Native Village Youth and Education News
February 1, 2009 Issue 194 Volume 3

Do it yourself Household Cleaners
By Paul McRandle

The healthiest, least-toxic cleaners are the ones you make yourself. They're effective too -- according to a Virginia Tech study, spraying hydrogen peroxide, then vinegar,   kills germs as well as chlorine bleach that pollutes our streams and irritates our lungs. Here are a few easy cleaner recipes to kick-start your Saturday chores.

EIGHT ESSENTIALS
These eight items make up the basic ingredients for nearly every do-it-yourself cleaning recipe.

Baking soda: provides grit for scrubbing and reacts with water, vinegar or lemon by fizzing, which speeds up cleaning times
Borax: disinfects, bleaches and deodorizes; very handy in laundry mixes
Distilled white vinegar: disinfects and breaks up dirt; choose white vinegar over apple cider or red vinegars, as these might stain surfaces
Hydrogen Peroxide: disinfects and bleaches
Lemons: cut grease; bottled lemon juice also works well, although you might need to use bit more to get the same results
Olive oil: picks up dirt and polishes wood; cheaper grades work well
Vegetable based (liquid castile) soap: non-petroleum all-purpose cleaners
Washing soda: stain remover, general cleaner, helps unblock pipes. Handle with gloves due to its caustic nature. Washing soda is found with laundry supplies in grocery and drug stores.

Don't forget to pick up an empty spray bottle at the hardware store, and keep those old rags and used toothbrushes for wiping up and scrubbing.

All-Purpose Cleaner
1/2 cup borax
1 gallon hot water

Mix in pail (or use smaller amounts in a spray bottle: 1/8 cup borax to 1 quart of hot water) dissolving the borax completely; wipe clean with rag.
Wood Floors
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 gallon warm water

Mix in mop bucket, rinse afterwards.

Linoleum Floors
1 cup white vinegar
2 gallons warm water

Mix in mop bucket, rinse afterwards.

Furniture Polish
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil

Mix and apply with a clean rag to dust and polish. Reduce the olive oil if wood looks too oily.

Metal Polish
Copper and Brass
2 Tbsps salt
White vinegar

Add vinegar to salt until you've created a paste. Adding flour will reduce abrasiveness. Apply with a rag and rub clean.

Stainless Steel
Baking soda
White vinegar

Apply baking soda with a damp cloth, using the vinegar to eliminate spots.

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