For a Healthy Home – Clean with Green Products

May 04, 2010

What do lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, baking soda and toothpaste have to do with promoting green products? If you thought of products like Lemon Fresh Joy or Lemon Pledge® you might think that lemon juice is promoted as a miracle cleaner.

You would be partly correct depending on your definition of the word “miracle”, lemon juice is organic and is a great combination solution to be clean with green. So are the other products listed above. Olive oil and lemon juice mixed two parts to one make a great way to spruce up some spruce. This age-old concoction is making a comeback as we get more conscious of our environment. You can also make a cleaning paste by sprinkling baking soda on a lemon cut in half. Use the cut lemon like you would a scouring pad. That is why the good people at SC Johnson promote Pledge® with lemon juice to make you think they can harness its power in an aerosol spray.

Think of lemon juice when you have these household chores:

  • Use lemon juice to shine up some copper and brass.
  • Lemon juice will help eliminate hard water deposits and soap scum.
  • Take the peelings of a whole lemon (or orange) and run it through the garbage disposal to freshen up the drain.

White vinegar has similar cleaning properties, a good substitute for harsh chemical products:

  • Eliminate mold, bacteria and germs with white distilled vinegar.
  • Spray grout with full-strength vinegar and clean with an old tooth brush.
  • Keep the full-strength vinegar in the shower to spray down the walls before each use so hard water droplets won’t stick around.
  • Diluted vinegar will work great on ceramic tile or stone flooring as a cleaning agent.

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, has so many uses in the home we sometimes forget it is used to help release carbon dioxide and make dough rise in baking breads. It’s not uncommon to see a box of baking soda in a refrigerator to ward off evil spirits. By evil spirits I mean anything that smells inappropriate in the refrigerator. A 16 ounce box is less than a dollar and odors can be eliminated in refrigerators if the box is changed every couple of months. Here are some good uses for it as a cleaner and freshener:

  • It can be used as a scouring powder as a paste with water or on a half of lemon as described above.
  • The same paste with water can be used to rub out black heel marks and remove counter-top stains.
  • It works well to clean up grease over-spray on stoves and with a ¼ cup in the laundry will help remove grease from clothes.
  • Eliminate odors on a dry carpet by spreading it over the affected area, letting it dry, then vacuuming to contain the odors in the machine’s bag. You may actually find that the vacuum cleaner smells a little fresher.

You can mix baking soda for other home projects. Pour ½ cup of baking soda, add ½ cup of salt, and follow with boiling water down a drain. Let it sit overnight and flush in the morning to clear clogs in your drain pipes. If your needs are more immediate, mix 1 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of hot vinegar and pour that concoction down your drain. After five minutes of foaming the drain can be flushed with hot water.

Club soda is on every fashionable mother-in-law’s list at weddings. The club soda can be used to clean stains on tuxedoes and wedding gowns. To make an even more favorable impression, the club soda can be used on the hardwood church floors to make it glisten. If more zeal is needed on the wedding day, tooth paste can be used as spackle in a pinch. It can also be used to scrub water spots from wood furniture and crayon marks from non-porous surfaces. No one else may notice, but the pastor might think enough of you to invite you back for every sermon.

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