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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

Going Green when you Clean by Fran Joyce


A clean house is a wonderful thing, but it’s even better when you use environmentally friendly cleaning products that also save you some cash.

I make most of my own cleaning products, and I try to make sure any products I do buy are natural and do not contain harmful chemicals.

These are the basic ingredients you need to keep your home clean and fresh.

Vinegar- effectively and lay cleans and eliminates grease, soap scum and grime (do not use on wood).

Lemons/lemon juice- eliminates mildew and mold, cuts through grease, shines hard surfaces and smells great.

Baking soda- a natural cleaner with proven virus-killing abilities. Cleans, deodorizes, brightens and cuts through grease and grime.

Cream of tartar- add this to a little water or vinegar and make a paste to clean pots and pans, appliances, stainless steel sinks, bathrooms, cooper, Mix with lemon juice to remove carpet stains or laundry stains (ring around the collar).  Use cream of tartar with a sponge or a damp Magic Eraser to clean silver pieces.

Hydrogen peroxide whiten whites, remove blood stains from color fast clothing. Disinfect bathrooms and even your toothbrush.  Pour onto cutting boards or counter tops to disinfect. You can wash fruits and vegetables in one quarter to one half cup water to a clean sink filled with water to remove germs and pesticides. An ounce of peroxide mixed with a cup of water makes a safe spray for house plants to keep them fungus free. Make sue to keep any mixture containing hydrogen peroxide in a dark bottle.

Pet friendly essential oils- consider any possible allergies before choosing an oil to scent cleaning products or freshen the air. I like to add a pet friendly essential oil to vinegar and use it in place of fabric softener.

Castile Soap- 100% plant oils (no animal products or chemical detergents) cuts through grease and cleans.

Olive Oil – cleans and polishes

Borax – a hotly debated cleaner among the DIY set. Most believe it to be a non-toxic alternative to commercial cleaning products, but it has been known to irritate skin and eyes. I use it sparingly in the bathroom to clean the toilet or the shower/tub.

When mixing your own cleaning products avoid mixing a base such as Castile soap with an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar because the cleaning properties will cancel each other out. However, you can clean with Castile soap and follow it up with a vinegar or lemon water rinse.

Some cleaning sites recommend a light mixture of vinegar and water to clean your hardwood floors, but vinegar can dull your floor over time. You can use a couple drops of dish detergent in a pail of water or a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice and water. A couple of tea bags in a pail of hot water will also clean your hardwood floor. Always be sure to ring your mop or cleaning cloth well to use as little water on the floor as possible.

Never clean marble, limestone, travertine or onyx with vinegar, lemon juice or any acidic cleaner. If you are not sure which products are safe for a surface, go online and look it up or contact the manufacturer.

Clean your stainless steel appliances with dish soap and mineral oil or use club soda and be sure to clean with the grain.

Some information for this article was taken from the Domestic CEO at For more great ideas for cleaning with green products please visit their website.


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