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Homemade Natural Green Cleaning Supplies

Updated on August 29, 2014

Harsh Chemical Consumer Cleaners Vs. Homemade Green Cleaning Supplies

There is just one thing people want when it comes to cleaning supplies - they want products that clean effectively. If you have been down the cleaning aisle at your local grocery, discount or home improvement store, you know that there are literally hundreds of consumer cleaning products available. Take a close look at some of the warnings on these products. The chemicals contained in many consumer cleaning products contribute to indoor air pollution and may also be harmful if inhaled, ingested or touched. Some commercially produced cleaning products may cause irritation of the skin, lungs, breathing airways and eyes. Long-term and short-term exposure to commercial cleaning products have been linked to autism, asthma or even cancer.

From Your Pantry: Homemade Natural Green Cleaning Supplies

Forget about spending hundreds of dollars each year to buy commercially prepared cleaning supplies at the store. There are likely some effective non-toxic, natural and inexpensive cleaning solutions in your home already. Think of it, you can replace just about any toxic, chemical cleaners for just pennies. These homemade green cleaning solutions can be made using a few common, cheap household items like salt, baking soda, borax, lemon juice, olive oil and white distilled vinegar. Most of these techniques have been used in my own house so I know they will work.



Dangerous Toxins and Chemicals in Commercial Cleaning Products

Some of the commercially manufactured cleaning products you use in your home may contain toxic chemicals. In fact, some simple household cleaning products like corrosive drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners and oven cleaners and are among some of the most toxic and dangerous substances in homes today. According to the U.S. Poison Control; Centers, nearly 10-percent of toxic exposures reported in the home were caused by cleaning products. When you head out to the local market to stock up on cleaning supplies, you may want to check out the list of ingredients on the labels.

Still other consumer cleaning products contain substances called diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA). These substances, which may not be listed in the ingredients of some cleaning products, can react with nitrites to form nitrosamines. These nitrosamines are carcinogens (cancer causing substances) that are easily absorbed through the skin. Butyl cellosolve, another common ingredient found in some cleaners, may cause nerve damage in people and animals. There are many other dangerous substances contained in many commercial cleaning products. Making your own homemade green cleaning supplies provides and effective cleaning solution that are safe for your family, pets, environment and planet.



The Natural Cleaning Power of Lemon

How long have those commercially manufactured cleaners touted the fresh, clean scent of lemons or citrus in their cleaning products? Well, it turns out you don't need their cleaning products after all - just the lemons. Lemons are more than just a fresh scent. The acidic properties in lemons make one of the best grease cutters ever used. I have used lemons and have been able to clean things that consumer products could not.

Mix one-part lemon juice with two-parts olive oil to make a homemade, all-natural polish for furniture. When I first tried this, I started on the back of a cabinet with a soft, dry cloth. This lemon/olive oil solution worked so well, I quickly applied it to the entire cabinet. If you want to keep your cats from digging or defecating in your potted plants, just sprinkle some lemon peel in the pots.

In the kitchen, use a lemon-half sprinkled with baking soda to wash or scrub dishes. Again, use the leftover lemons by placing them in your garbage disposal to get rid of any leftover grime and food odors.



Salt As a Cleaning Solution

There are over 14,000 known uses for salt in addition to its duty as a common but remarkable seasoning qualities. In the kitchen and especially for poppets and pans, sprinkle salt on a lemon half and use it to scrub away even the toughest grease and grime. Copper pans can be cleaned easily using salt and a cloth soaked in vinegar. While you're cleaning those pots and pans, pour some of that salt down the sink to help prevent grease build-up in the drain. A salt and water solution can be used to clean the refrigerator and it won't scratch the enamel. A paste of salt and vinegar is a great cleaner for brass, copper and chrome. In the laundry, adding salt will brighten colors.

Baking Soda Can Take care of So Many Cleaning Challenges

Baking soda is one of the best natural, non-toxic household cleaner/deodorizers available. Just like chemically-laden consumer non-abrasive cleaning products, baking soda can be used in the same way. In my own experience, baking soda cleaning solutions have worked better than the expensive store-bought cleaners. Baking soda is also a natural deodorizer - most everyone who has placed an open bow of Arm and Hammer® Baking Soda in the refrigerator and freezer already knows it odor-absorbing powers.


