sparkling clean green tips….

Some of the other bloggers I read have been sharing their green tips, so I thought I would make my contribution as well.

I started making some of my homemade cleaning products when I had a really bad reaction to some oven cleaner a few years ago and started to really think about the chemicals I was exposing my body to. Since then I have gone a bit crazy and am now making almost all my cleaners myself. Of course, it is also much cheaper which is an added benefit for cheapskates like Stephen and me=) Here are a few of my favorite recipes:

All purpose kitchen/bathroom cleaner. This is seriously good stuff. I pulled out my oven the other day and used it on the six-month-old, dried-on blackberry jam goo that dripped down between the oven and the cabinets when I was going through a canning phase last summer (hey, I’m being honest here=). Just sprayed it on, waited a couple of minutes and wiped it right off. Seriously. Spray on a bathtub, sprinkle with a bit of borax powder or baking soda as an abrasive, and scrub to remove soap scum. It also works surprisingly well for an on-the-spot ant killer (don’t ask) and keeps them from returning for a couple of days:
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup Dawn dish washing soap
2 TBS. Borax
4 c. hot water
dissolve borax in the hot water, add all remaining ingredients to a 32oz. spray bottle

Window/glass cleaner:
One part white vinegar to 10 parts water in a spray bottle. Use a squeegee instead of paper towels.

Low-sudsing laundry soap:
1/3 bar of Zote Soap, grated (I find mine at Dollar General-super cheap!)
1/2 cup washing soda (not baking soda!)
1/2 cup borax (both can be found in the laundry aisle, are cheap, and go a loooong way)

Add the soap and 6 cups of water to a saucepan, heat until melted. Now add washing soda and borax and stir until dissolved. Pour 4 cups of hot water into a large bucked, then add the soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon+six cups more water and stir. Some people add a couple drops of essential oils for fragrance. Let the mixture sit overnight to gel (it won’t be a solid gel-that’s okay) This should make about 2+ gallons of detergent. Put it in old detergent bottles for handy measuring and use about 1/2 cup per load. If you hang half your laundry, or even just a load now and again to dry, (I always hang sheets and blankets) you are doing even more for the environment.

phosphate free Dishwasher detergent:
1 cup borax (see, lots of uses!)
1 cup washing soda
2 packets of unsweetened lemonde drink mix (citric acid)

mix. use 2-3 Tbs. per wash. If you have really hard water, or see a film on your glasses, try adding a bit of vinegar to the rinse.

Ant Bait:
Okay, this one IS TOXIC, but not nearly as much as what you might buy in the store, and there are no fumes. It is also the ONLY thing I have found that helps with our awful ant situation. The actually take it back to the nest and destroy the colony *there are many kinds of ants, if this does not work, adjust the ratio slightly and try again. It needs to be strong enough to kill them, but not so strong that they die before they take it back to their nest*
1 cup hot water
2 cups sugar
2 Tbs. Boric Acid (Find in your local drugstore)

Dissolve the boric acid and sugar in the water. Soak a few cotton ball in the mixture and place them on plastic milk jug caps around the foundation of your house (or where ever you have a problem) Sore the rest of the solution (this lasts forever!) in a lidded containter labled POISON. If you have pets, put the cotton balls in plastic containers with holes punched in them so ants can get in but your pet can’t. There will be MASSES of ants for a couple of days (resist the urge to kill them!), then none. pick up the cotton balls and you have no more poison around either. I go through this treatment once every 1-2 months or so in the spring and summer to keep the pavement ants that live under our concrete foundation at bay. It was just awful before I figure out this trick. We seriously tried EVERY store bought concoction possible, even the awul, fumey, highly toxic ones and had pretty much decided that we have some sort of mutant ants here….

I’m sure I have a few more recipes around here, but right now I need to go mix this year’s first batch of ant bait. They found the cat food dish this morning….. uhgggggg!


6 thoughts on “sparkling clean green tips….

  1. Thanks for sharing! I already make an all-purpose cleaner similar to yours, but I’ve never heard of that recipe for dish detergent. I’m definitely going to give it a try!

    And congrats on your dossier. It is a big accomplishment, but I understand your feelings. Here’s hoping for the best!

  2. Wow – those are great tips! I admire your dedication. My husband and I are also working on being more green and these seem like great ideaS! And cheap, which we definitely are!

  3. Wow what great cleaners/killers! It sounds like those will help me out, I have been looking for ways to cut the bills lately and that looks like part of the way and help me be kinder to our planet!

  4. Thanks! I always love learning new ways to be more green. However, I just got back from a local farm store and picked up some Boric Acid. The concoction is made and now we wait! Hopefully soon the ants will be gone!

  5. Hello I just entered before I have to leave to the airport, it’s been very nice to meet you, if you want here is the site I told you about where I type some stuff and make good money (I work from home): here it is

  6. Thanks for the post on green cleaning! I’ve been thinking about trying the new Clorox brand stuff to go more green – but I like your recipes better! Will make up some when I’ve used up what I have.
    Also so excited that you got to go camping with your sisters! The pics looked great!
    XOXO – Melissa

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