7 Exceptionally Effective Green Cleaning Tips

baking-soda-vinegar Sometimes, it feels like a daunting task to keep your living space sanitary and presentable. You always are of the opinion that there is less time available in the day and more cleaning tasks to accomplish. Therefore, in order to avoid the hassle and frustration, day to day cleaning is mandatory excluding bigger projects like washing windows and curtains that must be carried out once in a year.

Fantastic Four Household Cleaners:
However, you need not to worry because the fantastic four house cleaners that are baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and salt can really make the cleaning a child’s play for you and following tips explain how.

  • Cleaning Glass and Mirrors:

    There is no need of ammonia cleaners because you can conveniently clean the mirrors and glass in your home just by mixing 4 tablespoons of lemon juice with half gallon of water. Moreover, alcohol and witch-haze can be effective cleaners as well if rubbed against the glass surface. Another, very common tip to clean glass windows is to a clean with lint free rag.
  • Vinyl:

    Vinyl items are perhaps the most difficult to be cleaned among all household things. However, an easy method to clear stains on vinyl items such as tile floors and recliners is to dip a cloth into straight lemon juice and rubbing it on to effected area. The stains will disappear as they never existed before.
  • Paint Odors:
    Paint odors stay in the home for long periods of time and are very difficult to get rid of especially if the home is not well ventilated. However, whenever you indulge in any indoor painting project, scatter small dishes containing vinegar all around the home to control the smell. Keep plates in the home for few days after the painting is over to keep smell at bay and never forget to change the vinegar every day.
  • Fireplace:

    If your fireplace has accumulated a lot of soot with smudging smoke around its exteriors, you can revitalize the looks just by applying a paste of water and tartar. It is very simple to do as you just have to rub the paste on the stains, let it dry followed by scrubbing it off. If the interior of fireplace and chimneys is the worry for you, you can get rid of soot build up just by tossing handful of salt as burning salt will loosen the soot.
  • Greening the Air Ducts:

    Your home infrastructure such as heating and cooling ducts also needs regular checkups and cleaning. If you have never paid any attention on this aspect of cleaning, this the time to do so as the dirty air coming through these ducts will adversely affect your health in addition with building dust and dirt inside your home. The Air filters must be changed every change of season. Hire the duct cleaning experts who have HEPA filteration high pressure vacuums. High pressure air effectively removes the dust, pet dander and many other allergens from the ducts.
  • Bare Floors:

    The simple water and vinegar solution is more than enough to clean almost all types of floors. Mix a cup of vinegar with a gallon of warm water and mop it on any surface whether it is vinyl, ceramic tile, linoleum etc. Moreover, you need not to rinse afterwards and if your vinyl or linoleum floors look bit dull after cleaning, shine them up by mopping them with straight club soda. Before using water/vinegar mix on Hardfloors, make sure the hard floor is sealed properly.
  • Furniture Polishing:

    Furniture polish is usually made up of petroleum solvents and distillates and both of them smell badly and are hazardous as well as extremely poisonous. In order to overcome the problem, you need to mix 1 part of lemon juice with 2 parts of olive oil and apply them on the furniture. Resultantly, you will get a nice smell coming out of furniture and it will shine brilliantly as well.

So open your pantry, grab those 4 items and clean your home without any hassle and stress.

4 Rug-Saving Cleaning Tips

baby-rug The right rug can completely transform a home’s interior, bringing warmth and character in a way that no piece of furniture can. Rugs give you a rare opportunity to introduce vibrant colors and crazy designs into a room without requiring the upheaval of more simple color schemes and furniture. Unlike carpets, rugs are mobile, making them easier to clean and extremely versatile in terms of decorating. If you put the wrong set of carpet in your house, you are royally screwed. You are forced to choose between completely redecorating, tearing up the carpet and starting over, or living with gag-inducing interior design. With rugs, should you find that the colors don’t match or the angle is wrong or this, that, and the other… you simply pick the rug and everything is fine!

Obviously rugs are great to own. And they can be bought as gorgeous souvenirs from many different places. So often, travelers come back from exotic locales with sentimental items that possess no function whatsoever. But with a rug, you have something beautiful and functional, a piece to anchor an entire room that serves as a constant reminder of the wonderful times you had abroad. Something so special must be well taken care of.

Many rug owners, unfortunately, make the mistake of treating their rug like normal carpet. Every rug is unique and requires unique treatment when it comes to cleaning. Most rugs, however, will benefit from these simple rug cleaning tips.

