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- Going Green and Keeping Clean: Outdoor Edition
Going Green and Keeping Clean: Outdoor Edition
- Photo: bluegreenpressurecleaning.com
The patio or deck is an important spot for most household’s outdoor fun. But it can also easily become gritty and grimy after a few dusty days or rough showers. Gary Walker, CEO of the Lee’s Summit, MO-based eco-conscious cleaning companies Return to Green and Magic Touch Cleaning, says a few at-home concoctions can help you cut through the dirt without resorting to harsher methods.
To clean metal lawn chairs, start with a gallon of warm water. Add 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide, a squirt of natural dish soap and a scoop of borax. Pump or spray the solution onto the metal chairs and let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes. After that, scrub with a soft nylon brush and rinse off with a hose.
And if you have mold on your cushions, don’t despair, says Walker. “This is easy to clean, and it’s safe,” he says. Make a mix of tea tree oil and water—one teaspoon of oil for every cup of water—and put it in a spray bottle. “Test it on the back side of the cushion first to make sure it doesn’t harm the fabric,” Walker says. “Once you know it’s safe, spray it on and don’t worry about rinsing it off. The oil will kill the mold, and both the smell of winter and of the tea tree oil will soon be gone.”
Worried about the state of your grill? Try baking soda. A natural cleaner and absorbent, it’s completely non-toxic (you use it in cooking, after all) and the fine granules make a gentle abrasive that works great on tough-to-clean spots like the grill. Dampen a grill brush, then sprinkle baking soda on it. Scrub your grill, then rinse it clean. For tougher stains, try a baking soda paste—three parts baking soda to one part water—and scrub with a wire brush. Walker also recommends trying all-natural citrus-based cleansers for greasy spots. “Citrus is the best degreaser,” he says.
Smarter Cleaning Works
Keeping your personal property neat and clean using eco-friendly methods is easy, and because most of the ingredients are readily available, it’s also convenient. “When I talk to people about green cleaning, the main reservations they have are effectiveness and convenience,” Dowd says. “Neither reservation should apply.” He says these methods are both easy to manage and extremely effective.
Plus, there are other advantages to doing the outdoor cleaning yourself. “Along with knowing you’re using great, effective alternatives, there’s always the pride of fixing up your home and enjoying some fresh air at the same time,” Dowd says.
Buying Green Cleaning Products
When purchasing green cleaning products, be wary of “greenwashing,” the practice of falsely advertising one’s product, company or practice as green, or sustainable, for purposes of increased revenue or clientele. Because labels like “all-natural” and “green” aren’t regulated by any government agency, anyone can advertise their products as healthier than they actually are.
Fortunately, some third-party designations are looking to fill the green gap. One prominent one is Green Seal. If you buy a product that is “Green Seal Certified,” you can be sure it’s met certain standards which vary by product and service. For more information, visit the Green Seal website.
Find information on Green Cleaning Indoors.
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