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OT--Living Green - Mare749 - 03-15-2009

Does anyone make their own cleaning solutions with household items such as baking soda or vinegar? There are a lot of "recipes" out there, but I'm wondering how well they work.

Re: OT--Living Green - chef_Tab - 03-15-2009

I use white vinegar for windows and mirrors. It seems to work better than windex. There is never a streak. I use baking soda to clean the bottom of my stainless cookware if I happen to get things a bit too overdone! When I had vinyl flooring, nothing removed scuff marks like baking soda. Oh, I also use a vinegar and water solution to clean carpet stains. I haven't found a carpet cleaner that works as well.

Re: OT--Living Green - Gourmet_Mom - 03-15-2009

My stainless pots and sink are best cleaned with baking soda as well. As a matter of fact, it's about that time. I have used vinegar on windows and mirrors, but couldn't tolerate the smell. I have a LOT of windows...LOL!
[Image: Deck.jpg]

Please ignore the mess on my deck...almost Spring Cleaning Week!

Also, wiping them with newspaper works, but we don't take the paper...oh well!

Re: OT--Living Green - labradors - 03-15-2009

Also, don't forget that white vinegar + essential oil + fine-mist spray bottle = air freshener.

Generally, though, I tried a whole bunch of those "recipes" several years ago, and found that only a few of them really helped that much. The white vinegar IS very useful, and so is the baking soda, but most of the "green" recipes are just a bunch of environMENTAL hype, and don't do crap (other than making some people feel good about themselves).

Re: OT--Living Green - chef_Tab - 03-15-2009

Tell us how you really feel, Rob! Were those caps an accident? hahaha

Re: OT--Living Green - farnfam - 03-15-2009

I would have to say that I agree with Rob. Still, there are some interesting things here:

Re: OT--Living Green - labradors - 03-15-2009


Still, there are some interesting things here:

I can dig it. Still, those are just general hints and tips, with no claim of being "green." Some of them even use things of which the environMENTALists would definitely not approve (which is why those hints work so well).

I would disagree with two of the tips, though...

Cigarette Burns On Wood: If there are no smokers in the house, there will be no such burns encountered. Therefore, the best solutions are to eliminate the cigarettes or the smokers.

Ripen Green Tomatoes: Everyone on THIS forum knows, of course, that green tomatoes are supposed to be FRIED!

Seriously, the tip for cleaning counter-top stains mentioned Simple Green. When I first started working in the restaurant, I tried just about EVERYthing to get the stains out of my "cooking clothes." "EVERYthing" included:
  • Spray-N-Wash: Sprayed away my money - not the stains.
  • Oxy-Clean: Would have been better off with OxyContin.
  • Seventh Generation: An overpriced, over-hyped "green" product; it was the worst of them all - once again, so much for the "green" people.
  • That pink soap that's supposed to work so well, but whose name I can't remember: Well, obviously, it wasn't exactly memorable.
  • Various "stain sticks": Made the stains stick, all right.
  • Many, many tips from "hint" lists: Some showed hints of working, but probably would have been better for regular, household clothing stains.
  • Simple Green: This is the ONLY product that worked, and it got out EVERY stain. I just spread it onto the stained areas and let the clothes sit there for maybe half an hour, then washed the clothes with my usual liquid Tide, and they came out spotless.

Finally, as long as I've mentioned a few colours, let me add one more. Just about any auto mechanic will tell you (and that's how I found out, since I am NOT a mechanic, but a friend told me) that Fast Orange is one of the best cleaners for your hands when they are covered in grease, oil, paint, or whatever. Well, they are right. When you get done cleaning greasy, grimy hands with that, they look ready to perform surgery they are so clean. Of course, that means that I DID try that on the clothes, as well, and it DID help some, but not the way Simple Green does (and, conversely, Simple Green won't leave your hands as spotless as Fast Orange will).

Well, that's my rant (for now). [Steps down from soapbox (an almost literal one, in this case.)]

Re: OT--Living Green - Mare749 - 03-15-2009

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Cis, that website does have some interesting tips. Daphne, do you have that many windows around the front of your home??? We have 25 windows total, and I thought that was a lot!

I seem to be more sensitive to some of the cleaning products we use today, especially those with bleach, so I'm looking for some alternatives.

Re: OT--Living Green - pjcooks - 03-16-2009


Thanks for the feedback everyone. Cis, that website does have some interesting tips. Daphne, do you have that many windows around the front of your home??? We have 25 windows total, and I thought that was a lot!

Windows? Does that mean I am supposed to wash them???

I've been here 4 years and I haven't done them yet-except when I first moved in. Guess I should get to them at some point, hey, whenever. My house is very clean and organized but windows, I tend to forget they are there.

I don't have lots of luck with green cleaners. We're on town water, which is hard on sinks and tubs. The only cleaner that takes care of the boy's shower (and it gets grubby) is something called The Works. It has a warning label that says, "don't place on laminated surfaces such as countertops" and they mean it. For whatever reason, the darn thing left a stain on my countertop in my bathroom which I'm always trying to hide. What's in that stuff? I don't know what's in BarKeepers's Friend, either, but it's the only thing that get the stainless steel bowl marks from my KA mixer bowl off the composite sink. I miss my stainless. It's a noble idea, but it's hit or miss, use what you can and forget what you can't. We tried it at work for a while, but just couldn't do it, we used at least 3 times as much product and still didn't get the results we needed.

Wow, that was a long post for me


Re: OT--Living Green - Gourmet_Mom - 03-16-2009

LOL! I only have about 27 (I think) and 2 glass doors, BUT I also have a plexiglass porch on the back with about 10 floor to ceiling panes plus a door. Also, if you'll notice, these are REALLY large windows. Hey, I like my view!

PJ, don't feel bad. I only do mine about once a year...about that time. I probably wouldn't do it NEARLY as much, but we have this stuff called "pine pollen" around here. Not only does it turn everything green, it impedes my view of the lake. I must say, the ones in the picture are the ones that get cleaned yearly. The others....well....the ones in the laundry room (remodeled in 2003?) still have contractor markings on them! I may want to take care of those this year...LOL! The back porch also gets a yearly cleaning, but the rest....well, you get the picture.