Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Green Cleaning Hows and Whys Part 2 | Natural Cleaning Product Reviews

Green Cleaning is important for your health and the health of the planet--less toxins in both you and the environment mean better health. Green Cleaning does not have to be expensive. On the whole most green cleaners are more expensive than a cheaper, toxin-laden cleaner, but making your own is a great way to green clean on a budget.

How To Use Do-It-Yourself Green Cleaners in Dish Washing

For Dishwashing by hand: I try to use less liquid dish detergent in the cleaning stage, by using a sprinkle of baking soda and borax to enhance the soap. This method washes my dishes great, but has less suds than you might be used to--suds are not necessary to clean well.

I bought a plastic shaker with a lid at a local Goodwill store. (Thrift stores are a great way to "Live Recycling"!) I add a tiny bit of liquid dishwashing soap to the dishpan and add a shake of my all natural detergent enhancers (a mixture of 1/2 baking soda and 1/2 borax).

Both of these biodegradable, natural cleaning powders help the soap to work better and have deodorizing and great cleaning power, and some disinfecting qualities. All natural, biodegradable, environmentally-sound and cheap!

Vinegar Rinse??

Also, I added a bottle of white vinegar with a measuring cup clipped to its handle under my kitchen sink. I add a 1/2 cup of white vinegar to my rinse water. It has disinfecting properties and it rinses the dish soap off great! And because it is edible, I don't rinse the vinegar rinse off--just dunk and put in the drainer.

The vinegar smell evaporates quickly and kills germs in the meantime. I love it. The only time I rinse off this vinegar-water mixture is when the object it metal, as it can interact with some metals.

Next step to Inexpensive DIY "Green Clean", was to replace my dishwasher detergent with a homemade, environmentally-friendly one. I decided on a powdered recipe because it is easier to make and to store, also according to The Green Guide, Summer of 2008 of the National Geographic Society, powder detergents are easier on the environment.

DIY Powdered Dishwasher Detergent Natural Cleaning Product Review

Dishwasher Detergent
6 cups Baking Soda
3 cups Borax
6 bars All-Natural Soap (any kind, grated up)

I chopped the soap with a large knife and grated it in my blender, measured the other ingredients, and added everything in a large reusable plastic container with a lid.

I need to use only 1/8 cup! Plus, I add a 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle. It works great! My recipe has more soap than most and uses more vinegar in the rinse than most, but I wanted to make sure my glasses shine and have no grainy residue.

Also, for those who like fragrance with their detergents, you can add a dropperful (30-40 drops) of essential oil of your choice to the detergent at the mixing stage. Some essential oils have been known to be natural disinfectants too, like lavender, tea tree, and thyme.

My Experience on Using DIY Green Dishwasher Detergent

Being frugal to conserve water and energy, I usually try to wash my dishes by hand, (see my article on handwashing vs. dishwashers on the ezine Suite 101 at this link) but for big groups or busy nights, I use the dishwasher as needed.

I having been using this powdered homemade dishwasher detergent for quite a while now for my family of four. I have to be careful to add the vinegar to the rinse cycle, which is somewhat of a bummer, but I am very pleased with the cleaning power and sparkle of my dishes and glasses. And the inexpensive cost compared to other store bought detergents is great!

Occasionally, there is a problem with residue afterwards. I think that it is related to minerals in our city water. Usually the vinegar gets it off in the rinse cycle, so you may need to adjust my recipe to "fit" the mineral content of your area.

Happy Green Cleaning, using your DIY Natural Cleaning Products! Peace, GreenKeen

No comments:

Post a Comment