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Time for some green spring cleaning

Thanks to Becky for sending us info about a new book called Greening Your Cleaning by Deirdre Imus. Imus appeared on the Today Show this morning and you can read an excerpt from her book here. This is definitely spring cleaning season (but not today...no cleaning allowed today...it's too nice outside), so it's a good time to reevaluate your conventional cleaners and think about how the toxins and carcinogens might be affecting the health of your family. Metro actually publishes a free booklet that contains recipes for making your own healthy cleaners. These are simple recipes requiring a handful of products that you probably already have in your home: lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and a few others. I recently tried out a few with impressive results:

1. Toilet bowl cleaner: one cup white vinegar and a handful of baking soda. It makes this cool fizzing action, and you just swirl it around and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then swish with the toilet brush, and done. Clean and disinfected.

2. Glass cleaner: one quart warm water with 1/4 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. I used this on my car windows and it worked great! I've always used balled up newspapers to clean my windows because they get rid of streaks like nothing I've ever tried. Also, getting a good squeegee can cut down on time and can get your windows streak-free.

3. Leather cleaner: mix 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup vinegar in squirt bottle; shake well and rub into leather with soft cloth (doesn't work on suede). Again, I used this in my car on the upholstery and it was fabulous! Though, the olive oil and vinegar, combined with the lemon juice I used on the windows did make the car smell like a Caesar salad for a couple of hours...I did resist the temptation to add parmesan.

In addition, Renee recently shared her success home brewing her own ant bait. It is a lot cheaper to make your own cleaners, plus you get the benefit of knowing your kids won't be coming into contact with the nasty stuff. We talked about other green cleaners a few weeks ago, but has anyone tried making their own recently with success?

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