When you go to the store and pick up a bottle of cleaning solution do you always know what the ingredients are? I don’t! Some of the words are too long and complicated and I can’t even think about their correct pronunciation. That is why I like to make my cleaners at home! The greener healthier way!

Vinegar and Lemon Glass Cleaner

1/2 c. white vinegar1/4 c. lemon juice4 c. water¼ tsp dish soap
You can mix together ingredients and place into a squirt bottle allowing for easy use!

All Purpose Cleaner

1/2 c. White Vinegar1/4 c. Baking Soda1/2 Gallon Warm Water

This is my favorite cleaning mixture to use on any of my hard surfaces for just a quick cleanup!

Homemade Air Freshener

For this I like to go to my local health food store and purchase some essential oil. You can lightly douse (about 2 small drops) onto a cotton ball and leave the Cotton Balls in various (hidden) places around the room. Be Careful with where you put them as the oil can stain fabric!

Oven Cleaner

I use nothing more than Baking Soda, Warm Water and lemon juice!I like to sprinkle the baking soda all over my oven where ever the grease and grime might be. Then I take a spray bottle filled with warm water and a dash of lemon juice (more for scent than cleaning). Then I wait for about 45 minutes and come back and spray another coat of the water mixture.  Then grab a scrub sponge and your good to go!**This mixture also works wonderfully for any burned on pots you might have! Sprinkle some Baking Soda on the Pots and Pans then place them in a sink filled with warm water! The next morning your pans will clean like a breeze!

Laundry Detergent

2 gallons Hot Water 1 bar Grated Soap 2 1/4 c. Baking soda Place 1 Bar of Grated Soap (I like Ivory the best) with about 1 1/2 c. water. Cook on low heat, stirring frequently until bar has completely melted. In 5 Gallon Bucket place 2 Gallons Hot Water and then add in Melted Soap Mixture. Add 2 1/4 c. Baking Soda and stir together ingredients. I Use 1/2 c. mixture in a full load, and 1 1/4 cup of the mixture for my husband’s greasy work clothes.

One option is to buy a hypo-allergenic baby detergent of course, but the above works really well.

DIY Fabric Softener

¼ cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle, fabric softener ball or fabric softener compartment of your washer.
That’s all you need and NO your clothing will NOT smell like vinegar but your washer will sparkle and you’ll have less lint.

Static cling is a by-product of detergent build up on our clothing and often times the rinse cycle won’t completely rinse the detergent from our clothing, especially if you pack the washer (come on admit you do it). The vinegar helps to break down the detergent and make rinsing the detergent from your clothing easier, which reduces the static you experience.

Hint: If you want your clothing to smell pretty like the commercials advertise save yourself money and exposure to unnecessary chemicals by adding a damp wash cloth that has 1-2 drops of your favorite essential oil into your dryer with your clothing. I like to use lavender occasionally, especially for my towels and sheets.

It’s true; my great grandmother taught me this. She always used vinegar and bough it by the jug, in fact she used it in the winter to rinse our hair for extra shine and to remove the buildup of soap and conditioner. I only wish she used the essential oils!

Garbage Disposal

If you’re Garbage Disposal gets an unpleasant scent then it is good to place 1/4 c. Baking soda into your drain. Then I pour 1 c. White Vinegar into the drain. Let it sit for a little while and fizz before running water in the drain! Then before you know it the unwanted stench will be gone!

garbage can cleaning

Garbage Can

One of my favorite uses for baking soda is to use it at the bottom of my trash can before adding a new garbage bag. It absorbs any gross odor and saves me from buying those trash bags that use fake scents to mask odor! To avoid any mess, I sometimes sprinkle the baking soda on a used dryer sheet and fold the dryer sheet in half.  Simple, easy and cheap!

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

2 Tbs salt2 Tbs Baking Powder1 c. White Vinegar

Mix ingredients together and place in a clean spray bottle. Then just spray and wipe!

I love making my own household cleaners. It is a fun way to know that my family is being kept safe and now when my child asks me if she can help clean up I am no longer afraid of the harmful chemicals that she might come into contact with. Since making my own cleaners I have felt more confident in my cleaning and I have also seen a difference in my pocket book as my spending has went down drastically! Your local health food store might also have some homemade cleaning tips and ideas! Many Natural Grocers sell Borax, Washing Soda, as well as many other items that can come in handy when making your own personal cleaners!

General/Window cleaner

You thought you needed a special window cleaning product, right? Well, this recipe should have you up and running sooner than you can say jack rabbit!

