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Ten Green DIY Household Cleaners

Updated on December 11, 2013

Let's Take Care of Our Earth!


Why I Made The Switch...

I love having a clean house! It seems like when everything is sanitized and orderly the energy in my home feels lighter and happier. I sleep better at night, meals taste more delicious and my husband and I seem to act more cheery towards each other. This is why I was very skeptical about switching my tried and trusted cleaners for foreign green ones. I mean, how can ingredients from nature kill germs, remove stains, clean my clothes, freshen my house and keep things at the same level of cleanliness I have grown accustomed too? The answer is: quite easily. It seems like mother nature has outshined us again and made better cleaning agents; better than we could ever hope to make, and they have been available to us for quite some time! I have actually found these products to work better then my chemical ones plus they are a ton cheaper. Also these cleaners are so easy and simple to make, I save a ton of time not having to constantly go the store in order to replenish supplies.

Poisonous Encounters

What is the percentage of poison exposures which occurred in the home?

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Why Regular Cleaners Are Harmful

I'm a 80's baby so growing up I was completely ignorant about chemicals and their effect on health. I actually remember a time when they were deemed completely harmless. Well, new research has surfaced showing that maybe these cleaners aren't so innocent after all.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are compounds which react badly with our ozone causing them to become toxic to us and are in most (if not all) cleaning agents1. Whenever you use these cleaning supplies, the VOC are released into the air and inhaled. These VOCs are responsible for irritation of the eyes, and throat2. They also contribute to chronic respiratory problems plus allergic skin reactions3. Examples of the types of products which contain VOCs include:

-Air Fresheners

-Chlorine Bleach


-Rug and Upholstery Cleaners

-Furniture and Floor Polish4

Eliminate these harmful toxins from your home and get it clean using green!

Our Cleaners Contaminate Wildlife


Green Anti-bacterial Spray

Ah, where would I be without my all-purpose anti-bacterial spray! This spray is safe to use on: wood, non-granite countertops, door knobs, window tracks, sinks, and anything else that you would use your Lysol spray on (except with this one you could also use it to sanitize fruits and vegetables).

Supplies Needed:

-Spray bottle

-White Vinegar

-Warm water

How to make:

Fill water bottle with half white vinegar and half hot water, that's it!

Green Granite Countertop Cleaner

Granite is one of the more trickier items to clean. The finish can come off so easily that you have to be careful of what products to use. Never use anything acidic on granite. So your white vinegar anit-bacterial spray would NOT be a good idea. Instead you will need to make a whole separate cleaner for that special granite countertop!

Supplies Needed:

-Rubbing Alcohol

-Dawn Dish Soap (the blue one

-Warm Water

-Spray Bottle

How to make:

Fill your spray bottle with about 1/4th cup of rubbing alcohol, warm water and a teaspoon of Dawn dish soap.


Green Floor Cleaner

This is a great floor cleaner which will sanitize your floor without leaving a chemical film other cleaners leave behind. A million years ago, when I was a professional housecleaner, we used this floor cleaner on the clients' floors because it is safe and gentle. Wood floors, especially, love this mixture!

Supplies Needed:

-Mop Bucket

-White Vinegar

-Hot Water

How to Make:

Pour 1 cup of white vinegar for every gallon of hot water in bucket.

Happy Mopping!

Green Window Cleaner

Windex is an awesome glass cleaner, but it's also expensive and (you guessed it) filled with chemicals! Dirty windows, however, with paw prints, hand prints, are cloudy and look like something out of 18th century London are also not the best option. This window cleaner 'recipe' will help keep your windows, glass and mirrors looking showroom shiny!

Supplies Needed:

-Spray Bottle

-White Vinegar

-Rubbing Alcohol

-Warm Water

-Dawn Dish Soap

How to Make:

Pour 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol, 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 5 drops of Dawn into spray bottle.

Fill the rest of the bottle with warm water and spray away!

Waste Production

Americans generate how many tons of hazardous waste in 1 year?

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Green Carpet Stain Remover

Carpet stains are the worst and I have battled my fair share of them with this stain remover! With this mix I have cleaned pet stains, juice stains, ash (from fireplace) stains, paint, food, vomit, and even food coloring (which sat and dried overnight-yikes!) stains. It is awesome!

Supplies Needed:

-Hydrogen Peroxide

-Dawn Dish Soap

-Old Rag

How to Make:

You don't neccesarily "make" this cleaner, so I will tell you how to use it:

First, pour enough hydrogen peroxide to saturate the stain.

