DIY green cleaning recipes: eco-friendly ways to make your own all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, toilet cleaner and more

I’ve gotten really into green cleaning products recently. With all of the attention we pay to the chemicals we ingest, we sometimes forget about the stuff we clean with. I collected some of my favorite DIY green cleaning recipes to share with you. If you’re looking to cut down on using chemicals that are harmful to the environment and to our bodies, this post is for you.

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…

DIY green cleaning recipes: eco-friendly ways to make your own all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, toilet cleaner and more

My favorite DIY green cleaning recipes

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.

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.

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? 😉

Interested in more posts about green cleaning and an eco-friendly lifestyle? Try these:

Post updated March 2017

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.