American Indian Council
MOTHER EARTH WATCH
Some of the worst toxic pollutants can be found right in the family home. 12 out of 14 popular air freshener products contain a toxic chemical called phthalates known to be harmful to the health of humans. (see http://www.manataka.org/page1650.html) Many other toxic substances that can be absorbed through the skin, breathed or ingested are found in many top name cleaning products. Manataka encourages you to 'Clean up Your Act', go green and give your family and the Earth Mother a breath of fresh air.
By Annie B. Bond, author of “Clean & Green,” (Ceres Press, 1990).
Most modern synthetic cleaning products are based on age-old formulas using natural ingredients that were passed down through the generations because the chemistry was right. Going back to the original naturally-derived ingredients is a way to make cleaning products that work, don’t pollute, and save you money. Most ingredients are found in your kitchen cupboards. Mix and match with well-chosen and environmentally-friendly green cleaning products found in health food stores, and you can easily and simply transform your home into a nontoxic and healthy haven.
Nontoxic cleaning can give you a deep feeling of gratification in knowing that your family's health is protected, and that your home is a place for your bodies to rest and recuperate rather than promote harm.
The Simple Solution: Making your own nontoxic cleaning kit will take you no time at all with these simple, straightforward directions, and with this kit you will be supplied with enough cleaning product for months of cleaning.
As an added bonus, ounce for ounce homemade cleaning formulas cost about one-tenth the price of their commercial counterparts -- and that includes costly, but worthwhile essential oils and concentrated, all-purpose detergents for homemade recipes.
white distilled vinegar
a good liquid soap or detergent
tea tree oil
6 clean spray bottles
2 glass jars
MAKE YOUR OWN
Note: Make sure to label all your homemade cleaning products, and keep them away from pets and children.
CREAMY SOFT SCRUBBER
Simply pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough liquid detergent to make a texture like frosting. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and wash the surface. This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn’t leave grit.
Note: Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to the mixture and store in a sealed glass jar, to keep the product moist. Otherwise just make as much as you need at a time.
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon liquid detergent
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups water
Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use as you would a commercial brand. The soap in this recipe is important. It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.
1 cup or more baking soda
a squirt or two of liquid detergent
Sprinkle water generously over the bottom of the oven, then cover the grime with enough baking soda that the surface it totally white. Sprinkle some more water over the top. Let the mixture set overnight. You can easily wipe up the grease the next morning because the grime will have loosened. When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of liquid detergent or soap on a sponge, and wash the remaining residue from the oven. If this recipe doesn’t work for you it is probably because you didn’t use enough baking soda and/or water.
1/2 tsp. washing soda
a dab of liquid soap
2 cups hot tap water
Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag.
1/2 teaspoon oil, such as olive (or jojoba, a liquid wax)
1/4 cup vinegar or fresh lemon juice
Mix the ingredients in a glass jar. Dab a soft rag into the solution and wipe onto wood surfaces. Cover the glass jar and store indefinitely.
Keep a clean spray bottle filled with straight 5 percent vinegar in your kitchen near your cutting board, and in your bathroom, and use them for cleaning. I often spray the vinegar on our cutting board before going to bed at night, and don't even rinse, but let it set overnight. The smell of vinegar dissipates within a few hours. Straight vinegar is also great for cleaning the toilet rim. Just spray it on and wipe off.
Tea Tree Treasure
Nothing natural works for mold and mildew as well as this spray. I've used it successfully on a moldy ceiling from a leaking roof, on a musty bureau, a musty rug, and a moldy shower curtain. Tea tree oil is expensive, but a little goes a very long way. Note that the smell of tea tree oil is very strong, but it will dissipate in a few days.
2 teaspoons tea tree
2 cups water
Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse.
Makes 2 cups
Preparation Time: Under a minute
Shelf Life: Indefinite
Storage: Leave in the spray bottle
* Vinegar Spray
Straight vinegar reportedly kills 82 percent of mold. Pour some white distilled vinegar straight into a spray bottle, spray on the moldy area, and let set without rinsing if you can put up with the smell. It will dissipate in a few hours.
Submitted by Sheri Awi Anida Waya Burnett
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