We have compiled a list many green alternatives for cleaning around the home, These home made products should leave less of an impact on the environment and at the same time save you a bit of coin. We will be adding products as we become aware of them, so return if you can't find your answer yet.
ALL PURPOSE CLEANER
To make an all-purpose cleaner in a spray bottle, combine 5 ml of borax, 2.5 ml of baking soda, 30 ml of lemon juice and 250 ml of hot water. It works as well as cleaners with corrosive chemicals, but without the environmental harm.
Clean aluminum using a soft cloth with a solution of cream of tartar and water.
To clean your bathtub and surrounding tiles, mix 400 ml of baking soda, 125 ml liquid soap, 125 ml water and a few spoonfuls of vinegar. Apply to tub, scrub and wipe. To get rid of mildew, try vinegar and salt. (also see Mold and Mildew)
Mold in bathroom tile grout is common and can be a health concern. Mix one part of 3% hydrogen peroxide with two parts water in a spray bottle and spray on areas affected with mold. Wait 1 hour before rinsing and using the shower.
To clean brass cut a lemon in half, sprinkle it with salt and rub the lemon on the metal. Buff the brass with a clean cloth.
Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray on stain, let sit for a few minutes, and clean with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water.
For a heavy duty carpet cleaner, mix 1/4 cup each of salt, borax and vinegar. Rub paste into carpet and leave for a few hours. Vacuum the dry residue.
CHOPPING BLOCK CLEANER
To disinfect the surface of a chopping block, rub a slice of lemon on it.
For tougher stains. squeeze lemon juice directly onto the spot and let it sit for 10 minutes, then wipe it clean.
To clean chrome, try using toothpaste on a cloth to rub surfaces clean.
COFFEE AND TEA STAINS
Stains in cups can be removed by wiping with a vinegar soaked sponge.
For cleaning a tea kettle or coffee maker, bring 2 cups of water and 1/4 cup of vinegar to a boil in the pot. Let it cool, wipe with a clean cloth and rinse with water.
For cleaning your copper make a paste of equal parts white vinegar, flour and salt. Rub it onto your copper, leave it on for an hour, and then buff with a clean cloth.
Mix equal parts of borax and washing soda. If your water is hard increase the amount washing soda.
For a homemade disinfectant, mix 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar and 3 cups hot water. For stronger cleaning power add 1/4 teaspoon of liquid castile soap. Wipe on with a dampened cloth or use a non-aerosol spray bottle.
To clear your drains, pour 125 ml of baking soda down the sink and add at least a cup of vinegar. Put the cover on the drain and wait a few minutes. Finish by rinsing through with a mixture of boiling water and salt. Your drains and the fish will thank you.
To make furniture polish in a spray bottle, mix 250 ml of vegetable or olive oil and 125 ml of lemon juice. Shake well and apply a small amount to a cloth.
Clean Gold with toothpaste, or a paste made of salt, vinegar and flour.
For cleaning up in the kitchen use baking soda on non-scratch surfaces, and the vinegar and water mixture on all scratchable surfaces.
For the laundry mix 1 cup Ivory soap (or Fels Naptha soap), 1/2 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup borax. Use 1 tbsp for light loads and 2 tbsp for heavy loads.
MICROWAVE OVEN CLEANER
To clean your microwave oven mix 30 ml of baking soda or lemon juice and 250 ml water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for five minutes or until the liquid boils and condensation builds up inside the microwave. The dirt is now loosened. Wipe down the inside of the microwave oven. It's done with hardly any effort.
MOLD AND MILDEW
To remove Mold and Mildew, use white vinegar or lemon juice full strength. Apply it with a sponge or scrubby. (Also see Bathtub Cleaner and Bathroom Mold)
Cedar chips tied into a cheesecloth, or cedar oil in an absorbant cloth will repel moths. The cedar should be 'aromatic cedar'. Cedar chips are available at many craft supply stores, or you can make your own using a plane and a block of cedar from the lumberyard.
