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Jan 28, 2008

By Annie B. Bond, author of Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999).

One of the first questions out of reporters' mouths when they call me is how a consumer can tell what is a truly green product and what isn't? Not easily, especially now that mainstream companies such as Clorox are jumping into the fray with their Green Works line. Why not play it safe with these four best basic formulas that always work?

SIMPLE SOLUTION:  When it comes down to it, do-it-yourself non-toxic cleaning using tried-and-true kitchen cupboard ingredients is still the best green practice. Simple, successful, non-toxic and natural. Here are four great formulas that will never fail you:

Soft Scrub
This superstar formula is as good for cleaning the bathtub as it is for stainless steel appliances and shower stalls.

1/2 cup baking soda
Enough liquid soap or detergent to make a frosting-like consistency
5 drops antibacterial essential oil such as lavender, tea tree oil, or rosemary (optional)

Pour the baking soda in a bowl; slowly pour in the liquid soap or detergent, stirring all the while, until the consistency reaches that of frosting. Scoop the creamy mixture onto a sponge, wash the surface, and rinse.

Window Cleaner
Nothing works as well as this formula for windows, so why look further? Besides, once it is made you can double it up as a great degreaser, especially handy in the kitchen.

1/4 cup vinegar (distilled, white, 5%)
1/2 teaspoon liquid soap or detergent
2 cups of water

Combine in a spray bottle. Shake to blend.

All-Purpose Cleaner
Here you meet the wonders of washing soda (commonly found in the laundry section of the supermarket), and its super heavy-duty alkaline cleaning power.

1/2 teaspoon washing soda
A dab of liquid soap
2 cups hot tap water

Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag.

Deodorizer, Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Vinegar is astonishing as an acidic cleaning powerhouse. Heinz references studies that say vinegar kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of old, and 80 percent of germs.

5 percent straight white distilled vinegar

Pour the vinegar into a spray bottle, and spray directly onto areas to be cleaned or deodorized. Don't rinse!

For more information, read The Five Basics for Non-Toxic Cleaning.

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Posted: Jan 28, 2008 4:52am

 

 
 
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