Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Keeping Cleaning Clean And Green

Welcome Karla!  And thank you!

Karla is the owner and editor of Classy and Fabulous.

When I visited Karla's blog I felt like I was home.  We are both about living well and seek to share a myriad of ways to do so.  You are in for a treat so just enjoy this guest post in honor of Earth Day Week.

Hello 'Healthier and More Prosperous Living' readers! I am honored to be a guest blogger today at Sandra's lovely blog. We met last week when I did a guest post for Karen of Strictly Simple Style and she kindly asked me if I'd love to contribute to her blog for Earth week. We both share a love for health as well as all things green and planet-friendly. Thank you for having me Sandra!

Today I'll be sharing some green cleaning recipes and tips with you. There are so many easy changes we can make on a daily basis to not only keep our family's safe and free from toxins but also respect the environment too. When it comes to cleaning products, we aren't limited to mass-produced chemical-filled options, some of the best solutions come from nature with the most simple of ingredients, often things you might have in you kitchen already.

3 Powerful & Simple Ingredients:

1. Lemons

2. Baking Soda

3. Distilled White Vinegar

Here's How you can use these Ingredients:

Fabric Softener

Since most fabric softeners contain toxic ingredients that often cause lung irritationm, skin allergies and asthma, try something a little different. Use 1/8 cup of white vinegar in your rinse cycle for great results that will never leave your clothes feeling coated and won't irritate your skin. Don't worry-your clothes won't smell like pickles- I promise! Make sure you are using Distilled white vinegar, not malt or apple cider vinegar. The static cling comes from mixing natural and synthetic fabrics in the dryer. You can add a fragrance-free dryer ball into the dryer to keep clothes static-free.

Dishwasher Rinse Aid

Vinegar has yet another wonderful use and that is getting your dishes sparkling clean! Yes, that's right, just pour vinegar into your dishwasher's rinse aid dispenser and it will keep them clean and spot-free.

Carpet Deodorizer

Use baking soda as a carpet deodorizer, especially if you have pets. Sprinkle some onto the carpet, let is sit for about 15 mins and then vacuum it up.  Baking soda absorbs odors in your fridge/freezer and it will do the same for your carpet and rugs too! You could always mix a few drops of essential oil such as peppermint, lemon or orange into the baking soda before sprinkling for extra freshness. 

Shower Mildew Preventer

They say vodka is a natural mildew preventer. I don't know about you, but that sounds like an expensive way to clean! There is another natural alternative though. Vinegar will do the trick. I keep a spray bottle filled 3 parts vinegar, 1 part water and spray the shower after each use, especially the chrome. It keeps it shiny and free from hard water spots. Bonus-it's great for spraying outside your home to detract ants and other annoying insects.

Garbage Disposal Freshener

While little artificial citrus discs are available from the store, wouldn't you rather use something natural to clean and deodorize your garbage disposal with? Use left over citrus rinds or rinds/flesh from squeezed lemons and oranges. Put one or two in with a little water into your disposal and voila, any bad smells will be gone! The citrus is biodegradable and does not contain artificial fragrance, phthalates, etc.

Cutting Board Cleaner

When you have finished using your cutting board whether it be wooden, plastic or glass, always use the flat side of a lemon-half or slice to clean the cutting board afterwards. This is my favorite thing to use after cutting garlic, it takes the potent smell away. It works great on your hands too after handling fish or garlic.

Drain De-Clogger

When drains get a little clogged always check for hair first.Once you've cleaned that out, if your drain is still not working right, use baking soda and vinegar. First pour some baking soda in, maybe about 3 tbsp, then add some white vinegar and try to cover the drain and let it fizz and foam away. Once it sits for about 10-15 mins, pour boiling water (from a kettle or very hot tap) down the drain. It will start dissolving the grime naturally unlike the chemical-laden and poisonous drano-type products that are horrible for the environment.

Window Wash

Use vinegar in a spray bottle and recycled newspaper to clean your windows/mirrors. This is a much more eco-friendly and non-toxic way compared to ammonia-based products.

*For extra elbow grease, add some coarse salt for more scrubbing power! For 1001 great cleaning solutions using vinegar, click HERE.

There is a plethora of great natural products available to you, if you don't feel like mixing and making your own. Try Seventh Generation, Method or Ecover. There are many but those are my three favorite brands. They offer everything from hand soap and dishwasher detergent to dryer sheets and diapers! They can be found online, at a Whole Foods Store or in some cases your local grocery store. If you are a die-hard Lysol fan, a non-toxic alternative is Seventh Generation's 99.9% germ free disinfectant spray which is not harmful to the planet, your family or pets, the key ingredient is Thyme oil using Clean Well technology. I use it for everything and it is completely safe around food as well.

I hope you will try these natural methods so that you can reap the benefits of spring cleaning without worrying about the toxic cloud that will pollute your indoor air quality as well as our waterways, soil and precious fish.

Do you clean naturally? What are your favorite ingredients or products to use?


  1. Thank you Karla! I love this post. Makes me want to go clean....everything! Well, maybe tomorrow! I'm going to paint today. Upcoming show May 21,22. I really like this post because it helps us remember how simple it is to keep our homes really clean without introducing unnecessary toxins. This is the world we are leaving to our children. Let's keep it as clean as we can and think about our actions a little more often. I am surely talking to myself right now as I need the reminders as much as anyone.


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  3. I'm glad you enjoyed the post Sandra! Thank you again for having me as a contributor to your blog. I'm linking up to this post via my blog so my readers can discover your blog. :)

    Have a blessed day!

  4. I'm trying to rid myself of commercial cleaners! I'm a neat freak and slight germophobe so it isn't easy!

    The tips you've given are simple and easy to follow. I bought a gallon of vinegar but the smell puts me off. I'm determined to try though!

  5. Thanks Brianna. Baby steps! Works every time.

  6. Brianna,

    Good for you for giving it a go! :) I go through a lot of vinegar in our house, I love spraying down the plastic shower curtain with vinegar. It is a bit strong but it works and kills germs. You can always dilute it a little more with water if it's too strong for you.

    Happy Cleaning,

  7. These are all such inexpensive options too. I'm definitely going to try the vinegar as a dishwasher aid, I'm always ending up with cloudy glasses.

  8. Wow, so many more ideas than I had ever thought of! I will have to try more of these!

  9. Karen and Heather,
    Yes, I agree. Karla has given us, or at least reminded us, of so many ideas to try. Surely we can all make at least one change for the betterment of the environment.

  10. You write a perfect, really, This is the very informative blog. You describe each point deeply and clearly. I like your post. I agree, Use vinegar in a spray bottle and recycled newspaper to clean your windows/mirrors. This is a much more eco-friendly and non-toxic way compared to ammonia-based products.
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