Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
Going green while cleaning

May 4, 2009

How to turn nontoxic household ingredients into cleaning products

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

DASSEL-COKATO, MN - More and more people are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of chemicals in the use of everyday products, as well as the importance of going green.

Living earth-friendly is one of the missions of the Little Red Hen, and owner Brenda Rydberg wants to encourage others to do the same in what she hopes will be monthly workshops.

Some of the workshops done in the past at the Little Red Hen have been with Deb Halonen of Cokato, who teaches how to decorate on a dime by revamping what some might think to be junk, into a unique accent for a home.

The most recent workshop was instructed by Dawn Gillman of Dassel, along with Niki Amundsen of Cokato, teaching others how to make earth-friendly, non-toxic, cleaning products.

Through the workshop, attendees were taught how to make Cokato resident, Linda Kilpela’s recipe for “Linda’s Amazing All-Purpose Cleaner.”

It’s about going back to the basics and going green, Gillman said.

Her son, Ely, 5, who has severe, life-threatening allergies, is reaping the benefits the non-toxic household cleaners.

The products produce no skin sensitivity or respiratory reactions, and Ely is completely off his allergy medications, Gillman explained.

“There is so much toxic stuff out there,” Gillman said, adding that even products that claim they are all natural may not be.

“We just want to educate people on getting healthy and feeling good,” Amundsen said.

Together, Gillman, Kilpela and Amundsen compiled a list of 25 recipes of inexpensive, natural, safe cleaning products that are so easy to make, even their children help make them.

Kathy Engstrom of Cokato, along with her sister, Mary Ann Larson, attended Tuesday’s class and both were “very impressed.”

“It’s amazing how you can make a cleaner with just a few ingredients,” Engstrom said.

“People are seeing tremendous results,” Gillman said, who has been hosting small get-togethers at her home related to Young Living Essential Oils and all-natural cleaning products.

There are several cleaning products that can be made with non-toxic household ingredients to clean such things as hardwood floors, tile and grout, clothes, windows, and more.

Gillman remembers what it used to be like cleaning the bathtub with traditional cleaners.

Using non-toxic products, “You don’t have to spray it down and run out of the room because of the fumes,” she said.

Amundsen is a care assistant for Brookridge Assisted Living in Cokato, and part of her daily work is cleaning an apartment.

In her own home, she uses all-natural cleaning products in which the main ingredients are vinegar, water, and baking soda, with a touch of lavender oil added for a fresh scent.

At work, she must use cleaning products required by the health department, which leave her with a runny nose, tightness in the chest, and a chemical headache.

“I can sure tell the difference,” she said.

Now, Amundsen makes every cleaning product she needs, including fabric softener and face wash.

One of the recipes made from all-natural ingredients is furniture polish.

Gillman mixes olive oil, an essential oil for scent, and distilled or spring water into a spray bottle and shakes.

Directions are to spray the solution directly on furniture and wipe immediately.

“No gloves, no masks, no vents are needed,” she said.

Also, with a family of six, Gillman is saving money on laundry detergent by making her own, which costs approximately 3 cents a load.

For more information, contact Dawn Gillman (320) 275-4209 or dawny@extratyme.com.

Depending on the amount of interest, more classes on homemade, nontoxic cleaning products may be scheduled.

The Little Red Hen will be posting upcoming classes on its bulletin and on its voice message by calling (320) 275-9725.

Serving Waconia, Hutchinson, Glencoe, MN with flooring, carpet, area rugs and window treatments
Locally owned and operated company helping homeowners for the past 33 years. Call 320-864-6754 today!


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