Post updated March 2017
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 recipe box), I thought I’d lay them all out for you right here…
I 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 tablespoon 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 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). Depending on how bad your clog is, you might have to do this a few times
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 (we love the peppermint scented one!) 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 DIY 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 and tea tree oil while you’re doing your cleaning thang, you absolutely won’t once it dries. Pinky promise.