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Be Clean, Be Green, Be Frugal

September 15, 2009

I’ve been using all the little clean-green-on-the-cheap solutions I can find. But I’ve still been using commercial dishwasher detergent because I hadn’t run across, well, this.

1 cup washing soda
1 cup Borax
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup citric acid

“Mix together and store tightly covered in a mason jar. Use one tablespoon per load. Add vinegar to the rinse dispenser for the best results.”

Also, note that that’s WASHING SODA (sodium carbonate) not baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). My halfhearted skim of a search last night pulled up some misinformation about the two, but deeper research today has verified that they are very different. Washing soda and Borax should be kept out of reach of kids and pets.

You can clean your home with easy-to-find, environmentally friendly materials, for only pennies… it sounds like it’s too good to be true. And yet… A little diluted vinegar and an old t-shirt do as good a job on windows and mirrors as Windex ever has. (And I know for a fact that the local jewelry store uses this to clean their myriad glass display cases and windows and mirrors to keep them sparkly and enticingly clear. Well, okay, they use a washcloth instead of an old t-shirt.)

I’m about thisclose to throwing out all the commercial bottled cleaners in my house in favor of a simple set of environmentally- and budget-friendly options. No designer green cleaners, no Methods or Seventh Generations here. I’m talking about my great-grandmother’s standbys: baking soda, borax, distilled white vinegar, lemons, oil, salt, etc.

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