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 Post subject: Safe house cleaning
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 10:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 9:20 am
Posts: 31
Location: Cisco,TEXAS
Use baking soda for scrubbing tubs, sinks, and even kitchen counters. If you have trouble with rinsing, use vinegar. Also use it in your pots and pans that have burned food. Sprinkle in the pan, let it set a bit and then wash with rag or sponge.

You can add a few drops of essential oils to your vinegar to cut down on the strong vinegar smell. To one gallon vinegar, add 50 drops peppermint oil or 75 drops tea tree oil.

I like to add about 20 drops peppermint oil to 1 part distilled water and 1 part vinegar in a spray bottle and then spray on floor and mop. Make sure you don't use synthetic oils, only essential oil like what are sold in health food stores.

Use club soda to clean your glass windows, mirrors, and even shine your faucets. Just pour it in a sray bottle and use as you would any glass cleaner.

For an alternative disinfectant, fill a 16 ounce spray bottle almost full with distilled water then add 3 tablespoons liquid soap and then 20-30 drops tea tree oil. Shake to mix and when you use it. This is good to use on toilet seats and anything you want to disinfect. I like to use liquid soap that I get at a health food store rather than the liquid detergents from grocery stores.

If any one wants more cleaning tips I might be able to help. Or you can get the book "Clean House, Clean Planet" by Karen Logan


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 10:16 am 
Thanks for your great tips.
LFH


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2003 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 12:30 pm
Posts: 18
Thanks for the tips and I'll check out the book you recommended also.

I came to this website because a friend of mine has found a product called Little Effort and has given me some to try. I have been using Orange TKO (it's straing D-Lymonine) it smells like oranges and I use it for cleaning everything from a pre-wash stain remover spray on my cloths to cleaning counters and moping.

The product my friend told me about has 3 ingredients I don't know anything about. If anyone could tell me about them I would greatly appreciate it I have searched the web, but can't find anything useful.
1) Sodium Metaslicate
2) Glyco Ether EB
3) Potassium Hydroxide

I'm afraid they may not be organic because the product smells like a "cleaner" :? with a bit of an orange smell.

Thanks for any info. :D
Shelly


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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 6:24 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2003 10:59 am
Posts: 277
[quote="Shelly"]

I came to this website because a friend of mine has found a product called Little Effort and has given me some to try. I have been using Orange TKO (it's straing D-Lymonine) it smells like oranges and I use it for cleaning everything from a pre-wash stain remover spray on my cloths to cleaning counters and moping.

The product my friend told me about has 3 ingredients I don't know anything about. If anyone could tell me about them I would greatly appreciate it I have searched the web, but can't find anything useful.
1) Sodium Metaslicate
2) Glyco Ether EB
3) Potassium Hydroxide

I'm afraid they may not be organic because the product smells like a "cleaner" :? with a bit of an orange smell.

Shelly,

No, I would say that those are not green cleaning ingredients. (1) is a pretty strong detergent that is strongly irritating and not very environmentally friendly. (2) is one of the many solvents that are used (the auto alone industry uses ~ 3 milliion pounds of glycol ethers a year) and that (apparently) little is known about their environmental effects. The glycol ethers have been linked, or have been suspected of being linked, with elevated risk of miscarriage, and I believe they are pretty rough on aquatic ecosystems. It is a petroleum derivative. (3) is a lye analog. Lye is sodium hydroxide, but potassium hydroxide operates similarly as a strong base. I would pass on all three ingredients, as I consider them to be way too harsh for practical home cleaning. How bad they are depends on how much of them is in the product, but why even use them?

I am a bit curious about the combination of "orange scent" with the potassium hydroxide (KOH). Based on the structure of d-limonene and my own experience with it, it seems to me that it isn't very stable in a strongly alkaline environment. If there is a lot of KOH in the product, then that makes me wonder if the citrus smell is primarily functional d-limonene or is merely a complex fragrance. I have seen claims for at least one citrus fragrance that can withstand a strongly basic environment. As for d-limonene itself, I have some reservations about its overall environmental friendliness. I use it, but I use it only when I really need it -- which is not all that often. I suspect that the d-limonene that is in many commercial cleaners probably is of petrochemical origin, rather than a citrus extract (like TKO is). Mostly, the strong solvents really aren't needed in normal cleaning around the home.


