Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Eco-friendy housecleaning tips

When something gets overhyped, I tend to tune it out. So it is with Earth Day.

Nonetheless, here are some personal tips from Rachel Lane of Barcelona Bath & Body (via her email list) on eco-friendly housecleaning that are worth passing on:

~ Sweet Orange Essential Oil is an awesome adhesive remover. My husband gave it the ultimate test recently by using it on a soft cloth to remove the residue from all the dealership stickers he'd taken off his new car. Passed with flying colors!

~ Hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle has taken the place of bleach sprays for kitchen surfaces. I even clean my cutting boards with it before running them through the dishwasher.

~ Vinegar is my glass, surface and faucet cleaner of choice. It works well in the dishwasher additive reservoir to leave your glasses sparkling. It also makes a great tile floor cleaner that leaves no sticky residue behind to attract dirt. My husband hates the smell, so I just finish up with a spritz of Room Refresh!

~ Baking soda and salt take the place of scouring powder. For example, if there's still discoloration on my cutting board after I use hydrogen peroxide on it, I use baking soda and salt to scour out any remaining residue food may have left behind. Then I put it in the dishwasher and give it a final spritz of hydrogen peroxide.

~ Water in a spray bottle and a soft rag have taken the place of aerosol dusting sprays and dusting wipes. Let's face it. Dry dusting doesn't work! But spritzing a soft rag with a little water works well and is safe to breathe.

Bonus tip~~Conventional wisdom tells us to sort laundry first by color, then by soil level. Washing heavily soiled items with lightly soiled items causes unwanted soil transfer. I save my rags for a separate load from my regular laundry. When my husband comes in from mowing the yard, I take the dirty yardwork laundry and toss it in the wash with my rags to make a fuller load. This would also work great for sports uniforms or work uniforms if you happen to have those in your household.

I like Bon Ami scouring powder, as it's not chlorinated. Vinegar and salt is also great for removing tarnish from pots and pans, but you need "elbow grease."

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