By now, many of us have come to understand the importance of reducing the chemicals we are exposed to. One of the ways we can do this is to use natural or “green” household cleaners. Like most things that are good for us, green cleaners tend to cost more than the chemical laden variety. The good news is that you can make most of the cleaners that you need yourself! With spring-cleaning right around the corner, now is the perfect time to try your hand at making your own household cleaners!
The basic ingredients for most household cleaners are simple and can be found just about anywhere. You may even have many of them in your house already. If you don’t, then plan on purchasing the following; vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and essential oils in scents that you enjoy and associate with cleanliness.
Here are a few simple recipes to get you started on greening up your clean up! Also, check out our article with tips and recipes for making DIY Green Fruit and Veggie Wash!
Basic All Purpose Cleaner
In a spray bottle, combine water and vinegar in equal parts. If you would like, add 10-20 drops essential oil of your choice, I like lemon for this! If you don’t like the vinegar smell don’t worry, the smell will evaporate quickly.
This makes a great cleaner for windows and other glass surfaces. An added tip is to clean your glass with old newspaper to eliminate streaking. Vinegar also works wonders on hard water and mineral buildup!
You don’t have to do anything fancy to Baking Soda to make it an awesome cleaner. Almost anything you use your normal “powder type” cleaner for, you can substitute baking soda. As a toilet bowl cleaner, simply sprinkle it inside your toilet and leave to soak for an hour or more. Then scrub as you normally would. To clean your sink make a paste using 3 parts Baking Soda with 1 parts water. Most of us know to keep a small box of baking soda in the fridge to keep the odors down. Did you know you could sprinkle it in your trashcan, diaper pail or other “potent” smell areas too?
As a teenager, I lived with my dad in a small town whose unofficial name was, “The Middle Of Nowhere”. At that time, the Internet was basically non-existent so thrills were hard to come by. Hydrogen peroxide was an accessible and basically harmless way to mix things up. Experimenting with “highlights” led to large patches of bleached hair. This stuff is POWERFUL but much gentler to the environment than bleach. Guess what? It’s not just for hair!
Wipe and clean your fridge and microwave with Hydrogen peroxide. Mix it 50/50 with water and use as a mouthwash, it kills bacteria!
You can clean your cutting board and countertop with hydrogen peroxide. Wipe it on and let it bubble for several minutes. Rinse it clean and you’re ready to go!