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DIY Green Cleaning

Going green is an easy recipe to follow, and most of the ingredients you'll need are already in your kitchen cabinets. Here's a  sample of cleaning products you can make at home, from the book Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home, by Christopher Gavigan.

Natural drain cleaners. While harsh drain chemicals work magic on clogged drains, so can a simple solution of 1 cup baking soda poured into the sink or tub, followed by 1 cup vinegar. After some bubbling and fizzing, your drain should be flowing freely.

Non-toxic mold remover. After donning gloves and a mask so you don't inhale spores, eliminate mold by spraying with vinegar at 5% concentration, or by scrubbing with a non-ammonia detergent such as borax, hydrogen peroxide, or tea tree oil.

Healthy air freshener. For a lemon-fresh smell to deodorize the air, mix 1 teaspoon baking soda with 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 2 cups hot water in a spray bottle. Spritz and savor!

Eco-friendly flea control. You don't need a pesticide to kill the pesky fleas on your dog. Instead, wash him with 1/4 teaspoon of an essential oil that is insect-repelling, such as citronella, cedarwood, eucalyptus, rosemary, or bay leaf, with 1 teaspoon of a chemical-free shampoo and 1 cup water. Pour it over your pet, let it dry a little, and then rinse.

Organic furniture polish. Two cups of olive oil and one juiced lemon in a glass makes for a natural furniture oil. After testing on a small section of your favorite furniture, apply with a soft polishing cloth and buff to a shine.

Green cleaner. A simple mixture of 1/2 teaspoon washing soda (sodium carbonate) and 1/2 teaspoon liquid Castile (vegetable-based, not animal-fat based) soap mixed with 2 cups hot water in a 16-ounce spray bottle makes for an all-natural, all-purpose cleaner that can be used on most surfaces.

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Reviewed on March 24, 2011

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