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Make Your Own Cleaners Using Baking Soda and Vinegar

Updated on December 27, 2017
cclitgirl profile image

Cynthia is a writer, artist, and teacher. She loves studying language, arts, and culture, and sharing that knowledge.

Don't forget to label your cleaners so you know what's in the bottle.
Don't forget to label your cleaners so you know what's in the bottle.

Do you make your own cleaners?

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Make your own cleaning products!

Over the years, I have acquired quite a few recipes for cleaning products. Some come from www.eartheasy.com, others have come from friends, and still others I made up myself.

What was the motivation?

First, years ago, we found out that the graywater from our house didn't filter out very well and goes into the stream in front of our house. We were quite alarmed and until we could afford to fix that, we wanted to be as benign to the stream as possible.

Then, I kept reading about how chemicals in commercial cleaning products were contributing to health hazards such as asthma and allergies, and that the inside of the typical home was more toxic than going out and breathing the air outside.

Often, the solution was to make the cleaning products ourselves.

Third, I liked the idea that making my own products was safer for the environment, for the planet and for my family in general.

The only downside? The time required to make some of these products myself. Realistically, it probably takes about ten minutes to make something that will last several months. Other times I make a product on the spot and use it, such as furniture polish.

These recipes use some very common ingredients: white vinegar, baking soda, water, lemon and its juice, and olive oil.

Recipe for All-Purpose Cleaner

1/2 cup white distilled vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon essential oil (tea tree, lavender, or lemon)

Mix these three ingredients first. After the fizzing has stopped, fill a 1/2 gallon container. It's a good idea to label the container so that you know what's really in it. Store in cool, dark place.

My favorite essential oil to use is tea tree. It is naturally anti-fungal and fights bacteria. I use lavender when I want a more subtle scent.

Remember, though: a little bit of essential oil goes a long way - less is often more. If you like a lemon scent and don't have oil, you can try putting in 1/4 tsp. of powdered lemon rind.

Below are some of my favorite and most common recipes that I use:

Glass cleaner

For glass, mirrors, faucets, and metal sinks, I like to use a solution of 1 part white distilled vinegar to 1 part water. Spray on and wipe off. It will smell like vinegar while drying, but once dried, it leaves no smell at all - just a freshly clean surface.

Furniture polish/Leather cleaner

I get a cloth and dampen it just a bit. Then I take a dab of lemon juice and a dab of olive oil and put on the cloth. Then I start dusting. I also use this same method to clean my leather couches, refreshing the rag when I've used up the lemon juice and oil.

You may want to test a small spot before cleaning the leather with this solution, but I've used it on my leather couches and leather jacket. When I'm finished (either with the furniture or the leather) I wipe up any excess oil with a clean rag and that helps to really polish things up. :)

Mold cleaner

I live in a pretty moist part of the country (in the Appalachian mountains) and regularly battle mold. My husband is allergic to it, so I try to get at it pretty quickly as soon as I see it.

I have two methods for attacking mold:

1. I make a solution of 2 tsp tea tree oil - remember, it's got antifungal properties - and 2 cups of water and put in a spray bottle. I spray directly on moldy spots and do not rinse. The scent of the tea tree is so soothing and mint-y.

2. I use distilled white vinegar straight from the bottle. I spray the area and do not rinse. The smell dissipates in a few hours (I like it, though - it makes everything seem really clean).

Toilet bowl cleaner

1 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup baking soda

Dump vinegar into commode and swish with toilet brush. Then dump in baking soda and swish with brush. It will start fizzing. Let sit for 15 minutes and flush.

These are my favorite remedies that I use at home. I feel so clean using them and "green" at the same time. I hope they are useful for you.


© 2011 Cynthia Calhoun

Comments

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    • cclitgirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      9 months ago from Western NC

      Awesome, Randall. :) Add some lemon essential oil, too, for a great scent.

    • Randall1022 profile image

      Randall coleman 

      9 months ago from Douglasville, ga

      I have a residential gutter cleaning service. I have been wanting to try for a long time to make bio friendly cleaner for the outside of gutters. You have given me the courage to try it. For done reason I always thought that I would not be able to make it strong enough. I will try. Thank you for this article.

    • cclitgirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      5 years ago from Western NC

      Mrshoki - I hear you about the mold ones. I live in a really humid area and it's a daily battle with mold. Yes, that's a great idea! Test on a small area and if it works, then you can try a bigger area. I have a feeling it'll work only because these ingredients are essentially non-toxic when used correctly. :)

    • mrshoki profile image

      mrshoki 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for the great ideas. I particularly want to try the mold ones, but am worried about using on painted surfaces. We rent our place and not sure if any of these options will be ok in the bathroom on the painted walls and ceiling. May try out on a small area first for least amount of paint removal. Hoping it all works though as sounds good. Thanks again, voted up.

    • cclitgirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      6 years ago from Western NC

      stricktlydating - I hadn't heard of oil of clove, but since you mentioned it, I'm going to have to try it. :)

    • stricktlydating profile image

      StricktlyDating 

      6 years ago from Australia

      Great ideas. Oil of clove is also brilliant at killing mould inside the home.

    • cclitgirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      6 years ago from Western NC

      Global-chica, aw, thank you for the link. I love using my non-toxic cleaners. I didn't know that trick about mayonnaise. I'll have to file that one in my head (hopefully my swiss-cheese memory won't forget, lol). Thanks for stopping by! (HUGS)

    • Global-Chica profile image

      Anna 

      6 years ago from New York, NY

      I'm so glad I came across this hub! I'm switching from toxic store bought house cleaning products to natural products and you provide some fantastic recipes for making your own cleaning products. If you don't mind, I'd like to link this article to one I recently wrote about eco-friendly alternatives to the products we use to make a difference.

      I recently learned that mayonnaise is great for removing crayon marks from furniture. My friend which a child who doodled on the table loved that one!

    • cclitgirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      6 years ago from Western NC

      B. Leekley - thank for stopping by! I'm glad you liked this hub. :)

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      6 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      I bookmarked this very useful hub.

    • cclitgirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      6 years ago from Western NC

      Melovy - I love tea tree! I also use it on my hair - it makes the scalp tingle and keeps it healthy. Thanks for stopping by! :)

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 

      6 years ago from UK

      Very useful hub. I’ve used vinegar before for household cleaning, but usually keep tea tree oil for cuts and spots. So thanks for pointing out a great new use for it.

    • cclitgirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      6 years ago from Western NC

      Oooh! Thanks mOrdOr. I drink about 10 cups of tea a day. Cleaning with tea won't be a problem. Haha. Thanks for reading.

    • m0rd0r profile image

      Stoill Barzakov 

      6 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      Very useful, thanks. Voted up.

      I can add a contribution to your experience - all polished wood can be cleaned with cold tea from yesterday. The tea plant is a miracle, well worth its world renown.

    • cclitgirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      6 years ago from Western NC

      Thanks, klurbauer. You're right - I think once we make "habits" of things, they're easier. If you're not in the habit of making stuff, I think it does 'loom large'. :) Thanks for the vote.

      mljdgulley354, thanks for your kind words. :)

    • mljdgulley354 profile image

      mljdgulley354 

      6 years ago

      Great hub. I like using non-toxic products too

    • klurbauer profile image

      klurbauer 

      6 years ago from Brink of Insanity ;)

      Nice hub. I think you did a great job giving people several basic recipe for home cleaning products. And isn't it true about it being hard to get yourself to make up the new supplies sometimes? It's silly b/c really it's so fast, like you say. Sometimes those little jobs just loom large our minds though I guess. Anyway, good job. Voted up!

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