Spring Clean Your Way to Green! 10 Homemade Recipes

by Ron & Lisa Beres on April 25, 2012 · 10 comments

Spring Clean Your Way to Green 10 Homemade Recipes

Green Recipes for Household Cleaners

Recently I purchased a ‘daily deal’ on one of the uber-trendy sites only to find that my to good to be true deal was, in fact, just that.  The ‘eco-friendly’ cleaning service showed up with toxic chemicals to clean our home.  When I questioned (the new employee who’d only been hired a week ago), she replied that she didn’t have time to stop by the office to pick up the healthier cleaners.  Huh?  Even after offering my green varieties to her, it was a downhill slope from there and after our four hours of guaranteed cleaning, I had two shiny, albeit, toxic smelling, commodes to show for it.  Clearly, the company was not prepared and hence, was not properly staffed.  In life, we must all be careful of these types of ‘deals’ and more often than not – as we have all experienced at one time or another in life – there is often a high price for a good deal!

This applies to many store bought household cleaning products.  Although you can purchase nontoxic products at most supermarkets today, you’ll want to be equipped with the knowledge of which brands are merely ‘green washing’ their claims; those that are toxic (and perhaps the best deal) and choose only those name brands who can be trusted.  Our friends at EWG (the Environmental Working Group), have recently debuted a preview of their Cleaners Database 2012 which reviewed over 2,000 products and 200 brands for health and safety. You can get a pocket guide of the eight products to avoid HERE by supporting their work.  Additionally, you can find out what products made their Hall of Shame (is your cleaner on the list?).  In the meantime, here are some tried and true non-toxic recipes that are truly a good deal:

10 Non-Toxic Cleaning Recipes

Soft scrub – Add enough dishwashing liquid (dye-free, fragrance-free if possible) to ½ cup baking soda.  Stir until it forms a paste.  Perfect for tubs, tiles and toilets.

Fabric softener – Pour ¼ cup white vinegar into the final rinse cycle. Caution: Do not use vinegar if you use bleach.

Glass cleaner – Add ¼ teaspoon of natural dishwashing liquid and 3 tablespoons white vinegar to 2 cups water in a spray bottle.  Just shake, spray and dry.  Recycle old newspapers to dry for a streak-free shine. Caution: Wear gloves when using newspaper so you do not stain your hands.

All-purpose spray cleaner – Combine ½ teaspoon washing soda, a dab of liquid soap and 2 cups hot water in a spray bottle, then shake.

Furniture polish – Mix ½ teaspoon oil, such as olive or jojoba, with ¼ cup white vinegar or lemon juice in a glass jar. Dab solution with a cloth and wipe wood surfaces.

Air fresheners – Visit HERE.

Disinfectant – Add 1 teaspoon of essential oil, such as clove or tea tree, to 2 cups of water in a spray bottle; or add 20 drops of grapefruit seed extract to 1 quart water.

Oven Cleaner: Sprinkle baking soda over the bottom of the oven. Spray with water. Let sit for 8 hours.  Next, scrub and rinse clean.

Drain cleaner – To open clogs, pour ½ cup baking soda down drain, then pour ½ cup white vinegar and cover the drain. Caution: Do not use this method after trying a commercial drain opener.

Silver Polish – Use a natural toothpaste; preferably one without baking soda so it will not scratch your silver.  Just rub, rinse and dry!

Do you want to learn how to be green at home? Try these non-toxic recipes for everyday household cleaning products.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

louis April 28, 2012 at 7:41 am

Is there any, truly eco-friendly, non-toxic substance or formula that will seriously get out that black mold set in the bathroom tiles?
Thank you


Ron & Lisa April 28, 2012 at 10:58 am

Hi Louis,
Here is a DIY recipe you can try:
Add 2 teaspoons tea tree oil to 2 cups water in a spray bottle, then shake.

As far a non-toxic sealer that you can use to prevent this mold growth in the future (can be used on tile, grout, wood, concrete, etc), we recommend X-158 which you can find here (under the CLEANING tab): http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?B=46026&U=148460&M=9036&urllink

Good luck! Let us know how it goes :)


Sophie February 25, 2015 at 7:35 am

Whenever I work in a client’s home to clean a carpet or rug, I always try to use safe, eco-friendly solutions. Your idea to make homemade cleaners is awesome as well.Hillingdon Carpet Cleaners Ltd.


Preyah April 23, 2015 at 6:56 am

Vinegar is an ancient preservative. Ever see a moldy pickle? Removing the filth and effecting the habitat of bad flora and fauna is all that needs to be done, Moisture and food allow molds and worse to grow. Those gym clothes stink because the material trapped moisture and was contained in a bag or locker. Want to sanitize a food surface? Inexpensive vodka works and unless absorbed or consumed in large quantities it isn’t harmful


Penny Lawrence May 20, 2015 at 5:44 am

Thanks for all these great cleaning recipes. You’re awesome!


Ron & Lisa Beres May 21, 2015 at 9:24 am

You’re very welcome Penny! We appreciate your feedback. Happy (and healthy) cleaning!


Thomas Donnelly February 27, 2017 at 8:43 am

Can you tell me where you buy the grapefruit seed extract that was on Dr. Oz today (2-27-2017)? I cannot find the brand that was shown and for $10 it seemed pretty reasonable compared to what I’m finding online. Thanks.


Ron & Lisa Beres March 7, 2017 at 10:51 am

Hello Thomas,
There was no brand mentioned on the Dr. Oz show – it was a prop version of what you can find at retail stores. The NutriBiotic vegan brand is easy to find for $10.00 a bottle at many online retailers including VitaCost here: http://www.vitacost.com/nutribiotic-gse-grapefruit-seed-extract-liquid-concentrate-2-fl-oz-1


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