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Go Green! Eco-Friendly Cleaning Made Simple

Spring brings to mind two things for us here at Maxwell

  1. New growth and blossoming landscapes
  2. It is time to clean, clean, clean!

So why can’t those two things live in harmony? When you call on a restoration company, you want to make sure the products they are using are sustainable and biodegradable! That’s why here at Maxwell, we use Benefect on all of our jobs, from a leaky roof to a flooded basement.  The primary disinfectant is Thyme Oil, a purely botanical ingredient.

Earth day is quickly approaching (4/22/18) and we are going to give you a list of some of our best methods and recipes to ensure a deep clean without harming the ecosystem! Let’s start with the green pantry basics:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Washing Soda
  • Citric Acid
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Castile Soap, liquid and bar
  • Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil
  • Newspaper
  • Essential Oils (optional)

Vinegar is a super powerful, versatile cleaner that can be used diluted, for almost any surface, or undiluted for tougher jobs. We recommend infusing your vinegar cleaner with citrus, herbs or essential oils, so your house smells clean and not like a giant pickle!

Here is one of our favorite lavender cleaning recipes that is gentle enough to be used on wood surfaces and countertops (except marble) but can still clean the heck out of a shower!

  • 1 to 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 to 2 cups water
  • Dried lavender
  • 1 tbsp Castile soap
  • 30 drops lavender oil (optional)

Add the vinegar and dried lavender to an airtight jar and place it in a sunny spot. Let the mixture sit for a week or so, this is the infusing process.

Once your mixture is pretty shade of purple, strain the mixture into a spray bottle and add Castile soap, lavender oil and water.  Swirl your mixture together, follow up with a wet rag and you’re off to the races.

For a streak free, grime fighting glass cleaner, mix equal parts isopropyl alcohol and water with one tablespoon of vinegar. Spray solution on windows, mirrors and glass top tables then wipe away like yesterday’s news. Literally. Use newspaper to clean your glass. It’s stronger fibers don’t separate and produce lint like paper towel would.

Castile soap is made from vegetable oils and not animal fats or synthetic detergents. This makes for a great biodegradable and cruelty-free cleaning product. We are big fans of the Dr.Bronner’s line of liquid and bar soaps, they also come scented as well!

Baking soda is a non-commercial abrasive cleaner, known for its powerful deodorizing and whitening abilities.

For a knockout tile cleaner, mix Castile soap and baking soda into a paste and apply to tile. Let mixture sit, from 15 minutes to overnight and clean with a wet rag. *sparkle sparkle*

In our humble opinion, laundry detergent is the most important household cleaner that should be green. Your skin is your body’s largest organ and acts as a giant sponge. So why should you dress yourself in clothes that have been cleaned with known carcinogens such as formaldehyde, benzene derivatives and petroleum distillates!?!

You’ll need both baking soda and washing soda. To learn about the differences between the two and how to make your own washing soda, click here.

Here is what you’ll need to make your own laundry soap:

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1/4 cup coarse sea salt
  • 1 bar of Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile soap

Start by grating the Castile soap into very fine pieces, either with a food processor or by hand. Since lavender is trending this year, and it’s scent is timeless, we used the lavender scented Castile soap from Dr. Bronner (but you can use your own favorite scent, or go unscented).

Add all ingredients into an airtight jar,  making sure you add a silica gel sachet to avoid clumping.  Add 1 tablespoon to each load of laundry, 2 tablespoons if your load is extra dirty!

Making your own laundry detergent doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg either! This recipe for homemade laundry soap costs 13 cents per load, whereas most OTC detergents run about 15-51 cents per load.

If you’ve tried one of these recipes or have your own green cleaning recipe, let us know by sharing it in the comments!

And remember, sustainability starts at home!

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