Green living/cleaning.

I got this from the green guide.

Reproducing here:

EIGHT ESSENTIALS

Circumvent the armada of commercial cleaners by keeping an ample supply of these eight items, which make up the basic ingredients for nearly every do-it-yourself cleaning recipe.

Baking soda: provides grit for scrubbing and reacts with water, vinegar or lemon by fizzing, which speeds up cleaning times
Borax: disinfects, bleaches and deodorizes; very handy in laundry mixes
Distilled white vinegar: disinfects and breaks up dirt; choose white vinegar over apple cider or red vinegars, as these might stain surfaces
Hydrogen Peroxide: disinfects and bleaches
Lemons: cut grease; bottled lemon juice also works well, although you might need to use bit more to get the same results
Olive oil: picks up dirt and polishes wood; cheaper grades work well
Vegetable based (liquid castile) soap: non-petroleum all-purpose cleaners
Washing soda: stain remover, general cleaner, helps unblock pipes; should be handled with gloves due to its caustic nature. Washing soda is usually found in the laundry aisle of grocery and drug stores.

Don’t forget to pick up an empty spray bottle at the hardware store, and keep those old rags and used toothbrushes for wiping up and scrubbing.

WHOLE HOUSE

All-Purpose Cleaner
1/2 cup borax
1 gallon hot water

Mix in pail (or use smaller amounts in a spray bottle: 1/8 cup borax to 1 quart of hot water) dissolving the borax completely; wipe clean with rag.

Floors

Wood
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 gallon warm water

Linoleum
1 cup white vinegar
2 gallons warm water

Mix in mop bucket, rinse afterwards.

Furniture Polish
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil

Mix and apply with a clean rag to dust and polish. Reduce the olive oil if wood looks too oily.

Metal Polish

Copper and Brass
2 Tbsps salt
White vinegar

Add vinegar to salt until you’ve created a paste. Adding flour will reduce abrasiveness. Apply with a rag and rub clean.

Stainless Steel
Baking soda
White vinegar

Apply baking soda with a damp cloth, using the vinegar to eliminate spots.

BATHROOM

Toilet Bowl
Baking soda
White vinegar

To clean and deodorize, sprinkle toilet bowl with baking soda, add white vinegar and scrub with a toilet brush.

Tub and Tile
1/2 lemon
Borax

Dip the face of the lemon half in borax to create a hand-held scrubber for dirty areas. Rinse and dry the surface afterwards.

KITCHEN

Countertops
Marble: Mix one Tbsp castile soap with a quart of warm water, rinse well, then dry with a warm cloth.

Other surfaces: halved lemon dipped in baking soda to scrub off residues. Follow up, by spraying with glass cleaner mix (below).

Dishwashing
castile soap
White vinegar

Wash your dishes in one dishpan filled with a mix of water and castile soap, then rinse in a separate pan containing a mix of water and vinegar (a 3-to-1 water-to-vinegar ratio works well).

Drains
1 cup baking soda
1 cup vinegar

Add baking soda and vinegar to a pot of boiled water and pour down the drain, then flush with tap water.
For more stubborn clogs, use a “snake” plumbing tool to manually remove blockage, or try suction removal with a plunger.

To prevent clogs, install inexpensive mesh screen, available at home improvement and hardware stores.

Glass
1/4 cup vinegar or 1 Tbsp lemon juice
2+ cups water

Fill a clean spray bottle with water and either white vinegar or lemon juice; wipe with a rag or old newspaper.

Oven
Baking soda
Water

Sprinkle baking soda on surfaces, spray water, then let soak several hours or overnight. Rinse with water.

Stovetop and Oven Grease Remover
1/2 tsp washing soda
1/4 tsp liquid soap
2 cups hot water

Add washing soda and soap to hot water in spray bottle. Since washing soda is caustic, wear gloves.

LAUNDRY ROOM

Laundry Detergent
1 oz. liquid castile soap
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax
1/4 cup baking soda or 1/4 cup white vinegar

Using the liquid castile soap as a base, combine with washing soda, borax (for stains and bleaching), and either baking soda (reduces static and softens fabrics) or white vinegar (softens fabrics, reduces static and bleaches clothes). If you feel like your clothes aren’t clean enough, play around with the amount of liquid castile soap, using from 1 oz. to 1 cup.

Bleach alternative
1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide

RESOURCES
Household Cleaning Supplies Report

Green Clean, by Linda Mason Hunter and Mikki Halpin (Melcher Media, 2005, $16.95)

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49 thoughts on “Green living/cleaning.

  1. Wow, sounds fantastic, but I don’t know if I can get used to cleaning the bathroom and doing laundry with these prescriptions ad I want to see some bubbles at work! hahaha….

  2. well I adapted the list, use some things.

