Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Green Cleaning

I have been thinking a lot about cleaning this week with my mum arriving this weekend for a visit over the school holidays. I always think about cleaning when visitors are due. So far, I haven't done anything except put a new cover on the bed and put stuff away so mum actually has somewhere to put her bag and a place to sleep. Unfortunately for her, it is our computer/craft/put-stuff-when-there-is-no-where-else-to-put-it room, and it is also the smallest room in a small house.

So, there is a new green happy cover on the bed, which I love, and now I really must start a bit of a clean. Seeing as I avoid chemicals as much as I can, my current household cleaner is one I use on everything, and seeing as I am lazy one product suits me perfectly,I only have to make up one thing.

The recipe I am currently using came from the Simple Savings website and before that I don't know, however, I have read various combinations in some of my books and on different websites. They all use environmentally friendly products and they don't give me a headache, which is pretty important, and also our number one and only son doesn't complain about the horrible smell. He seems to be fairly sensitive (though not in an allergic way) to smells - chemicals, smoke and other strong unpleasant smells.

Anyway here is the recipe for the household cleaner.

Household Cleaner

1 litre water
200ml vinegar
40ml detergent
40ml eucalyptus oil
2 desertspoons washing soda

I just put this into an old bottle and it is ready to go, I clean the kitchen, bathroom, the floors, everything with this, and it leaves and nice clean smell behind. Make sure you put everything into the bottle in this order or it will foam up all over the place, I deviated from the order once, didn't do it again.

Unfortunately, I do have to use bleach for the mould in the bathroom, but I don't use it too often so not too bad, but must get some oil of cloves and try that on the mould. It is supposed to be good and doesn't nearly kill you.

Now I just have to get people to stop buying chemical cleaners when they visit and not to laugh at our more natural ways, at least not to us. I do take the environment seriously and regardless of whether we are to blame or not for climate change, polluting the place we live in is pretty foul. So we try to do the best we can, ignoring all those have a go at us and be individuals and do our own thing.

In saying that here is the laundry gel recipe I have used on and off for years, for the environment, for financial reasons and for when I have run out of my other environmentally friendly washing powder. This recipe has come from books, magazines and the internet, and use vinegar for fabric softner (or not, if you are lazy like me).

Laundry Gel

1 cup grated pure soap
1 cup washing soda
3 buckets or 1 large one

Pour boiling water over the soap flakes and keep stirring until it is disolved, some boil the soap on the stove but I find boiling water is sufficient. Add the washing soda, stir and divide between the buckets or just put into the one big bucket. Add cold water to fill up the buckets. Use 2 to 3 cups of the gel in the washing machine, there will be no suds but there will still be washing going on.

We recently went and bought a large 20 litre bucket with a lid and just use that, I don't have to move it anywhere so it doesn't matter if it is heavy. I have read about adding borax to this recipe to get the clothes whiter but I have read that borax isn't good so I don't put it in, and white clothes are ridiculous anyway. I always spill hot chocolate or drop chocolate on white things without fail, and can never get the stain out (even with sucking the chocolate off) without using a long list of chemicals, so we don't bother with white things.

I will probably go off now and think some more about cleaning (it is the thought that counts isn't it? Well, maybe not in this case so cleaning will eventually be done) I will get around to it, as the house is reasonablely clean, mostly, as I do clean, can't help but clean as we can't live here unless cleaning happens. Plus also there are usually remarks like "Mum, the washing basket is full" and "Mum, there are no cups".

So on we go with our homemade environmetally friendly products, our reuseable bags, our vege garden and our strange ways. We like it like this, and know that there are many kindred spirits out there, waving to all kindred sprits :)

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