Homemade moth-repelling sachets can also be made with lavender, rosemary, vetiver and rose petals.
Dried lemon peels are also a natural moth deterrent. Simply toss them into clothes chest, or tie them into a cheesecloth and hang up in the closet.
Multi-purpose deep cleaner is made by mixing 250 ml household ammonia, 125 ml white vinegar, 60 ml baking soda and 4 litres of warm water.
OIL AND GREASE CLEANER
To clean small Oil and Grease spills on the garage floor, sprinkle with baking soda and scrub with wet brush.
To clean your oven, make a paste of baking soda and water. First, scratch off burnt spots with a scouring brush and then apply the paste and scrub. It's a little bit more work, but your lungs and eyes will not burn. There also isn't any harsh chemical smell.
To remove rust sprinkle a little salt on the rust, squeeze a lime over the salt until it is well soaked. Leave the mixture sitting on the rust for 2 to 3 hours, then use the leftover rind to scrub residue.
To polish your shoes, apply olive oil with a few drops of lemon juice to shoes using a thick cotton or terry rag. Leave it for a few minutes, then wipe and buff with a clean, dry rag.
To polish your silver put a sheet of aluminum foil into a plastic or glass bowl. Sprinkle the foil with salt and baking soda and fill bowl with warm water. Soak your silver in the bowl. The tarnish will migrate to the foil. Dry and buff the silver, it's done.
Clean stainless steel with a cloth dampened with undiluted white vinegar or olive oil. For stainless cookware, mix 4 tbs of baking soda in 1 qt water, and apply using a soft cloth. Wipe dry using a clean cloth.
To remove Stickers on walls, sponge vinegar over them several times, and wait 15 minutes, then rub off the stickers. This also works for price tags on store bought items.
TOILET BOWL CLEANER
To clean your toilet bowl sprinkle baking soda around the inside of the toilet bowl and scrub with toilet brush. Add some white vinegar into the bowl and let sit for a few minutes before a final cleaning with the brush.
To remove wallpaper, mix equal parts of white vinegar and hot water, then apply with sponge over the old wallpaper to soften the adhesive. Open room windows to dissipate the vinegar smell.
WATER STAINS ON WOOD
Water rings on a wooden table or counter are the result of moisture that is trapped under the topcoat, but not the finish. To remove, try applying toothpaste or mayonnaise to a damp cloth and rub into the ring. Once the ring is removed, buff the entire wood surface.
To clean your windows and other glass, there are two options: for every litre of water, add 75 ml of vinegar into a spray bottle, or you can try undiluted club soda. Use a lint-free cloth to wipe up instead of paper towel.
WOOD FLOOR CLEANER
For cleaning your wood floors, try mixing 125 ml of white vinegar and 125 ml of vegetable or olive oil in a spray bottle.
Here is a recipe for an aluminum free deoderant. Aluminun has been linked to breast cancer and alzheimers disease.
- Mix 1 part baking soda with 6 parts of cornstarch in a jar or Ziplock bag.
- Shake until the powders are thoroughly mixed.
- Store in a sealable container
Used a cotton ball or soft cloth to apply to armpit area, similar to applying talcum powder. One applivation per day should be sufficient.
Commercial toothpastes contain many questionable chemicals, such as triclosan, known to genetically affect fish.
Here is a recipe for an all natural toothpaste:
- 6 teaspoons baking soda (to whiten)
- 1/3 teaspoon salt (mild abrasive and antibacterial)
- 4 teaspoons vegetable glycerin (to gel the paste)
- 15 drops of an organic essential oil
- A few drops tap water can be added to get the right consistency.
Mix the incredients into a paste and store in a small, air-tight, labelled jar.
For the essential oil ingridient experiment with peppermint extract, wintergreen, spearmint, sweet orange, clove, cinnamon bark, coconut oil, tea tree oil, Shea butter, and even small amounts of brown sugar. You are sure to find a taste that suits.