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Tips for Better Green Cleaning

Published on NewsOK Published: March 25, 2013

Green cleaning is so popular. Every blogger is posting their "totally ah-may-zinggg" homemade cleaner recipe that involves three magical ingredients, such as castile soap, vinegar and baking soda. All of this all sounds awesome, until you actually try the recipe yourself. Then you wonder what that blogger's standards of cleanliness actually are. Amiright? 

Since I've been publish articles on green cleaning several times a month, for almost three years now, I have tried a lot of green cleaning recipes and techniques. I have come to one conclusion: If I were stuck on a desert island with two cleaning products, they would be bleach and dish soap. I would also want rags, an empty spray bottle, water and a bucket, and a good scrub brush. Not vinegar, not baking soda, and definitely not lemon juice.

But hey, I hear you if you won't use bleach in your house. It's not for everybody. So let's get to my green cleaning tips.

Don't clean with lemon juice: In my experience, lemon juice leaves a sticky residue on surfaces. It is, after all, juice. Though it is touted to be a grease-cutter, I find that it does not cut through grease. I have used lemon juice to clean both diluted and neat, and I've always been disappointed with the results. As an alternative, I recommend cleaning with a dish soap and water solution and a scrub brush. Dish soap and water solution, even the ecologically-friendly kind, cuts grease way better than lemon juice. Combined with a brush and elbow grease, it is a very effective cleanser for greasy kitchen appliances. The trick is to do two passes on the surface with it, and wipe with rags after each pass. Dish soap and water are actually one of the best tile floor cleansers I've used.

Water down the vinegar: Straight vinegar doesn't clean more effectively than a vinegar and water solution. Vinegar neat is super-smelly, and hard on skin. It also leaves a residue on glass surfaces, in my experience. Water it down for best results. I like a 6 parts water to 1 part vinegar ratio, but try different strengths of concentration for yourself. Also, flooring contractors agree that straight vinegar is very harmful to hardwood floor finishes, so never use it straight to clean a hardwood floor. Read 8 Ways Not to Use Vinegar.

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