Friday, May 6, 2011

Natural Cleaning Presentation

I love the spotlight. Public Speaking is among my favorite things to prepare for and do. I recently had the opportunity to give a natural cleaning demonstration, which meant that I had to learn about natural cleaning. Surprisingly, it was super duper easy and incredibly fun. The main thing to know is there are like 8 main ingredients (many of which are already in your pantry) which make natural cleaning the easiest thing in the world, tons easier than running to the store for windex or laundry detergent. I decided to paste my presentation and link my handout file which has information about any ingredient you'll find in a natural cleaner.

Natural Cleaning Presentation

Welcome to Natural Cleaning! I'll be your instructor for this class, my name is Sarah. Do sixteen letter chemicals make you queasy? Never fear, you don't need scary chemicals to get the job done! You simply need these friendly common chemicals.

Top Eight (name, where it's from, skills & primary occupation, recommendations)

[Ready Chalk Board]

1. Baking Soda! Baking soda is naturally occurring & found in most life forms. It leaches out of washing soda. It scours, cleans, deodorizes, and it is great on fabrics. Extinguished grease fires, polishes silver, removes burn on food, and stains from your clothing.

2. Vinegar or Lemon Juice! Vinegar, my heart be still. This is the queen of household cleaners. It is a weak form of acetic acid & is formed from the fermentation of sugars and starches. The good housekeeping institute published a report that was also shown on CBS's "48 Hours" back in 2000. The study showed that a straight vinegar solution kills 99% of bacteria, 82% of mold & 80% of viruses. However, for a company to advertise such a fact, they have to be registered with the FDA as a pesticide company. (eww!) Vinegar takes care of rust, germs, carpet stains, smells, soap scum, hard water stains, smoke stains, it cleans glass, and unclogs your drain. Lemon juice has a bleaching effect and might be better for smoke stains and hard water stains. Not recommended for marble.

3. Soap Flakes!

It's best to steer away from fragranced soaps as they are more likely lurking with strange chemicals, the best soaps to use are Fels Naptha, ivory, or hard castile soap.

4. Borax! Borax occurs naturally, it is mined. It is a cleaner booster. It acts like hydrogen peroxide & can have a bleaching effect. It is antimicrobial, it inhibits molds. it is not reactive though it is highly alkaline. It works best when mixed with hot water, rinse after use on food surfaces, don't use it on your carpet.

5. Washing Soda! Naturally occurring mined substance. Always dilute with water, it warms up with friction, great stain fighter on clothing, also very effective against grease, unclogs drains, deodorizer. -keep out of reach of children.

6. Castile Soap! oil based, it dissolves grease, great for food stains and use on wood.

7. Hydrogen peroxide! anti mold, anti mildew, anti bacterial, anti fungal, antimicrobial. produced by most living things, a byproduct of breathing. buy food grade. bleaches & disinfects.

8. And last, but not least, Water! consumption highly recommended.

*Bonus* You can also give your cleaners a boost of germ fighting power with Essential Oils! (lavender & tea tree are great germ warriors)

Benefits to natural cleaning (audience participation moment)

There are numerous benefits to making your own cleaners. Now, this is time for you to shine, who can name a benefit?


a. The chemicals won't harm the environment

b. It cuts out the manufacturing & shipping footprints on the environment

c. You are reusing containers instead of buying new ones. Reusing is even better than recycling, because the plastic gets poorer & poorer quality as it goes through the process, and it uses much less energy to reuse.

-Healthier for you, doesn't wear you out, safer for kids, no bad combinations (talk about the dangers of commercial cleansers)

a. After scrubbing the tub with bleach or foamy cleansers, I feel my energy drop. The things that you breathe in and soak in through your skin are dealt with in your body with your liver. The chemicals make you sluggish and worn out.

b. The companies aren't required to tell you what is in their cleansers. Many of the chemicals are really hard on your body- your liver, kidneys, lungs, & reproductive system, and they are sometimes highly reactive, and many have been labeled as carcinogens. Yes, there are carcinogens in many places, but we don't need to coat our house in carcinogens to get rid of germs. The germaphobia of the masses has been hard on the line that we must use only the harshest of chemicals to be rid of the microscopic beasts, but in this micro-bioliogical warfare, we need not poison ourselves to get the job done!

c. Many of the commercial cleansers are highly toxic if they happen to meet. One might say, "Oh, I'll be careful then". But, as a teen I accidentally mixed hydrochloric acid and bleach- which is a very dangerous thing to do. If you are ever going to have teens, those harsh chemicals will be in the wrong hands.

d. Germicidal cleaners remove all the microbes, making it easier for the dangerous germs to re-colonize. The best way to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands with simple soap and water, sanitizing your environment might have the opposite effect by lowering your immunity. Vinegar with hydrogen peroxide is effective against household germs like e-coli and salmonella. If there is a virus in your house & you are itching for a virus killer, a sterilizing solution effective on all surfaces against viruses is 1 oz bleach (yes, I said bleach, but just this once) in one whole gallon of water, topped off with 1 oz vinegar, it has to sit for 10-20 minutes on your surface. The vinegar changes the bleach pH to put it in better microbial fighting form.

-Cheaper & easier

a. When you pay for a commercial cleanser, you're paying for water, shipping and manufacturing. You're also likely getting an inferior product to what you could make at home.

b. You don't have to run to the store for laundry detergent or kitchen spray or dish detergent or glass cleaner or carpet solution or magic eraser. If you have the ingredients and 5 minutes, you have your cleaner.

-Merit badge/ sense of accomplishment & independence

-It is more fun to do your chores when you get to use stuff you made, which often smells like peppermint or lavender.

-Makes a good gift

-Versatility of the components (like vinegar- put it in your all purpose spray & glass cleaner, then use it straight against rust or mildew, mold, germs, carpet stains, rinse agent in the dishwasher, toilet cleaner...)

4-Demonstration (possibly have an audience member participate)

-Make laundry detergent

My Laundry Demonstration:

Laundry is awesome isn't it. Loads of Fun as I always say... or as my dear friend Kiera calls it "Conquering the 10,000 demons of demon mountain". Making your own laundry soap doesn't only give you a merit badge on your sash of womanhood, it is super cost effective and best for the most sensitive skin. I have chosen to show you My favorite of the ones I've tried. It is a concentrate, so you only use 1-2 Tbsp. Also, the consistency is like that of tub butter or mashed potatoes, so you'll scoop it out- opt for a Tupperware instead of a pouring container. The cost of this recipe is: 2¢ /load. compared to 31¢/load of generic commercial liquid detergent. (Arm & Hammer, dye & perfume free, 2x concentrate 9.79/ 33 loads)

1 cup washing soda .34

1/2 cup borax .22

1 bar laundry soap (1.06)

hot water

Grate the soap, then melt it in 1 quart water over the stove. After it has melted, add washing soda and borax. It will get really thick. Add one quart of water & stir well. Use 1-2 Tbsp/load of laundry (84 loads using 2 Tbsp /load)

5-Beautify - Just because it's homemade, doesn't mean it can't have flare. you can print out labels or make little artsy ones. If you're a scrap-booker, you'll surely have the prettiest cleaners in town. The main thing to remember it to seal your label on with a clear plastic packing tape so that it won't get destroyed when it gets wet.

6- Quiz

1. Name 2 things Vinegar is used for.

2. Where do we get washing soda and borax?

3. What is castile soap made from?

4. What harmless household chemical kills ecoli and salmonella?


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