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Save money by doing your spring cleaning with a do-it-yourself green cleaning kit

It's spring time, and for most people, that means spring cleaning. But with pollen and other allergens in the air, why add to your list of irritants by using chemical-ridden cleaners in your home? Instead, opt this year for green products you can make yourself. The added bonus is that since you make them yourself, you'll save a ton of money.

Most cleaning products you see in the stores today use toxic chemicals that can damage your home and the things in it over time, as well as cause harm to your skin and your lungs – and as an added bonus, by making your own products, you'll wind up paying about one-tenth of what you'd pay for the commercial brands.

What you'll need to have on hand to make your own green cleaning kit is baking soda, washing soda, white distilled vinegar, a good liquid soap or detergent, tea tree oil, six clean spray bottles and 2 glass jars. 

For a soft scrubber to clean your tub and bathroom surfaces, mix about 1/2 cup of baking soda in a bowl with enough liquid detergent to make it look like frosting. Use a sponge to scoop and apply it to your shower walls, sink and tub to wash these surfaces. It rinses easily and doesn't leave grit. You can add a teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to the mixture and store it in a sealed glass jar to keep the product moist for next time.

To clean your windows, mix 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of liquid detergent with 3 tablespoons of vinegar, and 2 cups of water, then pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Shake it up and use it to clean your windows, and glass and mirrored surfaces.

To clean your oven, sprinkle water generously over the bottom of the oven, and then cover the grime with enough baking soda to make the surface completely white. Sprinkle some water over the top and let it sit overnight. You can wipe away the grime easily the next morning. Once the bulk of the grime has been removed, you can use a little liquid detergent to wash the rest of the oven.

You can make your own all-purpose spray cleaner by mixing 1/2 teaspoon of washing soda with a dab of liquid soap and 2 cups of hot tap water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. 

To make your own furniture polish, mix 1/2 teaspoon olive or jojoba oil, and 1/4 vinegar or fresh lemon juice in a glass jar, and shake well. Apply them to wood surfaces using a soft rag. This mixture can be stored and used indefinitely.

If you keep a clean spray bottle filled with 95 percent water, 5 percent vinegar, you can use it as a natural deodorizer. You can clean your cutting board with it, as well as the toilet bowl rim.

At one time or another, everyone has to deal with mold. But most of the cures are hard to take and hard to use. Nothing works as well as this natural spray. Mix 2 teaspoons tea tree oil with 2 cups water in a spray bottle and shake. Spray it on problem areas, but do not rinse. 

You can also pour distilled white vinegar into a spray bottle and spray it onto moldy areas and leave it. The smell will dissipate in a few hours. 

All of these cleaning mixtures are safe for you and your family, as well as your pets. And while you are taking care of your home and Mother Earth, you'll save some money as well. It's a win-win.

Published Mar 08 2012, 11:00 AM by moneycoach
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