Thursday, May 17, 2007

basics: the cleaning kit

Do you want to clean green?
Before I get into the advantages and characteristics of individual eco-friendly cleansers, let me give you a list of the things I used to carry with me regularly to my clients' homes. It's a LONG list, but gives you an idea of the types of things you can expect to use regularly in eco-friendly cleaning.

I carried everything around in one of those large Rubbermaid high-top totes. Plastic is never my first choice, but in this case it was lightweight, easy to carry, easy to clean, and waterproof.

Inside the case I would carry:
  • a few small Ziploc bags with disposable gloves, non-toxic glue, rubber gloves, old toothbrushes, a lint roller, Q-tips, razor blades, a thick Sharpie marker, and an unfolded wire hanger (for unclogging vacuum hoses)
  • three buckets which nested inside one another: two galvanized steel in two different sizes, and a third stainless steel
  • dozens of clean rags made from recycled terry towels
  • vinegar in two small glass bottles with cork stoppers, and a plastic spray bottle
  • borax in a stainless steel shaker
  • baking soda in a stainless steel shaker
  • TSP crystals in a stainless steel shaker
  • eco-friendly hand lotion (Avalon Organics lavender body lotion is my favorite)
  • hand sanitizer in a glass bottle with a cork stopper (I made my own eco-friendly hand sanitizer with vodka and lavender essential oil)
  • various scrub brushes, most with natural wooden handles and natural bristles
  • lavender essential oil
  • lemon essential oil
  • Orange TKO (a commercial cleanser and de-greaser concentrate) in a small plastic spray bottle
  • a Clorox bleach pen (which I rarely used, but it was handy for hard-to-eliminate mold in bathrooms)
  • cleaning lotion in a small glass wine bottle with a bartender's stainless steel pourer (my favorite all-purpose cleanser is Nature Clean All-Purpose Cleaning Lotion)
  • a liquid calcium/lime/rust remover in a glass bottle with a cork stopper (I preferred an eco-friendly product that's no longer manufactured)
  • a fanny pack with several small tools and earplugs inside
  • knee pads
  • indoor cleaning shoes (so I wouldn't track outdoor contaminants around the houses)
  • muslin rag bags which I made myself to hold the clean and dirty rags
  • a Swiffer sweeper (on which I used my own rags)
  • rubber gloves
  • a squeegee

No comments: