Green Tips From The San Francisco Zoo

Courtesy of the San Francisco Zoo

Green Home Cleaning

Before you do any cleaning, why not start by cleaning out all the cleaning products under your sink or in your cupboard? You’ll free up lots of space while freeing yourself from toxins, allergens and irritants. Be sure not to throw those products in the trash – make sure the lids are tight, box them up and take them to your local household hazardous waste disposal facility (visit to find a location).

All you need in your cupboard for a clean and healthy home are the following:

  • Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda). This multi-purpose alkali powder can remove stains from tile, glass, oven doors, and china as well as fruit juice and acidic stains; clean the inside of your refrigerator; absorb odors; and remove baked-on food from pans.

  • Borax. A powder or crystalline salt sold in most grocery stores, borax is a water softener and sanitizer. It makes an excellent freshener when added to laundry and is an all-around deodorizer.

  • Castile soap. A mild soap available in liquid or bar form that can be used for general-purpose cleaning. It was once made from olive oil, but now may include other vegetable oils as well.

  • Cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate). This common baking ingredient is a mild acid that can be used as a sink and bathtub stain remover. It can also be used to remove spots from aluminum cookware.

  • Hydrogen peroxide. A mild alternative to chlorine bleach that can be used for stain removal and mild bleaching and killing germs. Available in drug stores and supermarkets.

  • Lemon juice. This familiar ingredient can be used to lighten stains and cut grease. It can also be used to remove tarnish on brass, copper, bronze and aluminum (not to be used on silver).

  • Washing soda (carbonate of soda). A stronger alternative to baking soda, washing soda can be used as a water softener in conjunction with laundry detergents (gloves are recommended as it may irritate skin; not to be used with silks, woolens or vinyl).

  • White vinegar. Good for a variety of household cleaning tasks, vinegar may be used to help kill germs and deodorize, remove some carpet stains, and clean coffeemakers, chrome, cookware, and countertops. It can also be used to unclog drains. While white vinegar has a slight scent while wet, it leaves no odor when dry. Do not use it on acetate fabrics, such as in some tablecloths, because it can dissolve the fibers.

For a complete Green Home Cleaning Guide with cleanser recipes, click here.


zorlone said…
Some stuff we can find online and are unassuming items at that.

I will be using the vinegar the most. hehehe

Ratty said…
This is a great list. These are some of the kinds of things that people used before so many different chemicals, that don't do a better job, were introduced.
Glynis said…
I use a lot of these products now, the lemon especially as we have so many here in Cyprus.

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