Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Green Cleaning

Now I should make it clear that I'm not big on cleaning - blue, red OR Green - there's too many other more worthwhile things to be occupying my time so I try and make it as painless as possible. (ie. CHEMICAL-FREE). But it is easy to get sucked in by the clever marketers out there, until in the end you have a cupboard FULL of products and you wonder where all the grocery money is really going.
Home made cleaners are quick to put together, cheap and very efficient. I started with a liquid laundry detergent, then gradually replaced everything else as they ran out, so I could re-use the containers and they are clearly labelled.
I did buy a cheap plastic rubbish bin with lid, to keep the laundry liquid in. This recipe makes 10 litres. The equivalent amount from the supermarket would cost around $43; to buy all the ingredients costs around $6. I have not yet replaced my basic ingredients bought about 8 months ago, so it really is worthwhile having a go at making your own.
(Takes about 5 mins to put together). Into a med sized saucepan add 1.5 litres water and 1 cup Lux flakes. Stir on med heat until completely dissolved. Add half a cup of washing soda (look for 'sodium carbonate' in the cleaning isle of supermarket - this is NOT baking or bicarb soda). Add also half cup Borax. Stir until thickened and remove from heat. Pour into 10 ltre bucket and fill up with hot water. Stir to combine all ingredients - it will thicken as it cools. Use 1/4 to half cup of liquid per wash-load depending on size of machine etc. You can add any essential oil of your choice to these homemade cleaners - tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender or rose are ideal - but make sure they are essential oils and not fragrance oils.
For a FABRIC SOFTENER, all you need is to fill softener dispenser of your machine with white vinegar and a spoonful of bicarb soda; it will fizz up. This is great as it also keeps your machine clean and prevents soap from building up.
NAPPY SOAK OR FABRIC WHITENER - dissolve 1/4 cup bicarb soda in a bucket of warm water and soak items overnight. Wash with homemade liquid and fabric softener, then let them dry in the sun.
SPRAY & WIPE - Combine 2 tbspns Cloudy Ammonia, half cup white vinegar, 2 tbsns liquid laundry detergent above in spray bottle, top up to 2 ltrs with warm water.
LOO CLEANER - Using your old bottle that usually has good 'squirt under bowl' lid on it, half fill with white vinegar. Add 2 tbsns basic liquid laundry, juice of lemon and 1 tspn eucalyptus oil. This really keeps toilet bowl sparkling clean. If you need extra cleaning power, just sprinkle some borax around bowl and scrub with loo brush.
GLASS CLEANER - Using old bottle add half tspn basic laundry mix, 3 tbspns white vinegar and top up with warm water.
FLOOR CLEANER - Put 2 tbspns methylated spirits and 2 tbspns basic laundry cleaner into bucket with 1 tspn eucalyptus oil, and fill with hot water.
DISHWASH LIQUID - Unfortunately, Dan does the dishes in our house and I can't convert him to green cleaning because 'there's no bubbles'.... males..I ask you!! So I begrudgingly buy the nice bright yellow lemon smelling lotsa bubbles dishwash concentrate from Aldi. Which he loves.

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