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Least expensive green products?

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,

 

My name is Anthony and I've found this website very informative :)  My good friend has introduced me to Green Cleaning and I'm thoroughly convinced of all the benefits of Green Cleaning.

 

I would like to clean only using Green products from this day forward but I don't have a lot of money.  So I would like to know which are the least expensive green products to clean my home?  Are these products just as effective?  Thank you so much in advance!

 

-Anthony

post #2 of 42

well, i'm basically copy and pasting my response from the post "what's the best green cleaning products"

 

the cheapest and best most definitly are

 

Vinegar, Essential Oils, Baking Soda, Citrus Acid, Washing Soda, Castile Soap (which i make from sratch from oils, milks and lye- but you can buy it too, or use whatever bar soap you like), Lemon Juice, Oils and Hydrogen Peroxide. ;-)

 

These are what are used to clean with in my house. Some jobs just require one ingredient, some a mix of a few of them. But it's cheap and easy to do. most people say they don't have time to make their own cleaners, invariably I find these people have never tried, it's amazingly simple and quick to make all the recipes I use, and the work just as well as store bought or better- and oh so much cheaper!

 

just remember to go with baby steps so you don't overwhelm yourself. if you need help with some easy recipes let me know, I would be happy to help and post the ones that work for me, and give any tips on tweaking them you might need.

 

good luck and congrats on your choice to live a little greener ;-)


Edited by kaymmiv - Fri, 25 Jul 2008 20:09:38 UTC
post #3 of 42

 

This is by no means all of my recipe archive, but here's some to help get you started, let me know whatever questions you have about anything.


 

I'm breaking these out into seperate replies so that it's easier to find each cleaner for reference and so that wheni add new cleaning recipes for you I can add like cleaners to the same reply or new cleaners entirely to their own reply. just to make it a little more organized ;-)


Edited by kaymmiv - Fri, 25 Jul 2008 20:09:10 UTC
post #4 of 42

Disinfectant/General Cleaning Spray

The easiest one by far is just half and half cheap white vinegar and water.

For a little more germ fighting and deodorizing power you can add 7/8 drops of tea tree oil and an ounce or two of lemon juice to 10oz of vinegar (plus 10oz of water) or 7/8 drops of any citrus essential oil instead of the juice.

Just put this in an empty spray bottle and you have a very cheap and effective disinfectant and general cleaner.


Edited by kaymmiv - Fri, 25 Jul 2008 20:10:17 UTC
post #5 of 42

Dishwasher Detergent (powder)

Most people use a mix of borax and baking soda, but get a film. Here is an easy remedy for that.

1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup citric acid
(essential oil if desired for scent)

Mix and then grind to fine powder. Use vinegar as rinse agent.


if you aren't so hot on borax (like me) here's a good substitute recipe.


1/2 cup grated bar soap (I use castile, but any bar soap works)
1/2 cup washing soda
1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup citric acid

Mix and then grind to fine powder (or as close as you can get the soap to go) and use vinegar as a rinse agent.


Edited by kaymmiv - Fri, 25 Jul 2008 20:10:34 UTC
post #6 of 42

Glass Cleaner (can be spray)

Mix in a spray bottle or bucket:

1 cup rubbing alcohol
1 cup water
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Tip: If you are having trouble getting some sort of oil off glass sprinkle corn starch to absorb the oil off it (or put it in a towel and wipe with it if a window) use the above cleaner again.

post #7 of 42

Bathroom Cleaning

Your new best bathroom buddy is baking soda, with vinegar a close second.

Most everything in the bathroom can be cleaned with one of the other. And when something just won't scrub off, mix them ;-)

But remember those science volcanoes as a kid? So here's how you mix them to get the job done. Make a paste out of baking soda and water and put this on top of the tough to scrub clean area. then pour a little bit of vinegar over top. That chemical reaction will help loosen the soap scum or lime buildup or whatever it is. Then just your own scrubbing elbow grease will do the rest of the job.

