Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Clean & Green: All-Purpose Mild Abrasive Cleasner

I am always taking on new DIY projects in the house in an attempt to save us a little money. For those of us with allergic angels, we spend a lot of time and money to keep our houses clean.  One area where I spend a lot of money is in the kitchen, especially washing dishes.  We make dirty a lot of dishes and pots cooking our from scratch, whole foods.  Recently, after a long day of cooking, I ran out of dishwashing detergent and decided that I would try make my own.  the bloggers online make it sound so easy and effective that I never doubted the challenge.  So, armed with my Borax, Washing Soda, and my computer, I began.

I first tried a recipe by a blogger that swore by her recipe.  I loaded the dishes, mixed the recipe and hit "WASH".  One quick trip to the grocery, the dishes were done.  But... were they?   Not quite!  Cloudy and covered with baked-on food remnants, these dishes had to go another round ... with the a PowerBall from the blue box!

I wasn't going to give up, though.  I had mixed way too many ingredients to just throw them out.  So, I researched, and I tested until I actually came up with a product that washed my dishes as well as the stuff in the green bottle.  But... that was still not as good as the powerball in the blue box.  So, what do I do with all of this mix?

It turns out that my not-as-good-as-the-powerball dishwashing detergent, is a better-than-the-stuff-in-the-can mild abrasive cleaner!  While giving my tile floors a much needed hands and knees cleaning, I poured a little on a hard to clean spot and ... VIOLA! GONE!  Wow... doesn't get better than this...  26 ounces of all-natural- ingredient mild abrasive cleaner for > $.15 per ounce (a $.04/oz savings over the green can cleaner).  And, my kitchen has never smelled brighter!

All-Purpose Mild Abrasive Cleanser

1 1/2 C Borax
1 C Washing Soda
1/2 C Baking Soda
1/4 C coarse Kosher salt
2 T Dawn Dishwashing Liquid
1 C Lemi Shine (optional)
15 drops essential lemon oil (optional)
15 drops essential tangerine oil (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl non-reactive bowl.  To prevent clumping, allow ingredients to remain in the bowl for a few days, store with a silica packet, and/or place a sealed mesh bag of uncooked rice in the mix.  Store in a  repurposed glass jar.  Poke holes in the lid for easier sprinkling.  You may need to give the jar a shake before using to loosen up the mix.
For those with allergies, this recipe does have corn in it, but so do most cleaning products on the market.  In fact, there are additional ingredients in the Lemi-Shine if you sue it.  Be sure to rinse well with clean water to eliminate any residue.

General Purpose Cleanser - Sprinkle on tough to clean spots, scrub and rinse.  As you gently rub the cleanser, the abrasive texture will diminish (the salt dissovlves).  Add a little more cleanser or sprinkle area with kosher salt for a stronger scrubbing power.

Dishwashing Detergent - Place one T in each  of the dispensers in your dishwasher then run as usual.  For hard water, add an additional tablespoon of Lemi-Shine to the washer door.

More posts in our Clean & Green series:

Monday, April 18th: The Earth Plan
Wednesday, April 18th:  Twirly Fairy Craft

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