Green Cleaners That Really Work!

We spent the better part of last week painting our kitchen.  In the process of giving this room a much needed face lift, there was a lot of cleaning of stuck-on dust and grime, sticky residues, and paint drips.  The experience reminded me how much I love my cleaning products!  I wanted to share some of the miracle cleaners I use that not only work like a charm, but contain no harsh or toxic chemicals.  It’s cleaning that’s mean and green!

2 all-purpose, 1 for scrubbing, 1 for polishing

Second scrubbing and polishing sides

Explains the uses of each sponge

Unger Microfiber Sponges (pack of 4, $5.00)

I found these at Home Depot in their green cleaning section.  The package has 4 dual-sided sponges: one for polishing, one for scrubbing, and two all-purpose.  These sponges are amazing!  The first time I used them, I ended up cleaning for hours.  Not because I like to clean, but because I was getting stains and grime out of crevices I’d never been able to get out!  They can be used with just water, but I usually spray the surface with Thieves Household Cleaner (below) to zap any germs.  I highly recommend getting a second package so you always have some sponges ready to whip out if the others are in the hamper.

Thieves Household Cleaner from Young Living (14.4 fl oz, $28.29)

This is a fabulous all-purpose cleaner that kills germs and bacteria with a mixture of therapeutic-grade essential oils of clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary.  It’s super concentrated–only a teeny tiny bit is needed–and you can adjust how much you add to water for different uses (glass, light to heavy degreasing, carpet, fabric/upholstery, hands).  Don’t worry, there’s a ratio chart on the back of the bottle.  For stubborn surface spots, I spray the solution right on there and let it sit for a minute.  Bye-bye spot!

Lemon essential oil from Young Living (15 ml bottle, $12.83)

One or two drops of this oil is great for removing stubborn, sticky spots from gum, adhesives, paint, and glue.  You can also add a few drops to a spray bottle for general cleaning that leaves the house smelling of fresh lemons.  Oh, and a drop in a glass of water is like squeezing a lemon wedge in there.  Yes, it’s very multipurpose!

Good old white vinegar  (at any grocery store for about a buck)

Vinegar might smell nasty, but it shows mildew who’s boss!  I pour distilled white vinegar (5% acidity) in a spray bottle, spritz generously on the inside of my shower curtain liner, and watch water stains and scum disappear with the help of a sponge.  It works well on bathtubs, sinks, and toilets too.  The odor doesn’t last long, just open the bathroom window, if you have one, and let the breeze take care of the rest.  I use this cleaner for bathroom duty only; although the smell isn’t too bad, I’d rather not have my whole apartment smell like a bottle of vinegar!  For more ways to use white vinegar (1001 to be exact!) visit Vinegar Tips.

Happy green cleaning!  Have any natural cleaning tips?  I’d love to hear them!

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