More people are becoming ecologically conscious these days and for those of you that haven’t quite taken the plunge, you may be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to move green. Here are some real time saving suggestions on how to clean green during your move.
Consider all the cleaning products that the commercials tell us are “necessary” to clean with ease. Many of these don’t even work as well as the non-toxic alternatives. For instance simple white vinegar (which is very cheap to boot) is used for a number of tasks from cleaning windows to taking the pet accident smells from a carpet to cleaning a grimy oven (when combined with baking soda). There are countless uses and you won’t be poisoning yourself in the process! That is only one of the many benefits to moving green.
Here is a checklist to help you cover all your bases:
Cleaning supplies you will need for your green move:
~Cleaning rags (these can be old clothes cut up into various sizes)
~Sponges (with one side that is a scrubber)
~Two or three old toothbrushes
~ Sponges (several)
~ Broom and dustpan
~Spray bottles (At least two. One for the vinegar solution and one for baking soda solution)
~Buckets (One for cleaning, one for rinsing)
~ A box or two labeled “Do not move” (For your cleaning supplies)
Things to prepare for your green move:
In a spray bottle or a bucket mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water. This mixture is better than most commercial chemical solutions and will leave you with gleaming windows without the usual streaks. Dry with a soft clean cloth or newspaper.
~Woodwork washing solution:
You will make washing walls, woodwork and even venetian blinds a breeze by using a mixture of 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, 1 cup ammonia, ¼ cup baking soda and 1gallon of warm water. Wipe this solution onto the walls or the blinds with a rag or a sponge. You’ll be amazed how easily the dirt and the grime comes away when you rinse with clear water. It will not dull the finish of the painted walls nor leave any streaks.
~ For no wax floors:
To wash no wax floors in your green move, add ½ cup white distilled vinegar to a half gallon warm water.
~For carpet stain removal:
Mix 1 teaspoon of liquid detergent with one teaspoon of white distilled vinegar into a pint of warm water to remove non oily stains from your carpet. Apply it to the stain with a towel or a soft brush and rub gently. Rinse with a moistened towel (using water) and blot dry. Repeat until stain is gone. Use a hair dryer to dry. (Of course this is best done as soon as the stain occurs))
~To clean the refrigerator:
Use a solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar with warm water.
~Cleaning stainless steel appliances:
To avoid streaks use straight vinegar on a soft cloth. But try it on an inconspicuous area beforehand as a test.
This can be removed by wiping or spraying white vinegar onto the surface of the sink and then using baking soda. (most likely where they originally got the idea of “scrubbing bubbles”) Rinse with clear water.
Rub down the shower doors with a scrubber sponge soaked in white vinegar. This will remove scale, scum and any soap residue.
~Toilet bowl cleaner:
You can remove any stubborn stains from your toilet bowl and still keep to your moving green program. Just use straight white distilled vinegar and scrub vigorously. (It’s a good idea to add 3 cups of the vinegar and allow it to soak in the bowl for at least a half an hour. Scrub and flush This has the added benefit of deodorizing the toilet.)
~Unclog the showerhead from mineral buildup:
Remove the showerhead and soak in pure white distilled vinegar overnight. Alternatively, you may soak a towel in vinegar and wrap the showerhead or faucet with it. You will find that even the thick deposits will come away with a little coaxing from an implement. Just be careful not to scratch.
~Deodorizing pet accidents:
Check the color fastness of the carpet by testing in an inconspicuous place first. (You may also use a dilution of half water and half vinegar if you aren’t sure.) Sprinkle or spray white distilled vinegar over the accident. Wait a few minutes and blot with a sponge or rag from the center outward. Blot up with a dry cloth. If this is an old accident you may need to repeat the procedure. You may only need to deodorize the rug by sprinkling baking soda on the carpet for at least fifteen minutes before vacuuming. (Don’t do this before you dust, though!)
~ For cleaning ovens:
You’ll be delighted at the ease of cleaning an oven without the toxic fumes usually associated with the task. Moving green has the answer!
1) First remove any racks or thermometers, etc.
2)Then simply measure out 1/2 cup of baking soda and add two or three tablespoons of water. This will be the consistency of a paste. Adjust the ratio until you have a spreadable paste.
3) Coat the oven, staying clear of the heating elements. (Use gloves as this part can be pretty grimy. That way you’ll be more likely to really give it a good thick coat) It will probably turn brown as you do this, but that is normal.
4) Let it sit overnight or at least 12 hours.
5) Meanwhile clean your racks
6) Wipe out the oven. After the 12 hours using a damp dishcloth or rag, wipe out as much of the soda paste as you can. You may use a silicone or plastic spatula to get the thicker residue out.
7) Spray vinegar everywhere in the oven that you still see the soda residue. The vinegar will react to the baking soda and will foam up loosening more of the grime.
8) Do a final wipe down removing the remaining foamy grease, vinegar and soda mixture. You may need to rinse you cloth out several times with more vinegar water as needed. Repeat until all the residue is gone and you have a clean, shiny oven!
So now you can claim the title of a green mover! (And the earth will thank you.)