Saturday, August 15

Green Clean Sample Kit

Green cleaning (using cleaning products and methods that are non-toxic to people, Earth and its environment) has not become habitual in our home yet, but I am taking some steps toward becoming more eco-minded when it comes to what we do and how we clean in our home.
To stock our pantry, and share the fun of playing chemist, I compiled some recipes for simple cleaners, gathered the supplies and led a group in making their own Green Clean Sample Kits at the Craft Social last night. I chose these because they are the most-used cleaners in our home (kitchen, bath, laundry) and because these particular recipes could be quickly and safely made in our venue.
I purchased some small spray and squeeze bottles and raided our recyclables for screw-top glass and plastic jars to share with the group. (Some guests planned ahead and brought their own recyclable containers to fill). Most of us made one spray, one scrub and one batch of detergent.
The ingredient list for these solutions is short: white vinegar, baking soda, washing soda, castile soap, glycerin, essential oil, a few aspirin, and tap water. I found the washing soda at a local Jewel/Albertson's grocery store, the castile, oils and glycerin at Whole Foods.

I considered sewing very simple bags for guests to use in carrying their cleaners, but you know how things go (well, you do if you're a procrastinator like I am), but I did happen to come across directions for this great newspaper cleaner caddy in a book at the library. I couldn't resist trying it out. I love it! It's from The Newspaper Everything Book: How to Make 150 Useful Objects From Old Newspapers by Vivienne Eisner and Adelle Weiss, 1975. I'll have to make some time to practice modifications for other uses and then write up a tutorial for it.
For now, here are the recipes I made available for use in our sample kits. For more green cleaning tips, follow the links below.

Green Clean Sample Kit

Powdered Laundry Detergent
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup baking soda
1 cup washing soda
¼ cup liquid castile soap

Mix well and store in sealed container (glass or plastic jar).
Note from article author: I find it easiest to pour the liquid soap into the bowl first, stir in the washing soda, baking soda, and add vinegar in small batches. The mixture will foam at first, become a thick paste then break down into a heavy powdered detergent as you stir. Break down any hard clumps while stirring. (It helps to make sure the baking soda isn't clumpy to begin with). I used ½ cup per full with great results.
From Tipnut

Soft Scrub for toilets and tubs (and more)
1 cup baking soda
3-5 drops tea tree oil
¼ cup liquid castile soap
2 aspirins, powdered

Mix all ingredients and add enough water to make a paste. Store in a squeeze bottle. To use, apply with a sponge, scrub and rinse thoroughly.
From Make Your Place by Raleigh Briggs, 2009.

Creamy Soft Scrub
baking soda
liquid castile soap
vegetable glycerin

Pour about ½ cup baking soda into a bowl. Add enough liquid detergent (castile soap) to make a texture like frosting. Add 1 teaspoon of glycerin to the mixture to keep the product moist and store in a sealed glass jar. To use, scoop the mixture onto a sponge and wash surface. Perfect for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn't leave grit.
5-10 drops essential oil can be used to scent the scrub. For a citrus scrub, add 5-10 drops orange or lemon essential oil.
From Care 2 Make a Difference and Best Green Home Tips

All Purpose Spray
½ teaspoon washing soda
A dab of liquid castile soap
2 cups hot tap water
Combine ingredients in a jar and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Pour into spray bottle. Spray and wipe with a sponge or rag.
From Care 2 Make a Difference

Disinfectant All Purpose Spray
liquid castile soap
2 cups water
tea tree essential oil
lavender essential oil

Mix a few drops of natural soap (castile), 2 cups water, and 15 drops each of tea tree and lavender oils. Spray on all surfaces like cutting boards, counters, toilets, and walls, but not glass.
Note from article author: You can use 30 drops of one oil, I just like the mix. You need to keep either the tea tree or lavender essential oil in the mix to make it a disinfectant. Castile (like Bronner's) is great for general cleaning, but real essential oils of tea tree or lavender have antiseptic/antibacterial aspects. I like to mix them, because too much tea tree scent alone makes me loopy.
From Tree Hugging Family

58 comments:

Amy Timberlake said...

Thank you SO MUCH! I'm going to print this out and try these recipes. I'd love to save a little on the soft scrub, etc. THANKS!

Jodie said...

This is a fantastic post!!! Thanks for sharing the recipes you found, I can't wait to try some of them out..

Take CAre
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MamaFeelgood said...

This awesome. Thanks for posting this

Beth- the mama bee said...

'Make your place' is once of my favorites too!

Simply Delightful said...

I have thought of using green products before but haven't taken the time to find recipes. Maybe now that you have found some I can finally get around to trying them. Thank You

moomer said...

We all need to stop using (and eating, I might add) so many chemicals. It's eye-opening to find that natural, non-toxic cleaners do as well & often better than the ones we find on store shelves. So glad you offered this at CS!

Molly said...

Like your recipe for laundry soap better than the one I have been using because i have to grate a bar of castile soap...as soon as i am done with this batch I am gonna try yours.

Thanks

AmyArtisan said...

Thanks for hosting the Chicago Craft Social, Megan - it was a lot of fun & I look forward to the next one! Thanks also for posting these recipes - I didn't have a chance to make any of these on Friday night. I've blogged about my evening.

p.s. It's a small world - one of my friends from 20 years ago (Tracy) was one of your college suitemates - when she saw my FB status after the event we discovered this connection. :)

Megan said...

AmyArtisan,
I was pleased to read your post on the Craft Social and also amazed at the small world experience of having a mutual friend from so long ago and far away :-) Thanks for telling me. Hopefully, we'll meet next time!

Erin S. said...

Thanks for sharing those recipes! That's one thing that I really wanted to make but didn't get the chance!!

Jen from xoxoJen said...

Can the detergent be used in an HE machine?

canadian52 said...

Thanks for the recipes. Here are some more. Would love your feedback. http://waterprocessor.wordpress.com/2009/08/12/pantry-cleaners-recipes-for-homemade-cleaning-products-with-bauer-energy-design%c2%ae-processed-water/

Nicola said...

great post! i make all our cleaners, too. i have for years, but i am always loving new recipes to try!
your carrier box is sweet!
nicola
http://whichname.blogspot.com

oneordinaryday said...

I'm totally smitten over your newspaper carrier. I'm really looking forward to the tutorial. What a great idea!

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Lynne said...

Thanks for all the great recipes! I can't wait to try them out. I have never heard of adding aspirin to a cleaner. How does the aspirin help?

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vegetable glycerin is not available now a days where I am living any other thing?

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