind you wash with...go with Castille Soap A castille soap is soap made with olive oil or another vegetable oil. I think it is the best kind. )
**You should be able to identify all ingredients in a quality soap! You might see something like: saponified oil OR olive oil and lye/NaOH/sodium hydroxide. They all mean the same thing. Soap is a mixture of lye and oil/fat, nothing more.**
Your First Recipe! Dishwasher Detergent Replacement
Mix 3 cups baking soda with 3 cups sodium per-carbonate in a jar or container (make as much or as little as you like...equal parts. For something stronger do 3 cups baking soda and 4 cups per-carbonate for something less strong do 3 cups baking soda and 2 cups sodium per-carbonate. (Some people add a bit of borax for more power which is really unnecessary...I don't recommend borax for everyday cleaning as I've stated before...but if you do be sure you use very little and that it rinses thoroughly). If you don't need it don't use it. Proportions depends on if you have hard water or a particularly nastly load to clean. Use in place of dishwasher detergent (keep a spoon or little scoop in the jar for convenience or alternately you can use a bottle instead to control the pour). Yes you can BUY essentially the same thing in the store. So if you are so inclined read the labels and you should be able to identify the ingredients.
Deodorizing and Cleaning Your Dishwasher
To clean and deodorize the dishwasher: sprinkle baking soda on the bottom and run the dishwasher through a short cycle on the hottest setting. You may need to apply some elbow grease to clean out the corners of the door, gasket, and drain. Then pour a cup of white vinegar in the bottom and run it through another short cycle. (To wash a really musty smelling dishwasher -- mix baking soda with borax and run an empty cycle and double rinse to remove any residue)
Disinfect those Baby Toys
Soak your baby's toys in straight vinegar and then follow up with a spray and wipe down with hydrogen peroxide. Clean and safe!
To Make Your Glasses Sparkle and Deodorize at the Same Time
Add vinegar to the "jet dry" reservoir in your dishwasher. If you don't have this feature, pour 1/4 cup of vinegar into the dishwasher just before its rinse cycle.
COOL TIP: Use a marker to date the products you buy so that you know how long it takes you to use them up.
FRUGAL TIP: Because you are using laundry boosters you can use HALF or less of the detergent amount you usually do. I recommend starting with 2 TBSP of your liquid or dry detergent and see how that works. You want to see some bubbles but you don't want so much that they hide your clothes and are still quite frothy in the rinse.
BUILDUP TESTING TIP: How do you know if you are using too much detergent or you have buildup? Wash you clothes in plain water. If you see suds you got residue! If you get to the rinse cycle and you STILL see bubbles, you really have some residue issues! Cut WAY back.