White Distilled Vinegar is Nature's Miracle Cleaning Solution

This substance has been used as a cleaner, disinfectant and medical solution from the beginning of human history. Vinegar works so well as a household cleaner due to it's mild, acidic composition. It can effectively cut through grime, kills germs., bacteria and even mold. Use about one-half to one full cup of vinegar in the laundry to get super soft and fresh smelling laundry. For those with sensitive skin, vinegar in the rinse cycle helps to break down some of the harsh chemicals that may be in detergent. The pungent odor disappears as soon as it dries. Three cups of vinegar in the toilet bowl will get rid of those pesky ring stains.

Warning: Despite what is indicated in the following video, it is advisable to NEVER use vinegar as a natural cleaner is on tile grout, marble or any porous stone surface.


Top 5 Homemade Green Cleaning Supplies

Don't let the fact that these recipes are so simple fool you. Simplicity is a fine thing if it works - and these homemade green cleaning supplies work like nothing I have seen before. Most of these work better than any store-bought harsh chemical cleaners.

Sure, these require a bit more elbow grease than typical store-bought cleaners, but they do no harm to the environment and they won't leave a toxic residue or create toxic fumes either.

1) Simple, All-Purpose Surface Cleaner

Combine equal parts white distilled vinegar and salt. Use a natural cleaning cloth to scrub surfaces.

2) Easy Cookware Cleaner

Simply use coarse salt and water to scour grease, grime and stains from copper pans and ceramic baking dishes. For an added boost, use a lemon half as scrubbing pad.

3) Basic Disinfectant Solution

Combine hot water with about one-half cup of borax powder. If you want to add a particular scent, you might want to add a few drops of essential oil like rosemary, lavender or thyme. Be sure to check to see if anyone in your family is allergic to essential oils before using them. Place a bit of the oil on the underside of your wrist and look for any signs of a reaction like redness, rash or inflammation.

4) Best Non-Streak Window Cleaner

Mix one-quarter cup undiluted distilled white vinegar and one tablespoon cornstarch with one quart of warm water. Fill those empty spray bottles with this natural green cleaning solution and use newspaper or a coffee filter to get a super-clean, lint-free and sparkling glass surfaces. This solution works especially well on all mirrors and windows.

5) Powerful Grout/Tile Cleaner

Combine three cups of baking soda with a cup of warm water. Work these ingredients into a paste. Use a toothbrush to work the paste deep down into those grout crevices.


Still Skeptical About Homemade Green Cleaning Supplies?

That's OK, I was very skeptical. So I used almost all of the solutions at one time or another in my household cleaning expeditions. I have also talked with others who have had similar success with homemade green cleaning supplies. I think you will see that these are more effective as well as less harmful to the environment and family. You're probably like most people and you need to prove it to yourself and that's just fine. Try making any of the simple cleaning solutions mentioned here and see if the homemade cleaner works better than your store-bought harsh chemical cleaner. So get out there, try these cleaning solutions for yourself, and let me know your results.



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    • Janellegems profile image


      4 years ago from Africa

      These are very unique helpful hints for cleaning the home naturally. I use baking soda for my cleaning needs. I will definitely apply these suggestions for non-toxic environment. Thanks.

    • Rosie writes profile image

      Audrey Surma 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      Very informative hub. I use vinegar in almost all of my cleaning solutions. It is amazing and very cheap too. Pinned.

    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for the read and vote up, NMLady. Best to you, M

    • NMLady profile image


      7 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      Nice. I am a big fan of white vinegar, baking soda, salt and the like. voted up.

    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Texas

      shai77 - thanks for the read and kind words. M

    • shai77 profile image


      7 years ago

      These days, everyone needs to know this. Not only for the planet's health, but for the health of everyone living in our home. These toxic chemical cleaners are no joke and not even necessary.

      I have hubs about cleaning green as well, it's so important to show people how easy it can be (and a moneysaver too!) You have done a wonderful job with the information here.


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