Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Monday Mission: Green and Natural Household Cleaners – Pick One

November 15th, 2010 · 61 Comments · Cleaning, Green Living, What to Buy

Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to extend last week’s “greening up” to your cleaning cabinet. If you feel green clean already, head back to the natural personal products list from last week and see what else you can change there.

Impact Ratings: earthpositivehealthpositive moneypositive

Level of Commitment: Baby Steps to Making Strides

I’ve added a number of resources and links to last week’s Monday Mission on natural personal products, including another shampoo option and 3 new ideas for hand soaps. Did you see the ‘no poo shampoo post from last week?

I also updated the Top 10 Green Gift Guide with a final few links and ideas, including Berkey, one of my sponsors for this month. natural kitchen cleaners

You’ll remember that last week I told you how I could make one change at a time, baby step style, and before I knew it I was rightfully being accused of being “crunchy” from head to toe and ceiling to floor.

This week is the “ceiling to floor” part, and I challenge you to choose one new area of your house to clean with non-toxic supplies. Wait until what you have runs out if you like, or freecycle your old chemical stuff and make the switch now. Just choose one at a time:

2011 update: list of my TOP green cleaners, the priorities! There’s also a new eBook out to teach you how to clean everything using some of these simple ingredients to make your own homemade cleaners: Clean Start by Michelle of Open Eye Health.

Ceiling to Floor (Natural Green Cleaners)

Mirrors/Glass

  • Vinegar and water in a spray bottle (or in a bucket for outside windows) always does the trick.
  • Use old newspapers to wipe clean.
  • My favorite method is just plain water and a microfiber cloth – no product needed, and a perfect shine, every time.
    • Norwex has some pretty fancy mirror cloths
  • Most green cleaning companies offer a glass cleaner. Find a good selection here, but this is one place I would never buy commercial. It’s too easy to DIY (do it yourself)!

Note: A year later, I updated the ideas in this post with new products/experiences from another year of experience. See the additions and thoughts HERE.

Bathtub/Shower

vinegar

  • Spray with straight vinegar as an after-shower spray that you just leave on. The smell dissipates as soon as it’s dry. Some people add a few drops of essential oils for a nicer scent. (You can buy them from Mountain Rose Herbs.) Especially effective for hard water stains, like on the shower curtain. *Do not use on tile and grout as it may eat away the grout.
  • Scrub with baking soda when you get scum that needs some extra elbow grease.
  • Commercial green cleaners are a nice option to have on hand here – I’ve used Charlie’s soap All-Purpose Spray and Seventh Generation bathroom disinfectant, both found here. UPDATE: I am NO longer in favor of Charlie’s Soap – see the update here.

Toilets

  • Straight vinegar in a spray bottle does a fine job cleaning the bowl (double duty for one bottle if you use it in your shower).
  • Baking soda and lemon juice make a paste for nasty stains.
  • I like the 50/50 hydrogen peroxide solution to clean the outside.
  • I collect the family’s holey socks and use them to wipe the outside of the toilet. Then I can throw them away and not waste paper towel, but not have to juggle the “which towel color cleans the toilets and never the kitchen???” issue.

Counters

baking soda

  • For a quick clean in the bathroom, I wipe down with a microfiber cloth only.
  • When I want to disinfect and really clean, I like a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water, followed by a good shine with my microfiber.
  • To scrub nasty stains (like Comet): use straight baking soda, sometimes with a bit of water. I keep some in an old Parmesan cheese container under the sink. You can also try oxygen bleach, sold by Biokleen and many other brands. You can likely find some in your basic big box store nowadays, or search here for Biokleen oxygen bleach, 30% off right now.
  • Try an old toothbrush to really get stains out of grout and around sinks and faucets!
  • To sanitize after raw meat or the like in the kitchen, you’ll need two bottles: one with vinegar and one with hydrogen peroxide. Spray separately, one after the other. (More details in my triple threat natural cleaners post.) You don’t need bleach!
  • Essential oils offer other options for sanitizing. A few drop GSE (grapefruit seed extract – right? I always forget just how to say that!) or tea tree oil in a bottle of water acts as a disinfectant. I actually like the smell of tea tree oil, but not everyone does. Find essential oils and support on how to use them at Mountain Rose Herbs.
  • UPDATE 2013: There are natural disinfectants approved by the EPA that are botanical and truly natural. I’m impressed!
  • You’ll find all-purpose counter cleaners from most commercial green companies, too.