You can add whatever essential oils you want for smell, and using ones like citrus (lemon, orange, lime etc...) or tea tree oil or clove that have their own anti-microbial properties is never amiss.

post #8 of 42

Hello, I am new here but I am truly an eco- friendly endorser. I have found a company that has a disenfectant actually apporved by the EPA and has an active ingredient that is natural and killls HIV and Staph infection bacteria.

 

I have went to change my home and significantly see the changes in my skin and clothes believe it or not.

 

But I am not trying to sell anything I wanted to ask if anyone here is intrested in a greenwashing report that I found informative and easy to read. Please ask for this and I know it will be about this post.


Edited by sgmteam - Wed, 30 Jul 2008 05:06:32 UTC
post #9 of 42

hey, maybe you can help me out. I happen to know that the only company that claims to have an epa certified disinfectant is melaleuca. A company that doesn't claim to be green but that many 'teams' and 'reps' of there mlm practice claim they are.

 

They also don't list ingredients on a lot of their products, but they do on some of them, like renew, one of their biggest promotional items (a lotion for those of you unfamiliar with melalecua)

 

if you look at the ingredient list of Renew you will find.

Ingredients:
Deionized water, Glycerin USP, petrolatum USP, distearyldimonium chloride, isopropyl palmitate, cetyl alcohol, dimethicone, allantoin, T36-C5® brand Melaleuca Oil, methylparaben, propylparaben, fragrance.

these ingredients include, clearly listed, parabens methylparaben & propylparaben

It also lists dimethicone which is non-biodegradable Silicone derived emollient (kinda hard for a product to be green when it has non-biodergradable ingredients, so this is definitly not green by anyones standards)

then we have the dreaded fragrance- Fragrance on a label can indicate the presence of up to four thousand separate ingredients, many toxic or carcinogenic.

I must also note that this is in one of the products that have ingredients available for view, to me that says that the ingredients in this product are probably safer then in the products that don't list ingredients. So I hardly think this company can be called green by anyone's standards.

 

So anyways, having said that, I have searched a few times for the ingredients to sol-u-gaurd (the disinfectant) I don't really trust their msds sheet since it is not third party certified and they have a nifty little disclaimer about how true or not the info provided might be at the bottom.

 

I was wondering if you happened to have the ingredients list?

 

Quote:
 

Originally Posted by SGMTEAM:

Hello, I am new here but I am truly an eco- friendly endorser. I have found a company that has a disenfectant actually apporved by the EPA and has an active ingredient that is natural and killls HIV and Staph infection bacteria.

 

I have went to change my home and significantly see the changes in my skin and clothes believe it or not.

 

But I am not trying to sell anything I wanted to ask if anyone here is intrested in a greenwashing report that I found informative and easy to read. Please ask for this and I know it will be about this post.


Edited by sgmteam - Wed, 30 Jul 2008 05:06:32 UTC


 

post #10 of 42

You can also Google Make my own home cleaners, and get all kinds of info...  I make everything, and it works great..

 

Liz Bonner

www.posergy.com

post #11 of 42

KayMMIV

I think you're right - Melaleuca is the only one that has an EPA certified disinfectant. I know because I was a part of it when it was released a couple years ago. There was a lot of hoopla surrounding it.

I think you're also right that they don't claim to be green on the website (for example) but that's how their rep sold me on it. However, the more I learned about them the more disappointed I was. I know this site isn't about animals but there were numerous inconsistencies that bothered me and rather than just coming out and addressing them - their rep kept being elusive. They do test their products on animals (when they deem necessary) and they only make their products green when it's convenient.

If truly being green is not a person's goal, they're great. Their products do clean and they have an appearance of being green - but as soon as you scratch the surface you realize that they really aren't and if you look through their own FAQ area, you'll see that they even have an attitude about it purporting that ~really, truly, there is no way to get around using perto-chemicals and animal testing, etc. if you want to be "clean" and "healthy"~. That's why after 6 months I discontinued my membership.

