What we don't want that is found in most store cleaners:
synthetic, nonbiodegradeable surfactants from petroleum derivatives:
reason: harsh on skin bad for environment
dodecylbenzene sulfonate (of either the ammonium or sodium variety)
ethxylated alcohol often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane
reason: toxic carcinogen
reason: can react with nitrites which may be added as undisclosed preservatives.. an form carcinogenic nitrosamines
reason: can have neurotoxic effects
reason: this one wreaks havoc on the environment, especially fish
chlorine bleach...even the fumes a poisonous.
Cleaning can be an exciting experience if you are well prepared...
A word from Building Biologist Jeanie McLoughlin
The Pure Cleaning Theme Song
the cleaning essentials:
1. Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate):
Cleaning benefit: mild scouring powder, neutralizes odor, degreaser.
Point of interest: acid salt, serves as a mild alkali, great for your septic system! (with water is a good scrubber for tiles, sinks, etc.)
(mix 1 teaspoon with detergent to boost its action.)
Cleaning benefits: degreaser, emulsifier, inhibits mold growth.
Point of interest: contains disinfecting properties.(distilled white), Use vinegar in place of bleach,
3. Certified Organic Castile Soap:
Cleaning benefit: contains disinfecting properties, vegetable-oil-based liquid soap. Point of interest: certified organic, safe for all skin types.
(I recommend dr. bronners or vermont soap co.)
4. whole lemons, for a lemony fresh scent! (I recommend yellow)
5. a bottle of club soda
6. Oxygen Bleach Powder or Hydrogen Peroxide (sodium per carbonate):
Cleaning benefit: whitening agent, contains disinfecting properties.
Point of interest: disinfecting properties. Helps remove stains
7. Grapefruit seed extract (available at most natural markets and online)
8. Other Antiseptic Essential Oils:
cinnamon, clove, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, lime, oregano, rosemary, tea tree and thyme.
Essential oils have long been known for their disinfecting properties; many are antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial, and/or antiseptic. Used together with ingredients like baking soda, vinegar and castile soap you have a sure defense against germs in your home.
AND THE HEAVY HITTERS (still safe)
10. Borax (sodium borate): heavy duty alkaline cuts grease with a vengeance
Cleaning benefit: deodorizer, soap booster, stain remover, inhibits mold growth.
Point of interest: naturally occurring mineral. – disinfects
11. washing soda, (wear gloves when working with washing soda, heavy duty alkaline, cuts grease and grime with a vengeance)
The home-made cleaning recipes
General Disinfecting Dream Recipe from Renee Loux's Easy Green Living
1/4 cup vodka, 1/2 cup 3 percent hydrogen peroxide (the drugstore stuff), 5 drops grapefruit seed extract (optional), 10 drops essential oil of lavender (optional) and 5 drops essential oil of lemon (optional). Combine all, mix don't shake. Spray and wipe or spray and let it dry. This will keep indefinitely
Fruit & Veggie Wash:
3 cups filtered water, 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, 2 tablespoon baking soda
mix in spray bottle and voila spray on, scrub and rinse: (Renee Loux, Easy Green Living)
Extra Strength: add 2 tablespoons Lemon Peel concentrate and 4 drops grapefruit seed abstract.
Without Vinegar: scrub organic lemons cut up the zest put in jar with 1 cup of vodka.
Cap and let stand for 2 weeks. strain out the lemon solids. This is a concentrate. To use add 2 tablespoons of this to 1 quart of water put in spray bottle or in bowl for dunking. Rinse produce afterward.
Ovens: baking soda & washing soda
Mix 1 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of washing soda.
Add enough water to make a paste;
Apply the paste to oven surfaces and Let soak overnight.
The next morning, lift off soda mixture and grime.
2 table spoons of baking soda on the bottom of a mucky pot or pan. Add 2 inches or so of hot water and a little squirt of dish soap. Let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes before scrubbing. 1 table spoon baking soda for every 2 inch rise in water. (Renee Loux, Easy Green Living)
extra strength: same as above but add 1/4 cup distilled vinegar. It will foam like mad. Push the mixture around with a wooden spoon to coat the food caked on bottom and sides. Add 2 inches of hot water and a little squirt of dish soap. Let it stand for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing. (Renee Loux, Easy Green Living)
stains on porcelain casserole dishes. powdered oxygen bleach puts muscle into the cleaning. Sprinkle 1 tspoon each of oxygen bleach powder and baking soda in the dish (use 2 teaspoons each for larger dishes or really tough jobs. Fill dish with hot water and swirl to dissolve the powders. Let it stand for 10-15 before scrubbing. (Renee Loux, Easy Green Living)
Tub and tile: baking soda, liquid soap and vinegar
Mix 1 2/3 cup of baking soda,
1/2 cup of liquid soap, and
1/2 of cup water.
As the last step, add two tablespoons of vinegar
(if you add the vinegar too early it will react with the baking soda.)
Immediately apply, wipe and scrub.
Toilet bowl: borax (+vinegar for extra strength)
Pour 1 cup of borax into the toilet before going to bed.
In the morning, scrub and flush. For an extra-strength cleaner,
add 1/4 cup of vinegar to the borax.
Floors: vinegar or borax (add liquid soap for extra cleaning power)
1 cup distilled white vinegar in a gallon of hot water. This can remove sticky residue and kill odors, with no rinsing needed. Or use 1/2 cup borax (like vinegar, a natural disinfectant) and 2 gallons of water. You can add 1/4 cup of any liquid soap for extra cleaning power, but soap should be rinsed....thegoodguide.com
Furniture: olive oil & vinegar
Mix olive oil and vinegar in a one-to-one ratio and polish with a soft cloth.
Windows: vinegar (for extra strength add liquid soap)
Put three tablespoons of vinegar per one quart water in a spray bottle. For extra-dirty windows, try 1/2 teaspoon of liquid soap, 3 tablespoons of vinegar, and 2 cups of water. Shake well.