 

 

1) Vacuum the bottom of the rug

rug-bottomThis step is often neglected. The underside of a rug can carry a tremendous amount of dirt and dust. A beater vacuum head or rotating brush piece is recommended over simple suction vacuum pieces, as the underside of a rug tends to be made of a more difficult-to-clean material. Obviously, this won’t be possible for larger sized rugs, but if you own a smaller more manageable rug size, then this tip will help. For larger rug sizes, we suggest calling in the rug cleaning pros.

 

2) Avoid vacuuming fringes and tassels

rug-tasselsThis is extremely important. Worn tassels and frayed fringes can emasculate the look of an otherwise perfect rug. There is no need to vacuum these parts of your rug, and using a vacuum on them will actually do much more harm than good.

All you need to clean the fringes and tassels is to simply go over them with a duster or fluff them by hand.

 

 

3) Avoid carpet shampoos

rug-cleanersAgain, your rug is not the same as your carpet. DO NOT treat them the same way! Many carpet cleaning shampoos and sprays that work brilliantly for synthetic carpet threads will cause the colors in your rug to bleed all over each other or fade. Pay strict attention to cleaning labels and do your research before testing any sort of product on your beautiful rug. It is advised to test a small portion of the rug to check the color bleeding. Or better yet, let a professional rug cleaner in your area take care of the deep cleaning for you.

 

4) Clean your rug immediately after spots and spills

rug-spot-cleaningThis should be a no-brainer, and it is the same as any tip you’ll find for carpet cleaning. Cleaning up stains, spots, and spills should be the priority as soon as they happen. Unless your child is drowning in the adjacent bathroom, nothing should distract you from getting that spill cleaned up if you want your lightly colored rug to survive the night. Just make sure you’re cleaning up minor spills in the safest way possible for your rug type. Always test the carpet spot cleaner on a small insignificant portion of rug for color bleeding before applying it to the actual spot. And again… when in doubt, call a professional!

 

There you have it. If you don’t have a rug, buy one. And if you do, keep it looking spiffy with these handy rug cleaner tips.

Green Cleaning Products – Escape the Chemical Nightmare

4356090774_b826efb291

Did you know that auto immune diseases, allergies and a host of “behavioral issues” are widely believed to be attributed to harmful chemicals in our environment? Green cleaning products used to be “old wives tales” or “housewife hints” but more and more parents are moving towards safer, more environmentally friendly cleaning products and devices.

Green Cleaning and Vacuum Products For Safety

Have you ever leaned over to clean your bath and felt that odd burning feeling in your throat? That’s ammonia and bleach giving you a mild chemical burn.

Do you really want to bathe your baby in the residue?

Some mold cleaners kill mold but create an ideal place for it to re-spawn, meaning that it comes right back…so you buy more mould cleaner.

Did you know that vinegar changes the pH in your shower so mould can’t survive? And it’s about a fifteenth the price of commercial mold killers….

These very harsh, and environmentally devastating chemicals aren’t just bad for your family (and linked to skin complaints, allergies and all sorts of long term health effects) they’re devastating for the environment. The difference between a green cleaning product and a dangerous chemical could be the future of our waterways.

The Best Green Cleaning Alternatives

Not only are traditional cleaners safer for your family and the environment, most of the time they’re MUCH cheaper. Baking soda, soap nuts, vinegar, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, orange oil and walnuts are all affordable, locally available and eco-friendly clean and polishing products! Here’s a few you may not be aware of!

• A handful of soap nuts replaces harmful laundry liquids and conditioners – they cost under .03c per wash!
• Scratches on timber furniture can be buffed away by rubbing a walnut into the veneer
• Rubbing stainless steel will remove the smell of garlic better than all the expensive soaps in the world.
Eucalyptus oil (an Australian product) in a spray bottle with water cleans windows and other glass streak free. It’s also a better antiseptic than the leading brand name medicines.
Clove oil is the easiest way to get rid of mould and then a splash of vinegar every few days will stop it coming back.
• Everyone’s favorite green alternative to harsh, nasty drain cleaner? A box of bi-carbonate soda down the drain, followed by a bottle of vinegar. Put the plug in, and hold it down – it safely, effectively blasts away the blockage.

HEPA Vacuums are the new leader in the green cleaning industry

When allergies struck in the old days mum brought out the cleaning basket. She scrubbed with bleach. She sprayed the surface cleaner. She mopped with floor cleaner. She dusted with furniture polish. She sprayed the best with insecticide. She washed with clothes sanitizer….and after all that, little Johnny or Mary’s skin allergies, wheezing, sneezing and swelling just kept getting worse.

