DIY Green Cleaning Recipes

Whenever I tell people I make my own cleaning products, the first thing I get is the Huuuuh? face. As in, why on earth would you do that when you could run to the store and pick one up that’s already made for you?

Let me start by telling you right off the bat that if it wasn’t easy, I wouldn’t do it. I’ve got way too much going on to be bothered with complicated green cleaning recipes. The recipes I use are incredibly simple and nontoxic–in my book, this is key when you have a toddler who not only puts just about anything in her mouth but scales furniture when I turn my back.

The next thought that flickers across a person’s face is usually, How do you know it actually works? Most people don’t ask that out loud but you can totally see that they’re thinking it (my sister, however, absolutely asks it out loud). Once I explain the ingredients I use and their magical powers (which I’ll get to in a bit) the face is usually all Tell me your secrets!

Since I can never remember these magical recipes off the top of my head (I keep them on a card in my beloved recipe box), I thought I’d lay them all out for you right here…

green cleaning recipesI usually keep spray bottles of the first few of these at the ready and make the others as I need them. My rule is, if I need it often it better be ready for me.

All purpose cleaner: 1/2 cup warm water, 1/2 cup vinegar, 2 tbspn lemon juice, 15 drops tea tree oil

Grease cutter: 2 cups warm water, 1/4 cup Castile soap, 10 drops essential oil

Mildew/Germ killer: 2 cups of water, 25 drops of tea tree oil, 25 drops of lavender oil. Spray it and don’t wipe it off.

Window/Glass/Chrome cleaner: 5 parts water, 1 part white vinegar or 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon Castile soap

Toilet bowl cleaner: Castile soap and baking soda

Tub and tile cleaner: Vinegar then scour with baking soda

Wood floor cleaner: 1/4 cup of vinegar, 1 gallon warm water. Use a slightly damp mop or rag

Linoleum cleaner: 1 cup vinegar, 1 gallon warm water

Drain cleaner: Pour a 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of white vinegar and a kettle of boiling water down the drain (before pouring the water, let the vinegar and baking soda do their fizzy business a bit).

So. How do I know these green cleaning recipes work? Let me break it down:

  • Because of its super high acidity, vinegar kills most mold, germs, and bacteria.
  • Tea tree oil is antimicrobial and effective against bacteria, viruses and fungal infections (it’s even used to treat athlete’s foot).
  • Baking soda neutralizes odors and is a gentle scrubbing agent.

Add a little organic vegetable oil-based Castile soap to the mix and I think it’s safe to say we have ourselves a green cleaning party.

And as if the ease of the recipes and the effectiveness aren’t enough, it is cheap to make your own stuff. I mean, you can get a 13.5 pound bag of baking soda from Amazon for less than twenty bucks. That bag will last foreverrrrr.

So what do you think. Have I convinced you to give my green cleaning recipes a try? Or do you just think I’m a dirty, tree hugging hippie? 😉

PS One question that people always have when it comes to these recipes is Does it smell? While you will definitely smell the vinegar while you’re doing your cleaning thang, you absolutely won’t once it dries. Pinky promise.

I’m linking this post up with Six Sisters’ Stuff, Tidy Mom, Five Days… 5 Ways, Tatertots & Jello, Serenity Now, Keeping It Simple, Skip to My Lou, Craft-O-Maniac, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff and Project Inspire!

14 thoughts on “DIY Green Cleaning Recipes

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  2. We make our own cleaners and love all the uses for vinegar. Sometimes the smell gets to me though, so looking to make it with an essential oil to balance it out. Next I am going to check out your post on uses for lemons!

    • Ooooh, now I’m interested in whether or not you mixed with any oils! I’ve been putting a few drops of lemon in mine because it makes me feel so fresh and so clean clean. 😉

      I’m not too bothered by the vinegar smell, mostly because I know it will go away once it’s dry. I’ve actually even started using apple cider vinegar in a DIY shampoo combo. I’m considering a blog post on that one soon.

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    • I never realized I forgot to mention the peroxide!

      OK, so peroxide is like a natural bleach. It’s great to use to get moldy stains out of grout— and if just spraying some on doesn’t do the trick, make a little paste with baking soda and scrub away. It’s also really good at removing stains from carpets— you just have to be careful to do a post test in case it needs to be diluted so that you don’t bleach the carpet. And you can use a 1/4 cup of it in your laundry instead of bleach too!

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