Oven/Stovetop

  • Baking soda or salt make the perfect scrub for the stovetop. You’ll be amazed at all it gets out. More details at how to clean a stovetop, naturally.
  • If you have a spill inside the oven, the best line of defense is to sprinkle salt on while it’s still hot, then tackle it as soon as you can touch it while it’s still warm.
  • Sometimes I need a natural orange-based cleaners as a degreaser, although I bet diluted castile soap would also do the trick. Here’s an awesome and super frugal way to make DIY orange power cleaner.

Dishes – Hand wash

  • Every natural and pseudo-natural cleaning company has a dishsoap that pledges to be better than the average. Here’s how I rate the effectiveness of the ones I’ve tried (links go to the review):
  • A baby step is to make sure your dishsoap doesn’t have bleach or triclosan in it.
  • Surviving impossible dishes – two free tools: everyone needs ideas to get to those hard-to-reach places…

Dishes – Dishwasher

IMG_7728

  • This is one subject I’ve exhausted, and I have my favorite, hands down. I tried many, many homemade recipes, and unless you love pre-washing your dishes, I wouldn’t recommend ANY of them.
  • Read more about my failed homemade dishwasher detergents, then success with Mrs. Meyer’s, another failure (and a husband about to throw me and my experiments out of the house!), and finally, my favorite natural dishwasher detergent — at the time. Biokleen, the winner, has since been trounced mightily.
  • I’ve also tried Seventh Generation’s products, and the powder was almost as good as Biokleen, while the liquid sits untouched after two weeks of hubby-grumbling about rejected dishes (still dirty after the cycle). The pacs are decent, but still only about a “C+” on the scale.
  • UPDATE 2011: I went back and forth on Biokleen after it stopped working for me in spring 2011. Readers convinced me my dishwasher just had terrible buildup. See ideas to clean that out and revitalize your detergent HERE.
  • UPDATE 2012: New house, new dishwasher – Biokleen still stunk it up for us. I tried a number of other brands and reviewed my favorites HERE. The top contenders include Tropical Traditions house brand which has really stood the test of time, and Ecover’s tablets.
  • UPDATE 2013: I listed all the homemade dishwasher detergent recipes readers have sent me over the years…
  • Instead of Jet Dry, use straight vinegar in your machine’s rinse agent dispenser. Works wonders!
  • Some baby steps for going green include eco-conscious pre-rinsing and running machines only when full. See more here.
  • When your dishwasher gets gunky, get back with this natural dishwasher cleaning method.

Laundry

  • Charlie’s Soap works for a lot of people, many of whom love it for cloth diapers, but it was only acceptable for me. Here’s my review. (But Booooooo to them for their yucky ingredient in the all-purpose spray – who can trust the laundry soap? Not me!!!)
  • I’ve also tried Seventh Generation, Mejier brand, and maybe a few other liquid versions, all just fine.
  • My favorite that I’m sticking with, however, is NaturOli soap nuts. They grow on trees, and I don’t think you can get more natural than that! Here’s my soap nuts review for more info. (I got some Maggie’s brand on accident, and they have two problems: they stick together and can stain clothes if they sit wet against them. I also tried Laundry Tree and just didn’t think they cleaned as well, hands down. NaturOli is better!)
  • How to tell if soap nuts still have cleaning power
  • To pretreat: I use Biokleen Bac-Out mixed 1/3 strength with water in a spray bottle. It gets most stains out before the clothes even hit the washer (scrub them well). Trouble is caused by tomatoes, mud, and mustard.
  • To soak: any brand oxygen bleach in hot water (don’t let bold colors touch whites!). Pour the soak water right into the washing machine for a boost after soaking.
  • I like dryer balls or wool dryer balls instead of fabric softener or dryer sheets.
  • Stinky towels? Add vinegar to the rinse cycle of your washing machine.
  • 2011 UPDATE: Selestial Soap is another natural option with no SLS.

Furniture Polish

  • The simplest option is just a microfiber cloth, sometimes with one corner dampened, then polish with the dry part.
  • You can use a touch of olive oil for polishing, mixed with lemon juice if you love that Pledge smell!

