Green Clean: DIY Cleaning Products
Discover the eco-friendly way to keep you home squeaky clean. It's incredibly easy to replace the chemicals under your sink with non-toxic, natural cleaners that you probably already have in your kitchen cabinet. Traditional commercial cleaning products are filled with synthetic chemicals linked to both health and environmental damage. On top of being less costly for your family's well-being and for the planet, homemade cleaners are often less expensive than commercial products. Read on to learn how to clean your home, DIY style.
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Lemon (or other citric element)
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Isopropyl alcohol
All-purpose cleaner: Combine 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda with 1/2 gallon water. Use in a spray bottle to leave shower stalls, bathroom chrome features, windows, mirrors and more sparkly clean. It can also be used to clean tile floors with a mop.
Bathtub cleaner: Slice a grapefruit in half, then sprinkle it liberally with coarse kosher salt. Wet your bathtub, then sprinkle a little more salt in the bottom of the tub. Scrub all surfaces with the half grapefruit, being sure to juice it a bit as you scrub, as well as lift it up to keep salt in between the grapefruit and the surfaces of the bath (rather than just pushing the salt around).
Bathroom mold: Combine one part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with two parts water. Use in a spray bottle, applying to tile and grout. Leave for one hour, then rinse.
Drain cleaner: For lighter blockages, heat 1/2 cup salt in 4 quarts water, but not to a boil. Pour the mixture down the drain. For more serious drainage problems, pour roughly 1/2 cup of baking soda then 1/2 cup vinegar drown the drain. The chemical reaction that follows helps to unclog the drain. After 15 minutes, pour boiling water to clean the residue. Be sure to only use this method with metal plumbing—plastic pipes can melt from the boiling water. Also, do not use this method after having used a commercial drain cleaner—the vinegar can react with the product and create dangerous fumes.
Window cleaner: Combine 2 teaspoons vinegar with 1 quart warm water and put the mixture in a spray bottle. Clean with a cotton cloth or crumpled newspaper, but only the black and white pages—colored pages will smudge. Be sure to avoid cleaning windows that have the sun on them or are warm—they are more likely to show streaks when dried.
Carpet stains: Combine equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Apply to the stain. After several minutes, clean with a sponge or brush and warm soapy water.
Marks on walls and painted surfaces: Many dark marks on walls can be removed by applying baking soda with a damp sponge. Rub the mark gently, then wipe with a clean sponge.
Air freshener: Combine baking soda or vinegar with lemon juice in small dishes and place around your home to absorb odors from the air. You can also use fragrant dried herbs and flowers like our herb wreaths to add a pleasant fragrance. Also, houseplants are a great way to reduce odors and purify your home's air.