One Green Thing: When you run out …

By Jan Herbert
Rockford Park District

Whether you were “green” before the color was fashionable or whether you’re just ready to find the “shade” that works best for you, here’s information about doing just “one green thing.”

Look for these “cleaning supplies” around the house:


1. Will work on the stains at the bottom of your coffee cups if you use a citrus peel to rub it (OK, it’s probably the combination of the two). When you are done with the peel, if you have a garbage disposal (and after you get done feeling guilty for having one instead of composting), toss the peel in for deodorizing.

2. Substitute a soft sponge (or the mesh bag your onions came in) and use salt to clean your cast iron skillet (personally, I use the homemade scratchee purchased at a craft fair).

3. When your casserole bubbles over in the oven, pour table salt on the mess to soak it up. Wait until the oven is cool, and then wipe it up with a damp cloth.


1. Will clean your coffee pot, but don’t just run the mixture of equal parts water and vinegar through … if you can, stop the “brewing” halfway through and let it sit overnight. Then, continue. Run several times of just plain water before using to make coffee again.

2. Run an empty dishwasher with just a half cup of vinegar. (Haven’t tried it, but shouldn’t this work in the washing machine, too?)

3. If you have mineral deposits in your iron, fill with equal parts of vinegar and water. Turn to “steam,” and let it sit for a while, and then turn off. When it is cool, empty and rinse. Deposits should be gone.

For more information, e-mail Jan Herbert at

From the Dec. 19-25, 2012, issue

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