By Annie B. Bond, Care 2
Most modern synthetic cleaning products are based on age-old formulas using natural ingredients that were passed down through the generations because the chemistry was right. Going back to the original naturally derived ingredients is a way to make cleaning products that work, don’t pollute and save you money. Most are found in your kitchen cupboards. Mix and match with well-chosen and environmentally friendly green cleaning products found in health food stores, and you can easily and simply transform your home into a non-toxic and healthy haven.
Non-toxic cleaning can give you a deep feeling of gratification in knowing that your family’s health is protected, and that your home is a place for your bodies to rest and recuperate rather than promote harm.
Making your own nontoxic cleaning kit will take you no time at all with these simple, straightforward directions, and with this kit you will be supplied with enough cleaning product for months of cleaning.
As an added bonus, ounce for ounce homemade cleaning formulas cost about one-tenth the price of their commercial counterpart—and that includes costly, but worthwhile essential oils, and concentrated, all-purpose detergents for homemade recipes.
SUPPLIES: What You Need To Get Started
- Baking soda
- Washing soda
- White distilled vinegar
- A good liquid soap or detergent
- Tea tree oil
- 6 clean spray bottles
- 2 glass jars
1. CREAMY SOFT SCRUBBERSimply pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough liquid detergent to make a texture like frosting. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and wash the surface. This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn’t leave grit.
Note: Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to the mixture and store in a sealed glass jar, to keep the product moist. Otherwise just make as much as you need at a time.
2. WINDOW CLEANER1/4-1/2 teaspoon liquid detergent
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups water
Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use as you would a commercial brand.
The soap in this recipe is important. It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.
3. OVEN CLEANER1 cup or more baking soda
A squirt or two of liquid detergent
Sprinkle water generously over the bottom of the oven, then cover the grime with enough baking soda that the surface is totally white. Sprinkle some more water over the top. Let the mixture set overnight. You can easily wipe up the grease the next morning because the grime will have loosened. When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of liquid detergent or soap on a sponge, and wash the remaining residue from the oven. If this recipe doesn’t work for you it is probably because you didn’t use enough baking soda and/or water.
4. ALL-PURPOSE SPRAY CLEANER1/2 teaspoon washing soda
A dab of liquid soap
2 cups hot tap water
A few drops of tea tree oil
Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag.
5. FURNITURE POLISH1/2 teaspoon oil, such as olive (or jojoba, a liquid wax)
1/4 cup vinegar or fresh lemon juice
Mix the ingredients in a glass jar. Dab a soft rag into the solution and wipe onto wood surfaces. Cover the glass jar and store indefinitely.
6. VINEGAR DEODORIZERKeep a clean spray bottle filled with straight 5 percent vinegar in your kitchen near your cutting board and in your bathroom and use them for cleaning. I often spray the vinegar on our cutting board before going to bed at night, and don’t even rinse but let it set overnight. The smell of vinegar dissipates within a few hours. Straight vinegar is also great for cleaning the toilet rim. Just spray it on and wipe off.
7. MOLD KILLERS2 teaspoons tea tree oil
2 cups water
Nothing natural works for mold and mildew as well as this spray. I’ve used it successfully on a moldy ceiling from a leaking roof, on a musty bureau, a musty rug, and a moldy shower curtain. Tea tree oil is expensive, but a little goes a very long way.
Note: The smell of tea tree oil is very strong, but it will dissipate in a few days.
Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse. Makes two cups.
Straight vinegar reportedly kills 82 percent of mold. Pour some white distilled vinegar straight into a spray bottle, spray on the moldy area, and let set without rinsing if you can put up with the smell. It will dissipate in a few hours.
What are your favorite green cleaning tips? Tell us in the comments below!