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“Green” Cleaning

greencleaning.jpgWhen I first found out I was pregnant, I immediately decide to ?green? every aspect of my life. I would only eat natural and organic foods, as close to their original state as possible. I would do away with caffeine and throw out all the harsh chemicals we used to clean the house. Needless to say, a very powerful Quarter Pounder and fries craving that didn?t let up til after the baby was born quickly put an end to most of that. However, I did manage to stay green in one sense ? I started cleaning the house using more environmentally friendly methods.

There are a number of natural or biodegradable cleaning solutions on the market today that are safer for both baby and mom-to-be. However, these products may still pose a risk.

I found that I felt the most comfortable with actually preparing cleaning materials myself, from products I (mostly) already had on hand at home ? and at a much cheaper price than those store bought formulas.

Following are some of my favorites.

  • All-purpose cleaner: In a spray bottle, mix equal parts vinegar and water. Use this concoction to spray surfaces, then wipe them clean. A vinegar and water solution also works great for cleaning mirrors and windows ? wipe dry with newspaper for a streak-free shine.
  • Garbage disposal refresher: Use the peel of a lemon, lime or orange. Slice the rind into small bits so it?s more manageable for the disposal, then dump it down the drain, and grind it up with cold water running. Your drain will smell citrus fresh.
  • For a clogged drain: This one?s a fun task for adults and kids alike. Pour ? cup baking soda into the drain, then ? cup vinegar. Allow the mixture to bubble and fizz up, giggle with glee, then flush the drain with about 2 cups of boiling water.
  • Toilet cleaner: You can actually use denture tablets in place of chemical toilet cleaner. Drop two of the tablets into the bowl and scrub to clean.
  • Shower/tub: Sprinkle baking soda on tough spots instead of harsh scouring powders. Rub the area with a damp sponge, then rinse thoroughly. You can also try vinegar and baking soda to remove film build up on bathtubs. Apply vinegar to a sponge and wipe surface. Next, sprinkle the area with baking soda. Wash with a damp sponge and then rinse thoroughly with water.
  • Fabric softener: Toss in a couple of tennis balls to keep clothes separated and rotating. Or, you can add ? cup baking soda to the wash cycle.

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