April 9, 2012 in Features

Do Your Part: Try green for spring clean

Terri Bennett McClatchy
 

Spring is here and that means it’s time for a good spring-cleaning. Instead of bringing in chemical cleaners to do the dirty work, opt for a deep, green clean. Using safer cleaning products helps create a healthier home and a healthier family.

• White vinegar is a natural disinfectant that works just about everywhere. Mix a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water for a germ-busting disinfectant to clean kitchen counters, bathrooms, and most floors. You can bring this mixture to a boil in the microwave to loosen stuck-on food and grease. And 1 cup of vinegar in a dishwasher will clean its inner workings. One warning: don’t use vinegar on marble or other porous surfaces.

• Baking soda works well on most things in the kitchen because it doesn’t scratch. That makes it a good choice for countertops, oven tops, stainless steel, and the sink. If you have stubborn stains, use a baking soda paste of three parts baking soda and one part water. Let it sit for a while, scrub the area, and then wipe clean.

• Borax is an effective mold killer and works well on hard water deposits. Use a paste to scrub the sides of the tub to a sparkling white, or mix a solution of 1 cup of borax with 1 gallon of hot water to eat away at mold in tile grout. A cup of borax left in the toilet bowl overnight leaves it fresh and clean.

• Green up laundry day by switching to a plant-based detergent. For softer clothes add 1/4 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle as a natural fabric softener (use less for HE machines). The smell of vinegar disappears as the clothes dry.

• Wean your family off paper towels by keeping a drawer of reusable cloths nearby. Whether you choose kitchen towels, washcloths, or cut up old T-shirts, the key is in quantity.

Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, eco-expert and author of “Do Your Part: A practical guide for everyday green living” available at DoYourPart.com.

Get stories like this in a free daily email


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus