Posts Tagged ‘Green Cleaning

Green Cleaning – My Wood Floor

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I maybe the only person who has this problem…. But, then again, I have learned to never assume.

 

 

My buddy Pinto has apparently taken a liking to the taste of the dining room floor.  Seriously likes it.  As in, he licks it enough to create this disgusting film on the floor.

 

 

I will never understand beagles and their taste buds.

 

Anyhow, it is unsightly and more than a little gross.  One day,  I was tossing around ideas on how to clean the floor when one of the kids dropped their glass of water.  And when I say kids, I really mean me.

 

Amazingly enough, the water cleaned through that grime like no one’s business.   But, it was still grossing me out.   I wanted to clean it with something stronger than water but it had to be dog & kid friendly.   I was not going to be busting out the Swifter Wet Jet anytime soon.

 

My other concern was the finish of the floor.  We had a water based finish applied when we bought the house 9 years ago.  It was supposed to be more durable than other finishes ( it is still holding up nice.) but I didn’t want to ruin it.

 

My thoughts went right to White Vinegar because it is a mild disinfectant.   And Non-Toxic.  And Cheap.

 

I read a couple of things about vinegar – apparently there are two schools of thought.  Some people like it for cleaning floors  (Non-toxic wonder product!), other people, not so much (it could dull the finish).

 

Throwing caution to the wind, I made a very simple solution which was 1/3 vinegar & 2/3’s water.

 

Success!!!

 

Everyone helps out cleaning the floors – I made it a game with a silly song “Scrub, Scrub, Scrub the Floor, Rub, Rub, Rub and Scrub”.

 

I know – clever!  I am thinking of getting it trademarked…

 

I use the brush only in the hard to clean spots and I don’t scrub hard (I don’t want to ruin the wood).  For the most part, I just spray and wipe.  I sometimes use rags, but it makes them so slimy that I typically just throw it out.

 

I have used this method around a dozen times, every few weeks to months depending on Mr. P and his floor obsession.

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Green Cleaning – Tile Grout

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Ok, the before picture is so utterly embarrassing, but I am posting it anyway.  To my defense, my camera has a million-time zoom.  I swear it did not look this bad while showering or bathing the kiddies.

 

 

Cooper has tried drinking the bathwater often enough that I worry about what I use to clean the tub.  Besides, Otter and Pinto love licking the tub after a bath too.

 

I did some searches online and in a green cleaning book I took out of the library.  Most suggested some sort of mix of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.  Total Deja vou!

 

 

This was a little more work than previous ‘cleaning’ and is certainly is more work than using spray-on scrubbing bubbles.  But it was by no means back breaking labor.

 

I used a damp rag to wet down some of the grout & sprinkled the baking soda on where it would stick (mostly around the edge of the tub).

 

I waited 10-15 minutes and went back to scrub with Craig’s toothbrush.  KIDDING! (or am I????)

 

I mixed together 2 parts baking soda to 1 part hydrogen peroxide and used a little elbow grease.

 

It worked wonders on the tile grout – it cleaned up like it was nobody’s business.  As for the tub caulking – it did a decent job.  Any ‘pink’ mold was taken care of easily.  I had one or two trouble spots I had to really go back to.

 

All in all, definitely an effective way to clean the shower.

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Three Green Ways to Clean Your Windows

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I have three dogs and two children who like to smush their face against my windows.  Daily.

 

 

I almost always have some sort of snout or slobber imprint on my windows.  This gets old very quickly.  I always used Windex, because, isn’t that the thing to do?

 

After reading a Green This!  by Deirdre Imus, I started thinking maybe I shouldn’t use chemicals on a surface that 71.4285% of my family uses like a postage stamp.

 

I tested three different methods and they all worked!!! The Joy!  So, take your pick.  My favorite was choice “C”

 

a)      Good Ol’ White Vinegar.  I put it in a Dollar Store Spray Bottle by mixing  50% water & 50% vinegar & sprayed that bad boy like it was Windex.  The Positive: Got rid of all the streaks and left a nice looking window.  The Negative: I am not a fan of the smell! Yuck!

b)      Seltzer.  Yes, the bubbly stuff.  I was a little confused on how to use it.  Thankfully, when I opened the bottle, all the seltzer fizzled up and out all over the countertop.  I just wiped it up with a rag and then cleaned the window with it.   The Positive: It got the job done with no foul smell.  The Negative: It’s Seltzer!  Was I only supposed to use it when it fizzed?  Do I just drink the open bottle?  I had more questions than answers.

