Thursday, September 04, 2008

Thirfty Green Thursday

The Green Baby Guide has begun a blog carnival to celebrate and share ways to save money and be green at the same time. My topic for this Thursday is the miracle cleaner:

Baking Soda & White Vinegar

Photo courtesy of jilldoughtie

I've got so used to this stuff that it wasn't until DH asked me where the toilet cleaner was that I realised that I needed to educate him on my current cleaning procedure.

Some time ago Janine posted about a book called Speed Cleaning by Shannon Lush. Great book! It has some excellent advice, one of which is the use of white vinegar and baking soda as an alternative to other cleaning products.

Now I'd known about white vinegar in particular because it is an excellent solution for neutralizing cat pee (and my mum has too many cats). I had also used baking soda as a cleanser for my pizza stone and clay pot (both of which you cannot use normal detergent on).

So I decided to get more serious about it. I put white vinegar+few drops of lavender oil in an old spray bottle. I went to the Binn Inn and bought a big bag of baking soda which is now stored in a container under the sink with a little scoop recycled from somewhere. I forget how much this cost me but I know it was less than a bottle of spray 'n' wipe.

My modus operandi is this. On the surface of the toilet bowl and seat I spray the white vinegar. Using the scoop I sprinkle over some baking soda which makes a very satisfying fizz when it hits the vinegar. I then use a dedicated toilet sponge to wipe over the seat, and the toilet brush for the bowl.

I also use this process on other surfaces like the bathroom vanity, the bath and the stainless steel bench.

Baking soda is a mild abrasive so is a good option for surfaces like the shower where crud builds up. You could even do it while having a shower!

Baking soda and cider vinegar can also be used as an alternative to shampoo. You can read about that on Amy's blog. I have tried this, and yes it works remarkably well! My hair felt really light after doing this.

One reason I like this way of cleaning is that I'm not washing stuff into our water ways that is going to harm the inhabitants. I'm thinking that when we go camping to the more primitive down to earth camping sites (like the DOC ones) then I'm not going to feel bad about washing my hair in the streams.

Why not give it a go? You might be surprised at how much cheaper (and how effective) this cleaner is.

Now a plug for a new challenge.

My friend Amy is running a Ditch the Disposables challenge for the next couple of months. Run on over and check it out.


  1. I love my baking soda and vinegar and wont go back to toxic cleaners. I know people freak when I say thats what I use ( I think they are worried that it really doesn't clean) but I remind people before we had all the toxic cleaners we have now what did our great granparents use. Go you for being green in the cleaning dpt!! I love wiping my door handles and light switch surrounds with a dash of vinegar on the cloth.

  2. Yay for natural cleaners. I love that 'fizz'- ah sounds so good lol
    Love the pics of you on your bike too.

  3. Anonymous10:37 am

    I might have totry the vinegar and baking soda in the toilet as I noticed the other day it had a 'boys' smell

  4. LOL at you re-educating hubby on your cleaning practices :-) heehee And I laughed too at ruthnz's comment about the toilet having a "boys" smell. :-)
    Wonder what my cleaner would say if I gave her a container of baking soda and bottle of vinegar! Might have to give it a try once she's finished off the stuff that's there.

  5. Trina7:21 pm

    We listen to a programme on Radio Live with Shannon Lush. You can ring up with stain problems and she tells you how to get it out.

    Amazing woman, and amazing natural remedies and techniques.

    Been meaning to get her books for a while now.

  6. i too posted about using these cleaners. I love love love them. It feels great knowing you aren't using toxic chemicals.

  7. You know, I have tried baking soda on my toilet. And I have tried vinegar. But I have not tried them TOGETHER. I think I will do this right now. (I mean, after I am finished commenting.)

    Another great bonus about using green cleaners is that you don't have to worry about locking up the poisons from your kids . . . because nothing you use is poisonous.

    Thanks for joining us for Thrifty Green Thursday!

  8. I love vinegar. Vinegar is to my life what Windex is to the dad on My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

  9. It's amazing that you managed to work, raise your children, go on bike rides, and write such great posts! We're honored that you took time out of your busy schedule to join us for Thrifty Green Thursday!

  10. I like using baking soda and vinegar is fizzy toilet cleaner too! It reminds me of making those baking soda volcanos elementary school.

    I also like that the vinegar smell dissapates much more quickly than the commerical scrubbing bubble cleaner I used to use. That stuff made my house smell like a fake flower factory hours after I used it.