There are numerous products on the market that promote a more environmentally friendly way of cleaning your home.  The use of less toxic and harmful products starts right in your own kitchen.  Green cleaners cost much less to make than purchasing traditional cleaning products and often clean as well as the name brand products.  Most commercial cleaning products contain one or more of these basic ingredients; Abrasive, Alkali, Acid, Bleach, disinfectants or surfactants.  Commercial products also add fragrance and beautiful packaging to entice you to buy it.
The economics of cleaning green start with using familiar, less toxic ingredients.  It does take a bit of time to prepare the cleaning solution and could require more energy to clean, but the cost is significantly less.  Natural based commercial cleaning products are convenient, but expensive.
No cleaning product is 100 percent safe.  The terms natural and green do not imply that the product is nontoxic.  All cleaning products purchased or homemade should be used with caution. Be sure to read the labels, be careful when mixing products, use in a well ventilated area, and label all containers with ingredients and the date it was made. Be sure to always store cleaning products out of the reach of children.
Green Cleaning is better for the environment.  It is a healthier option and can improve your indoor environment. Reducing the dust in your home starts with adopting some good cleaning habits and investing in a good vacuum with a HEPA filter.  If you keep your home clean, you reduce the need for artificial air fresheners.  Some alternative air fresheners include white vinegar, cinnamon sticks, lavender flowers and opening up and airing out your house.

No-Streak Glass Cleaner ($.25/bottle)
¼ cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 quart of warm water
Mix the ingredients and apply with a sponge or pour into a spray bottle and spray on the glass.  For lint free results dry with a crumpled newspaper and buff to a shine.  Prevent streaks by only cleaning windows when the sun is not shining on the glass.  Don’t forget to label and date your spray bottle.

Drain cleaner – For slow drains, use this once a week to keep drains fresh and clog free.
½ cup of baking soda
1 cup of white vinegar
1 gallon of boiling water
Pour baking soda down the drain/disposal, followed by vinegar.  Allow the mixture to foam for several minutes before flushing the drain with boiling water.
For more homemade cleaning recipes, go to:
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Denise Dias
Family and Consumer Sciences Agent
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