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Good Living at Home

Green Clean: 20 Nontoxic Ways to Get the House Spic and Span

By Janeen Lewis | Contributor

What if the microwave cleaned itself, the shower never grew mold or stains disappeared from white clothing? The following green cleaning hacks deliver the look and fresh feeling of a spic and span house without harsh chemicals or hard work. In fact, some of these tricks are so effortless, parents can relax and enjoy some self-care time! Or, since there are no caustic cleaners, children can help. Either way, spring cleaning will be a breeze.

Kitchen

1. Remove dried on food particles from the microwave without scrubbing. Place two lemon halves and half a cup of water in the microwave. Heat five minutes. When time is up, wait 15 minutes with the microwave door shut. Open and wipe with a dry cloth. Watch baked on food slide off.


2. Make a stainless steel sink sparkle by sprinkling baking soda in it. Gently scrub, then rinse away. Soak dish rags in white vinegar and place in your sink and on the faucets. Wait 15 minutes, then wipe out the sink. The vinegar will remove water spots and leave the sink shiny.


3. Line the bottom of the kitchen garbage can with newspaper to soak up spills and catch food scraps. 


4. Cover refrigerator shelves with food wrap. When there is a spill, peel away the food wrap. No more scrubbing sticky spots out of the fridge. 


5 Put warm water and a few drops of dish liquid in a dirty blender. With the lid on, turn on blender. Dump the dirty water, rinse, and presto! You’re done. 

Bathroom

6. Disinfect the toilet by sprinkling baking powder in the bowl. Scrub the bowl and under the rim with a toilet brush at night before going to bed. Pour in a cup of white vinegar causing a foaming action. While you sleep, let the vinegar and baking soda do the work! Flush in the morning. 

7. Keep mildew from growing in a clean shower by wiping it down with a dry hand towel after each use, saving hours of scrubbing later. For a dirty shower, mix equal parts white vinegar and dish washing liquid and use a sponge to gently scrub the shower with the mixture, then rinse. However, don’t use vinegar on marble or natural stone.


8. Hate mildew on your plastic shower curtain liner? Wash it in the gentle cycle of your washing machine on warm and hang to dry. To keep mildew from growing back, spray the liner with equal parts of water and vinegar.


9. Clean crusty bathroom faucets by soaking cleaning rags with white vinegar. Wrap the rags around the faucets and wait 30 minutes. Scrub hardened water deposits away gently with a toothbrush and rinse. 

Floors

10. Add one-half cup of white vinegar to half a gallon warm water to mop your kitchen floor. Don’t like the smell of vinegar? Add a few drops of essential oil to the water. Again, don’t use vinegar on natural stone or marble, and test an inconspicuous area before mopping a hardwood floor.

Windows

11. Clean blinds by making a solution with equal parts water and vinegar. Spray or soak some of the solution on an old sock and wipe the blinds with it.


12. Forget scrubbing – use a squeegee to clean windows and mirrors. Put a squirt of dish washing liquid in approximately half a bucket of water. Use a sponge to apply the soapy water. Squeegee off for streak-free windows.

Furniture and Fixtures

13. Use squeegees to remove embedded pet hair from furniture and carpets.


14. Use your iron to get out unsightly water rings on furniture! Empty all the water out of the iron and put on high. Cover the water stain with a white pillowcase. Move the hot iron back and forth over the pillowcase. The spot will disappear.


15. Trap dust rather than relocate it with a Microfiber mitt. When done, toss the mitt in the washer, but don’t use fabric softener on it.


16. Dust fan blades with a pillowcase. Pull the pillowcase over the entire fan blade and wrap tightly. Pull down and off the blade. The dust clumps will be trapped in the pillowcase instead of falling through the air. 

Laundry

17. Stubborn stains on your favorite white outfit? Wash and hang the garment out to dry in the sun for a few hours. The sun will bleach the stain and brighten dingy whites. This also works on colored fabric, but don’t leave it in the sun too long because the colors will fade.

Air Freshening

18. Instead of using air commercial air fresheners with strong perfumes, steam fresh ingredients in a pan on the stove or in a potpourri burner or small crockpot. Add a little water and then throw in your favorite scents like cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans, fresh thyme or mint, cloves or eucalyptus.

Toys

19. Wash dishwasher safe plastic toys in the dishwasher using an eco-friendly detergent. 


20. Dust dirty stuffed animals with baking powder and put in a pillowcase for an hour. Remove the stuffed animals and vacuum with an attachment tool. Voila! The baking powder deodorizes the toys and soaks up oily spots.

Once the house is spotless in record time, relax, have a latte, and get outside in the spring sunshine!

Green Clean Supply List
These supplies are often used in green cleaning methods and are good to keep on hand.

Natural Ingredients:
Lemons
Baking Soda
White Vinegar
Dishwashing Liquid
Distilled Water
Essential Oils

Tools:
Sponges
Newspaper
Microfiber Mitt
Squeegee
Glass Spray Bottle
Old Socks
Pillowcase

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