Make Your Own Green Cleaning Products

Thrifty homemade “green” cleaning products will clean your home as well as commercial cleaners while you avoid toxic chemicals and save money. Harsh cleaners leave harmful residues on surfaces and pollute indoor air with toxic fumes. They are hazardous to everyone in your family, including pets.

Commercial cleaners are linked to skin irritations, asthma—even cancer.

By using everyday ingredients you may already have on hand, you'll spend much less for cleaning products and know that what you're using is safe for your home and the environment. Here's how you do it... Let's go!

Make a paste from baking soda and water for a powerful natural cleanser that deodorizes and cleans nearly everything.

Leave a small bowl of dry baking soda on a table to remove unpleasant odors from a room. Sprinkle it on your carpets and then vacuum.

White distilled vinegar is an economical natural agent that cleans effectively and is a natural disinfectant. Mix with water in a clean spray bottle for cleaning windows and appliances. It also scours kitchen and bathroom surfaces without streaking and cuts through grease.

If you don’t like the vinegar smell (which quickly evaporates), add leftover citrus peels and let sit for two weeks before use. (Add more vinegar as peels soak it up.)

Pour straight vinegar in the toilet bowl, sprinkle in baking soda and let sit for a few minutes. Use a toilet brush to clean, and then flush. Pour more vinegar in bowl, leave overnight, and flush in the morning.

Clean hard-surface floors with vinegar and water to make them shine. Use one cup vinegar to one gallon water. Mop hardwood floors lightly and don't soak the wood; no rinsing is necessary. If vinyl flooring needs a polish after vinegar mopping, follow with club soda.

Equal parts of vinegar and olive oil make an excellent furniture polish.

WARNING: Never mix bleach with cleaners as it produces toxic fumes. In fact, bleach is another product you can entirely replace in your home—with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution you can buy for about a dollar per quart and use to kill germs.

Freshly cut lemons effectively remove mildew on tile grout.

You can even make your own thrifty non-toxic laundry detergent. Here’s what you’ll need: 1 bar shaved natural soap (check ingredients on label), 1 cup Twenty Mule Team borax, and 1 cup Arm & Hammer super washing soda.

Thoroughly stir together for five minutes. Use a blender for a finer powder that will dissolve easily in cold water, or skip that step and dissolve the laundry powder in a pint of warm water before adding it to the washer. Store it in a sealed container. Use one tablespoonful per load. Low sudsing, and it works in HE washers.

Here's a recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent. Mix one cup borax, one cup washing soda, ½ cup citric acid, and ½ cup kosher salt. Use 1 tablespoon per load.

If you wash dishes by hand in the sink, make homemade dish soap. Bring 1 ½ cups water to boil. Combine 1 tablespoon borax and 1 tablespoon grated natural bar soap in a bowl. Pour the boiling water in, and stir until the grated soap is melted. Allow it to completely cool, stirring occasionally. Pour into a clean squirt bottle. Add 15 drops of an essential oil if you prefer, but fragrance is optional. Shake well to combine.

Don't worry about fewer suds. That’s because your homemade dish soap doesn’t contain toxic sodium lauryl sulfate that produces unnecessary bubbles for visual effect, not cleansing. Your dishes will be clean. Rinse thoroughly and dry.

Happy green, frugal cleaning!

4/10/2023 4:00:00 AM
Wellness Editor
Written by Wellness Editor
Wellness Exists to Empower Health Conscious Consumers. helps people live healthier, happier and more successful lives by connecting them with the best health, wellness and lifestyle information and resources on the web.
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Posted by Maria Elisabeth
I have been using vinegar and hydrogen peroxide for household uses all of my life, as handed down from mother to daughter. Yet, never occurred to me to replace commercial laundry and dish products entirely with alternatives I could make myself until I saw this article. Thank you for writing simple, clear directions!
We are seniors who now require outside help with home maintenance. Our neighborhood friend has stepped up to assist, but we have language challenges beyond casual conversation. A spanish language translation of this article would be extremely useful to surmount the more technical terms.
Also, what natural cleaner is best to wipe down stainless steel, chrome faucets, doorknobs, or other metal surfaces? Does vinegar or hydrogen peroxide corrode these metallic finishes over time? Anything one should not use these ingredients on?
Finally, what is the minimum ratio of each, i.e., one part vinegar to X? parts water for optimal disinfection in an all-purpose solution?
Muchas gra'cias, Gilfred

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