My Photo

Or receive updates by email:

Delivered by FeedBurner


AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Get Our Newsletter:
Green Purse Alerts!

Why My Purse is Green

Because I believe…

  • the fastest, most effective way to stop polluters is by pressuring them in the marketplace
  • women can be the world’s most powerful economic and environmental force if we intentionally shift our spending to the best green products and services
  • women have the power right now to solve many of our most serious environmental problems by using our green purses to make a difference
  • women must act – intentionally, collectively, and with the full force of our purse power behind us – if we hope to leave our children and grandchildren a better world.
  • « Environmental In-Box: Bon Ami Cleanser | Main | Environmentally Friendly Car Wash - Not in Your Driveway! »

    Healthy Green Car Care - Top Ten "Insider" Tips

    When it comes to buying a “green” car, most consumers focus on fuel efficiency. The more miles per gallon, the more eco-friendly the car.

    But what about keeping the car clean?

    From washing off the grime that accumulates outside to cleaning up the dashboard inside, how you maintain your vehicle matters to both you and the environment. Why not choose the greenest options? In most cases, they’ll save you money, too.

    Here’s how:

    1) Window Cleaner: There’s enough road rage to go around these days. Don’t make matters worse by using commercial cleaning products whose chemicals leave you cranky or give you a headache. Keep things  cheap, simple and safe. Make your own window wash.


    Mix 1/2 cup white vinegar with two cups water in a spray bottle.

     Add a few drops of pulp-free lemon juice for fragrance. 

    Apply directly on a lint-free cotton cloth so the cleaner doesn’t spray all over the car.

    Once you wipe the windows clean, buff them with a micro-fiber cloth for extra shine. 

    Air Freshener: My personal car pet peeve is those creepy little fragrance bobbles that hang from rear view mirrors and completely stink up the car with some sickeningly sweet odor. They give me an immediate headache that lasts long after the car ride is over. And no wonder: most commercial fragrances contain toxic chemicals like benzene and diethyl phthalate that can become particularly insidious if you’re inhaling them in a space as small and closed as a car interior. 

    The alternative? If your car stinks, find out why. Usually, it's from something like food scraps (from fast food or snacks) that have started to rot under the car seat or in the grooves of a floor mats.Solution?  

    2) Take trash with you. Whenever you leave the car, take a quick look to ferret out the smelly stuff.

    3) Open the windows for a few minutes while you’re driving to let fresh air circulate through the car.

    4) Use hot soapy water to wipe down interior doors, handles and vinyl seats.

    5) Rinse off floor mats (which will force you to lift them up and out of the car, possibly discovering more stink bombs you’ll need to toss).

    6) At a car wash, don't let them spray the interior with air freshener when they finish vacuuming. If they’ve done their job properly, the car should smell just fine without it.

    Seats and cushions: Keeping a car clean shouldn’t require the use of industrial strength chemicals.

    7) Use a whisk broom or hand-held vacuum to remove dirt and dust from floor mats and seat cushions.

    8) Keep a cloth napkin within reach so you can wipe up spills when they occur.

    9) Dust surfaces with a damp cloth once a week to keep grime from building up.

    10) For spots on the steering wheel or console, sprinkle a little baking soda on a wet towel and gently rub. Wipe with a clean damp cloth.

    NEXT:  Getting a Green Car Wash

    Excerpted from Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World

    Want more Green Living Top Ten Tips? Check these out.


    TrackBack URL for this entry:

    Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Healthy Green Car Care - Top Ten "Insider" Tips:


    Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


    A few more tips for your readers...

    • if you need a car fragrance, blend your own with essential oils

    • on hot days, thoroughly air out your car before entering. the chemicals contained within car materials (fabrics and vinyl) can completely fill your interior.

    • avoid carpet & upholstery cleaners avoid containing synthetic fragrances, dyes, petroleum solvents or glycol ethers.

    • choose car cleaners which fully list all ingredients such as Eco Touch (


    If you don't feel like making your own cleaning products, look for ecologo branded ones. They are internationally certified and recognized as being kind to the environment.

    Diane MacEachern

    Good point on the industrial cleaners. Fragrance-free soap and water work pretty well for cleaning car interiors.


    Yes Look for ecologo branded products for cleaners. For example - Eco-Friendly Car Wash - its chemical-free, steam cleaning process protects both your showroom finish for a cleaner vehicle and the environment.

    Darren, Best Auto Detailiing Tips

    You can help the eco movement by using the self serve and other types of local car washes. Not only do these places capture water run-off which is critical to the health of our oceans, but recycle much of the water. Washing your car in the driveway sends all forms of dirt and chemical into the storm drains which only leads to the oceans.
    If you must wash your won car, make sure your hose has a nozzle on the end so you can adjust for just the right amount of water to use, as well as shop and use Eco-friendly car care products that are becoming more and more available.

    credible upholstery

    I agree on avoiding sprays for your car. They may contain harmful chemicals.

    Carpet Cleaning Machines

    Great tips! I think it will also help to have a small trash bin or plastic for trash that is always ready to catch the trash. This way, all of the garbage would be in one place right before you step out of the car. No need to find them. You can instruct your kids to use the trash bin.

    garage equipment

    Most greasy carpeting and upholstery stains can be removed by rubbing on paint thinner with a clean, 100-percent cotton cloth. Then cover the stain with salt until the remaining grease is absorbed, and vacuum. Or cover the spot with cornmeal and let it sit overnight and vacuum in the morning.

    Diane MacEachern

    I would never use paint thinner inside a car. It's a pretty volatile chemical and I'm sure it would give me a headache and nausea to use it, especially in such a small, closed environment.

    Used Trucks

    When it comes to green car care, the solution should be ‘green’ enough and it shouldn’t employ usage of harsh chemicals that are harmful to the environment. This article is written very well and will certainly help people who are buying green cars now.

    Mary Hunt

    I put handfuls of scented geraniums inside mesh bags under the seats.

    Lifeguard Swimwear

    Wonderful tips you have given here.Really appreciating one!!!If you add some more information regarding the swim wear specially then that is more fruitful.

    cheapest car insurance in florida

    Good point on the business purifiers. Fragrance-free water and detergent work pretty well for cleaning car decorations.

    garage equipment

    There are lot of eco-friendly alternative methods that can be used in car cleaning. By following these simple steps, we can reduced the use of chemical that causes climate change and at the same time making are automobile dirt and dust-free.

    Driveway Cleaning Birmingham

    I always use febreeze. Is that environmentally friendly?

    Mary Allen

    Your recipe did not surprise me, though. I have been using this long time ago. But, this is not applicable only to car windows. I also use this recipe to clean my kitchen and other parts of the house. This is really effective.

    chevelle parts

    Great tips shared by you in order to maintain our car green and clean. I always keep the air freshener in my car in order to keep the fragrance in my car.

    Blaine Smitley

    An often over looked thing when it comes to keeping an autos interior smelling fresh without using chemicals is the cabin air filter. Not be confused with the engine air filter, the cabin air filter is located in the dash, and is easily replaceable.

    Next time you just can't get a bad odor out of a car or truck, look in the owners manual to find the location of it and replace it. Anybody can do it and it usually never takes tools beyond a screw driver.

    Diane MacEachern

    That's a great tip. Thanks!

    home care las vegas

    I do #3 all the time. Always let that fresh air in through my windows! Good list!

    The comments to this entry are closed.

    EcoCentric Mom
    Everbuying led light
    Green by