Next, squeeze a dime-quarter (depending on size of stain) sized amount of Dawn onto stain as well.

Take your rag and blot up excess moisture and pour hot water onto area.

Blot up excess moisture

Now repeat the first two steps, but instead of blotting, agitate the fibers by scrubbing. Here you will see the stain disappear.

Keep rinsing and blotting up water until area isn't sudsy anymore.

If it is a stubborn stain, repeat process.

Green Air Freshener

In all reality if you keep your home clean there won't be any need for an air freshener, but this is the real world and sometimes the air in my house needs a helping hand! The store bought air fresheners have nothing but chemicals in them, and those chemicals eventually make their way into your lungs. There is a reason why, if you spray to much, you start coughing. This air freshener is not only way better for your health, but it is also extremely versatile; meaning you can make any kind of scent you want!

Supplies Needed:

-Spray Bottle

-Essential Oils

-Rubbing Alcohol (optional)


How to Make:

Combine water and 15-20 drops of essential oil and 1 Tablespoon of rubbing alcohol in spray bottle.


The rubbing alcohol is optional, I just find it helps preserve the fragrance over time.

My favorite essential oil combinations:

-15 drops of lavender; 5 drops of peppermint

-10 drops of honeysuckle; 5 drops of lavender

-10 drops of vanilla spice; 10 drops of honeysuckle

-15 drops of eucalyptus; 5 drops of lemon

-15 drops of vanilla; 5 drops of hazelnut

Green "Comet"

When I was cleaning houses professionally comet was one of my favorite products and it was also the last to go when I made the "green switch". The pumice in Comet is such a great abrasive it is a must have when it came to my bathroom, but yet again, I have found an adequate green replacement! The chemical reaction between the white vinegar and baking soda plus the natural abrasiveness of baking soda, really loosens up the stuck on soap scum and grime. Also, with the added benefit of both these products having some major germ fighting capacities, your tub will be shined and sanitized!

Supplies Needed:

-Baking Soda

-White Vinegar

-Spray Bottle

How to make:

First fill your spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar.

Now take your baking soda and sprinkle in area you desired to be cleaned.

Spray white vinegar over it.

Scrub that mess away!

Scrub Away!


Green Dusting

This is another trick I picked up from my days as a housekeeper. There really is no true need for a product for dusting. The only thing those products do is wet the dust, so after you wipe, it doesn't return to the surface, rather, it will cling to the rag.

Supplies Needed:

-Two Rags

-Hot Water

How to use:

Take one of your rags and wet it with hot water.

Squeeze excess water out so rag is just damp and not soaking wet (the more wet the rag is the more likely it is it will leave water marks).

Dust area with damp rag, then wipe with the dry one.

Bye-bye dust!

Green Laundry Detergent

I was pretty sketpitcal about an all natural laundry detergent, I was convinced all those chemicals in the store bought ones were necessary to lift the dirt out of my clothes, otherwise why would they put them in there? I still haven't found out the answer to that question, but what I did find is this DIY laundry detergent took my clothes to a level of clean I had only dreamed of! I also noticed when I started using this detergent that my stuffy nose problems I had disappeared, along with my itchy skin. This is a good laundry detergent and it can be used in cold or hot water!

Supplies Needed:

-5 gallon bucket

-2 boxes of Borax

-4 pounds of Baking Soda

-1 box of Super Washing Soda

-3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap

-Cheese Grater

How to Make:

Grate the soap.

Next, pour Borax, Baking Soda, Soap, and Super Washing Soda, in layers, in the bucket.

Mix with hands and/or close lid tight and roll bucket around.

I use 1 Tablespoon for small loads and 2 Tablespoons for large ones.

*Bonus* For a green fabric softener- throw a half crumbled ball of aluminum foil in with the clothes in the dryer. The foil will help soften clothes and remove static.

Green Leather Cleaner

Cleaning Leather the green way is important. When you sit on your leather couch, chair or recliner, whatever chemicals that were on that leather is now attached to your clothes or (if it's summertime) your skin! Chemical leather cleaning wipes are bad for you, while store bought green ones cost an arm and a leg, this is why I like to make them myself.

Supplies Needed:

-Empty and Clean Water Bottle 16oz

-Olive Oil

-White Vinegar

-Soft Cloth

How to Make:

Take 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of olive oil and combine in water bottle.

When cleaning pour some on soft cloth and rub into furniture until clean.

Make the Switch!





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    • crayon88 profile image

      crayon88 4 years ago from Earth

      Very Informative. Thanks for sharing