A Wife Loved Like The Church

Green clean

Posted on: June 17, 2008

We’ve been trying to go more green in our household cleaning products the last fews months. Clorox has a great new line called Green Works that is relatively inexpensive and good. They are made from plant-based material, and reminds me a bit of dandelions. The test for me with any cleaner is that after I’m done cleaning I don’t feel like I have toxins on me and that I would have no concern picking up Julia before washing my hands.

However, my one complaint, is that we get some pretty nasty soap scum in our shower that Green Works can’t seem to fight. So far, only super harsh smelling toxic cleaners get the tub back to white, and that’s after major elbow grease added on my part.

Until, yesterday. Yesterday I decided to try out some ideas I had read about on the blog Green Parenting. The blogger lists all the household products you can use as cleaners, how much is needed, and what works best for each area of the house.

So yesterday, I pour baking soda and vingear in my tub. I let it set, and WALLA, I now have a super white tub again. I would venture to say if you use the vingear alone, it will do the job just fine, but some part of me liked have the volcano effect of the two ingredients and the extra cleaning power of the baking soda. Also, I found that there was some comic relief in knowing that the connoction I’ve starting using to washing my hair can also clean up my tub (***look for a no ‘poo blog in the future***).

At any rate, here’s the list I found and thought I’d share.


VG[inegar]— naturally cleans like an all-purpose cleaner.VGis a great natural cleaning product as well as a disinfectant and deodorizer. Always test on an inconspicuous area. Improperly dilutedVGis acidic and can eat away at tile grout. Never useVGon marble surfaces. The smell disappears when it dries. Helps break down detergent in laundry. Use it to clean coffeepots, glass, paintbrushes, grout, windows and fireplaces.
LJ[lemon Juice] – Another natural substance used to clean your home. Can rot after 2 weeks.
Baking Soda [BS] – Cleaning agent even after used up as fridge deoderizer. Cleans, deodorizes, softens W, scours.
Soap – unscented natural soap in liquid form, flakes, powders or bars is biodegradable and will clean just about anything.
Borax [BX] – cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, softens W, cleans wallpaper, painted walls and floors.
WhiteVinegar [VG]- cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains and wax build-up.
Washing Soda[WS] – or SAL Soda is sodium carbonate decahydrate, a mineral. Washing soda cuts grease, removes stains, softens W, cleans wall, tiles, sinks and tubs. Use care, as washing soda can irritate mucous membranes. Do not use on aluminum.
Ethanol or 100 proof Alcohol & water[RA} – is an excellent disinfectant.
Cornstarch – can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs.
Citrus Solvent – cleans paint brushes, oil and grease, some stains.
Murphy’s Oil Soap, Bar Keeper’s Friend, Bon Ami




Benzene: (paint, plastic, ink, oil): English ivy, chrysanthemum, Gerbera daisy
Formaldehyde: (plywood, pressed-wood, furniture, fire retardants in mattresses): Spider plant, golden pothos, bamboo palm, azalea, Aloe vera, Philodendron
Trichloroethylene: (printing inks, paints, lacquers, varnishes, adhesives): Peace lily, warneckei, Dracaena marginata

CLEANERS (Kitchen/Bathroom):
All Purpose:

