Here's the text (as printed) from my article this month in UC Tampa. I've been writing a regular Green and Earth article for the last few months for Jay. It's been interesting and publicity is good. I'm still not that used to having my writing edited, but I'm getting over myself. The other good news, besides getting published, is that we are going to be on the news this week because they spotted this article! Fox 13 came by the shop and we did a demo last week that hopefully will be on tomorrow... I will post any details if I get any.
Home Detox: Homemade Natural Cleaning Products - Reprinted from UC Tampa Magazine
By Charles Haynie, Columnist
Like many families, during these shaky economic times, my wife (Amy) and I are cutting back on unnecessary spending. Part of our cost-cutting strategy has us hosting dinners at our home for friends and family, instead of meeting them out at restaurants. But while entertaining guests in our home has helped us save a few bucks, it’s also created a problem: Home Cleanliness (or lack there of) Awareness.
Before we decided to be stay-at-home socialites, it was pretty easy for us to casually overlook the breeding dust bunnies and the “Leaning Tower of Dishes.” Instead, we would accept our homeowner guilt; each do five “hail Marthas;” and promise ourselves we’d clean the house soon.But once people began to come over regularly – and we realized Martha Stewart wasn’t one of them – Amy and I developed an instinctual habit to get our hands dirty and keep our house clean. Or so we thought …It didn’t take many cleanings for me to realize the so-called “cleaners” we used, made our grout white and our furniture shiny … AND were being inhaled into our lungs and soaked into the skin of our hands.
It was an alarming revelation that spurred me to find out just what was in those store-bought products. What I discovered was that although they made our house look clean, using them actually made our house – and our bodies – toxic.Worse yet, when certain cleaners are combined they can create super toxins that dramatically increase health risks for those who come in contact with them.
To see how easily these cleaning concoction combos can occur, just watch the many commercials on TV; each pitching a different product for what we used to consider one job – like cleaning a shower for example. Today, pitchmen insist we buy and use shower pre-cleaner, shower grout cleaner, shower drain cleaner, shower tile cleaner and shower head cleaner. (And, of course, they’re all chemical-based.) You get the picture.
The fact is that Mother Nature did a pretty good job at making cleaning products for us; some of which – used alone or in combination – have been proven effective and eco- and health-friendly for hundreds of years. Among the most commonly used is a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar; although you have many options from which to choose, including: borax, salt, lemon juice, tea tree oil, olive oil and more.
The beauty of these is that not only can they probably already be found under your kitchen sink; they’re so safe to use, they can be poured down it.So which ones are used for which jobs? To answer that and to help you actually clean your home, instead of contaminate it, I’ve compiled an abridged list (below) of some of my new favorite homemade formulas.
Make Your Own Cleaners
A mixture of coarse salt and olive oil will help scrub away grill grime, while leaving the seasoning on it. (When done, apply a light coat of oil to the grill – while it’s hot – to keep food from sticking to it.)
Dilute two tablespoons of distilled white vinegar with a gallon of warm water. Pour it into a repurposed spray bottle for ease of use. (Note: You can use old newspapers to wipe glass, instead of paper towels.)
BATHROOM & KITCHEN CLEANER
Combine equal parts of borax and baking soda and use it (with water) as a scrubbing powder. For extra cleaning power, dip the moist side of a half of a lemon into the residue and use the fruit as a natural Brillo Pad.
If you have a pan with burnt-on residue, put it on the stove and fill it with white vinegar, baking soda and water. Bring the liquid to a boil, then place the full pan into your kitchen sink. Once it cools, cleaning is a breeze.
MOLD & MILDEW KILLER
When allowed to set and dry, pure distilled white vinegar (applied with a spray bottle) will kill most incidents of mold. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, an effective alternative is a combination of two teaspoons of tea tree oil mixed with two cups of water.
Combine two parts olive oil and one part lemon juice. Apply it with a clean cloth. This formula has a pretty good shelf life and can be stored in repurposed glass receptacles, like spaghetti sauce or pickle jars.
Here's the link to the UC Tampa site - http://www.uctampa.com/