The winner of the Ecoclean Challenge is...
For the cost, time and scrub factor there really wasn't all that much competition. This is what I used and where I used it. Please try this for yourself and let me know what your results were! Also, if you have any other tried and true home made cleaners please post them. Since our government isn't doing much for the environment maybe we can. Oops I got political, sorry I'll stop.
1 c white vinegar
1 c water
1 cap lemon juice
dry Trader Joe's cleaning cloth
damp TJ's cloth
Stove- I hadn't cleaned our stove in about a week. Shame shame, my apron will be revoked. It was dirty, caked and dull. I sprayed the solution on, waited a few moments and scrubbed with the Dobie. I then dried with the dry TJ's cloth. I was truely amazed. It worked just as well as the commercial stuff in the same amount of time with the same amount of elbow grease.
Microwave- again, Martha Stewart will wag her manicured finger at me, but it hadn't been cleaned in a while too. I did the same as the stove and got the same results.
Dining table- at least I can say this gets cleaned almost daily. Sometimes even several times a day. I sprayed on, waited a few moments, wiped with the damp TJ cloth and buffed with the dry. It got off spots that I thought were part of the tables distressed finish!
Ok, this one is just jaw dropping. Remember the Root Beer Exposion? Well, this stuff even got it off the walls. I couldn't even try the commercial stuff because its not to be used on painted surfaces. I just couldn't believe it!
Bathroom sink- worked like a charm and polished the fixtures wonderfully.
Toilet- didn't even need to use separate cleaner for this. I did the outside and the bowl all with the vinegar solution and again, it worked great.
Tub- this was the only place where I was slightly disappointed. We have a real problem with hard water and tub rings. The solution worked easily everywhere but the tub ring, that took some elbow grease. It still came sparkling clean after I scrubbed with the Dobie.
The only real difference that I noticed was that I had to apply with a damp cloth and then buff with a dry one. Not a big enough deal to make me buy more commercial stuff though. Now, my nose is very sensitive to vinegar smell so that did take a little getting used to but with the added lemon juice, I ended up adding another capful, it wasn't bad at all. The smell goes away once the solution dries.
Another trick I'm trying:
We keep our kitchen trash can in a cabinet which is between the fridge and stove and has a vent running under it. As you can imagine, it can get stinky. I put a small bowl of baking soda in the back to help absorb the smell. Its working, a little. Maybe I don't have enough soda, I don't know. Anyway, it is better than without the soda.