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Thursday, January 27, 2011

the greener cleaner

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While watching the evening news last night, I noticed a story about how Consumer Reports had just tested several different household cleaners, including some "green" ones.  One of the ones that was tested was Seventh Generation, which I can't stand.   Have you ever tried that stuff?  It smells like thyme, which annoys my senses, and doesn't clean up stuck-on messes.  Heck, it doesn't even loosen the grime so that it is scrubbable. 

Last summer, I started making my own all-purpose cleaner, which I adore.  In a spray bottle, I combine the following:
  • 1 scoop borax
  • 1 scoop baking soda
  • 1 cup vinegar
Then, I fill it to the top with hot water and shake.  If I could ever remember to buy some lemon-y scented oil, I might add that, too.  But, it works fine without the scent.

I use this for everything except my windows and mirrors.  I'm still a Windex girl for that.  Plus, I use The Works on my toilet bowls.  But, I don't buy nearly as many cleaners as I used to.

The best thing about it is that it is cheap enough to make so that I don't have a hissy fit everytime Katie decides to help me "clean" something.  And, there is so little borax in the mixture that I don't have to call poison control should she squirt some on her hand and try to eat it (she never has, thank goodness.... but I'm sure it wouldn't be nearly as harmful as Chlorox.)


  1. We use 7th generation for the diswasher, but I don't like their other cleaners. I'm a big fan of vinager and water though. I've not heard of borax though.

  2. Borax is a natural, powdered cleanser that can be found in a cereal-sized box in the laundry aisle. It is commonly known as 20 Mule Team Borax.

  3. does this work well on the tub? i might need to give this a try.. i hate buying cleaning products.

  4. I don't know. I've never tried it on my tub. I sprinkle the borax in and spritz with vinegar and then scrub with a big brush. The paste works better on the ick my kids and dogs leave behind.

  5. easy enough. and is borax cheap? i am thinking i will switch to this next time i run out of my other misc. cleaners. you use it on the toilet?

  6. Borax runs around $3 a box, if I remember correctly. Maybe less. I buy mine at Walmart. It lasts a long time, though. I use it on the outside of the toilet and the seat. I use The Works on the inside of the bowl because we get awful water rings and I don't like to scrub.

  7. Hey there...I found your blog from my facebook! I want to try to make this cleaner....seems easy...following you now

  8. We are constantly looking for ways to be greener around here and your recipe looks really easy to make up!

    Btw, love the clean layout of your site, very refreshing on the eyes, followed you here from the blog hop!o

  9. It's cheaper, it's green...who wouldn't love it?


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