 

post #12 of 42

I've found that plain white vinegar is the best way to clean everything from soap scum and dirt on the tub/shower unit to the kitchen counters to vinyl floors to windows, it even works on the interior of my car! Its cheap, non-toxic and works BETTER than scrubbing bubbles on soap scum. I had a coupon for a free can of that junk once and decided to try it; all it did was burn my throat with the fumes and it took 30 minutes to clean the shower. I can get a gallon for $2.65 at Kroger, which lasts me about a month of cleaning. I usually keep a jumbo size box of generic baking soda on hand too.

 

I'm new to this site but my philosophy is environmentalism through creative frugality.

post #13 of 42

You hit the nail on the head. Y'see, you can't patent acetic acid and buid a "premium" product around it. That's why we have all this garbage on grocery shelves.

 

And don't even get me started about pharmaceuticals ...

post #14 of 42

vinegar is a great cleaner for all kinds of things I use it in my washer rinse cycle just pour it in where you put the fabric softener. I also cleaner my stainless steel fridge with it full strength on a soft cloth it removes all the fingerprints.

post #15 of 42

I use salt to scrub my stainless steel sink.  I like the way it works.  It doesn't leave a film that I have to use lots of water to try and rinse off.  Has anybody ever used salt?  I am wondering if it is a good alternative to chemical products.  thank you.

post #16 of 42

I think salt is antibacterial or something. I used to make a mix of salt and baking soda with some dried herbs to scrub my sink with. In fact I should make some more of that! I think I just used one part salt, one part baking soda. It smells really nice too, depending on the herbs you use. What kind of salt do you use? Sea salt or mineral salt?

post #17 of 42

I like the mixture you used.  I'm going to make some!  I just use regular table salt.  I happen to have extra in the cupboard for some reason.  I have sea salt too.  I grow a lot of rosemary and sage.  Thank you for telling me about the herbs.  Good idea!!!

post #18 of 42

I think rosemary and sage are also antibacterial, so they are going to make an excellent antibacterial powder for the kitchen!

post #19 of 42

My primary cleaners are vinegar, baking soda and a natural liquid soap. I buy vinegar by the gallon. I've seen it at Costco for under $2 a gallon, I think it was $2 for 2 gallons, but I don't remember. I also buy baking soda in a 5# bag, it is much cheaper than buying them in the little boxes. I use old spray bottles from other cleaners. Basically I put a little liquid soap, about 1 cup of vinegar and water into the spray bottle and use if for just about everything. To get rid of soap scum or stuck on things I spray with cleaner then sprinkle with baking soda and wipe off. I make a paste with water and baking soda and paint it on to the inside of the oven and let it sit over night, then wipe it down, this seems to get most stuff off. I spray straight vinegar onto my cutting boards or counters and let airdry if I've put raw meat onto them. I use a 1/2 cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle as a fabric softener, if you don't have a special place in the washer to put it you can use a downey ball so you won't forget. Salt and lemon juice are great to get the shine back onto your copper pots. Salt is an abrasive so keep that in mind when using it on delicate surfaces. A little baking soda and vinegar make a great toilet bowl scrub as well as break up clogged drains.

post #20 of 42

I don't know why I've procrastinated on this -- but I've wanted to make my own cleaners, and this thread has inspired me to get my butt in gear and do it! I have some of the basics to get started, so I think I'll use this weekend to experiment.

 

Has anyone incorporated Borax in their recipes? Or used it by itself?

 

I've also read that Bon Ami is a good stand-alone cleaning agent. Any thoughts?

post #21 of 42

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by katiehmn View Post

 

I don't know why I've procrastinated on this -- but I've wanted to make my own cleaners, and this thread has inspired me to get my butt in gear and do it! I have some of the basics to get started, so I think I'll use this weekend to experiment.

