green janie
 
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Insomnia doesn’t hit me very often but when it does I clean and do laundry – like a maniac. Some might say it is the only time I clean but hey, I need something to do on insomnia night. One of  thoes nights hit me recently and had me thinking of homemade cleaners I should share on the blog. 
There are many great “green” cleaners out there these days and some that aren’t as green as they say. I’ve bought many over the years. Now, keeping Health, Earth and Budget in mind guides my shopping decision for the most part.  I can’t always get all three, but that is the goal.  Most of my favorite cleaners hit the healthy and earth friendly categories but blew the budget. Even those that satisfy all three come with packaging I can't always recycle or reuse.  I started looking in ernest for cleaners I could make, that really work. Some are throwbacks to things our grandparents used. I love the idea of keeping it simple and using what you already have as much as possible. I  have included some of my tried and true favorites.

I use baking soda and vinegar for a lot of things - and borax, if something is really tough. Though most would agree that borax is a natural substance, there is a lot of controversy about its safety as a cleaner. That is for you to decide. I have done some research and feel comfortable using it in my home.  I wouldn’t eat it, but I wouldn’t eat straight baking soda or orange peels either. I included a link to a great blog called Crunch Betty. She has done her homework and lays out the facts quite nicely. http://www.crunchybetty.com/getting-to-the-bottom-of-borax-is-it-safe-or-not I also found some good information here: http://www.borax.com/pdfs/dist/Profile_Borax_Decahydrate.pdf.  If it is safe enough for contact solution – I think my laundry can take it.
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Speaking of laundry – there are several homemade versions of  detergent around the web, but her is my personal favorite:

1Cup baking soda / 1Cup Borax / 1 bar Castile soap (grated with a cheese grater) Mix together and you have an inexpensive laundry soap that is easy on the environment. No nasty chemicals, no plastic jugs or boxes to deal with.  I keep mine in a jar with a little scoop (about 1 Tablespoon) and use 1-2 scoops per load. I sometimes mix in lavender or one of the citrus therapeutic grade essential oils – Health, Earth Budget = clean clothes..
 I also add a drop or two of the oils and a dash of dish soap to a vinegar/ water mix for an all purpose cleaner. Tea tree, grapefruit, lavender are my favorites for this.  I use a bottle from my recycling bin that fits a standard spray nozzle and away I go.

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A friend found an idea on Pinterest for a vinegar citrus cleaner. Here is the original source: http://www.littlebrickranch.com/2011/04/what-is-wet-pink-and-gross-all-over.html

Put orange (or any citrus) peel into a quart of vinegar and wait two weeks (that part is killing me).  You mix it at a ratio of 1:1 with water. Put in a spray bottle or a little bucket. I made mine on insomnia night so I have a week to go.  In the meantime it looks pretty in my kitchen window.

I hope this inspires you to find healthy, earth friendly, budget friendly cleaners. I would love to hear your ideas too. Happy green cleaning!

green janie

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Looks like a jar of sunshine. I can't wait to use it!