Green Spring Cleaning
I’m a creature of habit when it comes to cleaning methods and cleaning supplies. I have several different kinds of cleaning supplies in our housekeeping bins at Voyageur because I want to use the one that works best for the job. Each job is a little bit different and requires a special cleaner so I don’t use the same cleaner on showers as I do on windows or on toilets. I have Soft Scrub, Pinesol, Lysol, Windex, Clorox and more for cleaning at Voyageur. I’m like the old dog that doesn’t like to learn new tricks but I care about the environment so I’ve been changing slowly over time.
I haven’t spent much time thinking about how these cleansers could be hazardous to me or my crew. I don’t like to wear rubber gloves but I encourage my crew to. Gloves may take care of the chemicals getting absorbed via your skin but there are still fumes a person should think about.
There are a few things I do that are on the right track already. I don’t use paper towels or disposable single use cleaning wipes. I use homemade rags from old towels or sheets and then we wash them over and over again. We re-use our garbage bags too and that’s a big deal when you think about how often we empty our garbage cans.
When I’m cleaning just my house I try to use more eco-friendly items. I clean my drains using baking soda and vinegar and I love to use a Norwex cloth on my windows. My hang up has always been no other “green” cleaners work as well as the ones I currently use. I am open to trying new things and if any of you have some good recipes then please feel free to share them with me. And I hope other people use as many green cleaning products as they can.
Here’s a recipe that uses egg shells to clean bath tubs.
dozen eggshells to make about 3/4 cup of calcium powder
1/2 cup baking soda
15-20 drops of your favorite pure essential oil – I recommend something citrus-y
Rinse the eggshells well with plain tap water.
Meanwhile, place 3-4 gallons of water in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, then carefully lower the eggshells into the water and let them cook for 10-12 minutes.
Remove the shells carefully and set them upside down on a baking sheet. Let them air dry for 8-12 hours, then place them in a 200° degree oven until they are completely bone dry, about 10 minutes.
Working in batches, place the shells in a coffee grinder and process until they are completely powdered.
Toss the finished calcium powder with the baking soda and essential oils and mix until the oils are well-distributed and no clumps exist.
Spoon into a pint-sized Mason jar, then lay a piece of plastic wire mesh over the mouth. Screw on the regular lid to fit very tightly and store in a cool, dark place. To use, merely remove the lid and rescrew on the ring to create a shaker. (You could also use a sprouting lid or anything else that strikes your fancy!)
The Best Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipe
- 1 c. filtered, very hot water
- 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/8 c. rubbing alcohol (at least 70% isopropyl, if not more)
- 1/8 c. white vinegar
Boil your water and let it cool just a bit. Add cornstarch to your spray bottle, and then the hot water. Shake well to dissolve. Add the rubbing alcohol and vinegar, and shake again. Every time you use this, you’ll want to shake it up to avoid clogging the spray nozzle with undissolved cornstarch. Use liberally and happily. Smile.