Sunday, March 11, 2012

The green clean

This has been quite the week. And by that, I don't mean, "Wow, everything went just as planned and I got so much accomplished!" Not quite. So in light of wanting start this next week off clean and fresh, I thought I would share my favorite all-natural cleaning regime.

Do you know what is one of the best, cheapest, and all natural cleaners?

Baking Soda. It's pretty amazing stuff. Otherwise known as sodium bicarbinate, it is an alkaline type of substance that reverses acidity. As a nurse, I have given many patients the liquid form of Sodium Bicarb through an IV to reverse the build up of acid in the body from life-threatening problems like inadequate breathing, or not breathing at all, diabetic acidosis, and all sorts of other problems. It is fascinating how it works in the body and how it can reverse serious conditions. That's only one spectrum of use - you can also use it for cleaning, hygiene uses, and, of course, the well known use as an air freshener. Thus baking soda can literally be used to save your life, then you can proceed to use it to brush your teeth, wash your clothes, and scrub your toilet! How great, huh?

If you are not into science stuff and stopped reading the above at the word "alkaline," you can start reading again...My best friend, Jay, {friends since we were 8 which is so hard to believe!} shared with me this concoction for making your own soft scrub. I use this to scrub out my sinks, tub, and toilets.

Here is how I make it and what you will need:

~ Empty bottle {my fav to use is empty ketchup bottles. They provide the perfect "squirtability" factor. You don't want to use any empty cleaner bottles though because of the chemicals that absorb into the plastic and can then leach out to what is put in them.}
~ Baking soda {super cheap! These were 79 cents at Kroger.}
~ Salt
~ Liquid soap
~ Funnel {I have one just for this purpose so I don't have to wash it}

I usually mix up several bottles of this at a time and keep one in each bathroom for easy access. Now, you are not making a cake or anything so there is NO exact measurements to this! You can't exactly mess this up and the worst that can happen is it can be too soapy {which I have done before}.

First, I use the funnel to fill the bottle about 2/3 full with baking soda:

Next is the salt - about 1-2 tablespoons.
Take the funnel off and squeeze in about 1-2 tsp of liquid soap. I have used Dawn, 7th Generation, Palmolive, or whatever is on hand. You just don't want to add too much because this is the part that can make it too soapy. Lastly, you add water. I prefer mine on the thin side so adjust the amount of water to how "pasty" you would like it. 
Here is how much I add:

Give it a good shake and you have some mega cheap cleaner! And, if your curious child decides to take a swig, it will only serve to reduce any stomach acid he might have and probably tastes disgusting and salty. I was going to show you the before and after of using this to clean my porcelain kitchen sink but it was already sparkling clean.

Ok, that was a total lie. I actually just didn't feel like scrubbing out the pot soaking from dinner first to get to the dirty sink to then scrub it clean. Just take my word for it; this cleaner works really well. :-)

With my homemade scrub, this is all I use to clean my bathroom & kitchen:

As you can see, my old ketchup bottle has been well used for this purpose. To clean mirrors and glass, I use white vinegar, either straight or slightly watered down. I like to use coffee filters to wipe with because they don't leave all the lint that paper towels do. I keep meaning to try one of those lint free cloths I have seen at the store but I don't think about it until I'm in the midst of house cleaning. To sanitize counter tops, faucets, & toilet seats, I really like the seventh generation multi-surface or bathroom cleaner. It uses natural oils like those from thyme to kill bacteria. This is also not too costly at less than $3 or so a bottle. For really dirty surfaces, I will squirt some scrub, spray with vinegar, and let it sit and foam for a little while before scrubbing. The scrub mixture will settle in between uses {some weeks mine gets a little extra settling time...if you know what I mean} so just be sure to give it a good shake before cleaning again. 

Speaking of which, I'm going to go do some cleaning myself before my kiddo's wake up and give new purpose to why I clean in the first place! :-) 
Happy cleaning this week!


  1. Awesome! Great idea with the ketchup bottle. Since we do not really like ketchup at my house I am going to get three squirt bottle of ketchup and pour all the ketchup in a glass baking dish and soak my silverware (it works great to clean it and I have tried it before) then use the bottles for our soft scrub :). ;)

  2. Thank you for posting this. It works really well on grime. I will use this formula from now on.