Friday, June 5, 2009

#56: Try 3 new, green cleaning methods

I've been working on my 85 in 850, but this is the first I've posted about completing something from that list. One of my personal goals is to become more 'green.' Not only will I be helping the planet, I will also be helping my bank account. You see, I've researched ways to use ordinary household items to clean. I won't have to waste, I mean spend money on the over priced products at the store.

One thing that can be found in (almost) any house is baking soda. It not only deodorizes the refrigerator, it can be used with some water to clean the oven, and in my case the kitchen counter. You see, we still live in an apartment that has laminate counter tops. It is always getting stains, always. This picture doesn't do the situation justice. You can barely see the spot here. Believe me, it is obvious in person.

I sprinkled a little baking soda on the spot and used a wet dishcloth to clean. Viola! No more stain. (Sorry I didn't post an after picture, but it would have just been white)

I've also found the power of vinegar. I know, I know, the smell isn't the most pleasant, but it isn't too bad. You can add essential oils to help with the smell (recommended especially if you're cleaning before company comes over). I use a mixture of 1/2 vinegar 1/2 water in a spray bottle. It's a great surface cleaner for hard surfaces (mostly the counter top). My dad said that it should kill germs, too, because the vinegar is acidic (I'll do more research on this). It also worked to clean the hard water spots on a shower curtain in our guest bathroom.

I also use white vinegar to clean our towels. That musty smell that you never can seem to get rid of vanishes when vinegar is used. I use a cup of vinegar (sometimes 1.5 cups) and hot water. That's it. It doesn't work if you use detergent, etc. It's better for the environment, and colored towels than bleach. The combo of hot water and the acidity of the vinegar is sufficient enough to fully clean, and oust the smell. The best part is, the rinse cycle rids the towels of the vinegar smell. No additional washing necessary. I use fabric sheets when drying, but that's it. One of our friends does this and doesn't use the fabric sheet in the dryer and her towels do not smell.
I was told that this washing only needs to be done once a month or so (whenever you think your towels are starting to smell), the rest of washes can be done normally. We've gotten into the habit of using hot water and vinegar every time.

The best part of these methods is that they don't take extra effort/time. I love being able to help the environment and save money (which is always a plus in this economy). Just because I've checked this off of my list does not mean that I'm finished being 'green.' I plan on continuing to find better, more efficient ways to clean the house.


  1. interesting...thanks for sharing!

  2. I just found your blog on 20sb - what good tips! I've heard of using baking soda, but the towels/vinegar idea is new to me. I'll have to try it out!
    Good luck on your 850...I'm doing something similar (101 in 1001). I just love crossing things off lists :)