Green Clean

Chemicals are a part of our modern world, and every individual at some point in time will be exposed to these potentially detrimental substances. As Rachel Carson wrote in Silent Spring, “As crude a weapon as the cave man’s club, the chemical barrage has been hurled against the fabric of life.”

However, safer chemicals can create a safer world.

When purchasing cleaners, consider biobased and water based cleaners.

Or create your own cleaners with common materials.


According to numerous studies, environmentally preferred cleaners perform as well as – if not better than – commercial chemical cleaners. These five recipes are safe for your health, your wallet and your environment.

To polish silver, cover the bottom of an aluminum or enameled pan with aluminum foil. Place your tarnished silver in the pan. Fill the pan with enough water to completely cover the silver. Add one teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of salt. Boil on your range for three minutes. Remove the silver, rinse in clean water and polish.

To polish furniture, combine two teaspoons of lemon essential oil with one pint of olive oil in a spray bottle. Spray the wood polish on a clean, soft cloth and apply to furniture. This wood polish is safe for both varnished and unvarnished furniture.

To clean glass, mix two tablespoons of white vinegar with one quart of water. To add a fresh fragrance, add drops of your favorite essential oil such as lemon or lavender. Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Apply the glass cleaner to glass with a soft cloth or newspaper.

To create a linen and fabric spray, place two tablespoons of vodka in a spray bottle. Fill the bottle with distilled water, leaving two inches at the top of the bottle. Add one teaspoon of the essential oils of your choice. Cinnamon and patchouli create a spicy scent. Lavender and vanilla are calming. Lemongrass, orange and mint are refreshing. Spray onto linens and fabrics as needed.

For an all-purpose cleaner, combine two cups of distilled water, one-half cup of distilled white vinegar, one teaspoon of pure castile (vegetable based) soap, 20 drops of tea tree essential oil and 20 drops of lemongrass essential oil into a bottle. Apply with a cloth to the surface to be cleaned and rinse well with warm water. This cleaner is effective at cleaning various surfaces including acrylic, ceramic tile, porcelain, marble and granite.

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