1. Simplest: 1 p. VG, 1 p. W in a spray bottle
bathtub, toilet, sink, and countertops. stovetop, appliances, countertops. floor. will eat away the soap scum /hard W stains/degrease.
2. Bleach-like: BX and LJ highly effective mixture for bathrooms. Sprinkle this combination on the surfaces of the sink, toilet bowl and bathtub and then scour with a brush.
3. Degreaser: Mix 1/2 c. VG and 1/4 c. BS into 1/2 gal (2 liters) W. Store and keep. Use for removal of W deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc. Degreases & Deoderize.
Mix 2 Tb BS with 1 pnt W in spray bottle. squeeze LJ orVGto cut grease.
1. BX, LJ, sunlight
2. Mix a quarter c. of BS with a few c.s of warm W and wash down the outside of white appliances. Allow it to stand for 15 min before rinsing clean and it will help remove yellowing of the appliances and restore the whiteness.
Carpet: Simplest All-Purpose. Let sit 5 min. Scrub.
Decal or Sticker Remover: VG. Really soak it in.
1. compound of 3% HPX andVG
2. Mix 1/4 c. BX into 1/2 gal hot W. Use for wiping surfaces.
3. Soap!
4. Dryness. Bacteria can’t live where it’s dry.
5. Alcohol.
Lime Deposits: You can reduce lime deposits in your teakettle by putting in 1/2 c. (125ml) VG and 2 c.s W, and gently boiling for a few min. Rinse well with fresh W while kettle is still warm.
Mildew Remover:
1. HPX
2. White VG full strength. Don’t rinse.
Midlew Inhibitor: BX
1. 3% HPX with V
2. Mix one p. HPX (3%) with two p. W in a spray bottle and spray on areas with mold. Wait at least 1 hr. before rinsing or using shower.
1. Moisten oven surfaces. Sprinkle several layers of BS and let sit set for 1hr. Rub gently with fine steel wool for tough spots.
2. Salt on Stain when it spills.
Scouring Powder:
1. Apply BS directly with a damp sponge for top of stove, refrigerator and other such surfaces that should not be scratched.
2. Vinegar and Salt. Mix together for a good surface cleaner.
3. LJ andVGand/or BS.
Soap scum/Hard W dissolver: LJ
1. Flush the toilet to allow the W level to go down. Pour the undilutedVGaround the inside of the rim. Scrub.
2. Mix 1/4 c. BS and 1 c.VG pour into basin and let it set for a few min. Scrub with brush and rinse.
3. A mixture of BX (2 p.) and LJ (one p.) will also work. A paste will eliminate stains.
4. Flush. Sprinkle BX. Drizzle over w/V. Leave overnight.
Refinishing Old Furniture: Vegetable Oil Soap, a simple, nontoxic solvent. Follow label directions.
Water Rings on Wood: Moisture is trapped under finish. Try toothpaste or mayonnaise on a damp cloth and rub into the ring. Once the ring is removed, buff the entire wood surface.
Window/Stainless Steel/Chrome:
1. ½ c.VGin 2 c. W
2. 1 c RA, 1 c W, 1 Tb.VG Using Rol and VGtogether makes a quickly evaporating spray glass and mirror cleaner that competes with national brands. a nice shines hard tiles, chrome etc
3. 1/4 cVG 1 Tb cornstarch and 1 quart W.

Dishwasher Cleaner: Pour 1 c. of BS into the dishwasher and run it through the rinse cycle. It will help get rid of some of the grime that collects on the inside of the machine, as well as freshen the smell of the dishwasher.
Dishwasher Detergent: Mix together 1 1/2 Tablespoons of BS with 2 Tablespoons of BX.
Dishwashing soap:
1. Sea salt, LJ, hot W, few drops of orange essential oil
2. Mix equal BX and WS, but increase the WS if your W is hard.
Dishwasher scrubber/stain remover: ½ Lemon w/ BS poured on it


1. Flexible metal snake, a plunger, salt
2. Pour 1 c. of BS down the drain followed by 1 c. of hot VG. Wait 5 min before flushing the drain with 2 quarts of hot W. Repeat.
3. 1 C. of BS and 1/2 c. of salt down the drain. Let this mixture sit in the drain for several hours, overnight is best, before flushing the drain with 2 c.s of boiling W..
Garbage Disposal Freshner:
1. 2 T. BX. Let sit 15 min, then run.
2. Citrus peels
3. BS down the drain without rinsing when you are going on vacation or even just a weekend trip. Flush the BS out of the drain with hot W or hot VG followed by hot W when you return.

1. general:
VG, W, 5 drops eucalyptus oil, 15 peppermint, shake
2. vinyl and linoleum: soap. add a capful of baby oil to the cleaning W to preserve and polish.
3. wood: a.)apply a thin coat of 1:1 vegetable oil and VG and rub in well. b.) oil soap
4. painted wood: mix 1 tsp. WS into 1 gal hot W. (see POLISH)
5. brick and stone tiles: mix 1 c. VG in 1 gal (4L) W; rinse with clear W.
6. ceramic tile: Mix 1/4 VG (more if very dirty) into 1 gallon W.

Special problems:
1. black heel marks:
the heel mark with a paste of baking soda and water.
2. crayon marks: Toothpaste. Will not work well on wallpaper or porous surfaces.
3. remove grease from wood floors: immediately place an icecube or very cold water on the spot. The grease will harden and can then be scraped off with a knife. Then iron a piece of cloth over the grease spot.

FRAGRANCE: Essential oils. You need a lot to cover the smell of vinegar…eucalyptus works well in small doses, though.

Fabric Brightener:

1. Add a 1/2 c. of BS to the wash when you add your regular liquid detergent. The BS has been known to give you whiter whites, brighter brights, and odor free clothing.
2. LINENS: Add ½ c to wash w/old, age-stained linens
1/2 cup of lemon juice to the rinse cycle
Fabric Softener:
1. ½ c. VG in the rinse cycle. Breaks down detergent.
2. And Odor remover: ½ c. BS in the rinse cycle.
Stain Remover (Clothes):

