Greener Behrend: Environmentally-Friendly Cleaning

Greener Behrend: Environmentally-Friendly Cleaning

Many companies now offer full lines of environmentally-friendly cleaning products

  • Six ingredients can meet most of cleaning needs:
    • Vinegar
    • Soap
    • Baking soda
    • Washing soda
    • Borax
    • Ammonia
  • Furniture or floor polish
    • Lemon oil and beeswax in mineral oil base
  • Laundry detergent
    • Soak in cool water
    • Hand-washing: bar of soap and small amounts of washing soda
    • Washing machines: phosphate-free powders
  • Drain cleaners
    • Never pour liquid grease down a drain
    • Once a week:
      • Mix:
        • 1 cup baking soda
        • 1 cup salt
        • ¼ cup cream of tartar
        • Pour ¼ mixture down drain, follow with a pot of boiling water
    • To remove a clog:
      • Pour: 
        • ¼ cup baking soda, followed by ½ cup vinegar
        • Close drain till fizzing stops, flush with boiling water
  • Control of indoor pests:
    • Ants
      • Sprinkle barriers of:
        • Talcum powder
        • Chalk
        • Bone meal
        • Boric acid
    • Cockroaches
      • Repair cracks
      • Light dusting of borax around fridge, stove and ductwork
      • For a trap:
        • Grease inner neck of bottle and put stale beer or raw potato inside
        • Combine sugar, flour and boric acid into powder
      • Flies
        • Shut windows before the sun hits them
    • Moths
      • Keep woolens and other cloths dry and well aired
      • Store in:
        • Cedar chests or closets
        • Tightly sealed plastic bags
    • Ticks and fleas
      • After washing, apply herbal rinse
      • Herbal rinse:
        • ½ cup fresh or dried rosemary to quart of boiling water
        • Steep twenty minutes
        • Strain
        • Allow to cool
        • Spray or sponge evenly
        • Do not rinse off
      • Prevent entrance of pests
      • Repair holes
      • Reduce moisture
      • Add weather stripping
      • Use low toxicity chemicals
      • Boric acid
      • Silica aerogel
      • Diatomaceous earth
  • Don’t use paradichlorobenze (PDCB) containing deodorizers
  • All-purpose cleaner
    • 1 gallon hot water
    • ¼ cup sudsy ammonia
    • ¼ cup vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon baking soda
    • For stronger cleaner double all ingredients except water
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
    • Strong solution of natural acid (i.e. vinegar)
  • Glass cleaner
    • 2 tablespoons borax or washing soda
    • 3 cups water
  • Air fresheners
    • Open window or use exhaust fan as natural air freshener
    • Simmer small amount of:
      • Cinnamon
      • Orange peel
      • Cloves
    • Potpourri candles
    • Fresh cut flowers
    • Open box of baking soda