10 Green Cleaning Tips


By: , – Kelsey MacArthur, Family Circle
  :  13 comments   :  8,701 Views

These eco-friendly tips (and some elbow grease) will help you clean your home inexpensively.
  1. For fresh-smelling clothes, hang laundry on an outdoor clothesline and let the sunshine dry it. (To prevent fading, turn garments inside out.)
  2. There's no need to polish wood furniture every week, says Ellen Sandbeck, author of Organic Housekeeping(Scribner). Dusting with a dry, lint-free cloth will do. Polish with butcher's wax once or twice a year.  
  3. Nix stains from whites by dabbing spots with a mixture of one part borax and six parts water.
  4. Table salt is all you need to remove baked-on food from inside the oven. Cover the area with salt while the oven is still warm. After it cools, scrape the food away and wipe with a damp sponge.
  5. "Floors are the dirtiest surfaces," says Linda Mason Hunter, author of Green Clean (Melcher Media). Her floor plan? A no-shoes-indoors policy and damp mopping once a week with 1 gallon water mixed with 1/8 cup liquid soap and 1/8 cup white vinegar.
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What natural products do you use for cleaning? What tips will you try?

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    Salt and cold water can be used to soak fabrics stained with blood before washing... here is more about the process: www.domesticcleaningtips.co.uk/how-
    / - 12/10/2012   7:17:45 AM
  • 12
    baking soda, for many different things. I wish I could by it in bulk. - 11/9/2011   1:52:14 PM
  • 11
    No shoes doesn't work for me - I have dogs and cats in the house. The dogs are walked and go outside to do their "business", and I don't wipe their feet when they come in. The cats have litter boxes - which they stand in to use, therefore tracking that in the house. - 11/9/2011   6:59:38 AM
    While hanging laundry outside might save energy, it can aggravate allergies. Airborne pollen becomes attached to clothing, sheets & towels while they're haning on the line. Not to mention particulates from air pollution. If you have allergies or respiratory problems, you're better off using your dryer.

    As for no shoes in the house, keep a pair of slippers near the door where you come in, or sneakers or other footwear that you only wear indoors. Change into them as soon as you come into the house.

    I only use vinegar and water to clean my tile floors, or a steamer. The first time I used vinegar and water on them, I was amazed at how much better they looked than when I used regular cleaners. The vinegar and water solution removed all the built-up haze from the previous cleaners.

    Dusting with a dry duster simply spreads the dust around and into the air. I dampen a clean microfiber wipe & use that to pick up all the dust. I don't use any wax or other dusting spray on my furniture. - 11/8/2011   11:40:59 PM
  • 9
    kOOL! - 11/8/2011   2:06:59 PM
    I also wear shoes inside but not the same ones I wear outside. And my favorite cleaning product is vinegar. Not only will it kill germs but it is safe with my pets (3 litter trained bunnies who have the run of the den and laundry room). - 11/8/2011   1:28:10 PM
  • NJ_HOU
    I wax furniture once a month, i use 'the original bee's wax' or make my own. Just want people to know I've shipped my furniture from Texas to Tawian and Texas to Germany and gone through the flood waters of IKE ..... the real wood had no problems
    just replaced the upholstery on chairs and couches... this worked from foyer shrank(large wardrobe) to 14 piece dining room set from the 1840's to current curio cabinets and book cases as long as real wood through and through. . I also agree with AGASSIFAN , I use vinegar and water to clean most floors including marble and parquet. Great tips ... - 11/8/2011   12:28:40 PM
  • JEAN_W_1960
    Thank you for the article. I'll look for butcher's wax, it's a new product to me. I'll also try the table salt for cleaning and borax plus water for whites. I use Seventh Generation Free & Clear Dish Liquid and Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Detergent. I've only recently started using them and they seem to work fine. The shoes have to stay on, my arches need the support. When I go shoeless my feet hurt. Also I always laugh when I read advice to hang your clothes outdoors to dry. The air in our city is not clean, plus my husband and I have airborne allergies! In any case, we aren't allowed to hang clothes outside to dry in our community, which is a really poor policy for those without allergies. Anyway, the clothes get dried in the dryer. Some clothes I don't want to shrink and those with elastic dry on clothes lines in the laundry room. - 11/8/2011   9:04:08 AM
  • 5
    I wear shoes in my house but just not ones I wear outside. If people realized how much "crap" they drag indoors they would never wear shoes inside.....hmmm ever see people spitting on the sidewalk, dogs pooping and peeing, etc etc. All that is on the bottom of your shoes plus lots more. - 11/8/2011   8:48:07 AM
    the no shoes policy is hard for me...shoes support my broken ankle and we have hardwood floors:( I just sweep everyday....just sharing bc sometimes no shoes policies are hard to follow! - 11/8/2011   8:38:42 AM
    Thanks for the helpful,green,cost effective cleaning tips. I got to get some baking soda and kitchen! - 11/8/2011   8:35:03 AM
  • 2
    For an easy-to-clean oven and stove top, sprinkle with baking soda, then mist with water. Let soak, wipe clean. I love to use baking soda to shine my Kitchen sink too. - 11/8/2011   8:27:39 AM
  • 1
    Vinegar & water ... works for a number of cleaning chores ... especially good at getting rid of problem odors in fabrics and rugs....de-gooping your coffee maker or dishwasher, etc. - 11/8/2011   7:41:46 AM

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