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Old 09-23-2012, 07:17 AM   #1
Elleshoodat
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Budget-friendly green cleaners

We want to make the transition to cleaning our home with green products, but don't know where to start. What have you had success with -- preferably something that's easy on the pocketbook?
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:01 AM   #2
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I use very basic cleaning products, mostly vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and essential oils. It tends to be cheaper than store bought products and I prefer not using a lot of chemicals or unnecessarily anti-bacterial products around the kids and the pets.

There are a bunch of recipes to get started with here: http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-h...leaning-460303 You might also want to check Real Simple magazine's web site. I'm pretty sure the print mag is where a couple of my concoctions came from.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:05 AM   #3
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I use a lot of baking soda, perioxide, vinegar, etc as well (sometimes essential oils too). That being said, I LOVE the trade joe's cedarwood cleaner. Its 2.99 a bottle and its pretty much made of essential oils, etc. I use it on my counter tops (granite) and my bathroom fixtures all of the time.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:12 AM   #4
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In addition to the vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide.....

Citrasolve - its concentrated so you mix it in a bottle. Its a good degreaser, which baking soda or vinegar don't tend to do.

Borax. I use a lot of borax in my house. I barely use detergent in my washer - about a tablespoon, but I use a quarter cup of borax.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:26 AM   #5
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best and simplest spray I have is 1 cup water,1cup white vinegar,1 cup rubbing alcohol. Works on everything, but it's esp. great for stainless steel appliances!
I use it everywhere....my 2nd choice is trader joes green cleaner spray....plus bon ami cleanser or if I'm out of that I use baking soda plus the spray.


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#2 -Trader Joes green spray (2.99 bottle)
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newspaper for windows (with the spray) a scrub brush for the tub,etc. That's it,other than the occasional load of bleach laundry.(white socks)
Wh. Vinegar works great as a rinse aid in dishwasher,and I add a cup to each load of laundry to boost clean and disinfect clothes.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colleen27 View Post
I use very basic cleaning products, mostly vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and essential oils. It tends to be cheaper than store bought products and I prefer not using a lot of chemicals or unnecessarily anti-bacterial products around the kids and the pets.

There are a bunch of recipes to get started with here: http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-h...leaning-460303 You might also want to check Real Simple magazine's web site. I'm pretty sure the print mag is where a couple of my concoctions came from.

This was going to come right out of my mouth but Colleen beat me to it!

I also use Sun and Earth products. I buy them online and use them because they're gluten and soy free
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:07 PM   #7
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Vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda and water. Seriously, I clean everything except for the toilets in our house with one/combination of those items. Check out Pinterest for great tips on using these items. Super cheap, super effective and super 'green'! (Plus non-allergenic...which is why I started using just this stuff in the first place...augh...)
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:46 AM   #8
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I use these in the laundry:

My mom got them for me and I was ~very~ skeptical about using them, but they work GREAT!!!! I do have to spray stains, but that's it! I do not use detergent in my laundry, just these balls. My whites are bright white and everything comes out fresh.

http://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Super-.../dp/B002Q1MCMU
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:49 PM   #9
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The best one I know is the dawn/vinegar mix going around pinterest. And I only clean the oven with baking soda, it works better than anything else if you are willing to give it some time to work. I let it sit at least 2 hours and then it works great. Vinegar is a great drain cleaner and it's a good glass cleaner too.

I don't like most commercial "green" cleaners. Clorox green works is ok but I don't like it as good as dawn or lysol. I won't give up all commercial cleaners, just sub for the ones I feel work better with less chemicals (for example I hate the smell of easy off, it's awful!).

I won't use homemade laundry detergent because I've found some blog entries that it later dulls the whites or messes up the machine if it's HE. I just can't be bothered to make my own. YMMV depending on washer or water type.
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Old 09-29-2012, 04:46 AM   #10
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Slightly

We bought a new stove, and when I was canning some stuff got really baked on the top. I tried everything I could think of to get it off- Mr. clean, barkeepers friend, even a copper scrubbie. I was afraid I'd scratch the top of my new stove, but I didn't want this baked on gunk on it either. I read about sprinkling baking soda on and pouring on vinegar, so I tried it. It bubbled up and started working. I let it sit for an hour, then went back and wiped it up. It did a perfect job.
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:09 AM   #11
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Thanks, everyone! These are all great suggestions. It never occurred to me to make my own, but that does make the most sense.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:20 PM   #12
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I also am trying to do the green cleaning. I'm slowly getting into making my own products. I have been using vinegar and baking soda. Ive also using Borax in the wash with less and less detergent. You can also use Borax to clean with. ......... Anyone making their own laundry detergent?
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:01 PM   #13
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I make my own laundry detergent...I LOVE it! The only cleaning supplies I ever buy anymore is baking soda, borax, vinegar(by the gallon), washing soda, and bleach (I use the bleach sparingly to disinfect with). And I LOVE me some microfiber towels...I have a different color for kitchen, bathroom, general cleaning, pet dishes, etc. I also buy Fels Naptha for my laundry detergent, and essential oils for soap making and as an anti-fungal for my cleaners (lavender, lemon, orange, and eucalyptus are great). I bought a bottle of Tea Tree Oil for $7 at Walmart to use in my homemade cleaners to give them a little added boost and disinfecting power, but am not too crazy about the smell. The one bottle will probably last me for years, as will the bottles of lavender and eucalyptus I bought at GNC when it was buy one get one half off. Another easy/cheap thing I tried that really works is to put orange or lemon peels in a jar, cover with vinegar and put the lid on, and let it sit for a week or two. Strain the vinegar out and dilute with water for a nice, clean-smelling all-purpose cleaner. I sometimes add borax to this for a little more cleaning power (maybe a tablespoon or two per spray bottle). Trust me, that jar of orange peels on my cabinet has been the subject of many questions the last 2 weeks! A great tub/sink/shower scrub is just baking soda mixed with a tablesppon or two of dishwashing liquid, followed by a good hot water rinse and a spray-down of disinfectant (like the citus vinegar spray or essential oil added to hot water and vinegar). Mirrors and windows are cleaned with vinegar and water or rubbing alcohol...both are great; I clean them with coffee filters or newspaper mostly, or a shammy towel. I use hydrogen peroxide (yep, what you have in your first-aid kit) to disinfect my cutting board sometimes, and rubbing alcohol to clean my iphone almost every day (Cell phones are incredibly germy). I have noticed that my house is cleaner, smells better, and my drains never get clogged since I went to natural cleaners. Most of us buy soap and cleaners that say "antibacterial" thinking we are helping fight infection, but some researchers believe that ingredients in these soaps are contributing to super-strains of bacteria that are drug-resistant. Also, the over-use of hand sanitizers is cause for alarm. I am required to take yearly classes on infectious diseases and sanitation for my daycare license. The one thing that has not changed in the last 23 years is, one should never underestimate the cleaning power of good ol' soap and warm water...this is all it takes to clean a lot of things.

Last edited by Mic; 09-23-2012 at 02:06 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:45 PM   #14
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What works for soap scum? I've tried several natural cleaners and they never seem to work as well as Soft scrub with bleach!
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leahjade View Post
What works for soap scum? I've tried several natural cleaners and they never seem to work as well as Soft scrub with bleach!
I've had great results from sprinkling some baking soda in the tub, then spraying with a vinegar/water mix (not sure of the ratio, I just eyeball it). I let it soak a few minutes, then scrub. The first time I used it I needed alot of elbow grease because I hadn't realized until I started scrubbing what a poor job my other cleaners had been doing, but the next time it was much easier.
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