1. Rub a paste of 6T of BS and 1/2 c warm W onto stained clothing before laundering. Be sure to check for colorfastness first.
2. BX and W
Acids: Drain Opener, Battery Acid, Toilet Cleaner, VGomit, Urine: Quickly rinse acid spills and then sprinkle BS on your clothing to neutralize the acid and prevent damage to your clothing.
Blood Stains: BS rubbed onto a dampened blood stain can help lift the stain from the fabric.
Crayons in the Wash: Crayons accidentally washed with clothing, there may still be hope. Rewash in the hottest W allowable for the fabric, adding a 1/2 box to a box of BS.
Fruit/Wine Stains: Treat immediately, in a hurry, pour a little BS on, and then later run hot W through the back of the stain.
Sweat: A BS paste. Rub onto the clothing. Tough stains may need to let the paste sit for 1-2 hours before laundering.
Vomit: BS.

using a soft cloth, clean with a solution of cream of tartar and W. brass or bronze: polish with a soft cloth dipped in lemon and baking-soda solution, or VG and salt solution.
Brass, copper and aluminum: Paste of LJ and cream of tartar
Chrome: polish with baby oil, VG, or aluminum foil shiny side out.
Copper: soak a cotton rag in a pot of boiling W with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 c. VG. Apply to copper while hot; let cool, then wipe clean. For tougher jobs, sprinkle BS or LJ on the cloth before wiping.
Gold: clean with toothpaste, or a paste of salt, VG, and flour.
1. Line a pan with aluminum foil and fill with W; add a tsp. each of BS and salt. Bring to a boil and immerse silver. Polish with soft cloth.
2. Aluminum foil, BS, Salt, Very hot W (boiling, maybe). Combine in clean sink. Put tarnished silver and silver-plated items in and let set a few min. Watch tarnish disappear, reappear on foil. Natural chemical reaction kids love & teaches them science!

Air Fresheners:
Commercial fresheners coat nasal passages to diminish sense of smell.
1. Absorbtion: BS or VG with LJ in small dishes absorbs odors around the house. Houseplants help. Prevent cooking odors by simmering VG (1 Tb in 1 c. W) while cooking.
2. Vanilla: Soak vanilla in cotton ball place in car or anywhere. Reported to even remove skunk smell.
3. Ventilation: Open windows or doors in the house for at least a short period every day. This will also help to reduce toxic fumes that may be building up indoors.
4. Potpourri: Make your own potpourri from your
favorite herbs and spices. Place the potpourri in a small
basket or jar or in small sachet bags. Boil for more effect.
5. Sprays: Mix water and your favorite essential oils in a spray container. Freshens clothes, air, etc.

Odor Removers:
a.) Sprinkle the carpet with a mixture of 1 cup Borax and 2 cups cornmeal. Let this mixture stand for an hour before vacuuming. b.) Use baking soda in same way.
General: BS.
Garbage: Put at bottom of garbage in newspaper to soak smells.
Laundry Hamper: BS at bottom of bag or BS sachets.
Musty Smell: Try mopping an uncarpeted floor/shelf with one gal warm W, 1/2 c. of VG, and 1/4 c. of BS.
Refrigerator: Put a box there. Wash w/BS & W. Sprinkle in bins.
Shoes: Sprinkle BS.
Baking Soda: Soaks up musty smells in fridge, garbage, etc.


1. 2 p. olive oil, 1 p. LJ.
Mix together in a clean new spray bottle. Use another clean cloth to polish the surface dry.
2. Mix three p olive oil and one part vinegar.
1. Banana Peel
2. Olive oil with a few drops of LJ can be applied to shoes with a thick cotton or terry rag. Leave for a few min; wipe and buff with a clean, dry rag.

4 Responses to "Green clean"

WOW! You must be getting a lot more sleep these days! AWESOME!

Hydrogen peroxide is AMAZING at getting blood out of clothes. Just pour it on and watch the blood bubble away!

Kara – yes, actually, Julia has been sleeping pretty well, plus now that I’m back online, I’ve starting to do all this research I’ve been wanting to do for a while.

Ambre – Dude, I love hydrogen peroxide! Makes your teeth bright, helps with mouth sores. Also, rubbing alcohol does a great job on making the bathroom/kitchen facet really shiny and pretty.

My main cleaners are baking soda, vinegar, and castile soap. I purchased Dr. Bronner’s lavender castile soap, as lavender essential oil has natural antibiotic properties. I use diluted vinegar as an all-purpose cleaner. To clean the toilet I sprinkle baking soda in the bowl and spray on some vinegar and let it sit for awhile before scrubbing. And to clean the tub and other surfaces I make a paste of the castile soap and baking soda, very similar to Soft Scrub, which was a favorite cleaner of mine pre-green cleaning.

Are you using the baking soda/borax mix in your dishwasher? We did for quite awhile, but I felt like it didn’t clean as well, and now that I can get the phosphate free green Palmolive stuff, I have a hard time switching back. The great thing about using the homeade cleaners is that they are basically pennies!
And I agree about the H202! it’s great stuff!

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