How To Make Green Cleaning Products At Home

How To Make Green Cleaning Products At Home
Clean Green!

Clean Green!

They’re supposed to keep our homes in tip-top shape, but many commercial cleaning products are really doing anything but. All those mysterious, colorful liquids that promise to wash out stains, degrease our ovens, or scrub away mold often contain dangerous chemicals that are doing more harm than good both in our homes and in the environment. Fortunately, there are lots of safe, eco-friendly ways to clean using things you already have around your home. Here are a few of the recipes I use to replace toxic store-bought cleaners.

Vinegar, the original all-purpose cleaner

Vinegar has been around for thousands of years, and is still one of your best options for a cheap and easy homemade cleaner. Acetic acid – the active component of vinegar – results from the break down of alcohol, and is a mild, natural acid that will remove mineral deposits like soap scum and will also kill bacteria and mold. One cup of white vinegar combined with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle can be used to remove grease, soap scum, and other stains on hard surfaces, upholstery, and carpets (just be sure to test a small area when using the mixture on fabrics to make sure the colors won’t run). Use undiluted vinegar to get rid of stubborn stains – it’ll work even better if you let the vinegar soak for 10 to 15 minutes then scrub with warm water.

Baking soda – it’s good for more than just your stinky fridge!

We’ve all used baking soda to remove odors from fridges and drains, but did you know that it also makes a great scourer for stained sinks and showers? All you have to do is make a paste of baking soda and water, layer it on stains for anywhere from a few minutes to overnight, then scrub away. I use it on the bottom of the oven to get rid of burned-on food (just be sure you’ve rinsed everything good and clean before you use the oven again). You can also add baking soda to your laundry or dishwater to boost your detergent’s performance.

The secret to streak-free glass

Make a mixture of 1 cup water, 1 cup rubbing alcohol, and 1 tablespoon white vinegar to spray on windows, tables, and mirrors – you’ll be left with a shiny, streak-free surface. For stubborn grime you can add 1 tablespoon of corn starch, but I find that alcohol and vinegar usually do the trick for me. Wipe off with newspaper for the best results.

A recipe for homemade furniture polish

One cup olive oil with ½ cup lemon juice or vinegar will keep your wood furniture looking new without the use of silicon oils or the risk of noxious VOCs. Just rub the mixture onto bookshelves, tables, and chairs with a soft cloth for a polished, dust-free look. Some people find using too much oil leaves a residue on the wood, so adjust the ratio to suit your needs, and also make sure to use food-grade oils that don’t have synthetic drying agents in them. You can also add other oils like lavender or coconut if you prefer them to a lemon scent.

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