Floors

  • Vinegar and water (no more than 1/4 cup to a 32 oz. spray bottle) is my weapon of choice, with an old towel for wiping.
  • Your mop bucket is another place for warm water and a glug of vinegar.
  • No vinegar if you have hardwood floors – vinegar can strip the finish and water really isn’t the best idea either. Just use a microfiber cloth on a Swiffer for simple green cleaning!

Don’t forget last week’s greening up posts on:

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I’d love to see more of you!  Sign up for a free email subscription or grab my reader feed. You can also follow me on Twitter, get KS for Kindle, or see my Facebook Fan Page.

If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.

Kitchen Stewardship is dedicated to balancing God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money.  If you feel called to such a mission, read more at Mission, Method, and Mary and Martha Moments.

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of drugstore.com, Amazon, Mountain Rose Herbs and NaturOli as well as Clean Start eBook, so I will get a kickback if you order there. However, I’m so pleased that they have my favorite stuff on sale, it’s good for everyone if you shop there – but only if you can’t find the same price locally! Advertisers this month include Berkey and Provident Essentials. See my full disclosure statement here.

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61 Comments so far ↓

  • Milehimama

    About the hydrogen peroxide- the bottle you show is clear, and it breaks down into oxygen and water pretty quickly if exposed to light (that’s why it’s sold in dark bottles). So a new batch will need to be mixed up each time you clean.

    Myself, I just use a vinegar spray for toilet cleaning and bathroom mopping.

    You can make your own oxygen bleach from washing soda and peroxide. For laundry, it’s important to use 3%, not 6% hydrogen peroxide because the stronger stuff could bleach your clothes or fade them.

    I saw on an old post that you had tea tree oil, which was costly. A lot of people use a drop or two in thier mop buckets. We’ve used it to kill lice without using pesticides (worked GREAT on eight people with varying hair lengths) and it can also be used for fungal infections, scabies, and other first aid.

    Erin Reply:

    Yep hydrogen peroxide is best stored in a cool dark place. My mom keeps her food grade stuff in the fridge. When I have a mixed clear bottle, mine goes in the back of the fridge too.

    Katie Reply:

    Milehimama,
    Yes, that photo was taken before I knew better. I used to test it to see if it bubbled, and if it did, I knew it was still active. The bottle is kind of translucent…and kept in a dark cupboard. ??? Now I have the spray top right on the brown H2O2 bottle. :)

    If I could find my tea tree oil bottle, I’d know it was under $5 and will last a really, really long time b/c you use so little. Thanks! :) Katie

  • Amy

    Any suggestions for a slate kitchen floor? I know vinegar is out. I have been just using water, but I feel like I should be doing something more since it is the kitchen.

    Katie Reply:

    Amy,
    Vinegar hurts slate? I’m out of my league here…sorry! –Katie

    Amy Reply:

    I just remember noticing a little blurb about not using it on natural stone like slate or marble in a This Old House magazine once.

    sandra Reply:

    don´t think that is valid for all stones… for sure keep all acids (vinegar, lemon, onion……) off marble and limestone (that´s why they are not good for kitchen counters). These stones get dissolved by acid, but that wouldn´t happen to granite, for example. So it depends on the stone.

    Shauna Reply:

    Hate to sound like a broken record here but I’ve been there asking all these same questions while trying to find safe yet effective things to use in my home after my son was born. Norwex (www.shaunayancey.norwex.biz) really does have a solution for everything. The cloths and the mop pads can be used on all surfaces and clean with just water so you don’t have to worry about them damaging anything. The silver embedded in the cloths makes them naturally antibacterial.

  • Kathryn

    Oh, Milehimama beat me to it!

    I use all these things for cleaning. I made the mistake of putting the H2O2 in a clear bottle, also. It turns to water quickly. There is a reason that hydrogen peroxide is in a dark bottle.

    I use it far less often these days, because it just isn’t as convenient to use.

    Katie Reply:

    Kathryn,
    My spray bottle top fit right on the brown plastic bottle it came in! That was a cool discovery. ;) Katie

  • Katie @ Riddlelove

    Okay. Getting back to homemade naturals. This is good. Thanks for the re-alignment.

