Green Cleaning Products to Make at Home
Many cleaning products and solutions use harsh and sometimes toxic chemicals, which could leave behind chemical residue and drag down the quality of the air in your home. Fortunately, with a few simple household ingredients you can make your own green, toxin-free cleaning products (& save money at the same time).
We’ve put together a guide to show you how to get started…
Why Make Your Own Green Cleaning Products
- Safe: The solutions you make at home are non-toxic. You can use them without fear of harming your children or pets.
- Save Money: Making your own cleaning solutions will save money. Many of the ingredients are very inexpensive and you probably already have them on hand.
- Save Space: There’s no need for countless bottles under the sink when you make your own green cleaning products. Most solutions are multi-purpose & you mix only what you need.
Green Cleaning Product Ingredients
The baking soda that you use as a leavening agent is also a key ingredient in your green cleaning product arsenal. Baking soda is nothing more than bicarbonate of soda (used by ancient Egyptians as a soap), and is very versatile. Use it to:
- Scour without scratching
- Soften water to make other solutions work better
Lemons are highly acidic, and can help to:
- Kill mould and bacteria
- Remove sticky substances
Distilled white vinegar is a by-product of fermentation. It is used to make pickles and salad dressings. It is lightly acidic and can be used to:
- Cut grease
- Kill mould
- Remove waxy build-up
This may be the only green cleaning product ingredient that you don’t have on hand. You can find it in health food stores or purchase it online. Castile soap is a plant-based soap, originally made from olive oil, but now may be made from a variety of plant oils. It is a true soap and does not contain any harsh chemical detergents. Available in either liquid or solid form, this all natural soap can be used to clean everything from your hair to your produce.
Recipes for All Natural Cleansers
All-Purpose Spray. This all-purpose cleaner can be used in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room and any other room in the house. In an empty spray bottle, mix equal parts distilled white vinegar and water. For best results, use distilled water or reverse osmosis water.
Glass Cleaner. You don’t need blue chemicals to clean glass with sparkling results. In an empty spray bottle, combine 8 parts water to 1 part white distilled vinegar. For insurance against streaks, you can add 1 part isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol will speed evaporation to reduce streaking, but your green cleaner won’t be as “green”.
Furniture Polish. No one has the time to use old-fashioned paste wax on wood furniture. Spray polishes are much quicker but are a witch’s brew of toxic compounds. Make your own green wood polish by mixing 1 part lemon juice to 2 parts olive oil. Shake to mix thoroughly and then spray onto your dusting cloth. Wipe with one side of the cloth to clean and the other side to polish.
Soft Scrub. To make a soft scrub for cleaning tiles, counter tops, toilets or cook tops use castile soap and baking soda. Dilute castile soap in a spray bottle in a ratio of 1 part soap to 3 parts water. Sprinkle baking soda on the surface to be cleaned, spray with your soap solution and scrub with a sponge or rag. Stains will disappear and the baking soda will not scratch the surface!
Dishwashing Liquid. Make your own dish soap. Just mix 1 part water to 2 parts castile soap. If you have greasy dishes, add lemon juice or vinegar to cut grease. If you want to keep this on hand premixed, just use an old dish liquid bottle to store your solution and shake before use. Just squirt this directly onto the dishes, wash, and rinse.
If you use the services of a trusted house cleaning company, ask them what cleaning products they use. If they aren’t green products, ask them to use the ones you make!