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Tips for Green Cleaning

Cleaning products are used everywhere in our apartment and offices: on dishes, countertops, furniture, clothes, floors, windows, and floating through the air. As an alternative, there are plenty of natural products and methods that keep an apartment or office clean and fresh-smelling without the toxic side effects.

  • Cleaning Bare Floors - Your basic vinegar and water solution is really the perfect choice for cleaning most types of bare floors in your home. Mix up 1 cup vinegar with 1 gallon warm water (be sure it's warm!) and mop it onto a ceramic tile, linoleum, vinyl, or wood floor. There is no need to rinse afterward -- saving both time and water. If your vinyl or linoleum floor looks a little dull after cleaning, you can give it a shine by mopping it over again with straight club soda. Try not to saturate wood floors with the vinegar and water solution. Use a light touch; the mixture will make your floor shiny and remove any greasy buildup.

  • Metal Work - Do you have tarnished copper or brass antiques? Give them loads of shine without doing any damage by bringing in salt and vinegar and adding one more ingredient from your kitchen cupboard: flour. Make a paste using equal parts of the three ingredients; rub the paste onto the brass or copper item with a soft cloth. Cover the entire surface and let the whole thing dry out (this will take about an hour). Wipe off the dried paste with a clean, soft cloth. Lemon can also be used for lightly tarnished brass or copper pieces. Slice one lemon and dip it in salt, then rub the item with the salted lemon. Afterward, rinse and dry thoroughly.

  • Paint Odors - Whenever you have an indoor painting project, you can help control the smell of the paint by keeping small dishes of vinegar scattered about in the room. The vinegar will absorb the paint odor while you work. Leave the dishes out for a few days after finishing the project to keep the paint smell at bay. Remember to change the vinegar each day.

  • Furniture Polishing - One very effective wood polish sounds like it would be a good salad dressing as well: Just mix 2 parts olive oil with 1 part lemon juice and apply it to your furniture using a soft cloth. The combination gives your wood furniture a nice smell and a sparkling shine.

  • Vinyl - Dipping a cloth in straight lemon juice and rubbing it onto the stained area can remove stains on vinyl items such as recliners or tile flooring.

  • Glass & Mirrors - Forget ammonia-based window cleaners! The windows in your home can be effectively cleaned with 4 tablespoons lemon juice mixed with a half gallon of water. Other effective cleaners for glass and mirrors are rubbing alcohol and witch hazel.

Source: http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/10-green-home-cleaning-tips.htm