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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 8:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 12:30 pm
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Dear Enzyme11 thank you for your information. Can I ask what your background is...do you deal with chemicals in your work...or how do you know so much about them? I would like to educate myself more on knowing what ingredients are used for, if they are environmentally friendly etc. I would appreciate if you might be able to suggest a good source of info. that a non scientific person like myself could understand.

Bernice had suggested the book Clean House Clean Planet by Karen Logen. I found it at the library and I have purchased the supplies, now I just need to give them a try. Do I understand that the Orange TKO I use could also be a stress to the environment? I use for laundry stains and in lighter concentrations for cleaning mirrors, counters, floors...It's concentrated, but expensive so I try not to use a lot of it anyway.

Also, if you don't mind I have a few other questions for you. Do you know anything about products called Orange Glo. I did get an MSDS sheet from them, but since I don't know anything about the "chemicals" I can't determine if they are harmful or not. The MSDS lists Cold pressed orange oil 30% and Dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid triethanolamine salt 5-10%? Doesn't sound good to me but.... Also what is in club soda that makes it better than plain old water for cleaning? Hope you don't mind all my questions. I would really enjoy knowing your opinions and explanations since you prefer organic over non organic. The general idea people around me have is "if it was harmful or toxic the government wouldn't allow it to be sold" I know how stupid that belief is. I would appreciate any info. you could offer.

Thanks
Shelly


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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 9:22 am 
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Bernice,
I took your advise and found the book Clean House Clean Planet. I have purchased most of the ingredients, still need to get the Tea Tree oil. I plan to use some of the recipes and if they work well I am going to buy the book. You should be happy to know that this morning instead of pouring bleach in my stinky trash can (smelled like my garlic shrimp from last night) I poured in some vinegar (enough to cover the bottom of the trash can) and added a little baking soda. I'll see how that worked after I get home today. I didn't use an exact recipe, but I didn't have much time this morning so if it doesn't work I'll use an actual recipe when I get home.

I would like to know which liquid soap you use? I haven't mixed anything yet but I purchased Dr. Bronners brand in peppermint, lavander, aloe and also Sal Suds. I have only used the Sal Suds for laundry this weekend, it worked well and I really like the smell, and the lavander (I have ended up using to put a bit on a scrubby to wash my face).

I wanted to share with you a place I found that has THE BEST PRICES on essential oils. They are a small building, but they have sooo many things teas, supplements, essential oils, organic eggs, soy milks, organic snacks. The prices are much much better than Central Market or Whole Foods, of course it is no where as large as they are, but if there are certain things you would like to request they will do their best to get them for you. The one I go to is HerbMart in Plano I think they have 2 other locations if you are interested in finding them or one of their other locations you can call them at 972-758-1802. I have saved so much $$ there. I haven't been to their website but it is www.herbmarttx.com Hope it's o.k. to share specific company and product names here. I have to have specifics or I end up floundering around and not taking time to follow through.

Thanks,
Shelly


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 10:39 am 
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Posts: 277
Shelly wrote:
I would appreciate if you might be able to suggest a good source of info. that a non scientific person like myself could understand. Shelly


I'll see if I can find anything that adds to the Logen book. If you're up for it, making your own soap is one way to go.


Do I understand that the Orange TKO I use could also be a stress to the environment? I use for laundry stains and in lighter concentrations for cleaning mirrors, counters, floors...It's concentrated, but expensive so I try not to use a lot of it anyway.

Generally, I consider citrus oil harvested (and purified) from the fruit itself to be okay, depending on how it is used. I'd rather not use d-limonene that is derived from petroleum products (they may be the same end product, but the citrus oil processed from citrus peels is a by-product of food production). D-limonene is a terpene, so it isn't something I would want for heavy skin or respiratory exposure. I would guess that d-limonene biodegrades okay in the way that most people on this forum use it, but I don't believe it is good to have it in the surface water. I'm not sure how it fares in current municipal water treatment systems or in septic systems. As to biodegradability, it appears that it is, but not as fast as it could be. (That may explain in part its extended efficacy in fire ant mound treatments.) Still, I'll take d-limonene over most petro-solvents for situations where it is needed.

One other thing for those that do extractions from citrus peels is that it would be best to use organic citrus. It is not unusual for conventional citrus to be treated with synthetic fungicides, and I would not be surprised if a gross extraction pulls those into the extract along with the d-limonene. (I think the purification process for commercial orange oil products removes those to some extent.) The prospect of fungicide use on conventional citrus also should give pause to those people who dunk their lemon slices into their iced tea at restaurants...

