Environmentally Responsible Cleaning Recipes Part 2: Kitchen and Bathroom Cleaners

This is part 2/3 of a series of articles on environmental medicine and recipes for household products: learn how to make useful kitchen and bathroom products that help move in the direction of health for you and for the planet!

Kitchen/Bathroom Cleaners

All-Purpose Cleaner #1

2 tbsp. castile soap
2 tbsp. vinegar
14 cups (3.5L) warm water
Essential oil of pine

Combine vinegar and castile soap. Add 2 cups warm water and mix well. Add remaining warm water. Clean as normal. Add 8 drops essential oil of pine per cup of cleaning solution. Note: the pine oil gives the cleaner anti-microbial properties.

All-Purpose Cleaner #2

8 cups (2L) water
½ cup ammonia
½ cup vinegar
¼ cup baking soda

Mix ammonia, vinegar, and water in a large container. Add baking soda and mix well. Clean as normal. Note: do not use on copper or aluminum; including aluminum kitchen sinks.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

½ cup borax
½ cup washing soda

Mix above ingredients together. Pour into bowl and scrub vigorously with a toilet brush. Note: to deodorize your toilet, pour in vinegar, leave for a few minutes and flush. Another alternative is to put 1000mg of vitamin C in your toilet bowl and leave to soak overnight. The result is a clean and healthy toilet!

Scouring Cleaner

2 tsp. borax
½ cup soap powder
2 ½ cups hot water
2-5 tsp. of whiting (depending on abrasiveness required)

Mix soap flakes and borax with water until dissolved. Add 2-5 tsp. of whiting, until desired abrasiveness and consistency is reached. Use to scour sinks, baths, etc. Note: the whiting makes this formula scratch. For a non- scratch formula, substitute baking soda for the whiting.

Ceramic Tile and Grout Cleaner

1 cup ammonia
1 cup baking soda
½ cup vinegar
14 cups (3.5L) warm water

Mix ingredients in a 4L plastic jug or pail. Spray solution directly onto tile and wipe with a damp sponge or scrub pad. Note: ceramic surfaces can also be cleaned with baking soda sprinkled on a sponge or a nylon scrub pad. For a more abrasive cleaner, rub soiled surfaces with half a lemon dipped in borax, then rinse.

Mold Remover

Spray Bottle
2 tbsp. borax
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ tsp. lavender essential oil
½ tsp. eucalyptus essential oil

Add ingredients to bottle and shake. Fill with water and shake again. Spray surface, scrub with brush, and rinse.

Dish Soap

Use soap powder (flakes) as a substitute for your normal dishwashing liquid. For more suds simply add more powder.

Automatic Dishwasher Powder

1 cup washing soda
1 cup borax

Mix ingredients together and use as normal. Note: This formula works well for a couple of loads, but then you will notice a white film on your cutlery and dishes, which is extremely tough to remove. However, by using this every 8-10 loads, you will stretch your dishwashing dollar and help the environment. For higher performance, use vinegar in the first compartment and the powder in the second.

Aluminum Pan Cleaner

¼ cup baking soda
¼ cup cream of tarter
¼ cup vinegar
2 tbsp. soap powder

Mix baking soda, cream of tartar, and vinegar. Stir in soap powder. Place a small amount of cleaner onto the aluminum pan and scour the fine steel wool. Note: another hint to darken aluminum is to boil cream of tartar and water together in a pot. A hint to clean a burned saucepan is to liberally sprinkle with baking soda and add enough water
to moisten. Leave to stand for several hours and clean.

Calcium Deposit Remover

2 tbsp. white vinegar
1 cup water

Simmer the water and vinegar in your kettle or teapot and leave for 30 minutes. Once the calcium deposits have loosened, use steel wool to remove them. Note: this method only works well if you can scrub the deposits with steel wool. For sealed kettles and coffee makers, use full
strength vinegar and run in through 2-3 times.

Drain Cleaner

Each week pour one cup of baking soda into drain, followed by one cup of vinegar. As the soda and vinegar foam, flush the drain with very hot water. This is designed to keep kitchen or bathroom drains clear. Note: works well, especially with a good plunger.

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