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Archive for 'Cleaning'

How to Snake a Clogged Drain

Well, the Biokleen made our tub drain well—for about a week. Then it started running slow again, and for some reason I did nothing. Soon it was clogged tight. So I decided to use this as an opportunity to learn how to snake a drain. I don’t know if you’ve ever done it before, but it’s […]

Do Nontoxic Drain Cleaners Actually Work?

If you’d asked me about enzyme drain cleaners last week, I probably would have wondered 1) if they were really less toxic and 2) if they really worked. I know, I know, pick a side: either it’s too strong or too weak, it can’t be both. While the sodium hydroxide (lye) in most drain cleaners isn’t […]

Soap Nuts: A Natural Laundry Detergent

Soap nuts have always seemed a little hippy-dippy to me. I mean, washing your clothes with nuts? But my friend Jen suggested I check them out, so I thought, why not? and got a sample pack. First off, they’re not nuts; they’re dried fruit from the sapindus tree (which is why they’re also known as […]

Interview with Ruth Alves from Vida Verde Co-Op

I’ve already told you all about Vida Verde, the Brazilian women’s cleaning co-op. Now here’s the perspective of Ruth Alves, the Vida Verde member who is cleaning our house. Ruth was nice enough to answer some questions that I emailed to her. Where are you originally from? What did you do for work there? I […]

Green Cleaning Products from Vida Verde

In my last post I told you all about Vida Verde, the co-op of Brazilian house cleaners. They use homemade cleaning supplies, which are far less harmful to respiratory systems than conventional cleaning products. They were kind enough to let me post their recipes, so those of you who aren’t in the Boston area can make them yourselves. These and more are included in Vida Verde’s booklet on how to make and use their cleaning products.