It’s no mystery that there are toxic chemicals in conventional cleaning products – you can usually tell just from smelling them! So what are the alternatives? You can purchase green cleaning products, but if you’re on a budget and don’t mind spending a few minutes to DIY, you can save a lot of money by making them yourself.
The Queen of Green has some easy Green Cleaning Recipes you can download here, which have been provided as bottle labels to all the families I’m coaching for the Queen of Green Coaching project. I’m posting some of my favourite recipes from her list, as well as from other sources in the blogosphere, to make a nice compilation of recipes.
Glass Spray Bottles
If you’ve started moving away from plastic for food storage, it might be something to think about for your cleaning products as well, especially if there are essential oils involved. Why use essential oils in cleaning products? Many have disinfecting properties, so they are powerful natural cleaning agents. However, essential oils tend to break down plastic, so glass is really the safest container for them. If you’re going to DIY some of your own cleaning products, it’s really easy to switch out a spray lid from an old plastic bottle and use it on an empty glass bottle (e.g. vinegar bottle) – check it out on mommypotamus.
Essential Oils to use for cleaning:
- Melaleuca (tea tree)
- Thieves blend (Young Living blend – why I like Young Living essential oils)
- Purification blend (Young Living blend)
- 1 L (4 cups) warm water
- 2 tbsp liquid castile soap (Dr. Bronner’s is my favourite)
- 3/4 tsp borax (optional – but useful if you want to get out stains – it is a bit of a controversial “natural” ingredient)
- 3 drops essential oil (my favourites are Melaleuca, Lemon, Thieves blend, and Purification blend)
Mix ingredients together and pour into a spray bottle. Make sure you shake well when you use it – ingredients will settle. Also, keep out of the sun as essential oils oxidize in sunlight.
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 4 cups warm water
Mix ingredients together in a spray bottle. Use on glass or mirrors with a dry cloth.
Soap Scum Remover
Sprinkle baking soda on the area, scrub, then rinse. Other alternatives: vinegar or salt.
This is a huge problem in my house as our city has hard water. Try soaking a towel in vinegar and wrap it around the faucet. Let it sit for several hours.
Mix water and/or vinegar with a few drops of essential oils in a spray bottle. Get my easy Mold & Mildew Buster recipe here. You can also use water and vodka. Great oils to use to combat mold and mildew include: Melaleuca (tea tree), Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Lavender, and Purification (blend). Mildew always builds up on my dish drying rack, so I have a spray bottle in my kitchen to tackle it whenever I see it! (Mother Nature Network has other tips on mold/mildew here, and so does Pure Home and Body.)
Deep Cleaning Carpets
This post has great advice for steam cleaning your carpets without chemicals. Instead, it uses vinegar, salt, baking soda, and borax. This post from The Humbled Homemaker has a tutorial on getting out a set-in stain in carpet. For a really comprehensive guide on cleaning carpets, check out The Definitive Guide to Carpet Cleaning.
If your carpet’s in a state that’s best left to the professionals then, fortunately, there are services out there that could be ideal for you. For example, there are companies that do carpet cleaning in Charleston which use a safe and non-toxic solution to really deal with that hard-to-reach grime and dirt that’s inset deep into your carpet. Stains will have nowhere left to run and you’ll wonder why you hadn’t considered using expert services before.
If you happen to get crayon on stuff (I mean, if your CHILD happens to get crayon on something), Lemon essential oil works to get it off, as described by The Prairie Homestead.
Keeper of the Home has a MASSIVE list of 67 DIY natural cleaning recipes!
If you don’t always want to be mixing your own stuff, another awesome green alternative is Young Living’s Thieves household cleaner (using their proprietary Thieves essential oil blend). It comes in a concentrate, so you only need to use a tiny amount in a spray bottle and fill the rest with water. Super easy and effective!
What about your LAUNDRY routine? Check out my post for tips on Greening Your Laundry.
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