If you’re starting a DIY green cleaners pantry, the following are the top ingredients you’ll want to have around. Some combination of these ingredients will make you almost all of the recipes that you can find for green cleaners.
- Baking Soda
- White Vinegar
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Essential oils, like tea tree oil, lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, or lemongrass oil
- Castile soap
- Fresh herbs, citrus, or citrus peels
- Olive or vegetable oil
Let’s start with the bathroom. There are tons of “green” bathroom cleaners on the market, but most of the time it’s cheaper and just as effective to make your own. Armed with a few simple non-toxic and biodegradable ingredients, you can keep your bathroom fresh and sparkling.
What You Need
Baking soda – cleans, deodorizes, scours
Borax – cleans, deodorizes, disinfects
Castile soap or vegetable oil-based liquid soap – cleans
white vinegar – cuts grease and soap scum, dissolves mineral deposits, inhibits mold, freshens; reportedly kills 99% of bacteria, 82% of mold, and 80% of viruses
Essential oils – freshen, disinfect
coarse grained salt – scours, disinfects
Equipment or Tools
Measuring cups and spoons
- BATH, SINK AND TILE CLEANER: In a jar or spray bottle, combine 1 2/3 cup baking soda with 1/2 cup vegetable oil-based liquid soap. Add 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoons vinegar. Shake before using. Apply with a cloth or sponge and rinse well.
- SCOURING POWDER: Combine 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup borax, and 1 cup coarse salt in a jar. Sprinkle on area to be cleaned, wipe with a sponge, and rinse.
- TOILET BOWL CLEANER: Mix 1/4 cup borax or baking soda and 1 cup vinegar in the toilet. Let it sit for 15 minutes (or longer, if necessary), scrub, and flush.
- GLASS CLEANER: Combine 1/4 cup vinegar and 4 cups warm water in a spray bottle. Use to clean glass or mirrors with a dry cloth or piece of newspaper.
- DRAIN CLEANER: Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into drain followed by 1 cup vinegar. Let it sit and fizz for 15 minutes, then rinse with hot or boiling water. May need to repeat or leave baking soda and vinegar in overnight.
- SOAP SCUM REMOVER: Sprinkle on baking soda, scrub with a cloth or sponge, and rinse. Vinegar or coarse salt also work.
- CALCIUM OR LIME REMOVER: For calcium or lime deposits on a chrome faucet, soak a towel in vinegar and wrap it around the faucet. Let it sit for a couple of hours or overnight.
- MOLD OR MILDEW REMOVER: Mix 1/2 cup borax and 1/2 cup vinegar to make a paste. Scrub with a brush or sponge and rinse with water. For tough mold, let it sit for an hour before rinsing with water.
I also have some basic kitchen recipes as well. Making your own cleaning products for the kitchen is both economical and good for your health. When you’re using baking soda, vinegar, and water, you can feel pretty confident that the cleaning you’re doing isn’t hurting you or the environment.
What You Need
Essential Oil (optional)
Equipment or Tools
All-Purpose Cleaner Using funnel, put 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon dishwashing liquid, and 2 tablespoons vinegar into your spray bottle. Give it a stir/shake. Let it sit for a minute, now fill bottle with warm water and shake it up. Give it a few more minutes to calm down, and add a few drops of essential oil if desired.
Sink or Stovetop Cleaner Put a 1/3 cup baking soda in a bowl. Mix in enough warm water so that you get a nice moist paste. Put paste on sponge or brush and scrub away. Make it as you need it.
- Most of these ingredients are either already in your pantry or can easily be obtained at the supermarket.
- Add a few drops of essential oil for fragrance and/or cleaning power. Eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, tea tree, and thyme are among the essential oils considered to be antiseptic and antibacterial
- Using a label or permanent marker, write recipes directly on jars and bottles for future reference. This way you will also remember what it is for and not use it incorrectly. Make sure they are stored appropriately away from children, while some cleaners are not poisonous, they are also not designed to be consumed.