 

A lot of folks have contributed their recipes to this list of Homemade Household Cleaners which you might be interested in checking out.  I've actually been meaning to try the hairy drain de-clogger myself....my housemates and I had to recently call out Roto-Rooter because our shower just wasn't draining at all anymore.  Ah, gotta love long hair...

 

 

Quote:
Has anyone incorporated Borax in their recipes? Or used it by itself?

 

In terms of Borax, I haven't tried using it myself, but I know jenn has used it in her homemade laundry detergent and it looks like both KayMMIV and kellyteach have used Borax for dish detergent too.  And Jax1 has certainly vouched for it!

post #22 of 42

I've used borax together with a couple of drops of dish soap, diluted in a bucket, to clean the floor. Also use it in the laundry and the toilet bowl. Just sprinkle, leave as long as possible, brush and flush. I tried to use it as a scouring powder but it seems to clump together...

 

As for Bon Ami, I have been using it for years, way before all these eco-friendly products hit the market. I still use it since it does a great job and is very cheap!

post #23 of 42

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stins View Post

 

A lot of folks have contributed their recipes to this list of Homemade Household Cleaners which you might be interested in checking out. 

 

Wow. Fantastic list! I am off to the store right now to buy supplies.

post #24 of 42

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by katiehmn View Post

 

Wow. Fantastic list! I am off to the store right now to buy supplies.

 

Definitely add to it if you find any more recipes.  I'll be really excited to hear how it goes!

post #25 of 42

I'm totally cleaning my drains this weekend. Yes!

post #26 of 42

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KayMMIV View Post

 

Glass Cleaner (can be spray)

Mix in a spray bottle or bucket:

1 cup rubbing alcohol
1 cup water
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Tip: If you are having trouble getting some sort of oil off glass sprinkle corn starch to absorb the oil off it (or put it in a towel and wipe with it if a window) use the above cleaner again.

 

I just made this glass cleaner, and it worked like a charm! I added about 10 drops of lemon essential oil to cover up the vinegar scent.

 

It took the gunk off my porch windows. I'd (lazily) left the residue from some holiday window decorations on them, for, oh, three months or so -- the gummy clings that slide down the window when it's too cold out for them to stick. A few sprays of the glass cleaner and a few swipes with a dry dish towel, and the gunk was gone.

 

The rubbing alcohol makes the cleaner dry super-fast, so there were no streaks. Perfect!

post #27 of 42

Hi Anthony,

 

If you use Norwex antibac Microfiber cloths and just water, you will only pay the cost of the cloths once.  No more cleaners and paper towels etc.  You can check them out at www.simplycleanandgreen.com  You won't be dissappointed.  If you really like them then you should sign up to be a consultant and get them wholesale!  I tried them and was so impressed that I signed up too!  Let me know if you have any questions.  You WILL Love them.

post #28 of 42

I'm so glad to see Bon Ami is so eco-friendly.  My grandmother always used it to scub delicate items so it's been under my sink for decades. 

post #29 of 42

Well, at the risk of tooting my own horn, our product, NatureMagiX, costs about 50¢ a quart at the everyday-strength dilution (comparable in cleaning strength to 409 or Fantastic).  And the industrial-strength dilution costs about $1.00 per quart - and is comparable to highly-toxic cleaners used for degreasing engines and auto parts, fryolaters, commercial kitchen equipment, etc.  But our product is 100% nature-friendly and safe for people, plants and pets.  It's made out of yucca plants, and it is a living enzyme cleaner that continues to clean 24/7 when sprayed on any surface. The runoff won't harm plants, and when poured down your drain it actually clears out your drain pipes.  We offer free samples, including free shipping, at www.NatureMagiX.com.

post #30 of 42


I have to agree. Vinager is all I really use around my home as I know exactly what's in it. Can't beleive some of the chemicals people still use in their homes today.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ginny1 View Post

vinegar is a great cleaner for all kinds of things I use it in my washer rinse cycle just pour it in where you put the fabric softener. I also cleaner my stainless steel fridge with it full strength on a soft cloth it removes all the fingerprints.

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