Nearly four years ago I posted here about my intention to start using green cleaning products. While it was partially motivated by a desire to help the environment, my major motivation was personal: I have a lot of allergies that cause reactions to many commercially available cleaning products. Well, I started out with good intentions but until about three months ago didn’t quite live up to my original hopes.
Over the past four years I did buy some “green” products at local stores. I also periodically used baking powder mixed with vinegar to clean out various kitchen items. But to be honest, that combination continues to mystify me. I thought it would be a great way to clean out the travel mug I use each day to bring tea to work. However, when I put a bit of baking soda in the bottom of the mug and pour in vinegar it completely bubbles out within seconds, leaving just a tiny bit in the bottom of the mug. I can get the bottom of the mug really clean that way, but the sides remain tea stained.
I also tried a vinegar and baking soda paste to clean out my oven (old oven, not self-cleaning). It really worked great, but I was wiping up the baking soda residue for weeks. Lately, though, I’ve tried just mixing baking powder with a bit of water to scrub out dirty pans, tea-stained mugs, and the like. I’ve found it’s easier to use than when mixed with vinegar, and much less toxic than the commercial scrubs that I used previously.
But my biggest “green” cleaning change came about a month ago when a friend posted on Facebook about the many uses of the latest “green” product – hydrogen peroxide. I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical. All I’d ever used hydrogen peroxide for was to pour over nasty cuts. But I decided to give it a try. I poured a bottle of peroxide into a spray bottle (I know, it breaks down in light, but I keep it under the sink which is very dark). I first tried it as a spray in my kitchen sink. It bubbled like mad, and within a few days the stains that formerly took nasty toxic scrubs to remove were gone. My sink is now sparkling. I then started using it everywhere – on counter tops, in the bathtub, around my cat’s dishes. You name it, I’ve sprayed it or wiped it with peroxide. What’s better, it’s cheap. A big bottle costs just 89 cents and lasts for quite some time.
So I’m now looking for even more green cleaning solutions. Any suggestions? And have you ever used hydrogen peroxide as a cleaner?