Monday, April 26, 2010

Household cleaners

I got this information from the Poison and Drug Information Center aka Poison Control at the Green fair that me and HB went to.

Using and Making a Cleaner
1) It may take longer to clean so you may need to let the mixture sit before rinsing.
2) You may have to use elbow grease.
3) Not all ingredients are completely non-toxic (they included bleach and ammonia which I have stricken from the list). Tea tree oil and borax should not be consumed. Vinegar and baking soda will have a chemical reaction although there is no poisonous gas associated.
4) Only make a month's supply of cleaning supplies because the mixtures may loose their strength.
5) Mix where there is plenty of fresh air (something that I learned from making homemade laundry detergent).
6) Store all cleaning solutions out of children's reach or a locked cabinet even if they are non-toxic they should still not be consumed.
7) Store in new containers bought for each specific mixture and kept in a permanent place. If you use a recycled container your mixture may react with something left over inside or be mistake for a food or beverage.
8) Label carefully, clearly, and permanently.
9) Adding a small amount of food coloring or craft coloring (which doesn't stain as easily) can help distinguish what the cleaners are. This is especially helpful with dealing with small children. Bright colors are easy to catch than clear colors out of the corner of your eye.

Sometimes you do need to use a commercial product. Be sure to read the labels and choose the least poisonous product, storage, use, disposal, and risks. Avoid aerosols. Instead use sprays, powders, pastes or liquids.

General Purpose Cleaners:
1) 1/2 cup of vinegar mixed with 1 gallon of water
2) 1/4 of cup of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of water to make a paste

Furniture Polish
1) mix 2 teaspoons of lemon oil and 1 pint of mineral oil

Air Freshener/ Odor remover
1) simmer cinnamon sticks or sliced citrus in water
2) spray a mixture of 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon lemon juice dissolved in 2 cups hot water
3) sprinkle carpets with baking soda at bedtime and leave overnight. Vacuum the next day. (I would suggest leaving access to the room at a minimum so not children's rooms or areas where pets are).

Bathroom cleaners
1) vinegar and water (see general) will remove mildew from shower curtains and water spots from faucets
2) borax and lemon juice cleans and deodorizes the toilet
3) pour vinegar in toilet to disinfect
4) use baking soda to scrub toilet (make sure to flush vinegar down the toilet)

Drains
1) weekly drain cleaner- mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda, 1/2 cup vinegar with 1 quart of warm water and pour down the drain. Let sit 1/2 hour and rinse with 3 quarts hot water
2) to unclog: pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, then 1/2 cup of vinegar. After 15 minutes pour in boiling water to clear. Caution: only use this method with metal plumbing. Plastic pipes can melt if excess boiling water is used. Also do not use this method after trying a commercial drain opener- vinegar can react with it to create dangerous fumes.

Kitchen
1) baking soda makes a good scouring power for counter, fine china, coffeepots, and toasters
2) vinegar in the rinse water removes spots on glassware (do not use vinegar on marble counter tops)
3) oven cleaner: sprinkle baking soda on stains. 5 minutes later scrub with a damp cloth. Making it into a paste also helps

Window cleaner
1) 1/2 cup of vinegar to gallon of water
2) can add 1/4 cup of alcohol to above mixture
2) can add 1/2 teaspoon of liquid detergent to above mixture

Floor cleaner
1) 1 cup vinegar in a bucket of water
2) dissolve 1/2 cup of borax in 2 gallons of hot water
3) add 1/4 cup of liquid detergent to water
4) also can add lemon juice or any favorite essential oil to mixture to make floors smell nice

If you have any things that you use, please feel free to add it to the comments. I have a crying baby so I must dash.

1 comment:

  1. Citric Acid in dishwasher for spots.. It also can help w/ hard water in washing machine, but I think I'm no longer premixing it in my detergent (tried that out recently) because it clumped up.

    Oven - you can add Dawn dishsoap to above recipe to help cut grease. We've had to do this more than once.. not comp homemade anymore, but works very well.

    Speaking of Dawn, it can unclog toilets. Put in a squirt, fill w/ hot water & let sit before flushing.

    The colour is a good idea, but we only use 3 mixes... one for windows (one w/ alchohol) , TTO, and Vinegar. All have diff colour spray tops (we buy them new in packages at Sams) and clearly labeled. Vinegar is not so well labeled, but has a bright yellow spray top. Unfortunately I do have to say I caught Kalila drinking the vinegar (it got left out) part of me is glad it was just that, part was grossed out, and part was mad at myself for it happening. I'm just relieved it was vinegar... for some reason she does like the taste of it straight :-/ I've caught her drinking her bath water w/ it in there too...

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