green cleaning update!

A while back I posted about my quest to use greener cleaning products in our home.  I checked out some books from the library and did some research on everyday products that can be used for cleaning.  Here’s what I tested: lemon juice as a degreaser and disinfectant; baking soda and water as an oven cleaner; baking soda and water to clean countertops; vinegar to wash floors; club soda as a glass cleaner.
I had some great results and some that were terrible.

Lemon Juice
I used a rag dipped in diluted lemon juice to wipe down all our light switches and door handles.  It worked really well, especially on greasy wooden handles!

Baking Soda and Water (oven)
The idea is to sprinkle baking powder inside your oven and squirt lightly with water…then wait for hours.  Once it has had a chance to work and lift the grease you simply scrape off all the gunk.  I wasn’t sure what to use as a scraper so I found a soft plastic drywall compound scraper (my oven was not damaged by scraping). It was a lengthy process from start to finish, and the rinsing afterwards was tricky…I just wiped the remaining powder up with a damp rag.  BUT, my oven was very clean afterwards and I could bake assured that no harsh chemicals may redeposit onto my food.

Baking Soda and Water (counters)
Terrible idea!!  We have laminate counters in the kitchen that always feel dirty. I’ve used every possible cleaner I can so I thought I’d try a natural alternative.  All that has to be done is sprinkle the powder and wipe it up after a few minutes.  Afterwards, my counters felt more dirty AND gritty.  I won’t be using that again.

I hate the smell of vinegar so much. But I also hate cleaning floors since most chemical cleaners left an even worse smell and made the floors feel sticky.  Our kitchen has some type of laminate floor tiles, the bathroom is peel and stick and the rest of the house is laminate wood.  Apparently vinegar is safe for them all, but I only focused on the bathroom and kitchen.  I used diluted vinegar and a cloth to wash the floors and I was very disappointed with the results.  The floors felt very sticky and had to be washed again with a chemical solution.  I probably could have just rinsed them but I didn’t want to risk water finding its way under the floors.

Club Soda
I was so excited to try club soda on glass!  I accidently sprayed our really nice mirror with all purpose cleaner instead of glass cleaner and the streaks were impossible to remove.  Unfortunately, the club soda did little to help.  I decided to try cleaning some exterior windows to see if the club soda would work there (the windows just had pollen on them, nothing major).  The dirt was removed, but the club soda left huge streaks.  I’m not sure if I’d use this again.

It can be challenging to find a balance between alternative cleaning products that clean well and are eco-friendly.  Do you have any recommendations?  I’d love to hear them, so feel free to comment below or e-mail me (davidswife2574 @, just remove the space on either side of the @ symbol.

About Christina

20-something; rural dwelling; wife to David; homeowner; pretty good cook; wearer of skirts; friend to all cats.

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