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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spring Cleaning- smart, money-saving, non-toxic ideas

If you live in Western Washington you might feel very confused this week. Last Saturday we broke records with the official temperature at Sea-Tac airport at 79 degrees. Now the weather forecast is threatening snow in a couple of days. Those of us who like to save money by "doing it ourselves" may be thinking more along the lines of sewing quilts or adding insulation to the attic, but it really IS spring and time for spring cleaning.

I'm starting to avoid the cleaning products aisle in the grocery store, and that's only partly because I'd rather be writing or playing music, than cleaning the house. I'm avoiding it because since I've been using homemade or purchased natural and non-toxic cleaners I'm ultra sensitive to that weird mix of harsh perfumes and chemicals that assault my nose, eyes and lungs. However, even though I might prefer to spend my time writing or playing music, I still love a clean house. I just don't want to poison myself and our planet to have one.

Today I want to share with you some web links with wonderful recipes for cheap, non-toxic cleaning products you can make yourself. These are based on formulas using things like baking soda and vinegar, that have been around since before your great-grandma scrubbed her first floor. But do keep in mind (and I don't mean to scare you) the verb in that last sentence,"scrub", does indicate a certain amount of physical involvement on your part. This is not to say that these everyday cleaners don't work easily and efficiently, but Honey, if you've REALLY let things get bad, the unmentioned, but implied, ingredient in these recipes is old fashioned elbow grease. Please don't succumb to the temptation of standing there with a cup of coffee while chemical warfare takes place right before your eyes, toxic fumes, raging bubbles, and violent corrosion obscuring the silent screams of your bathroom tiles. That's just not right! Come on, give this a try by clicking on these links:

www.eartheasy.com
www.ecomall.com/greenshopping/coamerica.htm
www.care2.com/greenliving/make-your-own-non-toxic-cleaning-kit.com
www.altmedicine.about.com
www.womenandenvironment.org

Here's a simple recipe a friend gave me for a drain cleaner:
2 cups baking soda
2 cups salt
1/2 cup cream of tartar

Have a kettle of boiling water on the stove. Mix the ingredients and pour 1/4 cup of the cleaner down the drain. Quickly follow that with 1 cup of the boiling water poured down the drain. Wait 30 minutes and repeat. After the second time flush the drain with cold water. Do this once a week to keep your drains open and clean.

Note: Please remember the following points-
-never use food containers for cleaning products (mistaken identity)
-label your homemade cleaners
-keep them out of the reach of children
-clean often, before the situation gets too scary, and these eco-friendly products will do the job.

Happy Cleaning,
Candace





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