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Make Your Own Disinfectant

September 28, 2009 By: NB Category: Basic Formulas, Clean Formulas

disinfectant spray

disinfectant spray

This is a much safer disinfectant that the commercial brands both safer for you and your family while you are using it and safer for the environment.  Remember, lemon juice (technically it’s the d-limonene in the lemons) kills a whole host of bacteria, viruses and fungi.

The shelf-life on this disinfectant spray cleaner is about 9 months.  Remember to label your containers.  And even though these are much safer than commercial products ALWAYS keep cleaning supplies out of the reach of children and pets.

1/2 cup liquid soap

4 Tbsp. lemon juice

3 cups warm water

Mix the ingredients in a clean, empty spray bottle and shake well.  Use your disinfectant regularly on surfaces people touch a lot, like faucet handles, door knobs, etc. – ESPECIALLY during cold and flu season!

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Make Your Own Dishwashing Liquid

September 27, 2009 By: NB Category: Basic Formulas, Clean Formulas

homemade dishwashing liquid

homemade dishwashing liquid

This dishwashing liquid may not be as thick or suds as much as the store bought varieties but it cleans just as well, is much less expensive, and contains no ingredients that are harmful to people, pets, or the environment.  Remember — suds are like hype — it may make it seem as if a product producing lots of suds is doing a lot of work but the bottom line is that suds don’t clean. It’s the water and soap in this recipe that does the cleaning.  The glycerin is an emollient to protect your skin.  The lemon juice dissolves grease and kills germs and bacteria.

The essential oil of lemon is optional.  You can get many essential oils at very good prices at Mountain Rose Herbs.

1/4 cup soap flakes
2 cups hot water
2 tsp. glycerin
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
4 drops lemon oil (optional)


Mix all ingredients in a clean empty squeeze bottle. Cover, and shake well to blend. Label your container. I like to use a permanent waterproof marker directly on the bottle.  This dishwashing liquid has a shelf like of 3 to 4 months.

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Vinegar Does More Than Flavor Food

September 14, 2009 By: NB Category: Clean Chemistry, Safest Cleaning Agents

white vinegar

white vinegar

Vinegar results from a natural fermentation process – the oxidation by acetic acid bacteria of the ethanol found in beer, cider, wine or any other alcoholic liquid. Acetic acid bacteria are a gram-negative, aerobic, rod-shaped bacteria present universally in foodstuffs, water, and soil. The acetic acid concentration of vinegar usually falls around 5 percent by volume for table vinegar up to 18 percent or higher for pickling vinegar. At a 5% concentration vinegar has a pH of about 2.4, slightly less acidic than lemon juice. Acetic acid is detectible by a characteristic smell.

Concentrations by weight of 10% to 25% are classified as an irritant. Higher than 25% is corrosive and must be handled with great care as it can cause skin burns, mucous membrane irritation, and permanent eye damage that may not even appear until hours after the exposure. Concentrations over 90% are also flammable. Common table vinegars, including distilled white vinegar, are safe for humans and animals.

Among vinegar’s versatile aspects you’ll find the following:

  1. Vinegar is antibacterial.

  2. It is also antifungal.

  3. Vinegar will dissolve mineral deposits including limescale and hard water spots from glass and hard surfaces.

  4. Vinegar included in a bath and tile formula as a rinsing agent will help prevent bathtub rings and soap scum.

  5. It is an effective solvent for epoxy resin and hardener.

  6. Vinegar is safe as a herbicide as the acetic acid is not absorbed into root systems. It will kill top-growth but perennials will reshoot.

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Ten Reasons To Love Lemons

September 13, 2009 By: NB Category: Clean Chemistry, Safest Cleaning Agents

lemon aide

lemon aide

The citrus limon, or as most of us call it, lemon, is a fruit primarily used for its juice although the pulp and rind are frequently used in culinary applications. Lemon juice is approximately 5% citric acid by volume. It is the citric acid which gives lemons their tart taste and a pH of 2.2.

Citrus fruits also produce an essential oil in glands inside the rind. This oil can be steam distilled and is composed mostly (90%+) of a hydrocarbon classified as a cyclic terpene known as d-limonene. It is a colorless liquid at room temperature and is the substance responsible for the strong citrus smell. You will find lemon oil and orange oil used more commonly in commercial cleaners, strippers and de-greasers as the distillation process requires specialized equipment. You can, however, purchase essential oils of lemon and orange from suppliers of aroma therapy products.

So what makes lemons so great? Lemon juice and lemon oil are an effective, environmentally friendly and relatively *safe solvent that:

  1. Will dissolve grease and oil.

  2. Dissolves adhesives.

  3. Dissolves limescale and hard water spots and tarnish.

  4. Will bleach stains on household surfaces and fabrics. It will also bleach your hair and skin.

  5. Strips wax and polishes.

  6. Will neutralize strong odors.

  7. Is an antiseptic and antibacterial effective against candid albicans, e. coli and gram-negative household germs that cause salmonellosis, herpes simplex (types 1 and 2), influenza types A, A/Brazil, A2/Japan, intestinal bacteria, lebsiella pneumoniae, odor-causing bacteria, mold, mildew, salmonella (choleraesuis, typhi, and typhosa), shigella sonnei, staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus (faecalis and pyogenes) and trichophyton mentagrophytes.

  8. Is antiviral and will kill the the viral agents of typhoid, gastrotenteritis, rabies, enteric fever, cholera, several forms of meningitis, whooping cough, gonorrhea and some types of dysentery. It is not effective against tetanus, anthrax, polio, rhinovirus, or hepatitis B or C.

  9. Will soften hard water and allow soaps and surfactants to be more effective.

  10. Can be used as a non-toxic insecticide for house plants or in the garden.

*Citric acid and limonene are skin and mucous membrane irritants. Contact with the eyes can cause a burning sensation. Prolonged exposure of the eyes to high concentrations could cause blindness, as anything with a low enough pH will.

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