Removing pet hair, dust and microscopic insect droppings from the home can now be done using only a HEPA vacuum, air purifier and some green cleaning products. A HEPA vac can remove microscopic solids from your environment and an air purifier can keep them at bay between vacuums. As for floors, there’s vinegar. For furniture, there’s orange oil and walnut rubs. For laundry there are soap nuts. There’s a whole world of safer, healthier green cleaning products on the market, all you have to do is look!

Image by Julie G. on Flickr

Catch them young – teach kids about going green

One of the best ways of keeping our environment clean and green is by teaching kids more about how we can keep our environment green. It is best to try to motivate them at a very young age. If we are able to tell them more about the benefits of going green at a young age, we will manage to get them hooked on to it for life. But we need to be imaginative when we discuss such topics with them. Kids don’t like when elders give them serious talks on any possible issue. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t care about the environment or would not want to do anything to save it.

The trick is in getting them involved in activities that can be enjoyable as well as interesting. You can try any method that can get them involved in going green. Show the benefits of going green in a practical manner. This will have a bigger impact on them than just words. In case you are not able to come up with anything, here are some ways to try your luck with them:

You can start by encouraging them to save energy in every possible way in your house. The best way to do this is to first follow such the habits yourself. Your kids will be inspired to do the same when they see their parents doing anything that can save energy in the house. You can even have a competition in your house where the person who saves the most amount of energy will be rewarded with some catchy prize.

Try to teach them a number of ways to recycle the stuff that is lying waste at your place. You can start with paper; teach them to make paste out of it so that they can make paper bags and other things from it. This will also help them to cut down on the use of plastics at your place. In case there is waste cardboard, teach them a number of tricks so that they can build mini houses from it or models of cars. Give them paint so that they will have a nice time by making everything colorful. Remember only give them paints that are environmental friendly.

Take some time out of your busy schedule and spend it with your kids. Go for a walk in the countryside with them. They will be able to appreciate nature more when they are in close contact with it. Try to tell them more on animals and plants that they find interesting. This will help them to develop more interest in such plants and animals.

You need to tell them why use of plastic is bad for our environment – if you are able to do this then you will be able to prevent them from harming our planet in a major way. Plastic is one of the chief menaces that are creating major environmental problems on our planet.

Remember always be patient with your kids when you are discussing about the environment. It pays to be patient because if you can get them involved in the conservation of the environment, they will do their best in following this cause all their life.

DVD Giveaway: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button DVD
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button DVD

Update:  Click here for our winner

I was moved to see this beautiful movie starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. It tells the tall tale of an infant who is born as an old man—tiny but suffering all the infirmities of an 80-year-old—who lives his life in reverse, becoming younger with each passing year until he achieves real infancy at the end of his life.

You will see the echose of Forrest Gump as this movie too has screenplay of Eric Roth. The film received thirteen Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Pitt, and Best Supporting Actress for Taraji P. Henson. It won three Oscars for Art Direction, Makeup, and Visual Effects.

Critics were excited to see this movie

Brad Pitt’s sensitive performance helps make ‘Benjamin Button’ a timeless masterpiece. – Baltimore Sun

Benjamin Button is all of a visionary piece, and it’s a soul-filling vision. – WSJ

It takes a world-class storyteller and a great yarn to rivet your attention for nearly three hours. This very classy, old-school movie – employing cutting-edge technology that will make your eyes pop – did it for me. – NY Post

Now Experience this Movie yourself for FREE. Here’s How?

The winner will be chosen by random number generation. You can get multiple entries to increase your chances of winning. The list is below. The deadline to enter is May 20, 2009 at 11:59PM (eastern time). The drawing will be announced the next day and posted here.

To Enter EZvacuum Contest to win this DVD;

  1. Subscribe to our Newsletter by clicking here and leave your email in the comments below after confirming your subscription. Only confirmed subscriptions are eligible for this contest. I promise we wont spam and send our newsletter only once a month.
    OR
    Follow @ezvacuum on Twitter. Leave a comment with your Twitter ID and that you are following.

EXTRA ENTRIES. For additional chances to win, you can do any of the following. Do as many or as few as you like. Or none. These are completely OPTIONAL:

  1. Tweet about the giveaway on Twitter with a link to this post and then leave a comment with your Twitter ID and that you’ve tweeted it.
    Entered to win Curious Case of Benjamin Button DVD #Giveaway Just follow @ezvacuum and retweet to enter. http://cli.gs/mBhvtD
  2. Blog about this giveaway with link to this post
  3. Grab our Blog Button from the side bar (bottom right) and put it  on your blog and leave a link to your blog in comments.
  4. Add EZvacuum Clean and Green Blog on your blogroll and leave your blog address in comments.
  5. Make a purchase at EZVacuum.com between now and the contest deadline and post a comment telling me what you’ve ordered.
  6. Stumble, Digg or share this blog post on Facebook or Delicious. Leave a comment that you did. (Use the easy buttons on the bottom of this post)

IMPORTANT: Please leave separate comments for each of the items you do because that’s how I’m keeping track of entries!