  • Nicole

    I use 2-3 Tablespoons of dish soap (Mrs. Meyers) and about 20 drops of tea tree oil mixed with about 2 cups of warm water in a spray bottle as my all-purpose cleaner/disinfectant…Love it! I (and my kids) love the smell! Vinegar and baking soda are used abundantly here too! Thanks for the peroxide idea, haven’t tired that one yet!

  • shannon

    I can’t wait to check out those dish soaps. I’ve had a favorite one we’ve used for awhile. Just bought another bottle and now they’ve made it antibacterial and it contains triclosane so I’ve been wanting something different.

    I need a cleaner for my hardwood floors though, especially in the winter. I’ve actually used vinegar and water for the past few months and won’t now! Thanks for stating it strips. Before that I used diluted oil soap. Is that safe for hardwood floors? or any other recommendations? I especially need it in the winter with all the salt outside.

    Katie Reply:

    Shannon,
    Oil soap is definitely recommended for hardwood. I have only carpet and tile, so I don’t have a lot of experience with it, but that’s what the sites that said “don’t use vinegar” recommended. :) Katie

    shannon Reply:

    Great Katie. Thanks. Guess I’ll go back to my old methods. I’ve really enjoyed this series!

  • Erin

    We use club soda (defizzed) 16 oz, 24 drops tea tree oil, and 24 drops grapefruit seed extract for a disinfectant spray/all purpose cleaner. Either the tea tree or the GSE in the above concentration would have enough disinfecting power all by itself. However, we were replacing Clorox wipes, and my husband and I wanted to be extra sure we were killing bugs on the counter after raw meat, etc.

    Works great, no soapy residue…

    We use plain defizzed club soda for a glass cleaner and an olive oil/vinegar/water with lemon oil combination for wood cleaning.

  • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    Let’s see….

    Love my soap nuts. I rinse stains out with cold water immediately and use a little plain blue Dawn if necessary — gets EVERYTHING out so far. I like RLR to help get my diapers clean, and putting them out in the sun too. Don’t forget about the sun for stained laundry!

    Seventh Generation and white vinegar in my dishwasher, though I also like Shaklee. Have not found a good homemade solution either (hmph).

    Most things I honestly use plain water, or baking soda. I do have a bunch of Seventh Gen stuff around, which I’ll use in my kitchen or bathrooms on occasion, if there’s a need or it’s been awhile. Fun fact: their “all purpose” cleaner will get ANYTHING out of my carpet, even blueberries! Love that….

    Toilets — the two we don’t use as often, Mrs. Meyer’s or Seventh Gen stuff. The one we use a lot (and don’t always flush, to save water) gets HORRIBLY dirty and I use the cheap, caustic stuff in it. The other stuff doesn’t get it clean, no matter how hard I try.

    Showers — Baking soda HANDS DOWN! I even once tried CLR and lots of nasty, caustic stuff (a couple years ago) and nothing. Plugged the drain, flooded with warm water, dumped baking soda in it, let it sit maybe 10 minutes, and it all wiped clean like a dream. Seriously. Love it.

    I do love my essential oils (I have a lot of them — tea tree and lavender being my most common for cleaning, but also oregano and thyme). Seventh Gen has a new oregano-oil-based antibacterial cleaner that I like all right.

  • Tan @ Tan/green

    After similar battles with my dishwasher I found LemiShine…an intense concentrate of fruit acid that knocks out hard water and seems to aid the detergent. Can’t say enough good things about it. I blogged a little write up on the product including company links here:

    http://tangreen.net/blog/2010/10/31/lemi-talk-about-lemishine/

  • Rachel

    I’ve been a believer in tea tree oil for several years now, but would like to note to use caution around pets (especially cats). . .it can be toxic to them (my 2 cats are fine, but I reduced use of it after finding this out a couple years after starting tea tree oil & I hadn’t used it in “their” areas). As a child, my mother taught me the vinegar/water/newspaper combo for windows & mirrors & we never have streaks- I love it!! Thanks for all of the other ideas!!

  • ( jason )

    When you say 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water, what concentration of H2O2 are you starting with? 3% or 35%?

    Katie Reply:

    Jason,
    A very important distinction – just the regular old 3% stuff in the brown bottle. :) Katie

  • Jess E

    looked for hydrogen peroxide at meijer today to add to my cleaning kit. i was thrilled to find one with a sprayer top on it! score!

