Go Green Homemade Household Cleaning Products
Make your own Green Clean products with ordinary household items!
These Green Cleaning recipes are culled from many sources, while some include my trial and error tweaks. I have not used or tested every one of these yet, but I'm on my way.
Many of these safe green clean recipes include everyday pantry staples you already have in your home. Vinegar and baking soda (bi-carb soda) are completely safe and have many household uses. If you haven't tried green cleaning, these are 'the easiest, and cheapest ingredients to start you on this ecologically friendly conversion. Try the window and glass cleaning formula to get started.
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Important NOTE: If you are using up your store bought brands before converting...
... to Green practises save those containers and spray bottles. Most can be disassembled and run through the dishwasher, but I recommend removing them prior to the drying cycle to air dry just in case.
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Green Clean = Common Household ingredients
toothpaste - the white kind, non gels, sparkles, etc.
Isopropyl Alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol)
And lots more!
Trade Smart Reusable Cloths for Paper Towels
Super absorbent and reusable, I only need half a sheet to do most jobs. If you have children or pets that can create big spills, I highly suggest you leave the sheets whole. For little jobs I even have a sheet I've cut in quarters. See my photo below.
My SmartForNature Cloths
Cleaning with Old Toothbrushes? Yup!
Reusable Tools... Wait! Don't throw that out! Yes, really
Save to reuse and repurpose:
Spray bottles and containers from your old non-green cleaning products (See intro)
Old toothbrushes (Run through dishwasher before use, or clean with soap and really hot water) Ideal for cleaning cracks and crevices that never seem to get clean.
Pipe Cleaners for even smaller crevices and tiny holes like my teeny bud vases (just rinse and let completely dry before storing)
Old bristle hairbrushes (Run through dishwasher before use, or clean with soap and hot water. Great for brushing furniture for pet hair.
Any more ideas for repurposed cleaning tools? Let us know in the comment section way, way, below. :)
My Favorite Cleaning Clothes ~ Skip the chemical cleaners and disposable clothes and paper towels
This is my handsdown favorite tool when it comes to cleaning.
* Convenient 2 sided scrubber-towel combination cloth
* Lint-free and streak free
* I find I can even skip the Green cleaners quite often
* Easy to wash and rinse
* Throw in the wash when needed after tough jobs
* I like green, but also comes in blue, red, pink, white and cream
Green Clean - Surfaces
~ Window and Glass Cleaner ~
Fill a spray bottle with:
3 tbs. Ammonia
1 tbs Vinegar
Wipe clean and polish to get that nice clear shiny appearance.
My Tweak: Add 1 squirt dish washing liquid and 1-2 food coloring. I use green since this was my first homemade cleaner. :) I now use blue since I don't have any store bought window cleaners in the house, and it helps to identify it as window cleaner for everyone in the house.
~ Glass Cleaner - Unscented ~
Would you believe CLUB SODA! If the smell of vinegar or ammonia gets to you use either flat or fresh club soda. Reported to work well at getting your glass and windows sparkling clean, and it's a cheap and easy option. Just pour into a spray bottle. Use as you would any glass cleaner.
* If you are using both options, I suggest color coding with a 1-2 drops of a different food coloring.
~ Furniture Polish ~
1 c. olive oil
1/2 c. lemon juice
Mix in spray bottle.
Shake well and spray a very small amount onto a cleaning cloth. Polish until no residue remains.
NOT recommended for floors- very slippery.
~ Cleaning Wipes ~
*See note below for Greener Version.
Use a round plastic container, drill hole in lid about 1/2 inch, get an extra large roll of good paper towels cut in half to make two small rolls (leave plastic covering on while doing this, electric knife works best)! Place one of the small rolls in plastic container. Save the other as a refill or make both.
Cleaning Wipes Cleaning solutions
~ General Surface Cleaning ~
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
~ Window and Glass Cleaning ~
1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Pour one solution on top of the roll in the container. Place lid on container, allow paper towels to absorb the solution for 4 hours to overnight. Open storage container and take out the wet cardboard tube from the center of the paper towel roll and toss. Now thread the inside of the paper towel roll where the card board was through the hole in the lid and close lid. After awhile paper towels may dry out, if so add more of the solution and let sit overnight before using again!
* Greener Version: Use Washed Rags cut into squares. Accordion fold to use container as above. Launder after use and return to container.
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Green Clean - Kitchen
~ Drain Cleaner ~
Volcano Drain Cleaner and Freshener (The kids love this one)
Run water until hot. Turn off.
Pour 1 cup baking soda into drain.
Pour in 1/2 cup of Vinegar.
Let bubble and sit for 10 minutes.
Pour in 1/4 cup Vinegar again. It will bubble again.
Thoroughly rinse with hot water.
Reader's Suggestion for Alternative to "bleaching" Sinks
Cleaning your Kitchen Cleaning Tools
Most sponges, kitchen and scrub brushes can be washed in your dishwasher with your next load.
