Local woman finds it IS easy being green
If you go
What: "Cleaning Green Around Your Home and Center" program offered by UW Extension Rock County
When: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, and noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 30.
Where: Rock County Courthouse, 51 S. Main St., Janesville, second-floor conference center.
Cost: $10 each. Register by calling (608) 757-5694.
For more information: Call Angela Flickinger at (608) 757-5689 or Cristina Parente at (608) 757-5693.
JANESVILLE Shana Leith uses vinegar and water to wash windows and bleach and water to disinfect her countertops.
Three years ago, she tried making homemade laundry detergent from a bar soap, borax and washing soda she found in the laundry detergent aisle.
She's never gone back to store-bought laundry detergent.
"It's just as good as store-bought laundry detergent, something I can easily do at home and a great way to save money," the 39-year-old Janesville woman said.
Residents thinking about going green with household cleaning products can learn how this month during two UW Extension Family Living programs.
Angela Flickinger, family living educator, said the first-time program is intended to educate and change behaviors about cleaning green.
"We've been getting a lot more questions about canning, cleaning green and about things that are very basic, such as homemade foods. Our culture is shifting back to the basics," she said.
Flickinger said people don't clean with green cleaners because they think they're too busy.
"It's like menu planning and just taking that one hour to do it. It's a barrier," she said.
The 90-minute, hands-on program is intended to break down those barriers "for people to be prepared and confident that when they go home they can start (cleaning green) instantly," Flickinger said.
"It's a very simple process," she said.
The $10 program fee will pay for the ingredients and spray bottles for each person to make and take home a "green" all-purpose cleaner, window wash and air freshener, Flickinger said.
People clean green to save money, eliminate hazardous chemicals from their homes and decrease pollution, she said.
"I read on the Internet that by making your own green cleaning products you can save from 50 to 95 percent of what you have to spend to buy the product in a store. A lot of these, it's pennies the cost to make it yourself. It's a huge, huge money saver," she said.
Leith said she likes knowing what ingredients are in her cleaning products, and they work.
"I wouldn't continue if they didn't do a good job," she said.
Some friends tell me they don't have time for this, Leith said.
"I tell them it literally takes like two minutes to mix together a cleaner," she said.
"We all have time for that. I think for a lot of people, it probably sounds a lot harder than it is."
The Utah State University Cooperative Extension offers the following recipes for homemade cleaners:
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup baking soda
1/2 gallon water
Directions: Mix and store and use with micro fiber cloths. Use for removal of water deposit stains or shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors.
Bathroom mold cleaner
One part hydrogen peroxide
Two parts water
Directions: Mix and pour into a spray bottle. Spray on areas with mold. Wait at least one hour then rise or use the shower.
3/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup water
Directions: Mix to make thick a paste, moisten oven surfaces with sponge and water and spread paste throughout oven interior before letting it sit overnight. Remove with spatula and wipe clean. Rub gently with fine steel wool for tough spots.
Dry carpet shampoo
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 cups baking soda
4 to 5 crumbled bay leaves
1 tablespoon ground cloves
Directions: Mix and shake into carpet. Let sit for one hour and then vacuum.
Sprinkle baking soda and lemon juice into toilet and let sit. Later scrub with a toilet brush.
Upholstery spot remover
1 part vegetable oil
1 part lemon juice
Apply, rub and wipe clean
Soft scrub for tubs/sinks
2 cups baking soda
1/2 cup liquid castile soap
4 teaspoons vegetable glycerin
5 drops antibacterial essential oils such as lavender, tea tree, rosemary or any scent your prefer (optional).