Green House Cleaning

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Green House Cleaning

Green House CleaningMore and more you pick up a magazine or scan a health-related tidbit on the internet and the story is about the things that could harm you. It’s very scary sometimes, between all the food-borne illnesses or chemically-induced medical issues. All those terrible things are besides staying clear of the co-worker who is so sick he should have stayed in bed. Even the flu shot is not failsafe for preventing the flu as the CDC slipped up and missed a strain – oops.

Illness from chemicals in your very own home is not just the bane of existence for people with severe allergies or asthmatics any longer. Now you must worry about chemicals being released from furniture, draperies, carpeting – even the vinyl shower curtain you are up close with every day.

Unfortunately, there is no way to get around some items and objects you must use in the course of the day and so, sadly, you just deal with the release of noxious fumes and chemicals that surrounds you.

But, happily, there is a remedy for the release of toxins or hazardous substances in the various products that for years you’ve used to clean your home. There are a wide variety of natural items that you have in your home that can be used as cleaners without the harsh chemicals or toxins. Not only are these homemade products safe for your furniture or appliances, sinks and the like, they are environmentally safer.

Look around your home

We’ve all heard about using baking soda, lemon or vinegar around the home, but as heavy-duty household cleaners?

Why contaminate your lungs with harsh chemicals when you have a simple and natural fix? Try mixing these up and using them to tackle various household tasks where applicable:

Glass or mirror cleaner


2 cups water

1/2 cup white or cider vinegar

1/4 cup rubbing alcohol (70% concentration)

1 to 2 drops of orange essential oil, which gives the solution a lovely smell (optional)

How to use

Combine ingredients and store in a spray bottle.

Spray on a paper towel or soft cloth first, then on the glass.

Hint: Don’t clean windows on a hot, sunny day because the solution will dry too quickly and leave lots of streaks.

Heavy-duty scrub

(Use this scrubbing potion for rust stains on porcelain, enamel sinks and bathtubs.


Half a lemon

1/2 cup borax (a laundry booster found in the detergent aisle)

How to use

Dip the lemon into the borax and scrub surface. Rinse.

Beware – not safe for marble or granite.

Grease cleaner

(Use this mixture to clean oven hoods and grills.)


1/2 cup sudsy ammonia mixed with enough water to fill a one-gallon container. (Sudsy ammonia, which has detergent in it, helps remove tough grime.)

How to use

Dip sponge or mop into the solution and wipe over surface.

Rinse area with clear water.

All-purpose cleaner and deodorizer

(Use this solution for kitchen counters, appliances, and inside the refrigerator.)


4 tablespoons baking soda

1 quart warm water

How to use

Pour solution onto a clean sponge and wipe.

White ring remover

(Use for water rings on finished woods, but not lacquer or antiques.)


One part white non-gel toothpaste to one part baking soda.

How to use

Dampen a cloth with water, add toothpaste mixture, and rub with the grain to buff over the ring. Then take a dry cloth and wipe off.

Use another soft cloth for a final shine.

Polish as you normally would.

Dishwasher stain remover

(A great way to clean your dishwasher without harsh chemicals.)


1/4 cup powdered lemon or orange drink

How to use

To remove rust from the inside walls, pour the powder (which contains citric acid or citric acid crystals) into the detergent cup and then run a regular cycle.

Repeat as necessary.

Brass cleaner

(Use this cleaner for non-lacquered cabinet pulls or bathroom fixtures.)


White vinegar or lemon juice

Table salt

How to use

Dampen a sponge with vinegar or lemon juice, then sprinkle on salt.

Lightly rub over surface.

Rinse thoroughly with water, then immediately dry with a clean soft cloth.

Marble cleaner

(Use to clean natural stone countertops.)


A drop or two of mild dishwashing liquid (non-citrus-scented)

2 cups warm water

How to use

Mix the detergent and water.

Sponge over the marble surface and rinse completely to remove any soap residue.

Buff with a soft cloth, but do not let the marble air-dry.

Caution: Never use vinegar, lemon, or any other acidic cleaner on marble or granite surfaces; it will eat into the stone.

Natural tips from items around your house

Occasionally you need to do a simple cleaning job. Who wants to buy an expensive cleaner or risk chemical contamination in your home, when you can use:

  • Lemons to remove microwave grime, shine brass, and eliminate stains from linens.

  • Uncooked rice with a little warm water and dish detergent to remove the caked-on scum on a favorite vase or a glass decanter.

  • Salt and ice swished around in a coffee pot will remove coffee stains.

  • Ketchup to shine copper as well as your car. A little dab will do you.

  • Walnuts to repair a scuff or a scratch on your wood furniture. Use the inside of a walnut rubbed onto the damage.

  • Cream of tartar with a soft cloth will remove the grayish residue from aluminum utensils that results from putting them through the dishwasher.

  • Baking soda and warm water can shine your jewelry. In fact, baking soda mixed with warm water is an all-purpose cleaner.

  • Vodka mixed in the washing machine will deodorize clothes and on a cloth will shine chrome and porcelain fixtures.

If these natural magic potions and elbow grease don’t do the trick on your household conundrums and calamities, you can always count on a professional to do the job for all your home cleaning in Hoboken.

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