Other Green Cleaning Recipes

Antique Linens


Fine family heirlooms are a treasure to keep in good condition.  If you do not have any, try picking them up at an estate sale.  Eventually, they will need to be washed.  Since they are fragile, they require manual care.

SUNLIGHT is the easiest way of sanitizing and removing stains.  Try this first.

If sunlight does not do the trick, bring a large pot of WATER to medium boil. Drop in the linens and let them steep until the stain lifts.

The next option is to mix DISHWASHER DETERGENT and BORAX together for a thick rubbing paste.  Rub the mixture into the soiled linens; then rinse clean with WATER.

If the stains are stubborn, try spraying them with HYDROGEN PEROXIDE; then rinse with WATER.

Carpet and Rugs

Rugs are easier to maintain than carpets.  They can be taken outside to beat the dust and hair out with a broom.

When it comes to stains, the old adage of do today what can be done tomorrow comes to mind.  The stain has to be attacked right away.  Lift off any solids, then liberally pour on CLUB SODA.  The carbonation from the club soda brings the spill to the surface, and the salt sthwart staining.  Blot with an old rag.

English: Navajo Rug Diné bizaad: Diyogí
English: Navajo Rug Diné bizaad: Diyogí (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For large spills, dump CORNMEAL.  Wait 5-15 minutes.  Then vacuum up the mess.

For spot cleaning, make yourself a mixture of 1/4 cup LIQUID SOAP* or DETERGENT in a blender with 1/3 cup WATER.  Mix until foamy and then spray on.  Then rinse with WHITE VINEGAR.

To deodorize, sprinkle BAKING SODA or CORNSTARCH on the carpet or rug, using 1 cup per medium-size room.  Vacuum after 30 minutes.  A favorite essential oil can be used to add fragrance to the room.


Did you now that conventional oven-cleaning products are loaded with ingredients that are toxic (e.g., ethers, ethylene glycol, lye, methylene chloride, and petroleum distillates.  The fumes are unhealthy to say the least.  The solution to this is to make your natural solution.

Coat the inside of the oven with a paste made from WATER and BAKING SODA.  Let it sit/stand overnight.  Donning gloves, scour off that grime.  Make spotless with a moist cloth.

The easiest solution is to not let the grime buildup.  Clean any spills shortly after they are made, when the oven has cooled down.

Drains that Clog

Drano isn’t the solution!  To begin with, it is pouring toxic chemicals into the drains and into your immediate environment.  They cause chemical burns and are dangerous if ingested.

To make your own safe product, pour 1/2 cup of BAKING SODA into the clogged drain.  Then add household-grade HYDROGEN PEROXIDE.  Let it stand for a few minutes before flushing with 1 gallon of boiling water.  If the is no HYDROGEN PEROXIDE, use 1/2 cup of WHITE VINEGAR.  Cover the drain tightly to allow the fizzing of the chemical reaction to vigorously break up the gunk.  Then follow with 1 gallon of boiling water.

Islamic tile pattern
Islamic tile pattern (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Porcelain and Tile

  1. Dust surfaces with BAKING SODA.  Scrub the BAKING SODA with a moist spong or cloth.  If the grime is tough, sprinle some kosher salt with some elbow grease.
  2. If you have stains, nildew or grease streaks to remove, spray or douse with LEMON JUICE or VINEGAR.  Let the ingredient used to sit a few minutes.  Then scrub it with a stiff brush.  Then rinse away.
  3. To disinfect, instead of bleach, mix 2 cups of WATER, 3 tablespoons of LIQUID SOAP, and 20-30 drops of TEA TREE OIL.  Tea tree oil will also work well with removing mildew.

The above recipe can be used to clean kitchen counters.  If there are stains, then knead BAKING SODA and WATER into a paste to let set for a while before wiping clean.  This also can be done to stainless steel sinks, cutting boards, containers, refrigerators, oven tops, and any other surface.

Windows opstartscherm in etalage computerwinkel.
Windows opstartscherm in etalage computerwinkel. (Photo credit: Remko van Dokkum)

Windows and Mirrors

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons of WHITE VINEGAR with a gallon of WATER.  Dispense the mixture into a used spray bottle.  Squirt on, then scrub with color-free NEWSPAPER (not paper towels which can cause streaking).
  2. If there is no WHITE VINEGAR, use undiluted LEMON JUICE or CLUB SODA.

Silverware and Copperware

Silverware!  Over the years, I got rid of most of it except for a choice pieces.  Trays, coffee and tea service,  I received two sets on my wedding along with 20 antique linen tablecloths!

Back to the same litany, why have commercial silver polish that contains toxins.  It goes on your flatware and maybe into your body!

  1. Line the sink or container with ALUMINUM FOIL.  Drop the tarnished silver into the sink or container.
  2. Pour in BOILING WATER, 1 cup of BAKING SODA, and a dash of SALT.
  3. Let the flatware sit for a few minutes, allowing the tarnish to transfer from the silver to the foil, an interesting chemical reaction.

If the silverware cannot be immersed into the sink/container, rub the tarnished silver with a WHITE TOOTHPASTE and a SOFT CLOTH.  Rinse with WARM WATER and dry.  Or you can make a concoction of 3 parts BAKING SODA to 1 part WATER.

For cleaning copper, try rubbing the copper with KETCHUP.

Copper pots hung on the Place St André des Art...
Copper pots hung on the Place St André des Arts, Paris VIe, France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wood Floors

Common sense tells you that wet mopping hardwood floors is not a good idea.  But there is an easy way to restore the natural glow of hardwood floors.  Here is how.  Whip up a solution of 1/4 cup WHITE VINEGAR and 30 ounces of WARM WATER.  Put the solution into a spray bottle.  Spray a cotton rag or towel with the solution until it is lightly damp.  Then mop the floor, scrubbing away any grime.


*  Liquid Dish Soap or Detergent is best made from scratch.  Go to–Liquid Dish Soap

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From a Yellow Canary of the 21st century, living in our disabling biosphere

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