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Cleanliness is Next to Healthiness and Greeniness Print E-mail
Joshua Vadney   
Wednesday, 27 August 2008
Cleanliness is next to Healthiness and GreeninessCleaning my house is one of the most hated items on my to-do list. Laundry, sweeping, dishes, dusting – you name it, I hate it. Adding to the hatred, I am allergic to most store-bought cleaning products. In order to clean my house, I had to come up with ways to clean without glass cleaner and bathroom and kitchen cleansers.

The two items I use the most are baking soda and distilled white vinegar. You can clean almost anything with these two items. They can be used as stain removers, laundry soap (don't worry, the vinegar smell does NOT stay on your clothes), glass cleaner, bathtub and shower cleansers, toilet (baking soda) and floor cleaners (diluted vinegar).

Lovely laundry
In the laundry room, there are several ways to be green. Weather permitting, hang your clothes on a clothesline or wooden rack. If you are concerned about stiffness, add a half cup of vinegar to your rinse cycle, and as soon as they are dry get them off the line. Keeping them outside for more than their drying time leads to the stiffness.

Empty your lint trap every time you use your dryer. Your dryer uses less energy when the lint trap is clean and the laundry is not overloaded in the dryer. For those of you that need the sweet smell of your fabric softener, you can make your own with essential oils and a little vinegar. Any citrus oil works great, so does lavender.

As soon as your clothes are dry on the line or in the dryer get them on a hanger, quick. This cuts down on the items that need ironing, thus saving time, energy and electricity (and let's face it, ironing is BORING).

Bathroom and kitchen
In the bathroom, baking soda can be used to clean the bathtub, shower, toilet and sink. Vinegar and a little newspaper can be used to clean the mirror. Vinegar can also be used to mop the floor. For a really shiny toilet bowl, dump a can of regular Coke. I don't know why, but it makes your bowl shine.
In the kitchen, vinegar can be used to clean out a slow drip, dirty coffee maker, as a floor cleaner (diluted). Baking soda shines up the sink and taps. Spraying down the counters with vinegar to clean them also acts as a natural pest repellent. We have a problem when the seasons change with ants. The vinegar keeps them off my counters.

Twice a year, pull out your appliances and clean behind them. The refrigerator will run more efficiently if the coils are clean and the drip pan is empty.

In the bedroom, flip your pillows and mattress four times a year. You can make a home-made fabric refresher with distilled water and any essential oil of your choice.

These are just a few cleaning ideas for a greener house. I hope you can make some of these changes in your own home.

Joshua Vadney has always been interested in "being green" and has started his own web page with tips for saving money while having a lower impact on the environment. Visit
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