putting more homemade green cleaners to the test

Piperflowers

For my birthday earlier this month, I finally got something I’ve been asking for since I could talk: a puppy. My husband and I adopted a beautiful, tiny Pomeranian from F.I.D.O. Rescue and, as you can imagine, I’m over the moon! As any new owner has to, we had to doggie-proof the house from top to bottom. That included ditching all the harsh bleaches and chemical-heavy cleaners that make your eyes water and can harm a curious pet. I started by mixing up some of Mary’s highly recommended green cleaners, then found some more concoctions that worked just as well as more toxic recipes. After the jump, check out some recipes for furniture cleaner, drain cleaner, grout cleaner, oven cleaner, mildew cleaner, and oil/grease cleaner. — Katie D.

The following green cleaning recipes come from an Earth Day handout from Underwriters Laboratories.

Furniture Cleaner
Mix 1 cup of olive oil and ¼ cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto a soft, cotton rag and polish with the furniture (rubbing with the grain of the wood).

Drain Cleaner
Pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain followed by ½ cup vinegar. Wait 15 minutes and pour boiling water down the drain to clear out any residue. This method can only be used if you have metal pipes! Large amounts of boiling water can melt plastic pipes.

Grout Cleaner
Sprinkle baking soda on damp grout and scrub with a stiff toothbrush. Let it stand for five minutes and pour boiling water over the baking soda to rinse it away. If there’s no drain in the area you’ve cleaning, use a cloth dipped in hot water to wipe grout clean.

Oven Cleaner
Sprinkle water on the floor of the oven and cover generously with baking soda. Sprinkle more water on top and let it stand over night. Wipe away the grease in the morning, then use a little liquid soap on a sponge to wash away any remaining residue.

Mold and Mildew Cleaner
Apply white vinegar or lemon juice applied at full strength with a sponge.

Oil and Grease Cleaner
For small garage floor spills, use baking soda and scrub with a wet brush.

From our partners
Megan b.

Congrats! Pomeranians are quite special! We have a fondness for them ourselves: my husband wants a dig he can groom into a tiny buffalo.

Sarah C.

Hahaha Megan B – hilarious. Congrats Katie! Great tips, too.

T Bone

i think the pom in the flowers really brings home the whole ‘green’ thing.

Kitty litter on a garage floor spill also works well. Just be sure to dispose of properly if used to absorb hazardous chemicals.

I’ve heard that you can use Coke to clean an oven (let it soak overnight), and that the little plastic tabs that keep bread bags closed make really good disposeable scrapers.

We just adopted a toy australian shepherd this past saturday :) I couldn’t access the other cleaner recipes you mentioned :( can you post them or email them to me?

Mary T.

kimberj, I’m not sure which other recipes you mentioned, but there’s a link in the post above to a previous story that I posted here. Thanks.

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