    When you add the vinegar to the bic of soda, there’s a delish fizzing noise eheh

    to be honest, it does feel cleaner and less of the “fumes”. I just chose to start making the change cos of the kids, less wheezing etc 🙂

  3. Hi cuddly, can u explain more bout borax ? i’ve been looking for it about 3- 4 month. Where u get the borax in malaysia?

    i found no supplier for borax and i only want a little quantity.

    thanks

  4. Actually washing soda is sodium carbonate Na2CO3.
    Sodium bicarbonate = soda bicarbonate = baking powder = NaHCO3 is the one used in baking.
    I do not know where to find this washing soda either. Would love to make my own laudry detergent.

  5. hi Michael. Im not sure what are washing soda crystals btw. We using bic. of soda for our washing powder. It’s cheaper to get it from a baking supply shop (Bake with yen is one, its in Tmn Megah, 1kg is roughly around RM3). u’d only use half a scoop or more if it’s whites.

    hope that helps! 🙂

  6. Borax is called Peng Sha (硼砂) in Chinese and a lot of people used it in the manufacture of Bachang and also pau to a certain extent. About castile soaps and also washing soda, it is wise to buy from eBay as those are like non-extant in Malaysia. Washing soda used to be procurable from Kedai Runcit but now they are gone… I am suspecting that Little Inida might have though.

  7. hi all, i’ve tried to find borax in a few hardware stores and also chinese med stores. but no body know about this borax. i also mentioned the word peng sha to one of untie at the chinese medicine stores, she also unable to understand, may be i pronounced it wrongly. anybody please… help.

  8. ‘Peng Sha’ is correct. Just mention the powder for adding to fishballs so it won’t be so soft. Why don’t just print the Chinese word and show them.

  9. Is that the washing soda NaOH sodium hydroxide also know as caustic soda, can buy in harware shop can tell them soda for washing toilet, lab chemical supply also got in 1kg but require license to buy.
    I am looking for borax…

  10. Hi there,
    I really2 need to find borax now. I’ve search high and low…in and out numerous hardware shops and some medicine shops..but can’t find it. Can please someone tell me where exactly (the name of the shop, location) can I get borax powder. Your answers are very much appreciated.
    Thanks.

  11. Hi, borax in cantonese is Phang Sar and easily obtainable from those old (ancient looking) chinese medicine shops/halls with rows and rows of drawers up to the ceiling. If the shopkeeper still looks blur, tell him we use the powder for making fish-balls ‘bouncy’.

  12. Thanks Justine, I’ve googled abit and found the pronounciation for the word in chinese 😛
    Hopefully its available in Petaling Street area

  13. Where can I get washing soda? I’m actually trying to use it to develop film 🙂 Do let me know please 😀
    Thanks!

  14. But i googled and it says washing soda is actually sodium carbonate. I understand that sodium bicarbonate is baking soda. My mom has a lot of baking soda 🙂 Heheheh!

  15. I use borax and sugar mixture to repel ants. As I don’t know where to buy it in KL I brought it over from Indonesia. It’s so easy to buy it there, included the washing soda and bees wax, anything basically. I really wish they sell it in KL. As for the castille soap, I’m planning to do it this weekend, hopefully successful.

  16. I can’t seem to find any borax anywhere. I stay in Ipoh. I wonder if there is anyway I could get them around here or in KL.

  17. Actually, washing soda and baking soda is different. However, you can make it your own. Just baked baking soda in the oven at 400 F (change it to C) for 30 minutes, it should be grainy and will not look like baking soda at all. I just google it on the internet. I plan to make my own laundry detergent too.

  18. Can try to buy Dr.Bronner’s Castile soap (organic certified) from website : iherb.com. It is US company, they ship to Malaysia with cheap rate, wait about 3 to 4 weeks.they handle the package carefully. I was impressed.
    Can use my coupon code : PFN950, It is a promotion code, get US$10 off for 1st time user.

  19. Hi, i want to find borax as i was very tempted to make my own laundry detergent. Some helpful people here did mention that it can be obtained from old chinese medicine shop and its called ‘peng sha’ or ‘phang shar’ that used in making fishball. But i just want to make sure that its not boric acid?? I googled borax formula: Na2B4O7.10H2O. Anybody already tried making diy laundry detergent from ‘peng sha’? Can share some experience here please..Thanks for sharing..

  20. Still looking for borax. Try “Ace Hardware” in Ikano, Sunway Pyramid, MidValley.They are out of stock at this time.

    It is not all that un-green to use commercial cleaners. Sodium bicarb, H2O2 and Borax are not cheap as cleaning agents. H2O2 isn’t easy to get and at high concentration must be handle with extreme care.

    Sodium bicarb, H2O2 and Borax are used for treating diseases, including cancer as alternative therapies.

    Use with care, if you must.

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