Having people over for a holiday dinner? Getting ready doesn’t need to be stressful; it just takes a little extra planning. And cleaning up with a “green” focus will let your friends and family know you really care about them. Your home should have the aroma of your incredible meal – not the toxic fumes of cleaning products. Try replacing your typical cleaners with something natural. You may find that cleaning up before and after your party is fun without the strong smell of chemicals. Below are some green cleaning tips and alternatives to use during the holidays.
Instead of using a typical dusting product, try using a light dusting spray made from 2 tea bags, lemon juice and three cups of water. Just boil the water, add the tea bags and then leave them in the water until it cools completely. Put the tea mixture in a spray bottle with a teaspoon of lemon juice. Lightly spray the mixture on a microfiber cloth and dust.
Put your curtains in the dryer for a few minutes to remove dust and also kill dust mites. This is faster that trying to wash, dry and press your curtains and they will look just as fresh and clean.
You want to get a head start on any laundry you may need done for your dinner party. Find the table cloths, napkins and dish towels you are going to need for dinner. Keeping with the green theme, you should launder them in a homemade laundry soap. Some of the ingredients in a DIY soap are soap flakes, borax, washing soda and baking soda. You can find these items at your local grocery store or on line. This soap works well in both a front loading washing machine as well as a top loader. And your linens will be clean and fresh without any lingering fragrance from a detergent.
Clean your floors with the same type of mop being used by hospitals. Hospitals love microfiber mops because they clean well, get washed in-between uses and prevent cross contamination. By using a microfiber mop you can avoid using heavy, toxic cleaners since the microfiber does the work. Just a spray bottle of diluted cleaner straight on the floor and wipe it with your damp mop. You can clean of all your floors with just wipe. And you won’t be pouring a bucket full of dirty water into the water system.
Silver Polish –
Try using an old fashioned way to clean your silver. Just place a piece of aluminum foil in the bottom of your kitchen sink and fill it with 2-3” of boiling water. Add a tablespoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of salt. Place your silver in the sink so each piece of silver touches the foil. The tarnish will disappear off the silver and onto the foil.
If you prefer to rub your silver with a paste, use toothpaste to make it sparkle.
Say yes to any offers by your guest to help you clean up after dinner. It is a great way to have the kitchen cleaned up quickly and to continue to enjoy their company. Mix up your own gentle dish soap for anything that has to be washed by hand. You can make your own by using a liquid castile soap and adding 8 drops of a pure essential oil. Try using peppermint or orange clove essential oils to celebrate the holidays.
You can also mix up your own automatic dish soap by using a tablespoon of salt, borax and baking soda. Place the mixture in the powder dispenser of your dishwasher and then top with concentrated lemon juice. You will see the mixture start to foam, so just close the dispenser lid and start the dishwasher. This mixture works with the hot water to remove all the grime on your dishes.
If you are looking for more DIY recipes for green cleaning, read the book: The Joy of Green Cleaning. It has 70 different recipes to help you make your own cleaning products. You can purchase a hard copy or download the e-book.