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.