Green Spring Cleaning: 9 DIY Recipes for Natural Cleaners
April 1, 2013
Conventional cleaning products may be loaded with unsafe chemicals (no telling which ones as their formulas are protected as trade secrets…), but fortunately they’re not the only spring cleaning option. Green cleaners made with common natural, non-toxic ingredients are safer and cheaper to use, and they clean just as well. Here are some recipes for green and healthier housekeeping in any season:
1. All-Purpose Cleaner.
Mix 1/2 teaspoon of washing soda (sodium carbonate), 2 teaspoons of borax**, 1/2 teaspoon of plant-based liquid soap, and two cups of hot water in a spray bottle. Shake well. (**Note that although washing soda and borax are natural minerals, they’re also caustic, and borax is toxic if swallowed. Keep them out of reach of children! If you prefer not to use them, try swapping them out for other natural ingredients. Or just omit.)
2. Disinfecting Cleaner.
Mix 2 teaspoons **borax, 1/4 teaspoon liquid soap, 4 tablespoons white vinegar, and 3 cups hot water in a spray bottle. If you want to skip the borax, look up a recipe for a hydrogen peroxide-based DIY cleaner.
3. Oven Cleaner.
Combine 1 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup of **washing soda with enough water to make a paste. Apply to oven surfaces and let sit overnight. Wipe and rinse. If you’d prefer not to use washing soda, try making a paste with only baking soda.
4. Tub & Tile Cleaner
Mix 1 2/3 cups baking soda, 1/2 cup liquid soap and 1/2 cup water. Mix thoroughly then add 2 tablespoons white vinegar. Apply immediately, scrub, and wipe. For a mildly abrasive scouring scrub, just blend baking soda and plant-based liquid soap to your preferred consistency.
5. Toilet Bowl Cleaner.
Dump 1 cup of **borax and 1/4 cup of white vinegar into the bowl. Let sit overnight. In the morning, scrub and flush.
6. Furniture Polish.
Apply a 1:1 blend of olive oil and white vinegar, and polish with a soft cloth.
7. Glass & Window Cleaner.
Combine a 1:1 mixture of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. (To remove the waxy build-up left behind by conventional glass cleaners, add 1/2 teaspoon of liquid soap to 1 cup each of water and white vinegar.)
8. Mold & Mildew Cleaner.
Mix two cups of water and two teaspoons of tea tree oil in a spray bottle, shake well, spray, and let stand for a few hours before wiping. Hydrogen peroxide will also work.
9. Floor Cleaner.
Use 1/4 cup washing soda, 1 tablespoon of liquid soap, 6 tablespoons of cornstarch, 1/4 cup white vinegar, and two gallons of hot water on linoleum and no-wax floors. For wood floors, use 1 cup of vinegar in a bucket of hot water.