How to Make Green Household Cleaners

In our quest to keep our homes clean, we often inadvertently resort to using toxic chemicals.

For most cleaning jobs, though, you can combine a few simple, non-toxic ingredients into perfectly green cleaners that are often more effective than commercial cleaners. Read on to learn how to make green household cleaners.

Use baking soda to scrub like any scouring powder. Unlike traditional scouring powders, baking soda doesn't scratch surfaces and is non-toxic. So scrub surfaces like kitchen counters with a sponge sprinkled with baking soda, then rinse the surface with either water or vinegar.

Remove dirt and buildup with vinegar. Use vinegar full-strength for tough cleaning jobs and to remove lime or hard water stains, or mix the vinegar with warm water for a milder green cleaner.

Make an all-purpose green cleaner by combining 1 tsp. borax, 1 tsp. baking soda, 2 tsp. vinegar, ½ tsp. dish soap or mild castile soap, 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice and 2 cups hot water. Store in a spray bottle and use like any all-purpose cleaner.

Clean tile and linoleum floors with dish soap or mild castile soap such as Dr. Bronner's. Mix 2 tsp. of soap with 3 gallons hot water. Mop or wipe the floor with the solution, and then rinse with 1 cup of vinegar mixed with 3 gallons of cold water.

Polish wood floors with a mixture of equal parts vinegar and vegetable oil. Rub the polish into the floor, then buff with a soft cloth.

Remove stains from carpets and upholstery with club soda. Immediately saturate stains with club soda and blot until the stain is removed. Follow with a vinegar-water solution if the stain smells.

Get streak-free glass by combining ¼ cup vinegar with 4 cups club soda. Use rags made from T-shirts or use crumpled newspaper for cleaning to avoid lint on your glass.

Freshen the air with a non-toxic baking powder spray. Combine 2 tbsp. baking soda with 2 cups hot water, and stir until dissolved. Add fresh lemon juice or any essential oils. Store in a spray bottle and mist into the air to freshen it.

Things You Will Need

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Borax
  • Dish or mild castile soap
  • Lemons
  • Vegetable oil
  • Club soda
  • Essential oils
  • Spray bottles

Tips

  • To scent any homemade green cleaner, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
  • Though non-toxic, label your cleaners if you keep them in spray bottles. They can cause eye irritation.
  • For especially stubborn hard water stains, soak rags with full-strength vinegar and lay them over the buildup for at least 30 minutes. Use baking soda to scrub off the buildup and it should come off easily. If it doesn't come off, repeat the process.