Be a Mad Scientist! Eco-Friendly Alternatives for Everyday Cleaning...

by guest boat-dwelling mama blogger Cindy Wallach of ...and yes, Cindy actually lives on a boat...isn't that cool ;)

A friend who was born and raised on the Chesapeake Bay told me a story recently. When he was a boy 40-some years ago on Harness Creek there was so much seaweed they had to constantly pull it off of their oars as they paddled along. And there were so many crabs that he and his little friends were constantly jumping around to avoid them as they waded into the creek. The one word he used to describe the Bay back then was "alive". I can count on one hand the number of living crabs my son has seen the past 5 years (though the dead ones rack up on fingers and toes) and we live aboard full time. Talk about a wake up call.

If you've got green running through your veins, greening up your everyday life is easier than you think. So get to it.

Instead of using... Use these Eco-Friendly Alternatives
  • Bleach... Borax

  • Detergent & Soap... Elbow grease

  • Scouring Powders... Baking soda. Or rub area with one-half lemon dipped in borax, then rinse

  • General Cleaner... Baking soda and vinegar. Or lemon juice combined with borax paste

  • Floor Cleaner... One cup vinegar + 2 gallons of water

  • Window Cleaner... One cup vinegar + 1 qt. warm water. Rinse and squeegee

  • Aluminum Cleaner... 2 Tbsp. cream of tartar + 1 qt. of hot water

  • Brass Cleaner... Worcestershire sauce. Or paste made of equal amounts of salt, vinegar, and water

  • Copper Cleaner... Lemon juice and water. Or paste of lemon juice, salt, and flour

  • Chrome Cleaner/Polish... Apple cider vinegar to clean; baby oil to polish

  • Stainless Steel Cleaner... Baking soda or mineral oil for polishing, vinegar to remove spots

  • Fiberglass Stain Remover... Baking soda and salt in a wet paste

  • Mildew Remover... Paste with equal amounts of lemon juice and salt, or white vinegar and salt OR diluted tea tree oil

  • Drain Opener... Dissemble or use plumber’s snake. Or flush with boiling water + one-quarter cup baking soda + one-quarter cup vinegar

  • Wood Polish... Olive or almond oil (interior walls only)

  • Rug/Upholstery Cleaner... Dry corn starch sprinkled on; vacuum

  • After Cleaning Cocktail... One part rum mixed with 2 parts fruit juice. Add ice as needed...



  1. I bought my first box of Borax today! Can't wait to see how well it works...heard it does a number on ants too (1:1 ratio of borax to sugar, sprinkle around foundation of house)...I'm hoping it works well in that arena too!