Green Cleaning Take Two

HydoPerox (600x800)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?


10 thoughts on “Green Cleaning Take Two

  1. Marie Pinkerton

    Sprinkle baking soda on a surface first, then add hydrogen peroxide to it. Cleans even better than hydrogen peroxide alone! This did wonders on a stain on a countertop from before we moved in.

  2. Pat

    We use a house cleaning service called California Green Clean which uses only green products. My allergies have been much better since they started cleaning our house.

    Hydrogen peroxide is great for tubs and showers unless you have a lot of grout. It will eat up grout.

  3. Wendy

    Baking soda is also good for scrubbing that ucky brown residue that remains after you use non-stick spray on casserole dishes and baking pans. But you do have to scrub. I wonder if peroxide would help there?

  4. Tracy

    I clean for a living and have tried every know product, searching for something that cleans but doesn’t bother my allergies. Three parts vinegar one part Dawn, works like no other on bathrooms. Spray on soap scum/body oil, and wipe away with Magic eraser or microfiber cloth and it’s gone.

  5. MisseLee

    I scrub out tea stains with baking soda, splash of liquid dish soap, hot water, and a dish cloth — I sometimes have to rub a bit, but the tea stains come right out!

    Another tip I got from my mom, ‘though I’m not sure whether it counts as “green” — every so often (monthly, or more or less frequently), after you’ve cleaned your toilet but won’t be using it for a while (think the last thing at night or before heading out for a good part of the day), drop about 3 – 4 denture cleaning tablets (like Polident or whatever) into the toilet and just leave them there. It’s supposed to help bubble and clean the parts of the toilet flush out pipe that you can’t see or reach with a brush, but gently (not having to worry about damage to pipes, sewer, septic system, etc.).

  6. jonie

    I don’t know if you have a dishwasher but, they get a lot of build up of hard water. If you want to clean it out, buy a bottle of Tang. (you know the stuff that NASA used in space) it is made with citric acid, and it cleans your dishwasher out like you wouldn’t believe. My husband was in the Navy and that is what they used to clean out the bilge tanks on the Navy ships. Works like a charm. This is what I use to clean out my dishwasher and it works like a dream. I also use vinegar for everything from washing my floors to cleaning my windows. It is my go to product. My dog is part pig and it is the only product that gets the dog dirt off the floor.

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