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DIY Cleaning Recipes

DIY Cleaning Recipes
Maybe you've heard your mom or grandmother tout the benefits of "vinegar and a little elbow grease," or maybe you're just tired of spending $6 for a bottle of household cleaner that's 90% water. Either way, in a recent Twitter chat, Green Team members mentioned that they'd love more info on eco-friendly DIY recipes they can try at home. So, you ask, we deliver! Here are five cleaning recipes from trusted friends around the web. Do leave a comment and let us know if you have another favorite recipe you swear by, or if there's a tricky cleaning area you're struggling with, and need an eco answer.

Clean Laundry, Straight Up: This one definitely caused a little stir! A Twitter chat participant said she swears by vodka as a way to freshen her laundry. We did a little research and sure enough, it sounds like if you put vodka in a spray bottle and use a few spritzes on clothes between washes, the alcohol will kill the bacteria (rest assured, the vodka odor evaporates so you won't end up at a work meeting smelling like last night's bar).

Mirror, Mirror: It's hard to say how many people still receive a hard copy of the day's newspaper at their door, but maybe you still get the Sunday paper? If that's the case, The Daily Green says that a spray bottle filled with vinegar and water (2 tablespoons white vinegar to every gallon of water) makes the perfect clean window concoction. The trick? Instead of a rag or paper towel, you'll get the best results if you scrub with newspaper. We recommend making sure your loved ones have read their section of the paper before it gets turned into your cleaning tool.

Kid-Approved: This trick is sure to get the kids interested in cleaning. EcoFriendlyCleaning.org has a recipe for unclogging drains the natural way. Other than not having to deal with toxic chemicals, the added bonus is a fun science experiment that'll have your kids begging to help clean. First, pour half a cup of baking soda down the clogged drain, then wash it down with liquid mixture made from one cup white vinegar and the juice of half a lemon. You should get a fun, volcano-like foaming eruption - enjoy this, and let it flow for a few minutes. Lastly, pour a gallon of hot water down the drain and voila!

For Furniture (or a Fennel Salad): When it comes to keeping your nice wood furniture polished, there's a simple recipe you can use with items found in your pantry (in fact, you can make extra and use it on a salad for dinner!). Mix equal parts olive oil and vinegar, and then massage into the wood with a soft cloth. Healthy Child Healthy World also recommends using food-grade linseed oil, often called omega-3 or flaxseed oil. 

If you've tried this recipes and loved them or have more to share, let us know in the comment section below!
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  • By gep23pin on Apr 07, 2012 at 11:29am

    Like the "clean laundry" tip above.... get a pump-type "mister" and fill it with hydrogen peroxide. Use it instead of chemical deodorants. The hydrogen peroxide kills the bacteria that cause odors, without leaving behind chemical residues.

  • By retiredusar on Apr 04, 2012 at 5:41pm

    I use equal parts of water and vinegar with a little lemon to clean the soap film in the shower every week. It does the job and it's much cheaper than chemical cleaners.

  • By 6488jane on Apr 03, 2012 at 8:31am

    For a dog with chronic ear infections - Mix equal parts of cider vinegar and distilled water. Put 1 dropper full in each ear once a day for 10 days. It changes the PH balance in the ear and the infection will not return.