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups club soda
  • ½ tsp of peppermint essential oil
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch

Mix together and place into spray bottle. Use leftover newspaper as paper towel to save money! You will need to shake the bottle up a bit (the cornstarch will settle at the bottom). Fun fact that may be made up: Peppermint is supposed to keep spiders and bugs away!

Cost: about $1.48!

Dish soap

This is one of my favorite and go to dish soap recipes. Follow along and it is super easy to make. Here are the ingredients…

  • 1 ½ hot water
  • 1 TBS- ½ cup of Castile soap (Ivory soap works also)
  • 1TBS white vinegar
  • 1 TBS A&H washing soda
  • Couple drops of either peppermint essential oil or tea tree oil

Mix all ingredients together. Add hot water and stir until soap is dissolved. Let cook completely. Note- the less grated soap you use- the thicker it will be. This is why there is a range that you can use. This does not suds up a bunch.

Cost: about $.59

Natural Dish Washer Detergent

I had no idea what I was doing but I had Borax, baking soda and vinegar so why not use these ingredients and hope for the best?  I knew that Borax and baking soda were natural cleaners, disinfectants and mild abrasives that with the blasting hot water would have to work!

Here is the method to my green madness:

  • 1 Tablespoon of Borax
  • 1 Tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon of vinegarI added the Borax and baking soda together into the wash compartment.

Clean Steel FridgeCleaning Stainless Steel

Coconut oil for shine

Coconut oil is known for its versatility, and chances are you may have tried it on your all over your body for its moisturizing effects. But it is also a great buffer for stainless steel; all you need is to wipe down your surface with a mixture of hot water and soap. Then once you have dried everything, spray some melted, but cool, coconut oil and buff it around with a microfiber cloth. It will remove dirt and grime while leaving a lasting shine.

Baking soda for burns

If you have burn marks on your stove that just won’t come off, try this simple recipe: 1 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons of Borax. Combine to create a paste, then scrub in the same direction of the grain of the steel. Rinse with club soda, and the burn mark should come off quite easily.

Vinegar and Oil for a deep clean

Two of the most commonly-used items in your kitchen can give your stainless steel a deep clean. Spray white vinegar all over your surfaces and wipe down with a paper towel. Then put a few drops of oil onto a microfiber cloth and buff in the opposite direction of the grain until the surface is dry.

With these cleaning hacks in mind, your stainless steel appliances will look brand new, and you won’t have to worry about those nasty chemicals!

cleaning tips

Further Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Tips

Carefully Dispose Toxic Cleaners

As you replace cleaners in your home or office, don’t throw them in the trash. Their chemical toxicity will be as harmful to landfills and drains as it was to your indoor spaces. Pouring these chemicals down the drain can also mean that they get into your water supply, becoming even more harmful to a larger number of people. Instead, see if your community has a toxins and electronics recycling day. Many towns hold specific days each month for residents to safely dispose of their problematic waste. There are also recycling centers across the country that can handle toxic waste any day of the week.

Use Green Cleaning Products

Eco-friendly cleaning products have been hitting store shelves for years now in an attempt to offset the large number of harmful cleaning products that are available. These cleaning products are non-toxic, biodegradable, and made from renewable resources, unlike older products that use petroleum. While these green brands are available at most stores in the country, they can come at a bit of a higher cost than your standard cleaning products. For an at-home green solution, mix a bit of warm water with either vinegar or baking soda. Either one of these typical kitchen items can clean almost anything and are environmentally friendly.

Be Aware Of Air Quality

The air inside of a home or office is commonly more toxic than the air outside. Buildings are better insulated than ever before to conserve energy, but this also means that any small presence of toxic materials and substances are trapped inside. The risk of toxic air quality is especially present in offices where industrial cleaners are used. Besides the building occupants who are exposed, the cleaning industry employs about 2.8 million janitors who are in close contact with these chemicals every day. According to data from Washington State, about 6% of janitors suffer a job-related injury from chemical exposure every year. When possible, encourage your office building to switch to green products in order take care of their janitorial staff and building occupants.

 

 

Editors Note: Guest post written by Marina Chernyak of 1001 Sea Grass Rugs.

1 COMMENT

  1. I hate those store detergents on which there are always labels starting with the sign “Danger” or “Caution”. I don’t feel safe for my kids when there are such detergents in my home. I also prefer to prepare my own cleaning products. The ideas you’ve given are very good.
    Regards!

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