Eco Tutorial: Natural, Non-toxic Cleaning

Tutorial submitted by infusion
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Natural, Non-toxic Cleaning Tip…

There are certain things that can be very difficult to clean when you keep a solvent-free, chemical free home.
A few of the kinds of things I’m referring to are permanent marker, tar,pitch and gooey sticker residue.   As a cleaner, safer alternative to products such as WD-40, lighter fluid and other toxic petroleum based solvents we use pure grain alcohol. It seems rather expensive at time of purchase but very little is required per application. A quart sized bottle literally lasts us YEARS.

I have easily cleaned permanent marker off a leather couch by spraying small amounts of alcohol and rubbing with a damp, soft cotton cloth. We use alcohol to clean the sticky residues left behind from price stickers and tape, pitch that has gotten on skin or on windshields… While typically we use it to clean solid non-porous surfaces, we have also successfully cleaned certain fabric stains by spraying and dabbing (not rubbing) until the stain pulls out. Feel free to experiment, but be careful with surfaces such as wood and some plastics. If you are unsure,
try a small test first.

Another excellent use of grain alcohol and perhaps our favorite, most used – is as a disinfectant. We use it as a travel hand sanitizer. I carry a small, 2 ounce mister bottle filled with pure grain alcohol. It fits easily in my purse and is easy to use at any time. It’s great for
cleaning cuts too! Many of the commercial hand sanitizers are an alcohol base but then there are all the questionable ingredients that are added, not to mention antibiotics which I personally try to minimize my contact with.

When on the road or simply out running errands, and you’ve been handling money, rummaging through the thrift store, shaking hands with someone unwell or you just had to use an outhouse and there is nowhere to wash your hands – just spray each hand well, rub them together and they will be dry and clean in moments.

This post was written by

Kate @ KnitStorm – who has written posts on Eco Etsy.

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