Saving Money Cleaning

I enjoy reading the columns of The Green Lantern in Slate. His goal: “Illuminating answers to environmental questions.” He provides great insight into a number to topics including whether it is better to buy a new hybrid for the environment, as opposed to a used car; whether cloth diapers are better than disposable diapers; and is hand washing better than using a dishwasher.

Via The Green Lantern, I discovered a wonderful site, The New Homemaker. Here they provide a recipe for making your own dishwasher powder:

In a plastic container with a firmly fitting lid, mix:
1 cup borax (20-Mule-Team Borax, available in any supermarket)
1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup citric acid (available in brewing stores among other places–if you haven’t tracked it down yet but must try this formula, use two packets of Lemonade-Flavored Kool-Aid, ONLY lemon, or you’ll dye your dishwasher! and ONLY unsweetened Kool-Aid!)
30 drops citrus essential oil–lemon, grapefruit, orange, tangerine, or a mixture
Put all of it in the container, shake it up.

I don’t have a dishwasher, but perhaps somebody out there could use this recipe.

This same site has information as to how to use vinegar as a cheap cleaner, how to use baking soda for 27 cleaning tasks, and a host of other (often cheaper) cleaning and more environmentally sound cleaning alternatives.

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