A few months back, I finally learned how to mix up my own green cleaners. I did have a little help — I attended an event hosted by CoolMom, an organization focused on combating global warming by making small changes in our everyday lives. And one of those changes is to stop using harsh chemicals and instead mix up our own cleaning supplies out of water, vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils. We brought our own jars and spray bottles, and for a $5 fee, CoolMom supplied the rest. Within a half-hour, I was ready to go with surface spray for countertops and windows, a soft scrub for tubs and sinks, and even some disinfectant.
Four months later, I can report that the cleaning supplies are a revelation! I’m serious! My toilet is just as clean using the disinfectant I made as it ever was using Comet. My glass surfaces and stovetop are even cleaner — Mom, I’m sorry I ever forgot that you used to use vinegar on everything; it cuts through grease like nothing else! The only slight issue was with the soft scrub. It works great on my tub and sinks, but I’ve noticed that my tub seems to get dirty faster. (Not to be gross, but it doesn’t look dirty, it just kind of feels dirty under my feet — but this is after about a week, at which time I should probably be cleaning my tub again anyway.) I’m going to experiment with some vinegar and see if that makes a difference. Click for the best part of all this — and get all the super-easy recipes for making your own green cleaners! — Mary T.
The most pleasant upside to all of this is that I can clean my bathroom without my eyes watering and my head starting to hurt from spraying who knows what chemicals. Why did I think for so long that feeling horrible while cleaning was okay? So if I seem a little overly enthusiastic, it’s just because this really was a win-win for me. So try making your own green cleaners (or share your recipes or tips in comments) and let us know how it goes. And click to learn more about CoolMom — perhaps you’ll be inspired to start your own group. Happy Earth Day!
To make any of the following cleaners, simply add the ingredients to a glass jar or (in the case of the spray) a spray bottle and shake or use a spoon to mix.
All-Purpose Cleaner (Great for Glass)
1 cup white distilled vinegar
1 cup water
2-4 drops essential oil (optional)
2 drops liquid dish detergent
Creamy Soft Scrub
1 cup baking soda
1/3-1/2 cup liquid castile soap (to desired consistency)
2 tsp. vegetable glycerin (acts as a preservative)
2-4 drops essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, rosemary or other (optional)
Mix together and store in a sealed glass jar; shelf life of two years.
(Recipe via womenandenvironment.org)
Natural Disinfectant Spray
1 cup distilled water
1/2 cup white grain vinegar
4 drops lavender oil
4 drops tea tree oil
(Recipe via www.natural-healthy-home-cleaning-tips.com/natural_home_cleaning_recipes.htm)
Non-Toxic Toilet Bowl Cleaner
1 cup borax
1/2 cup white vinegar
Flush to wet the sides of the bowl. Sprinkle the borax around the toilet bowl, then drizzle with vinegar. Leave for several hours before scrubbing with a toilet brush.
(Recipe via www.ecomall.com/greenshopping/vlnon.htm)