Thursday, June 30, 2011

How to Clean Stainless Steel With Green, Eco-friendly & Organic Homemade Frugal Polisher-Conditioner Made From Kitchen Ingredients

Because they don't know there are options, people regularly waste hard-earned bucks on expensive (and unhealthy) specialty cleaners to keep their stylish stainless steel appliances clean and smudge free.

They should be happy, and maybe surprised, to learn that two salad dressing ingredients sitting in their kitchen cabinets can keep these surfaces just as clean and shiny as the overpriced, frou-frou specialty products.

To clean all your stainless steel surfaces, simply sponge wipe with dish soap and water solution. If that doesn't get the greasy prints, cut them with a light spray of white distilled vinegar and wipe again. It's helpful to keep some white vinegar in a recycled spray bottle under your sink with your other eco-friendly cleaning supplies.

After you've cleaned the surface, condition and buff it with ....olive oil, or peanut, or any vegetable oil you have stocked. The key, I've found, is to not use too much oil at once and to use a little bit of elbow grease. On a cotton cloth daub oil to start, then add as needed. Buff stainless steel in small circular motions until you've covered the entire area. The oil does exactly what the oil-based expensive cleaners do -- fill the fine grain to repel fingerprints and smudges and reflect light smoothly off the surface.

photo by flickr member bedroom.eyes

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Product Review: Eco-friendlier, Greener Seltzer Soda Water Maker Carbonator - Soda Siphon ISI 2247 Red

Sometimes going green doesn't seem so green. Case in point: I've got a seltzer drinking habit I don't want to part with, but I'm not comfortable with the plastic bottles my bubbly comes in .

So I did some research and the alternative I came up with, not a perfect answer mind you, but the best I'm able to do right now, is this handy seltzer soda water maker by ISI, a brand that chefs and restaurants often choose.

There are fancier and more expensive soda water makers out there, but the simplicity of this classic design will outlast those more complicated -- a wise concept I learned and have benefited from repeatedly over the past 25 years since a pony-tailed rock climber I took a trip with shared it with me. I'd asked him why he didn't have some of the newer, fancier gadgets I'd seen other climbers with and he replied, "The fewer the parts, the less chance of something breaking, something going wrong." OK, perhaps not as critical a concept when one's considering seltzer makers instead of hanging from rocks one shouldn't be hanging from, but useful and pertinent, nonetheless. And, if my point with this change is lessening my impact, the storage bottles and counter display stands that accompany the fancier makers are extravagant, especially knowing I can make the beverage by the glass or re-use bottles I already have for storage.

And make sure to stock up on CO2 chargers. If you buy them in this larger quantity you'll end up paying about 45-cents per cartridge, so over time you will recoup your initial investment on the maker and your seltzer will be cheaper than the prepared store-bought fizzy drink. Also comforting is the fact that cartridges are steel and fully recyclable.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

How To Make Your Own Eco-friendly, Non-toxic, Green Yoga Mat Cleaner

Doing yoga is supposed to be pleasant and calm-inducing , but if the mat you're practicing on is grimy and smelly it can be distracting and diminish the healthful experience.

It's worth the little bit of time it requires to make the cleaning and care of your yoga mat a part of your regular yoga practice.

I recommend the following monthly, green bathing ritual for your yoga mat.

Fill your bathtub a quarter to half way with cold to warm water. While the tap is running add a large dollop of your favorite natural hair shampoo, something like Burt's Bees Pomegranate and Soy Shampoo, and a few small drops of your favorite essential oils, maybe peppermint and lavender, so they disperse. Unroll and submerge your yoga mat in the water. Swish it around a little and let it soak for a few minutes. Along with the warm water, the shampoo will help loosen the schmootz and help break down the body oils on the surface of the mat. The essential oils will help to disinfect the mat and lend therapeutic soothing and lifting aromas. With a clean sponge wipe the mat, making sure to get its front and back side.

Drain dirty water from the tub and rinse the mat under the faucet quickly so as to not waste water. Holding the mat over the tub let it drip dry for a few moments. Finally, hang your mat to dry outside in the sun if you're able. Sunlight is a natural, free disinfectant. Otherwise, hang inside over shower curtain rod or wooden clothes drying rack.

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