Going Green Tip #0001 - Spring clean the green way

Switching to natural products involves a bit of adjustment - it's harder at first because a little bit more work is involved. However, in a long run, this practise will not only bring a positive impact onto the environment, but also to your health (and your loved ones). Here's a few tips to get you started :

(1) Make your transition at a comfortable pace.

Considering that most of Malaysians buy household cleaning products in bulk (who can resist the almost melodic chant 'Bai mor save mor so bai mormor to save mormor' o_O), we guessed you would probably, like us, have like a 1000 litre of Cifs standing-by at home to wash Sungai Klang or somethin, it is a good idea to stop buying when you already have enough even if the discount is to die for...musst resist buuuyinggg ^_^. Reduce and replace your commerical chemical cleaners with a homemade substitute as you run out of each one. For us, we estimated that our current Cif stock level would most probably last for 2 generations before we start going green...sooo guuuiillty! Be sure to mix up the new cleaner as soon as you run out of the commerical one so that it will be on hand and ready to use when you need it.

(2) Keep your eco-cleaners in a child proofed area and label your cleaners clearly to prevent your child from consuming it. Although the eco-cleaners are made from natural ingredients, it is still a no-no if consumed in excess. Mom says try not to label them like 'Danger!' or 'Drink & Die' cos speaking from her experience, the more death-defyingly they labelled it, the more I wanted to tempt fate. Instead, go for stuff your kids would not even try on their wildest day like em...Pea Soup, Carrot cake, Essence of Broccoli, Stuff Mommy Put on Lips When Going Out (<--only for boys!), Dad's Chest Hair Collection (<--only for girls!). Mom sez these labels work on me...honestly, that's the reason I'm still alive +P.

(3) Store your cleaners in reusable airtight containers (eg. empty spray bottles or recycle your wine/liquor bottle). If you must reuse your commercial cleaner's container, make sure that you wash them thoroughly. Be sure to label each container the ingredients and purpose. With eco-cleaners, you can't name them after their smell like the commercial ones, you know : lavender, pine fresh, rose, etc...etc. If you do so, you will end up having funny labels like : Smells Somethin Like Grandpa, KFC, crossbreed between a Kiwi shoe shine with a May soap...clearly no help at all.

Make Your Own Eco Tub & Tile Cleaner

For everyday tub and tile cleaning, all you really need is a simple & pleasant cleaner. Have I got a recipe for you... your own homemade Soft Scrub alternative!

Ingredients: Baking soda, a high-quality liquid soap, white distilled vinegar, water and a 16 oz. squeeze container with a squirt flip-top cap. Only use squirt tops with a larger nozzle. Otherwise, they'll clog. Reusing bottle tops from commercial soft scrub cleaners works great.

Recipe: Mix 1 2/3 cups baking soda with 1/2 cup of liquid soap in a bowl. Using liquid soaps is best because liquid detergents make this scrub too time consuming to rinse off. Dilute with 1/2 cup water. Add 2 tbsp. of white vinegar. Stir with a fork until the lumps are gone. Be as exact as you can, otherwise, your squirt will be too thin or thick. Keep the cap on, because this mixture will dry out. Shake well before using.

To use: Squirt this cleaner anywhere! My favorite places to use it are the tub, sink and toilet bowl, but I’ve used it for any greasy, grimy job. It’s great for under the rim of the toilet, bathtub rings, sinks and countertops. It’s a soft, mildly abrasive cleanser. Use a nylon white-backed sponge to prevent scratching. Rinse well. If you find that you are leaving a baking soda residue, try using a little less scrub and/or rinse with a squirt of scented vinegar and water. The vinegar dissolves that little bit of leftover baking soda and soap right away. Remember to shake well before using.


Try other homemade eco-cleaner ideas below today for better health, a safer home, and a greener environment!

Lemons and lemon juice - A Natural Cleaner and Disinfectant

  • Place a whole lemon peel in the garbage disposal to eliminate the odor.
  • Dip a lemon wedge into baking soda and use to scour copper pots.
  • Dried lemon peel can be used alone or in conjunction with cedar or lavender to make moth repellents and closet fresheners.
  • Use lemon juice and salt to remove rust stains from clothing and surfaces.
  • Mix a little lemon oil and olive oil together and use to polish and buff wood furniture.

White Vinegar - a secret ingredient to remove smelly odour from your clothes, pet, toilet and even the smoke odour in your workplace!

  • to remove perspiration/ anti-perspiration /deoderiser stain, wash the area with distilled vinegar (one part vinegar to 4 part of distilled water) and proceed laundering as usual.
  • to deoderise a room filled with paint fumes/ smoke odour, place a bowl of vinegar in the room.
  • to remove your pet's smell/urine smell, add one cap of vinegar to one litre of water and rinse your pet at the end of the usual bathing.
  • to remove your bathroom odour, simply rinse with diluted vinegar (one cap to a litre of water)

Alternatives cleaning tools (reuse):

  • Socks - Socks are good for cleaning walls, especially textured ones (sponges break off little pieces when you try to scrub textured walls).
  • Scrubbers - Cut up pieces of mesh potato bags and tie them into a small ball. It works great for scouring dishes!
  • Towels - Cut up old towels instead of throwing them away and use them for dish clothes or in the garage.
  • Toothbrushes - Save that old toothbrush! You can use it to scrub floors, stains on clothing, and more.
  • Mop - To make a new mop head, try cutting up strips of old towels, shirts or socks. Rubberband or tie the top ends of the strips together, then secure to the mop stick.
  • Old cloth diapers - Use them as window cleaners

And that concludes our lesson on the meaning of the 3Rs. All together now...REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE ^_^

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