natural cleaning recipes

How to Make Green Cleaning Recipes That Really Work

Don't waste your money on harsh cleaners that pollute your indoor air and dump toxic chemicals into your water.

How to Make Green Cleaning Recipes That Really Work

Homemade cleansers that don't pollute your home are clearly the better choice.

When we think of air pollution, we generally think of places like the LA freeway. But the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has found that indoor air pollution is sometimes 30 times worse than outdoor levels. And a lot of that has to do with the harsh cleaning products we use to clean our homes, and the chemicals they contain, which can actually make us sick and pollute the environment.

Researchers are finding that many familiar household cleaners contain compounds that trigger asthma or contain plastics chemicals linked to infertility, eczema, birth defects, and just plain rotten indoor air quality. Cleaning up your cleaning habits is a great way to commemorate Earth Day; it protects the environment from harsh chemicals, but also keeps harsh fumes out of your house, protecting your family's health, too.

And there's one more benefit: Because the ingredients are so much cheaper, making your own green cleaners will save you money.

Leah Zerbe talks about these natural cleaning recipes on NBC 10 Philadelphia:

Try these natural cleaning remedies for a clean house and clean indoor air:

All-Purpose Cleaner

Never waste your money on "antibacterial" cleaners and soaps, whose active ingredients have been linked to thyroid damage, water pollution, and the emergence of drug-resistant superbugs like MRSA. Instead, kill germs with an all-purpose vinegar solution: nine parts water, one part white vinegar.

For particular nasty messes, such as cleaning up a countertop after handling raw meat, squirt straight white vinegar on the surface, and follow with a squirt of hydrogen peroxide to knock out virtually all germs.

Tile Cleaner

A recent Environmental Working Group (EWG) report found the popular cleanser Comet contained 146 air contaminants, including seven chemicals linked to cancer, two chemicals linked to reproductive damage, and two chemicals that interfere with hormones. Three of the chemicals EWG detected—formaldehyde, toluene, and benzene—are components of gasoline. To avoid these, make your own scrubbing paste:

½ cup baking soda
Liquid soap (we like Dr. Bronner's peppermint or detergent)
5 to 10 drops of pure essential oil of lavender, tea tree oil, or rosemary (optional)

Place baking soda in a bowl, slowly pour in liquid soap, stirring until it looks like frosting. Add optional essential oils. Scoop onto a sponge, scrub, and rinse. You can also try cutting a lemon in half and using that as a scrubber.

Oven Cleaner

2 cups hot water
1 Tablespoon natural dish liquid
1 teaspoon borax

Mix the ingredients, spray on a spill, let sit for 20 minutes, and wipe off with a clean cloth. For handling an extra-greasy mess, wipe off as much loose goop as possible first with crumpled newspaper, then use the spray.

Check out our Nickel Pincher's tips to learn how to annihilate older, caked-on spills.

Window Cleaner

¼ cup vinegar
½ teaspoon natural liquid soap (optional; I use natural dish liquid or Dr. Bronner’s)
2 cups water

Put all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake to blend. To use it, spray onto the glass, covering as much as you can finish in a few minutes at a time, scrub as needed with the rough side of a kitchen sponge, and squeegee off. Use a cotton cleaning cloth to dry off the blade of the squeegee between swipes, and to wipe up any liquid that puddles at the bottom edges of the windowpanes. Toss the cleaning cloths in the wash basket, and enjoy your sparkling windows.

Lemon Oil Duster

10 drops pure lemon oil
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
A few drops olive oil
Recycled, clean flannel cotton cloth

Because household dust can be full of harmful substances like flame retardants, allergens, pesticides, and plastics chemicals, it's important to keep your home as clean as possible. However, many dust cleaners contain air contaminants and hormone-disrupting chemicals. Keep it safe by mixing up your own and using it to dust furniture and other surfaces where dust collects in your home.


Published on: April 21, 2010

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This is exactly what i was

This is exactly what i was search for. Thanks a bunch. Much appreciate on putting this together.

Alexandrite | Alexandrite stone

I guess that everybody is

I guess that everybody is free to choose what cleaning products they use in their own home. Some products are better and safer than others. I always choose the safest products no matter the cost. I was talking to a friend of mine from Junk Removal Dedham about this and we both agreed that sometimes you just need to leave old habits behind and start doing what's right for you. Nowadays we have a large variety of organic cleaning products available that can suit any house and wallet.

As I have stated

As I have stated over and over, I don’t no why we continue to purchase toxic chemicals or for that matter manufacture, when we can use friendly products with the same outcomes.


Like an antivirus

I think it depends about the surface you need to clean. For example, tor the windows the alcohol / newspapers seems to work fine. For computers, I use a top 10 free antivirus software to solve the internal problems of the computer.

Vinegar for Toilets

I find that vinegar works beautifully for toilets, I simply keep a small squeeze bottle of half vinegar half water by the toilet, every night add a few tablespoons to toilet and it keeps it clean for a long time. When it finally needs cleaned, add one cup white vinegar, let sit for 15 minutes or so (longer if really dirty), then sprinkle in some baking soda (I have a Parmesan cheese container filled with BS in my cleaning basket) and scrub until clean.

I've been mixing my own cleaners for quite a long time, would never go back to buying.

For a great hardwood floor cleaner mix: 1/2 cup peroxide, 1/2 cup filtered or distilled water, 1-2 drops of Dr Bronner's Sal Suds, mix in spray bottle. Spray on floors wipe with microfiber mop. This mixture also works well for cleaning pet stains off carpet, and for cleaning furniture (as with any cleaner test on fabric/carpet before using on entire area). I mix up large batches and use it in my steam cleaner, works like a dream to deodorize & clean everything in the home!

removing stubborn grime

Add NaCl (table salt) to the vinegar. Replace this with cleanser. Works great on Revere Ware and doesn't scratch it like cleanser does.

Green Peace to you.

hard water stains

Try mixing a cup of water with 1/4 teaspoon of a plant-based detergent in a spray bottle, spray on the area you wish to clean, and scrub off with a clean cotton cloth.

natural toilet cleaner

I just dump half a bottle of straight distilled white vinegar in the commode before I go to bed, let it sit there all night, and then use a toilet brush to scrub away the grime in the morning. It's really that easy. (And cheap.)

hard water stains

What is good for getting the water spots off of glass shower doors and walls?

Green cleaners

I've been using vinegar/h2o
mixture and baking soda for years now inspired by thebook "clean house/clean planet".. I don't miss using toxic smelly cleaners at all, no one knows the difference and I use essential oils to scent the vinegar.. Peppermint is nice for the kitchen and tangerine/ rosary is nice for the bathroom
I keep separate spray bottles in the area of need


What is a good recipe for cleaning your toilets?

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