Green Clean

February 13, 2009

This weekend, the Living Small house plays host to a pair of overnight guests, and deep clean is in the cards for this fine Friday the 13th. Of course, far from dousing the tiny house in harsh chemicals that fill our lungs and our water pipes, we’re cleaning green — think baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, etc.

So, for those in search of some green grime busters, here’s a primer from Inhabitots, who catalogued a few good recipes:

Window wash: “I am the viper and I’ve come to vipe your vindows!” Mix 3 tablespoons vinegar with 2 cups of water and spray on windows. Vinegar alternative: fresh lemon juice or club soda. If you’re going the soda route, you can use old newspaper to buff the glass; for lemon juicers, Inhabitots recommends a lint-free cloth.

All-purpose disinfectant: No more nasty Lysol! Mix 2 cups water, a few drops of natural soap (like Dr. Bronner’s), and 15 drops each of tea tree and lavender organic essential oil. Spray this on anything — counters, toilets, sinks, floors, walls, your sweetie. (Well, maybe not your sweetie.)

Toilet scrub: Spray the throne with vinegar, lemon juice, or your new all-purpose disinfectant. Then, sprinkle with baking soda. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Scrub with toilet brush. Ta-da!

Oven cleaner: Sprinkle table salt liberally on a hot spill (that is, one that’s new, not one that’s been around for three weeks). Once the oven is cool, sop up the spill with a damp cloth.

Mold fighter: Mold is the state flower of Washington. It is pervasive. To prevent it, mix 2 cups of water and 3 drops of pure organic tea tree essential oil (antiseptic! natural!). Spray walls once per week and wipe dry.

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6 Responses to “Green Clean”

  1. The Choir said

    Nice advice! I thought moss was the Washington State flower, given the green condition of my house’s roof? Maybe Moss and Mold can battle it out ala Alien Vs. Predator? May the greenest one win!

  2. Kissley said

    We use vinegar ’round here, especially on faucets because the water here is mineral-heavy and leaves nasty clump-ups. a shame it’s so stank!

    I wrote about you on my blog, check it out!

  3. Yay! Super helpful – thanks!

  4. Moss and mold — how could I have left one out? Thanks, Choir.

    I do like cleaning things with vinegar, a la you London-folk, Kissley. I love the smell. Saw your post, and responded accordingly.

    You’re welcome, Ali. Hope you can use some of these recipes. And by the way: good luck to you as you round the corner on wedding plans.

  5. [...] 8, 2009 Clean sweeping, of course! I’ve got March Madness re: spring cleaning, and thought I’d share this closet-taming piece from Apartment [...]

  6. hubbit said

    When I decided to ditch chemical-heavy cleaners a little over a year ago, my main implement of destruction became baking soda. You can buy it in bulk in one pound packages here. It’s cheap and super-effective; I’ve used it to remove scale from faucets, “greening” from exposed bathroom pipes, just about any dried/burned spill on the stovetop, pretty much everything short of cleaning glass.

    I live in Chicago where there is a lot of ambient humidity in the summer. Any nickel-plated plumbing pipes will quickly develop large green patches on the outside; these can be removed easily with a baking soda paste.

    I should try the vinegar route for glass cleaning. I’ve been using commercial “green” cleaners for that, but I don’t necessarily trust them…

    BTW, I love your blog!

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