 

c)       Water.  Yes, plain water.  The stuff that comes out of my tap.  Can’t get less expensive than that.  I simply wet a rag and ran it over the windows.   Done.  The Positive: Cheap & Always available.  The Negative:  ?

 

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Green Cleaning – The Kitchen Sink

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Warning – this is not for the faint of heart.

 

Still with me?

 

Ok, you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

 

 

It is embarrassing to admit that this sometimes happens in mi casa.

 

Apparently, unbeknownst to me, there was a clause written into our marriage where my husband does not touch the dishes.   But that is a story for a different post.

 

Anyway,  It would be so much easier if I just rinsed the dishes and immediately put them in the dishwasher.  Come to think of it, the easiest thing to do would be to let the dogs lick the dishes and just put them away…. KIDDING!

 

Either way, after all the dishes are washed or loaded into the dishwasher,  I get a little grossed out with the sink.

 

Instead of using harsh chemicals or stainless steel cleaner, I use my BFF of cleaning products – baking soda.

 

 

I just run the hot water for a bit and then spray the sink down.

 

Then I shut off the water – this is a very important step.  Doofy Dizee strikes again.  Ouch!

 

I sprinkle on some of the white stuff & use a paper towel to scrub a bit.  Sometimes I make a cute design in the baking soda paste .  Then I rinse.

 

Voila, a sparking sink.

 

Until tomorrow! Ugh!

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Library Reading: Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Home

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First off, I am a big fan of Mrs. Meyer’s Products.  (I usually buy them at Target or Fairway)

Their products contain plant-derived essential oils and smell oh-so-pretty.  And, they are cruelty free – which makes my heart happy. 

 

So, imagine my shock when I stumbled on this book in the library (just another reason to love that place).  There is a whole book written by Mrs. Meyer’s!

 

 

First off – she is a real woman who birthed nine kids in ten years in the late 1950’s-1960’s.  She is officially my hero!  The book is full of practical tips on how to clean everything in your home while raising a growing family.

 

Her no-nonsense way of cleaning is great – I am trying to practice some of her advice.  Most notably – keeping up with my chores.  This is my greatest downfall – once I let something go (like matching socks) it grows until it is almost insurmountable. 

 

Almost all  of the recommendations in the book use non-toxic chemicals to achieve cleanliness.  There are charts and advice on cleaning EVERYTHING on your home.  She leaves no stone unturned.

 
Overall, very impressive and I love how she barely mentions her product line!

Can I give three thumbs up?

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Cleaning the Toilet with Baking Soda?

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 Yes, I really did this. 

I am not sure about you, but I get a pink ring of mold growing in my toilet.  It usually starts to appear a day or two after cleaning.  This pink ring is my nemesis.  I did not take a picture – it is gross.

 

Typically, I tackle it with a Scrubbing Bubbles toilet wand which can be of expensive (not to mention dangerous to those in the family who occasionally drink from the toilet). 

It turns the toilet water blue and inevitably, after flushing, I realize I missed a whole section of the toilet.  At that point, I either have to use another tab or jury rig some sort of scrubbing pad.

 

In my on-going attempt to Green My Life, I started wondering if I could use Vinegar and Baking Soda.  Yes, in my toilet.  These are the things that go on in my mind.

 

I did a little poking around on the world-wide-web and people had actually done it before! 

 

Armed with my cleaning cache   – Vinegar, Baking Soda and a scrub brush from the dollar store – I headed to the bathroom.

 

I poured approximately 1 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of baking soda and watched in horror as the concoction started to bubble and I thought it was going to explode out of the toilet. 

 

It didn’t, so I relaxed.  A little.

 

I put the top down on the toilet and let it sit for a half an hour (or so).

 

When I went back, I did a little scrubbing and totally marveled at my clean bowl!!! It did a fantastic job cleaning the porcelain throne.

 

Has anyone else tried this?  I believe I have found my new method of cleaning!

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