Monday, January 11, 2010

Green Cleaning

I mentioned my switch to natural cleaning products in my last column. Here are some of the recipes I use at home. I'll keep adding to the list as I think of things. Sometimes, I do need to pull out the "big guns" but it's better to use those things rarely. We certainly don't need them every week.

Cleaning Floors:

-add 1/4 cup of vinegar to a bucket of warm water and wash with a mop or cloth
-You may need to rinse with fresh water
-vinegar is a natural disinfectant
-it removes dirt well and leaves things shiny
-don't leave large pools to dry


-2 teaspoons white vinegar with a quart of water in a spray bottle
-spray on and wipe clean with a cloth

Scouring Powder for Sinks and Tubs:

-cover surface with baking soda
-scrub with a plastic scouring pad
-rinse well
-if you want to let the surface "soak" mix a little dish soap or castile soap with the baking soda to make a paste

Quick wash for countertops, tubs, and sinks

I love castile soap. It's vegetable based, removes soap scum well, smells good, and rinses away easily. I use Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap (love the Hemp Pure-Castile Lavender). In Brockville, you can get it at New Horizons but I've seen it at many health food stores. A 16 oz bottle is about $11 and lasts for months. The bottle is very strange but the contents work great. To clean the tub and shower surround, I squirt a little on one of those shower "poofs" that we all have lying around (mine's actually attached to a broom stick), scrub, and rinse. So quick. Nothing toxic.


  1. Hi Andrea. I just read your article in the Voice and wanted to comment here on your blog. I'm sure you are already aware of this...knitting is great but buying your yarn from walmart would be the same as buying a cheap t-shirt.
    There are a few stores around here that sell alpaca spun from the area!! good luck learning to knit!
    have you ever checked out soul mamas site??
    she knits EVERYTHING for her family. she also has great resources.

    Alyson McNish

  2. Hi Andrea,
    I am also trying to use less toxic means to clean house. I've been able to get Dr. Bronner's and other natural cleaning supplies from and best of all for those of us in the north - free shipping anywhere in Canada, even Nunavut!
    Love the blog!
    Cathy Rose