I’ve been stuck in green hell making my own choice of cleaning, bath & beauty products for over *20 yrs. now. My mom says I’m the greenest person she knows. I cloth diapered both my kids. I recycle. I compost, mulch & give food scraps to the chickens. I hang my laundry out on the clothesline in good weather. We pull weeds. Don’t spray. We grow a drought tolerant landscape. We wash the windows with vinegar & newspaper.
(GH) Automatic dishwasher soap
1 cup arm & hammer washing soda
1 cup 20 mule team borax
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
Measure & mix all ingredients together
Store in a sealed container
Use 1/2 T. per washing cup
I love to use this and have with success for several years now. I read to use vinegar in the rinse for sparkling dishes. But be aware! If you have a polished stainless steel dishwasher-the vinegar will etch the surface! If your dishes come out cloudy, you are using too much powder. You only need exact tablespoon measure! I know it seems like too little but it’s not. If you have used conventional powders for a long time, you might want to run an empty load with the new powder to clean the surfaces of any residue. Conventional powders can have toxic chemicals including chlorine & perfumes in them. Sure, they get the dishes clean & smell good, but to what expense of our health, safety & environment? If you are chronically ill, have had an organ transplant or have a serious disease such as cancer, it is advised to not use conventional powders for they pose a hazard to ‘at risk’ & environmentally sensitive or allergic people. The vapors that arise in the air from the hot steam carries these chemicals into our bodies & environment. If you are undergoing chemotherapy, it is advised not to use conventional dishwasher powders. My recipe above is as safe as it can get without sacrificing the needed cleaning power.
I hate the thought of doing the dishes! Once I get started I surrender but I hate the thought! GREEN HELL!
(GH) All purpose surface cleaner
Put into a 32 oz. spray bottle:
1 tsp. 20 mule team Borax
1/2 cup hot water
Stir until dissolved. Add:
2 T. white vinegar
2 oz. liquid soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s peppermint)
Top off with cool water. Use/spray liberally on all washable surfaces.
Optional: add 20 drops of rosemary, eucalyptus or lavender essential oil.
I use this on the linoleum & painted wood floors, walls, sinks, stove, toilet, bathtub, toys, outdoor furniture, any surface that can be washed/wiped clean! It smells great, cleans & disinfects odors, germs, molds & bacteria.
I have also used this with the wet jet type mops. Only it’s the Clorox mop that has a screw off lid/refillable container so I recommend buying that one. The other brand has the lid welded on the bottle making it a throwaway product that is not refillable, therefore an environmental liability, so screw them & don’t buy bullshit wetjet. You can use pliers, screwdrivers & other tools and gouge yourself up trying to open it to refill but I don’t recommend. Buy the Clorox mop kind if you don’t use rags with your feet like I usually end up doing.
To Use-I dilute the all purpose spray solution by 1/2 with water to clean the floors.
Optional-use a piece of fleece or old washcloth cut to fit the mop head so it can washed/reused. Use scraps of fleece with the dusting mops too!
If my floors are clean I worry much less about the rest of the clutter around the house.
(GH) Liquid Laundry Soap
1/3 bar Fels Naptha laundry soap, grated
6 cups water
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax
Grate FN soap. If using a food processor, use the steel blade to cut the grate fine to help it dissolve faster. Heat 6 cups water and soap in a large pan with a lid until dissolved, stirring occasionally. Stir in washing soda and Borax. Mix and heat until dissolved. Bring to a boil. Simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat. In a 3 or 5 gallon bucket, add 1 quart of hot water, then add the soap mixture. Mix well. Add enough cold water to make a 2 gallon mixture. Mix until well blended. I have a stick blender I use just for soaping. Let sit 24 hours. Use 1/2 cup for top loading machines and 1/4 cup for front loading. Makes 2 gallons. Approx. $ .40 per gallon = $ .01 a load.
Notes: Stir before each use as this soap may separate. It can be stored in a liquid detergent bottle. Just shake it up each time you use it. This detergent won’t suds up in the washer, but it is still getting your clothes clean. If you see suds, it may be removing detergent residue from your clothes & machine. (A good thing!) Works great with hot, warm or cold water wash. If you have extra hard water the soap may not clean as well. Add 1/2 cup baking soda to the load to help soften the water, which boosts your cleaning power. Use 1/2 to 1 cup distilled white vinegar as a fabric softener in the rinse. Chemicals used in fabric softeners & dryer sheets have been found in breast tumors.
Use a ball of foil in the dryer to eliminate static electricity. One ball can be used for several loads until it has to be replaced. Most of our clothes are natural fibers except for the fleece we use, which I like to hang dry. Fleece come out of the wash almost dry as it is. Never use high heat dryer setting for poly fleece.
I know you can just go to the store & buy laundry soap! But what’s the fun in that?
One of my favorite environmentally friendly cleaning products is Bon Ami scouring powder. Unlike most scouring powders, Bon Ami doesn’t have chlorine bleach in it. My sink was so bad, it’s an old white porcelain, that not even the oxy-clean stuff could whiten it! I tried some Bon Ami as a last ditch effort to make it look a little nicer and VOILA! it worked better than chemical cleaners & is safe. You can make your own soft scrub Bon Ami liquid by carefully mixing the powder with enough water or vinegar to make a paste. Use as you would scouring powder to clean sinks, tubs and other surfaces that need a little more scouring action.
Weak sponge gives all the punch clean you need.
If all else fails and you can’t get stubborn stains, grime and dirt off of surfaces, try one of the magic eraser type sponge cleaners or the knockoff version. These flimsy little sponges pack a powerful punch. They crumble right under your fingertips as you use them but as they do they ever so sweetly take the dirt with them as they go! I used one on the old white, 50’s style dining room table and chairs that came with the house we bought. The chairs were decades filthy! I just could not get the last of the dirt trapped in the texture off the vinyl seats. I used brushes and rags & regular sponges and bleach wipes. A slap down of lashings with a couple boxes of these extraordinary sponges and the chairs looked practically as good as the day they were made! Just be sure and read manufacturer instructions. These are not to be used on shiny surfaces as etching and dullness may occur. Use as directed.
Standards of cleanliness can be found using soap, baking soda, borax, vinegar & other inexpensive, easily attainable, safe ingredients. We can have safe products that work for very little cost to you or the living things on this planet. Quit polluting the planet with over priced, under feared chemicals laden with toxic perfumes. Just say no! Perfume will not make a dirty house smell better. Clean it!
Lastly & mostly, Dull women have immaculate houses. Nobody comes to see your house, they come to see you! So take it easy on yourself & use products you don’t mind crawling into the bed, bath & laundry or onto the floor, closet & drawers with and still respect you in the morning.
*Laura mastered cleaning at the age of 27 and has only dabbled in it as a hobby since.