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  • Vicky

    I am on a mission to green up my cleaners as well! With baby #3 on the way (due around Easter!) it seems more like crunch time than anything. ;)

    I am not sure if I was reading in this post or in the “triple threat” post about the man contacting you in regards to using vinegar and H2O2. I was stewing on that all night last night.

    As a microbiologist, I have had a hard time switching over to “green” cleaners as well. I know about the efficacy of vinegar and H2O2 for certain things, but am not convinced of their killing powers, especially in regards to some of the nastiest bugs out there. I am currently an at-home-mom, and don’t have a lovely lab with petri plates and swabs at my disposal, or else I’d do a bunch of testing and let y’all know what I find! :)

    That said, it still doesn’t help my dilemma of using safe, natural cleaners in the house. Until recently….

    Unfortunately, my FIL brought MRSA into our home. For those unaware, MRSA is methicillin-resistant Staph. aureus. A very dangerous little bug – Google it, but I warn you, it’s not pretty. My son contracted it from my FIL when he was between 6-8 months and had a HUGE boil. I lanced it and drained it, but had to use colloidal silver and tea tree oil to clear it up.

    I am a member of the forum on Well Tell Me.com – a very informative site where you can get lots of information on how to naturally treat lots of things (Group B Strep, morning sickness, allergies, eczema, you name it!). A wonderful woman on there also has problems with MRSA in her home due to her son in law being in Iraq and shared this wonderful natural cleaner with me. It is my “go to” antibacterial cleaner.

    Mix in a spray bottle:
    2 cups hot water
    1 tsp. essential oil (tea tree, eucalyptus, or any other antibacterial essential oil)
    1 tsp. washing soda
    2 tsp. Borax
    1/2 tsp. liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronner’s)
    10 drops GSE
    Mix well. Spray on hard surfaces.

    Not as cheap as the vinegar, but I feel confident knowing it is taking care of the bacteria I don’t want in my home. It does smell like tea tree oil (I use TTO for my cleaner) but another oil may work well for you and not smell so strongly.

    HTH! :)

    Katie Reply:

    Vicky,
    Oh, in-home petri dishes would be a science geek’s dream, don’t you think? ;) Thank you so much for this recipe! I wonder if the washing soda and Borax are essential for germ killing, or more just the oils. I would think the castille soap would do a good enough job cutting grease or dirt if that’s necessary. Any thoughts on their purpose? Scary to have MRSA in your tiny one though! Yikes!
    Thank you – Katie

  • Patty

    I recently switched to “green cleaning” many areas of our apartment and love it! It’s so nice that I don’t have to worry about the harsh chemicals and can actually breathe easy (literally) during and after the time that I clean. But I am having a hard time combating mold in our bathroom. We rent so I don’t have many options for combating the moisture by replacing our inefficient re-circulating bathroom exhaust fan. I feel like I’ve tried all the “green” options and nothing is doing it – vinegar (before I realized that I shouldn’t use it on grout/caulk which is of course where the mold is growing, made the caulk bubble – oops!), hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil & water solution (1 t/1 cup), GSE and water solution (10 drops/1 cup), straight lemon juice – nothing. I’ve had to resort to breaking out the bleach to get rid of it and I don’t want to be using bleach anymore! Any suggestions? I’m open to buying a natural/safe mold cleaner if that will do the trick w/o bleach – recommendations welcome!

    Katie Reply:

    Patty, this is my worst nemesis, too, mold on the grout. I swear it gets down in there where you can’t even get to it. :( Sometimes I do try bleach, and even that doesn’t work. Does bleach work for you? I wish I had a good solution, but that’s a stumper for me so far! So sorry! Katie

    Patty Reply:

    Thanks for the reply Katie! Bleach does work for me (but I use it most on the sealant/caulk area around the tub & sink in our bathroom…don’t need it as much on the grout thankfully though it has worked for me in the past). I’ll keep experimenting/searching

  • Tif

    My oven is a disaster. I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t cleaned it in 2 years… and I use it A LOT. So many chickens have spattered, pizza cheese fallen and burnt on the bottom, etc. Anyway, we are moving now (yay!) and I have to clean it (we rent). I refuse to use commercial oven cleaner, despite it’s effectiveness. It seriously makes me choke and I haven’t brought any into the house since I’ve had kids. I know that warming the oven will help my efforts but I’m not sure what kind of natural concoction to use to help me… any suggestions?

