Testing out TotalClean: a breath of fresh air for anyone who cleans
TotalClean is our new powerhouse non-toxic cleaner and I’m very impressed! Since it’s non-toxic to humans and pets and safe for most surfaces, there are unlimited uses for it in the home.
Here's some helpful facts about it:
- You can use the pre-mixed 32 oz. spray bottle, or mix your own with the concentrate. When mixing your own, I found it was useful to have several empty spray bottles available in plastic or glass (your preference) to make various strengths and keep them available (for instance, keep a spray bottle and some paper towels in the bathroom for deodorizing and cleaning whenever needed!)
- TotalClean has no smell, yet it deodorizes the air and surfaces by eliminating odorous bacteria on contact.
- TotalClean does not lose its effectiveness over time, unlike cleaners such as hydrogen peroxide and hypochlorous acid.
- TotalClean is safe to mix with other natural and non-toxic ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda or hydrogen peroxide to boost its efficacy. For instance, I have a white synthetic cloth shower curtain that gets pink mildew around the hem after several months. It's not super-easy to take down, so I used to soak the hem in a small container of bleach water to brighten it. I had to leave the exhaust fan for over 4 hours until it dried! This time, I used normal strength TotalClean mixed with 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide, and the pink disappeared as if I had used bleach, with no smell or toxic fumes! Here are the before and after photos:
- The industrial formulation for TotalClean is used in many wastewater treatment plants around the country, so we know it's safe for city wastewater and home septic systems.
Check out our video on getting started with the concentrate and keep reading to learn about its many uses!
Normal strength: that which comes pre-mixed in the 32oz. spray bottle (1:7 parts TotalClean to water)
- Windows and mirrors: For nice streak-free cleaning, spray the surface with TotalClean and use newspaper to wipe dry. If mixing TotalClean from concentrate, using distilled water or zerowater leaves less residue/streaks because no minerals from the water remain on the glass.
- Counters: Spray non-greasy stone, tile, and wood countertops with TotalClean and wipe dry with a paper towel or clean cloth. For greasy countertops, see concentrate solutions below.
- Bathroom sinks: Cleans off toothpaste spatters and dust easily
- Cabinets (except greasy cabinets: see concentrate below): spray and wipe with a clean cloth
- Dishwasher: White vinegar is highly acidic and although it cleans, it can damage gaskets and seals if used straight from the bottle. You can use TotalClean safely (even in concentrate form!) on all exterior and interior parts of a dishwasher including: door gaskets, filters, spray arms, drain, and anywhere visible food/waste buildup shows.
- Refrigerator: You can wipe down the exterior, interior and door seals with TotalClean, with no need to rinse unless you have a lot of food particles. I loved the fact that I could clean shelf by shelf as I had the time, without the hassle of unloading the whole fridge for fear of contamination (as with toxic cleaners containing bleach). Spray TotalClean on hard or sticky spills, wait a few minutes for it to soften, and wipe away. Here is an example of before spraying and after spraying (not even wiping):
- Floors: Use this normal strength ratio (1 part TotalClean to 7 parts hot or warm water) to get tile and ceramic floors really clean! If you have sealed wood floors, TotalClean is also a safe substitute for any water-based cleaner (just make sure to wring out your mop well and not flood the floor).
- Laundry deodorizing: spray-soak extra-stinky clothing items with TotalClean before washing. See note at end of post regarding optical brightening.
- Shoes: Spray material and allow to soak for 30 min before washing in water and dish detergent and rinsing thoroughly, to kill odors
- Washing Machine cleaner: spray the seals and wipe on front-loading machines to keep them free of mold and mildew, and spray and wipe exterior surfaces to remove dust and laundry detergent
- Dusting: Make your dustcloth damp with TotalClean and wipe away dust
- Deodorizing: spray TotalClean into the air in and around kitchen garbage, pet litter trays, bathrooms, laundry rooms, into shoes, and anywhere odors linger
- Carpet cleaning: mist TotalClean lightly onto carpets, allow to dry, and vacuum. For deep cleaning, use this solution in a carpet cleaning machine and be sure to vacuum thoroughly to remove moisture.
- Cleaning mold from tile grout: Since grout is porous, if possible start with dry grout so that it will absorb TotalClean deep into the grout. Spray-soak the area and wait 5 minutes, then scrub with an old toothbrush or stiff brush and flush with water. If this does not remove stains, go to the concentrate (see below)
- Car interiors: Dampen a cloth with TotalClean and wipe over dashboards, gauges and any solid surface, as well as vinyl or leather seats. To freshen/clean upholstery and carpets, spray onto surface and use a wet-dry vacuum to remove moisture, or use TotalClean in an upholstery cleaning machine instead of toxic commercial cleaners (see our post on How to Clean your car’s interior to keep away mold)
- Cleaning mildew from exterior siding: Spray on mildew, wipe with a soft brush or rag, and spray with water to rinse clean. Here are some before and after photos of painted wood siding using minimal effort (I used a carwash brush, and in the 2nd photo you can see some of the untouched surface on the left side):
Uses for Concentrate:
Double (1:3 parts TotalClean to water):
- For deep carpet cleaning, use TotalClean at 1:3 or 1:1 ratio of cleaner to water in a carpet cleaning machine and be sure to vacuum thoroughly to remove moisture. If using a wet-dry vacuum, spray the carpet with this solution using a spray bottle, agitate with a stiff brush (if it does not damage carpet) and vacuum out with the wet-dry vac.
Two to One: (2:1 parts TotalClean to water)
- Degreasing countertops: Grease spatters will wipe clean quickly with this solution.
- Cleaning greasy kitchen cabinets: The cabinets above cookstoves can get very tacky with residue from cooking oil vapors. I found that full-strength concentrate will take off the tackiness and restore the smooth finish on the cabinets above my stove. Use it in a spray bottle and wipe with clean towel or paper towel.
- Cleaning deeply stained mold areas from tile grout: Since grout is porous, if possible start with dry grout so that it will absorb TotalClean deep into the grout. Soak the area and wait 10 minutes, then scrub with an old toothbrush or stiff brush and flush with water.
What else do you think it can do? If you have a specific question or comment about using TotalClean, contact us!