Monday, March 10, 2014

Guest Post: Green Cleaning - The Basics & Tips

Well hello there internet viewers! I’m Laura (aka: LaTi) and I am the former blogger at Though my blog has since gone down, all my green cleaning posts are still available for additional details and information. The lovely Jenn asked me to write a guest post about green cleaning and I immediately jumped at the chance because it was probably one of the biggest changes I’ve ever made and one I’ve never regretted.

To clear up any confusion, when I say green cleaning I’m not talking about the eco-friendly Mr. Clean products or the bottles that are labeled “Green Cleaning.” What I’m talking about is old school green cleaning in the form of water, vinegar, baking soda, essential oils and other such items. So, we’re getting to basics here.  And the best part is you probably already have most of the necessary items already in your house!  

My green cleaning starting lineup:

Purified drinking water (I only buy because Arizona has wicked hard water)
Distilled white vinegar
Baking soda (will take the place of your abrasive cleaners & deodorizers)
Essential oil (I prefer lemon, though I recommend Tea Tree as well)
Olive Oil (used in polisher recipes)
Alcohol (rubbing, not the fun kind)
Soft towels
Microfiber towels (for granite, mirrors and other easy to scratch surfaces)

My favorite recipes:

Instead of blathering on and on about green cleaning (which I can seriously do) I decided to narrow this down to some easy tips of things that I learned along the way. 

Tip #1: Jump 2 feet in. Trust me, don’t skirt around it because you will just find reasons to put off making the switch. Throw those store bought products out and go ahead and buy a new arsenal of cleaning materials so you are forced to use them. It will make the transition much easier and I promise, you won’t regret it. 

Tip #2: Consider your house. One thing I did not consider right off the bat when I started green cleaning was my actual house and it’s surfaces. I have granite counter tops and it never really occurred to me that you can’t use acidic cleaning products (like vinegar or lemon) as they will eat at the protective coating. Same thing for your flooring. If you have anything that has a protective coating, you will need to adjust what recipes you are using. Believe me though, they are out there. I absolutely love my current granite safe counter cleaner. It leaves them all pretty and shiny (while not eating away at the expensive and thoroughly taxing to do sealant.) 

Tip #3: Keep your cleaning materials separate. Separate bottles, separate towels, separate sponges. Why? Bottles, towels and sponges aren’t expensive items to purchase and by using separate materials you are ensuring to get the best quality clean you can for each surface. I mean, you don’t want to use the towels you use to clean your stove top to clean your mirrors right. Imagine the risk of grease transfer. No. Thank. You.  

Tip #4: Don’t get hung up on smell. I won’t lie, distilled white vinegar does not have the best aroma, but the scent does not last long. Many people, myself included, have been brainwashed to think that we need that “fresh, clean” scent or our house is dirty. No, we need no scent. The idea is to breathe clean, fresh air. If there’s a scent, then it’s not fresh now is it? :)
Tip #5: Research. I am constantly finding new recipes and tips to try. My personal favorite is the garbage disposal cubes (straight distilled white vinegar with a wedge of lemon, freeze in an ice cube tray and pop 1 or 2 into your disposal as needed.) 

Tip #6: Gloves. Trust me. When using baking soda, especially as your abrasive cleaner, it can dry your hands out something fierce so make sure you cover those bad boys up. 

Tip #7: Write your recipes on their container. This makes refreshing your supply quicker and takes out the guesswork of what exactly goes into that specific cleaner. 

Tip #8: Baking soda is your friend. Though it will dry your hands out when using it as a cleaning product (baking soda + a sprinkle of water = safer soft scrub), it removes a lot of unwanted smells. I have 2 dogs & 2 cats and far too much carpet. I sprinkle some baking soda on the floor, leave to sit for a few minutes and vacuum right up. Removes the ugly smells, without damaging my floors or harming my furbabies.

Thank you for taking the time to read my guest post and I really hope that I was able to give you some useful tips and a good starting point to make the switch. I promise you, making the switch is a decision you won't regret.

Another successful guest post! Laura has always been an inspiration in the green cleaning department and she is the one who motivated me to make my own laundry soap last year. I hope you enjoyed her knowledge and tips on green cleaning, since I haven't been able to give you many of my own. If you have any questions, just ask in the comment section and I will direct them towards Laura to be answered.


  1. Hi Laura! And Jenn!

    I would love to switch to green! But I am forgetful. I did make my own fabric softener, but it was super messy. I have been so used to having a tiny place that my new space with extra storage gets forgotten. I will have to check out the links!

  2. DCWJes - Hopefully the extra space to store things is just the push you need to make the transition. :)

  3. Hi LaTi!!! (Hi Jenn! :-) I love these simple tips and am really excited to try some of them out.

    (And I hope you're well, LaTi--I think about you often, love!)

  4. LaTi! I was just thinking about you today and wondering how you're doing. (I hope well.) I must put these tips to use.

    (Hi, Jenn!)

  5. Tory - Let me know which ones you try and how they work out for you!

    Stasy - Let me know what you try and how it turns out. :)