RULES:
Deadline for comments/above: May 20th midnight EST. US only.

Good Luck!

Bissell 1400B Little Green Multi-Purpose Compact Earth-Friendly Deep Cleaner

Equipped with a 2-3/4 amp motor and safe to use on virtually all carpets, this compact-size Little Green multipurpose deep cleaner can handle both small and large clean-ups, even stubborn spots and stains, as effectively as a full-size machine. It combines a cleaning spray with powerful suction to lift spills before they set in–much better than store-bought chemical cleaners, which get sprayed on or rubbed in, pushing stains deeper into carpet or upholstery fibers. The deep-cleaning machine provides a 4-inch cleaning path, a flexible vacuum hose, and a 15-foot power cord for accessing hard-to-reach areas. In addition, it uses earth-friendly liquid cleaning formulas that do not contain any heavy metals, optical brighteners, phosphates, or dyes. Try the Bissell Pet Odor and Soil Removal solution for getting rid of tough odors, tracked-in dirt, dander, and other soils from pets. Designed to keep maintenance to a minimum, the deep cleaner can be stored ready-to-use and requires nothing more than simply rinsing out the dirty-water tank after each use. A tough-stain brush attachment comes included.

Suitably named Little Green, the earth-friendly deep cleaner has been engineered with sustainable features to reduce waste and help protect the environment. The unit’s redesign offers a 95-percent reduction in PVC. It includes a PVC-free hose, PVC-free solution and collection tanks (made of recyclable polypropylene), as well as parts constructed from 100-percent post-consumer recycled plastic. Even its carton and inner packaging are made from a minimum of 75-percent recycled material–all Styrofoam and PVC inserts have been eliminated. Bissell has made a strong commitment to a healthy environment, and its innovative closed-loop manufacturing process allows new vacuums and deep-cleaning machines to be manufactured using post-consumer recycled content. The Little Green deep-cleaning machine measures 9-1/10 by 18-4/5 by 13-1/4 inches and carries a one-year limited warranty. Buy Bissell 1400B Little Green Multi-Purpose Compact Earth-Friendly Deep Cleaner

TerraCycle All Natural Stain & Odor Remover

This non-toxic, biodegradable solution will naturally get rid of stains and odors caused from feces, urine, blood, vomit and dirt without the use of harsh chemicals. Perfectly safe to use on carpets, upholstery, bedding, clothes or any other water-safe surface. TerraCycle All Natural Stain & Odor Remover uses nature’s own processes to naturally lift and remove stubborn pet stains and odors. Odors are not just masked, they are eliminated! Unique eco-friendly packaging makes this product an even smarter choice! TerraCycle All Natural Stain & Odor Remover is packaged in an upcycled (saved from the landfill and repurposed) bottle, so you can feel good about making a positive impact on our earth while safely and naturally eliminating unpleasant pet stains and odors.
Buy TerraCycle All Natural Stain & Odor Remover

Biokleen Citrus Automatic Dish Powder – concentrated

Biokleen Citrus Automatic Dish Powder This automatic dishwashing powder was developed for commercial use and is the safest, most effective, environmentally responsible dish soap possible, and the most cost effective. Bi-O-Kleen cleans so well that you dont need to pre-wash your dishes. A great energy and water saver! Super concentrated, no fillers or table salt. Naturally removes stains, fights corrosion and controls odors in automatic dishwashers. Rinses completely free of spots, film and residue. Leaves no chemical taste on the dishes or glassware. Contains no chlorine, borine, phosphorus, quaternaries, nonyl phenol, silicone defoamer, MEA, EDTA, glycol ether, free silica, coloring or artificial fragrance. No animal testing or ingredients. Made with natural oxygen bleach (sodium percarbonate), vegetable fiber, natural anti-corrosive agents, grapefruit seed and orange peel extracts (emulsify grease, help rinsing and prevent odor build-up), soda ash, sodium citrate and readily biodegradable nonionic surfactants. Safe for all dishes, glassware, pots, pans and utensils that are designated by the manufacturer as dishwasher safe. Use one tablespoon per load. Made in the USA.

Buy Biokleen Citrus Automatic Dish Powder, 2-Lb. Tubs (Case of 12)