Place on top rack. Air drying a load with sponges is recommended, or remove prior to drying cycle.
Citrus is the best natural fragrance
Natural Fragrance Fresheners
~ Home and Drains ~
Quarter any citrus fruit and add water into pan. Simmer on stove top for at least 1 hour adding water if needed. When slightly cooled, pour some slowly down the drain to clean and freshen. When the rest is cooled, pour into a glass jar and refrigerate until the next time you need a little smell of citrus in your life.
*My Holiday Favorite involves oranges or apples, and GROUND spices: cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Don't use whole spices unless you like to hear your disposal grind that way. Ask me how I know. It involves a child who was trying to help.
See the video below titled "More Cleaning Tips like using Tea Tree Oil" for more fragrant ideas.
~ Garbage Disposals ~
Any citrus-Lemons/Limes cut into quarters. Oranges cut into eighths. Feed 1 into disposal. Refrigerate remaining slices for future use.
I've recently starting freezing lemon wedges. If ice cubes can help sharpen disposal blades, why not frozen citrus? Works great and still smells WONDERFUL!
Microfiber Dusters are my 2nd Favorite Tools
Microfiber dusters are super static without the shock. Dirt and dust cling to them until released.
There are 2 ways to release the dirt.
Toss it in the wash
Give them a whack outside against a fence or deck rail, or in the trash can. Poof, almost all clean. You can go awhile between washings this way. That's my preferred method. Saves water and energy, too. ;)
Green Clean YouTube videos
Way back when, Kermit was the only "Green" video when this article was first published in 2009.
With the popularity of green cleaning finally catching up, there are lots now. These are just a couple of my favorites using tips or ingredients not featured on this page.
Overnight Toilet Cleaning Removes Hard Water Stains
More Cleaning Tips like using Tea Tree Oil for Disinfectant
Microfiber works on solid surface floors, too. Dust & Mop
Heavy duty, commercial strength is well worth a little extra extra money since you will have this for LIFE.
* 1 dusting pad with yarn loops
* 2 mop pads with foam core
* extra strong 18" mop head, and swivels 360
* heavy duty stainless steel extension mop handle, extendable up to 70 inches.
* 2 bonus dust cloths
Awesome reviews from LOTS of happy people. I'm sold on it, and soon. :)
Green Clean - Floors and Carpets
~ Wood floor cleaner ~
1/4 c. Apple Cider vinegar
1 gal. water
Squeeze mop until just slightly damp.
Work in small areas at a time.
~ Floor Cleaner for Vinyl/No-Wax ~
1 c. vinegar
1 gal. water
Squeeze mop until just slightly damp.
Work in small areas at a time.
~ Carpet Deodorizer ~
(Especially good for pet smells)
Pour 2 cups of baking soda into resealable container./p>
Add 2-3 drops of fragrance or essential oil.
Close lid and shake.
Using a fork, flatten any remaining lumps and shake again.
Sprinkle powder onto your carpets. Let set for a few minutes. Then vacuum.
BONUS: Will also freshen your vacuum cleaner.
What's your Favorite Green Clean Recipe or Tip?
Green Clean your Appliances - Good for the Earth and your home health, too.
~ Microwave ~
Thoroughly wet a hand towel, place in microwave and heat for 1 minute or until hot to the touch.
Wipe clean and dry.
For stubborn food scum, repeat.
If stains still remain on the bottom shelf, use baking to scour. then repeat hot towel process.
~ Stove top ~
Use the above microwave cleaning process, or depending on the energy efficiency and quickness of your own home's water heater, use hot tap water for the towel.
For baked on soil, use baking soda, and if needed, an old but clean toothbrush to scour.
Rinse and wipe clean.
~ Oven ~
This process is most likely to be more health conscience than green due to the energy involved opposed to using chemical cleaners.
Place water in a roasting or broiling pan.
Heat for 30 minutes at 350 or preferably heat with your next cooking task (not recommended with dry roasting or baking). Let cool
Using old towel, wipe clean for light soil.
If baked on soil remains, scour with baking soda.
If soil still remains, use hot and wet towel to loosen soil, and scrub with baking soda using an old toothbrush or hairbrush.
Rinse and wipe clean.
~ Washing Machine and Clothes Dryer ~
After machine starts washing process, pause cycle, remove one of your wet kitchen or hand towels destined for that load, wipe washer and dryer clean, then toss back into the wash.
~ Refrigerator ~
Fill sink with warm water with a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.
If at all possible, condense food items to a few shelves.
Remove cleared shelves to sink and wash. Dry. Rinse refrigerator walls, ceiling and floor as cleared inside before returning clean shelves to refrigerator, and remove more to clean.
Repeat as necessary for a clean and freshened refrigerator.
© 2016 BW Duerr