Wednesday, April 28, 2010

green living & lovin'

I love a clean fridge. I hate spills, molding food and condiment jars with just the tiniest bit left in the bottom. Cringe.

Since I returned to New York from Vietnam, the boys have been in Los Angeles. Having the house to myself and an already sparse refrigerator, I decided to tackle the daunting task of cleaning the fridge.
This post may not be directly about gardening, but I think it is very relevant to a healthy, natural lifestyle and being aware of how we treat the earth. Plus, I am utilizing some of the same ingredients that I posted for a natural weed killer.

Even though I buy natural cleaning supplies, I have been consciously paring down these cleaning supplies that I acquire - using lemons and baking soda to clean the sink or vinegar and water to wipe down stainless steel instead of buying a cleaner for each individual task. I bought an all-purpose Dr. Bronner's SAL SUDS because one $10 bottle should last 6 months to a year depending on how we use it. You can dilute 1 teaspoon in a spray bottle for an all purpose cleaner. ONE TEASPOON!
To make my fridge spotless, I used half a teaspoon of Dr. Bronner's in a bucket of hot water and my reused seventh generation spray bottle with 1 teaspoon of Dr.Bronner's diluted in water. I used baking soda on the spills that needed a little grit. 

If you embrace these simple lifestyle changes you'll not only be saving the earth, but you'll save some cash too!

Other diy cleaning products that I use:

Mix lemon juice with vinegar and/or baking soda to make a tough, great-smelling cleaning solution. Or cut a lemon in half, sprinkle with baking soda and use it to scrub surfaces.
Other uses: Put a whole lemon peel through the garbage disposal; clean and shine brass and copper; mix 1 cup olive oil with ½ cup lemon juice for a furniture polish for hardwood furniture.

Baking Soda
Baking soda is great for scrubbing surfaces and working as a deodorizer. 
Other uses: A box in the refrigerator and freezer will absorb odors.

Vinegar is an all-purpose cleaner. Mix a solution of 1 part water to 1 part vinegar in an empty spray bottle for an all-purpose alternative. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer. 
Note that vinegar is acidic and improperly diluted solutions can eat away at tile grout. Never use vinegar on marble surfaces. Don't worry about your home smelling like vinegar. The smell disappears when it dries.

Great references: 


  1. Dear UUG:
    I love your blog!! I really want to start one of my own:( What to do? hmmm.
    You know my passion for cleaning, so this post was SUPER helpful for me! I always buy green products and natural products, but never thought of how to extend their life or create my own:) today I scrubbed my sink with lemon and salt! to act as an abbrasive. I also washed my floor with 3 teaspooons of green cleaning product!!

    I would love a post about urban INSIDE gardens? I have no outside space:( HELP Unusual Urban Garden

  2. I will definitely do some inside garden posts! xx