Celebrating a Green Clean Thanksgiving

Screen shot 2010-12-01 at 3.59.00 PMThanksgiving is all about being grateful for everything we have. And this year, we hope that caring for the environment and living a healthy green lifestyle are at the top of everyone’s list. To celebrate these good gifts, here are some cleanup tips from Maid Brigade consumer advocate Marie Stegner that can easily be applied to anyone’s feast.

Wrapping up Leftovers. Avoid plastic wrap. Most plastic wraps contain PVC, which quickly winds up in landfills and leads to harmful environmental consequences. Use containers that can be washed and reused. If you must use something to wrap, use aluminum foil, it can be recycled.

Dishwashing. Your dishwasher uses about half the energy, 1/6 of the water, and less soap than you might use during hand dishwashing. If you have a lot of dishes to wash, load your dishwasher with an eco-friendly detergent and air-dry the dishes rather than heat drying them.  Make your own non-toxic dishwasher soap by mixing equal parts of borax and washing soda (increase the washing soda if your water is hard).

Dishwashing Soap. Commercial low-phosphate detergents are not harmful themselves, but phosphates nourish algae which use up oxygen in waterways.  A detergent substitute is liquid soap.  For tough jobs, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of vinegar to warm, soapy water.

All-Purpose Cleaner. Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water.  Store and keep. Cleaning with microfiber cloths can lift off dirt, grease and dust without the need for cleaning chemicals because the cloths are formulated to penetrate and trap dirt.  A good quality cloth can last for several years.

Carpet Stains. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.  Spray directly on stain, let sit for several minutes, then clean with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water.  For fresh grease spots, sprinkle corn starch onto spot and wait 15 – 30 minutes before vacuuming. For a heavy duty carpet cleaner, mix 1/4 cup each of salt, borax, and vinegar.  Rub paste into carpet and leave for a few hours.  Vacuum.

Chopping Block Cleaner. Rub a slice of lemon across a chopping block to disinfect the surface.  For tougher stains, squeeze some of the lemon juice onto the spot and let sit for 10 minutes, then wipe.

Coffee and Tea Stains in Cups. Stains in cups can be removed by applying vinegar to a sponge and wiping.  To clean a tea kettle or coffee maker, add 2 cups water and 1/4 cup vinegar, bring to a boil, cool, and wipe with a clean cloth.  Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

Maid Brigade Green Cleaning Certified® services cares about the health of you and your family.  For more information on healthy green living and green cleaning, please visit greencleancertified.com or maidbrigade.com.  For more information on “Household Cleaning Products and Breast Cancer,” please watch our video at www.greencleancertified.com/greentv.

Share