Eco-friendly ways to get down and dirty [to clean]

By Abby Wiseman [Environmental Bureau Chief]

Last week I had a no holds barred battle with a certain filthy appliance: my oven.

It’s hard to say when it was cleaned last, but I suspect some of the black carbon build-up, clinging so tightly to it’s sides could be dated back to 1995.
So at about 11 p.m. one evening I thought, to my roommate’s dismay, “I should clean the oven.”

This resulted in her walking out of her room at some ungodly time of night with the oven sitting in the dining room, me scrubbing the floor, covered in oven goop and drinking a glass of terrible wine.

A beautiful sight.

One of the reasons I hadn’t once cleaned the oven in the nine months I had lived here is because I really hate the idea of using chemicals in the same vestibule that I cook my unbelievably tasty food.

So, I thought to myself, there has got to be something other than lye or Easy-Off that will do the job.

And there was. Baking Soda.

Baking soda is a natural cleaner and with about two boxes of Arm and Hammer, and some water, my oven gleams inside and out.

Mind you, it does take a little extra time and elbow grease, but in the end my food isn’t getting cooked in a homemade toxic chamber.

I continued to look into what baking soda could clean, and it looks like you can clean everything from the wine stain on your white shirt, to the mould infestation growing in your shower and the nasty toilet you’ve been abusing.

Now it has its draw backs of course.

According to The Greener Cleaner, Michelle Lynne Goodfellow, the miracle powder is not too harsh on you or the environment, but it isn’t a renewable resource.

It is a derivative of an ore called Trona, which is mined in places like Alabama.

Apparently there is an abundance of this ore, so for the time being there is no worry of over-mining.

There is no miracle solution that will have no affect on the environment, but with a little oresearch and experimentation, and of course some elbow grease, it is possible to reduce the impact we have on this lovely big blue ball.

Git’r done:

1. If you want to clean your floor, ditch Mr. Clean for a little water and vinegar. It will look gorgeous!

2.Have some old T-Shirts? My mom always turned our T-shirts into rags and they worked great and didn’t cost any extra cash. Though, I wasn’t too happy when I found my baby blanket being used to wipe down a sink.

3.When you want to tackle that disgusting toilet use a little eco-friendly dish washing detergent. Don’t worry so much about disinfecting the toilet, it’s going to get germs no matter what. Be more aware of disinfecting your cleaning supplies. White vinegar and a little hydrogen peroxide will do the trick and isn’t as corrosive as bleach.

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