Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Green Cleaning

Recently my wife Maranda and I have been tinkering with organic cleaners made from every day natural products (when I say we, I should clarify that the vast majority of this effort is by my industrious and patient wife). The most effective solution that we have used so far is a diluted water and vinegar solution. It turns out to be excellent at removing hard water deposits, sticky residues, and almost any normal household mess. Other than a bit of an odor (which I find mildly pleasing), vinegar water is a very friendly cleaning product, both to the environment and our family.

I was surprised to find that this same solution is very effective at killing mold and mildew. Our squash plants were suffering from a particularly aggressive form of milky mildew, and spraying the leaves with vinegar water appears to have saved some of them. We have tinkered with a few other solutions but are still budding in our efforts to go green with household cleaning solutions. I found a new house cleaning business in St. Louis that is pursuing these ends, thanks to an article over at sustainablog. It sounds like a very effective business model, given the growing concern over the use of harsh chemical cleaners in the home.

Post a comment if you have found a good natural cleaner!


RyanP said...

I've actually got a whole book of them, Clean and Green:


Vinegar is a regular star of the recipes, but you'll get some that are more specialized for specific uses. My general purpose cleaner is vinegar-based, but also has some Dr. Bronner's vegetable-oil-based soap, and a very mild abrasive (alum or washing soda, something like that). When I get my books unpacked I'll bring it in to church with me so you guys can take a look.

For the dishwasher, I use Seventh Generation dishwasher detergent, which is eco-friendly and which you can get at Whole Foods. SG's laundry detergent rocks, too.

Most of the recipes smell better than normal cleansers, too.