Also, if you don't mind I have a few other questions for you. Do you know anything about products called Orange Glo. I did get an MSDS sheet from them, but since I don't know anything about the "chemicals" I can't determine if they are harmful or not. The MSDS lists Cold pressed orange oil 30% and Dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid triethanolamine salt 5-10%?

I would prefer to avoid anything that has a benzene structure -- it usually is pretty non-biodegradable and it invariably is a petroleum derivative. So, the dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid would not darken my cleaning cabinet. As for the TEA salt, TEA is poorly degradable, is harmful in aquatic environments, and, according to my latest information, is an experimental carcinogen. If someone has more current toxicity information, by all means post it. The practice of masking nasty ingredients by mixing them with nice orange oil really annoys me.

Also what is in club soda that makes it better than plain old water for cleaning?

As I understand it, the sodium citrate in club soda softens the water, which can enhance its cleaning power. Also, if you're using soda that still has good carbonation, the fizz helps float particles to the surface (which also is one of the chief benefits of using grocery strength hydrogen peroxide on cuts). There may be other reasons that club soda works better that aren't occurring to me at the moment.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 12:30 pm
Posts: 18
Enzyme11Thanks for all the info. I really appreciate it. Are you a Chemist?


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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2003 6:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 9:20 am
Posts: 31
Location: Cisco,TEXAS
Shelly,

I am proud of you for choosing a safer way to sanitize your garbage can. There is another thing I like to do... I like to scent some baking soda with an oil (usually tea trea oil) and then sprinkle that in the bottom of the can and just let it sit there a few days.

I have use Dr. Bronners peppermint soap. I really like using this in my bathtub/sink cleaner. I think the peppermint helps me to relax even if I am scrubbing away... :lol: Now for washing dishes I use Ecover liquid soap. It works pretty good and is easy on the hands. I have even used it to refill my handwashing dispensers.

Thank you for the info on the store. I will consider it when I am in the area. Right now I shop in Abilene at a health food store.

If you have any other questions, I will answer them the best I can. :)
Bernice


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2003 10:44 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 12:30 pm
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Bernice, thanks for your ideas, I actually did use the vinegar, baking soda and a couple drops of lavander oil in my trash can last week and I liked it. Where do you get the Ecover liquid soap? I have purchased Dr. Bronner's Lavander, Peppermint, Aloe and SalSuds. I purchased them at Central Market, then found I could get them for 1/2 the price at the healthfood store I was telling you about. (HerbMart) also carries them in a gallon size...for...about the same price I paid for the smaller ones I got from Central Market. So far I have used the Lavander to wash my face. I put a little on a "Buff Puff" brand facial scrubby and I love it. I have used the SalSuds in my laundry. I purchased the glycerin to make the stain remover in the book "Clean House Clean Planet" that you suggested I want to try it the next time I have a stain. Have you tried that recipe yet? I'll share results when I have them. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2003 9:42 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2003 10:59 am
Posts: 277
This Web site seems to have some pretty good information about non-toxic house cleaning, although it may be redundant for those with the book mentioned:

http://www.thensome.com/cleaning.htm

A couple of comments: (1) I haven't tried many of these personally. (2) On the idea of vacuuming salt to kill fleas in the vacuum cleaner bag, another idea is to vacuum up a little dry corn starch; the dust purportedly suffocates the adult fleas. (3) I doubt if it takes 20 minutes for soap suds to kill adult fleas during a pet shampoo. Maybe the theory of the longer time is to catch any new emergences that are generated by the washing process. (4) There is another electrochemical setup for cleaning silver that uses lemon juice (or any mild acid) instead of baking soda and does not require heat (Her method is described in more detail here: http://www.foe.org/site1/eday/cleaners.html) I'll try to dig it out and post it later. She doesn't say it, but most of these tarnish removal processes may involve the conversion of the silver sulfide, which is what the tarnish is, to hydrogen sulfide, so it's best to do it in a well-ventilated area. There is a method that uses water softener, but that typically is soduim metaphosphate, and I'd rather not use it if I can avoid it.

Other sites with some non-toxic cleaning information are:

http://www.lehighcounty.org/Solidwaste/ ... lishes.htm

http://www.rampbbs.com/public/beth/hints.htm

http://www.gbmsd.org/programs/hhw-toxic.shtml

http://home.attbi.com/~homeecology/Clea ... eaners.htm


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