Green Cleaning

Before your guests arrive at your next party, one would assume there will be a fair amount of cleaning to do beforehand. If you're like me, you are cleaning up to the very minute the guests arrive, most times.
I'd like to share a funny little tidbit, that is related to my topic. Recently, I visited a friends house for an "impromptu" gathering. We had been at my house for dinner earlier in the evening, and a decision was made for us all to make our way to her house for drinks. Once the kids were tucked into bed, my husband and I walked over shortly after. We were greeted by the smell of fresh candles..... and clean laundry? I asked my friend how she could have possibly had time to do laundry in the short amount of time it had been since I saw her (literally minutes before). Through her embarrassment, she admitted to lighting candles, only to mask the smell of the bleach product used to clean before we arrived. We laughed together that she found my arrival worthy enough to warrant a last minute clean!
The following are tips for cleaning "green", not only to avoid using harsh chemicals around your home, but to have your guests arrive to the naturally sweet smell of a clean home.

Products needed:
Oranges, Lemons, or Limes (scent of your choice)
White-distilled Vinegar
Baking Soda
Dishwashing soap
Water *Note some recipes will call for ammonia, you may substitute three tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice in it's place.
The citric acid found in these fruits can make for a different kind of "punch", one that packs a lot of cleaning power! By mixing any of these juices with water in a spray bottle, you can clean a multitude of messes, including grease. By adding vinegar, you are doubling up on the acidity. This household concoction, that rivals the harshest of chemicals, can effectively kill most mold, bacteria, and germs. From , I will list just a few of the (many) household cleaner "recipes" they provide:

*Make your own scouring cleanser by combining 1/4 cup baking soda with 1 tablespoon liquid detergent. Add just enough white distilled vinegar to give it a thick but creamy texture.
*For an economical and environmentally friendly floor cleaner, mix a solution of 3 drops dishwashing liquid to 1/3 part white distilled vinegar, 1/3 part alcohol, and 1/3 part water. Spray sparingly and mop for a fast clean-up.
*Some carpet stains can be removed with a paste of 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and 1/4 cup salt or baking soda. Rub into the carpet stain and let dry. Vacuum up the residue the next day. (Always test on an out-of-sight part of the carpet first).
*Create your own window cleaning solution by combining 1/2 cup non-sudsy ammonia, 1 cup white distilled vinegar, and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a gallon of water.

More tips for shining and polishing everything from the kitchen sink to your finest serveware:

*To shine chrome sink fixtures that have a lime buildup, use a paste made of 2 tablespoons salt and 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar.
*Clean counter tops and make them smell sweet again with a cloth soaked in undiluted white distilled vinegar. *Never use white distilled vinegar on marble. The acid can damage the surface.
*To prevent good glassware from getting etched by minerals, wash then spray with full-strength white distilled vinegar. Give the glasses a hot water rinse before letting them dry or drying them with a towel.
*For cloudy glassware, soak paper towels or a cloth in full-strength white distilled vinegar and wrap around the inside and outside of the glass. Let sit awhile before rinsing clean.
*To clean tarnished brass, copper, and pewter, use a paste with equal amounts of white distilled vinegar and table salt.
*Make a metal cleanser by adding enough white distilled vinegar to 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar to make a paste. Rub it on and let it dry on the surface. Wash it off and dry with a soft cloth.
*Polish brass and copper with a mixture of 2 tablespoons of ketchup and 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar. Rub it on with a clean cloth until dry and shiny.