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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey

Green Cleaning Tips : from Service One, All Natural Carpet, Upholstery, Tile/Grout Cleaning Company

Jun 29, 2012 09:49AM ● By Charles J. Cannistraci

Today’s consumers are demanding greener, nontoxic products to clean and maintain their homes, and big business has taken notice. Almost every manufacturer of cleaning products has introduced a line of “green” cleaning agents. The sentiment of the savvy consumer echoes Scotty’s famous lines on Star Trek, “Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice shame on me.” Many of these products are quite safe and effective, but some are not. What follows are some products and techniques that are both safe and effective.

Advertisements about OXY products abound. Whether it is color-safe bleach or a stain-removing powder, most of these OXY products contain hydrogen peroxide (HP) as an active ingredient. Some products contain HP in liquid form, others in powder form. In a pinch you can use straight 3 percent HP. We all know the stuff — it’s in the brown plastic bottle kept in your closet or medicine chest. You can add it directly to your laundry or use it to remove stains on colorfast carpets. Not for use on wool or other natural fibers, it works well on most synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester and olefin. The secret is to use it right away while the stain is still damp. Try it on pet stains, red wine or any stain containing dyes. It’s a good idea to check for color loss of the original fiber in an inconspicuous area. One of the reasons HP is safe to use is that it breaks down, or biodegrades, into water and air. Studies have shown HP may be just as effective as hard-surface disinfectants such as chlorine bleach. Simply spray distilled vinegar followed by a spray of HP, or visa versa. You can search online for more information on the use of HP and vinegar as a sanitizing agent.

Standard disinfectants and sanitizers sold in stores contain toxic compounds such as heavy metals and many other hard-to-pronounce chemicals to disinfect and deodorize. Many of the new disinfectants on the market have a botanical-oils base such as thyme, sage or tea tree oil. There is a new product that uses colloidal silver to sanitize. This product is both effective and nontoxic. If you have had a flood in your home or business, you can request that the company you hire for the cleanup use these more natural, less toxic solutions.

My wife loves her Swiffer, but does not like the solution that comes with it. I solved this problem by using a hole saw to cut a one-and-a half-inch hole in the bottom of an empty Swiffer fluid bottle (the end that faces up when inserted into the Swiffer cleaner). I bought the appropriate-sized expansion plug at the local hardware store to seal the hole. Now she uses whatever natural cleaner she wants! Her latest mix is HP, white vinegar, and three drops of Thieves Oil. The Thieves Oil has a pleasant fragrance and is an excellent essential oil for deodorizing. You can purchase an array of essential oils from your local health shop or order them online. No toxicity, less waste, lower cost, and more choices for mixing your own green cleaning products!
Another excellent product that I often use in my carpet cleaning business is Odorcide by Thornell Corporation. It is used to remove odors on contact. Safe to use, it works well on odors caused by pet stains, vomit, smelly garbage cans and more. Odorcide is available as a concentrate and is economical to use; I find it works quicker and better than the enzyme products that are popular today. Odorcide can be purchased online at
To create your own green cleaning products, search online or call Service One — All Natural Carpet, Upholstery, Tile/Grout Cleaning Company at 908-362-5217.

Charles J. Cannistraci is the owner and managing member of Service One — All Natural Carpet, in Blairstown, which has served the surrounding communities since 1985. Visit for more information.

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