    Katie Reply:

    Tif,
    Salt. Elbow grease. ;)

    Actually, find details here: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/08/25/how-to-clean-your-stovetop-and-oven-the-simple-safe-frugal-way/

    Good luck! :) Katie

    Tif Reply:

    Thanks Katie! I should have searched KS a little harder. Loving the skinny jeans bit about cleaning the way back of the oven lol :)

    Shauna Reply:

    Oven and grill cleaner by Norwex (www.shaunayancey.norwex.biz). It is made with natural enzymes that break down the burnt on food. Totally safe for you and your family, very easy to use, barely any scrubbing necessary!

    mom-in-the-city Reply:

    Tif:
    you can make a paste of baking soda and water. you sprinkle the baking soda on the areas of the oven that need cleaning and you spray water on it, leave it overnight, and the next day you mop it up. it is a little messy, but better than breathing all those chemicals. it does a really nice job.

  • Shauna

    Hi there. I’ve been following your blog for several months now (since going on the Maker’s Diet). Seems like you always have information I’m looking for at the time :) Just came across this one. Looking forward to reading all the way through it but I wanted to make sure you knew about a company called Norwex. I am an affiliate but only because their products changed my life – seriously! Here’s a link and I’d be happy to tell you more. Basically clean with cloths and water – naturally antibacterial. Saves alot of time and money. http://www.shaunayancey.norwex.biz

  • hydrogen peroxide

    Hello,
    Thank you for all your fabulous posts. You constantly help me improve my life :)
    I went to buy hydrogen peroxide yesterday, and the clerk told me it’s better not to clean with it (the 3% one) during pregnancy because it’s not good to smell it. Is this true?
    Also, I was wondering if you plan on writing more pregnancy posts? Like what you recommended to eat, which supplements to take, which books are recommended in the subject, which tests and ultrasounds to skip etc.
    I love your advice and would love reading your take on all of this.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    So sorry it took me so long to respond…I got absolutely behind on comments when I released the second edition of the snacks book and truly have never caught up.

    As for the hydrogen peroxide, the clerk must have been mistaken as it has no smell. Guessing s/he meant bleach!

    Some of your pregnancy questions (all but books) are already written: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/tag/pregnancy/ – be sure to go back to page 2 and 3 to get the first trimester stuff. :) Katie

    hydrogen peroxide Reply:

    Thanks for the response :)
    I trust you more than him….
    as for the pregnancy posts, I read all of them because I follow your blog closely… I was hoping for more ;)

  • Shauna

    You ladies should check out Norwex (www.shaunayancey.norwex.biz) These products have saved me so much time and money on my cleaning and they are totally natural and safe to use around my little one! A mommy friend turned me on to them about a year ago. Best thing I’ve ever invested in. Before that I spent a lot of time researching and trying homemade recipes. Now I can save my time mixing recipes for my cooking! The cloths clean just about everything with only water. There is one for windows that is amazing – leaves no streaks and no lint whatsoever. I’ve been using the same cloths and mop pads for a over a year so the initial investment really pays off.

  • Olivia

    I was so happy to see Norwex products on here! I started using them when I was pregnant and even vinegar would make sick. Cleaning with a cloth and water has been wonderful and is a great way to get kids to help clean without chemicals too! Way to go on this blog! Loved the tips!

  • Leslie A

    Just found your website :) Thanks for all of the great tips!! I am going to start collecting all of the worn out socks ;)

    Did you know if you add tea tree oil to your cleaners it functions as a natural antibacterial? I have a great recipe on my blog, The Prudent Life ,for a natural anti-bacterial spray. I have been using it for a long time now and I love it!

    I have been using homemade powdered detergent now for a few months, as well, and I love that, too! Let me know if you would like the link to that (it’s not on my blog)…I have it on Pinterest somewhere :)

  • Alexis via Facebook

    Where on your site can I find the beginning?

  • via Facebook

    Alexis Ridgway – the series is actually from Tsh’s book, One Bite at a Time, so it’s not on my site….I’m just playing along on Facebook. ;)

  • Alexis via Facebook

    Ok…just bought it. Thx

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  • Rakefet

    Hello Katie,
    I’ve started cleaning with vinegar and hydrogen peroxide like you wrote,
    but I didn’t quite get the rule of thumb-
    when is it best to use one and when the other?
    and when one after the other?

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Rakefet,
    For really sanitizing, like after raw meat, use one after the other. I tend to use vinegar water for about everything, really, but h2o2 would be pretty interchangeable I guess. Good question! :) Katie

    Rakefet Reply:

    Thanks for the really quick reply :))
    Another question – I know you dilute the h202 w/ 50% water, I was wondering if you do the same with the vinegar? b/c you wrote “vinegar water” in your response. Thanks again :))

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    R,
    This one wasn’t so quick; sorry about that! My vinegar water is about 1/4 c. to a 32 oz. bottle, or less. Very mild. I don’t measure, just “a glug” in my spray bottle. :) Katie

    Rakefet Reply:

    No apology needed – I think you’re wonderful for replying, and I bless you all the time, with every change I make thanks to your amazing blog.
    You are an amazing woman!!!

    So you mean about a 1/4 cup vinegar in about 4 cups water?

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Yes, exactly!

  • greenhills12345

    Hi, I’m wondering what you use if you have this problem: mildew growing under caulking where tiles meet the shower base/tub. I want to use something natural and NOT bleach. Thank you!

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    It’s worth a try to start with hydrogen peroxide, straight vinegar, or an antibacterial essential oil like tea tree or doTERRA OnGuard. Sometimes I think the mold/mildew is killed but leaves a stain…but that’s one of my worst enemies, too! Good luck! :) Katie

  • Tanja

    Slowly switching things over to natural products in my house and came back to this post yesterday to look up a couple more tips. Noticed the note about GSE but ran across this ~ http://www.herbcraft.org/gse.html
    ~ when doing a bit more research. Thoughts?

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Tanja,
    Wow…I guess since I’m not already using it, I see no need to seek it out myself when there’s this much controversy/bad press. I’ll have to look at my Biokleen BacOut now, but I’m hoping he was referring to Biokleen’s DW detergent…

    Thanks! Katie

  • Necessity is the Mother of Invention: Living naturally on a Budget | Landon Gilfillan

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  • Pam

    Still searching… want to rid more chemicals but keep hitting roadblocks. Vinegar gives me migraine headaches, so I no longer use it in my home. Baking soda is hit or miss. It is quite frankly a pain to then have to wipe things down 3-4 times to get rid of the grainy residue and streaking. I was intrigued by Norwex, but after seeing the prices, no way. A tbsp of bleach in a gallon of water costs 2 cents and is highly effective at cleaning and germ killing. My steam mop is great for the ceramic tile floors but can’t exactly wipe down counters or clean toilets with it. I will not use anything other than commercial dishwasher soap because other products void the appliance warranty. Threw out the homemade dishsoap because I had to wash the dishes 3 separate times to get them clean and not greasy. I am using all commercial stuff again because I just can’t find anything more economical that actually gets things clean the first time. I have all but given up. Any suggestions appreciated.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Pam,
    for dishwashers, I won’t use homemade either – here are my choices for commercial soaps:

    http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2012/10/04/seeking-a-natural-dishwasher-detergent-that-isnt-a-miserable-failure/

    For sanitizing, I use 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water (toilets, counters, not greasy stuff). I just find a natural dishsoap, store brand, and call it good usually. I hope that helps!
    :) Katie

  • fanny

    Katie: so what do you use for dishwasher machine? With all the homemade food stuffs that we want to make , the dirty dishware are unbelievable. I can’t wash them by hand anymore and I’ve been wanting to try the dishwasher but don’t know which dish washing soap work the best without breaking my wallet. Thx

  • Nicole'

    what are your thoughts on if using tea tree oil could create superbugs? since it acts as an antibacterial…

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Nicole’,
    That’s a great question, and I wish I knew the answer. The good thing is that it’s been around a lot longer than some modern antibacterial agents, so if bugs were going to adapt, perhaps they already would have? Here’s a little on how superbugs happen to help the conversation: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/03/26/the-biology-of-antibiotic-resistance-or-mommy-where-do-superbugs-come-from/

    (And I’m sorry to be so terribly late on this reply – your comment just got a bit lost!!)
    :) Katie

Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

PTE350
Squooshi reusable food pouches