Hello greenies, for those of you who know me well, you know I love to declutter, organize, and just plain clean things! My love for cleaning began when I read books like: Lose 200 Pounds This Weekend: It's Time to Declutter Your Life by Don Aslett and Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life by Gail Blanke...both of which I highly recommend. But my "urge to purge" doesn't stop with clearing out old papers, clothes, or trinkets from years past, I love to dust, polish, and the get rid of dirt and germs.
|Making my own|
Green Cleaners You Can Make:
1. You may use...."Multi-Surface Cleaner". Now try..."Merlin's Magic All-Purpose Spray" from Clean House, Clean Planet. I absolutely love this spray and I use it just about daily on my kitchen counters. It has such a great clean, fresh smell (from the Tea Tree Oil mainly) and because of the antiseptic properties of the tea tree oil, I know I'm getting it clean! I just use a cloth napkin when cleaning with this spray. No need to take 2 steps forward with this green cleaner and 5 steps back by using paper towels! Use a cloth napkin or towel and throw it in the laundry after your done so it's ready to go for next time. Here is the recipe for this cleaner (as taken from this website) and below is a pic of all the ingredients you need to make it!
|Ingredients: funnel, spray bottle, tea tree oil, Dr. Bronner's|
Castile Soap, water.
- spray bottle
- tea tree oil (this stuff may cost a bit up front, but it will last you forever!)
- 3 Tbs. Dr. Bronner's castile soap (I use peppermint)
2. You may use..."Pledge Furniture Polish". Now try..."Dust to Dust: Furniture Polish" from Clean House, Clean Planet. This is one awesome green trade out, because it costs so little to make and it works just as well as the fancy furniture polish you buy in the store! One thing that I've found to give this green cleaner a boost is to use a special microfiber towel, as seen below. I found this towel at Wal-Mart and for $3-4, it really helps pick up and hold the dust. Here is a link to learn more about it. Now for the recipe...
- 16 ounce trigger spray bottle
- 2 teaspoons olive oil ( vegetable oil)
- Lemon essential oil -1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
- hot water (enough to fill bottle)
|Ingredients: spray bottle, olive oil, vinegar, lemon essential oil,|
vinegar, water, microfiber cloth.
Mix 20 drops of essential oil, olive oil, and vinegar with hot water in bottle. Gently shake mixture. Now you're ready to dust! I always make sure to shake this bottle a bit each time before I use it so the oil mixes back up with the water. Have fun dusting and polishing!
|"Dust to Dust Furniture|
- spray bottle
- club soda
- glass cleaning cloth
|Ingredients: club soda,|
spray bottle, glass-
"Earth Scrub Tub and Tile Cleaner"/"Hollywood Bowl Toilet Cleaner" from Clean House, Clean Planet
- bowl for mixing
- 16 ounce flip-top bottle (I use a mason jar because it seemed to always get stuck in the cap when I was trying to pour it out)
- 2 cups of baking soda
- 1/2 cup of Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap, I love peppermint here as well
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- (1/2 tsp. tea tree oil if using to clean toilets)
- dish scrubbing brush
|Ingredients: jar, Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap, Baking Soda,|
tea tree oil, vinegar, water, mixing bowl, scrubbing brush.
Mix baking soda and liquid soap in a bowl. Dilute with the water and add the vinegar last, as it will fizz like your 4th grade volcano project! Add tea tree oil, if using on toilets. Stir until the lumps are gone. If you can pour it into the container easily you have the right consistency. If it's too thick, add more water. Use funnel to pour into bottle. (Or just pour it into a mason jar). Keep the cap on bottle because this mixture will dry out. Shake well before using. For future uses, add more water if cleaner seems dry.
To clean toilets, I pour some onto a dish scrubbing brush, which you can see in the ingredient picture below and scrub away. If doing this be sure to keep the brush in a place where you know it will only get used on toilets. ( :
Update June 2011: Now that my daughter Avery is here, I don't seem to have as much time to make this cleaner, so I've gone to a store-bought version: Ecover Toilet Bowl Cleaner. Ecover is a great, affordable, green brand and this cleaner has a nice minty-pine smell that really gets the job done...plus saves me time!
5. You may use..."Traditional Dish Soap". Now try..."Castile Soap and Water". No fancy recipe for this one, all you do is just fill a soap container about halfway full with castile soap and then fill the rest of it with water. Feel free to add more castile soap if you feel that the diluted version is not cleaning as well as you would like. This soap also doubles as our hand soap...and I use the same recipe for our body wash! I just love Dr. Bronner's Castile Liquid Soap, it's ingredients are so pure and simple. Just a head's up, if you are a "suds fan" you will not see the bubbles and foam you are used to with traditional dish soaps. No worries, your dishes are getting clean, they just may not seem that way because you didn't have mountains of bubbles and a mega-strong clean scent. This may be one cleaner you have to ease yourself into using, since it is a bit of a change. Also, if you find that the castile soap is not doing the job that your toxic dish soap once did, use a dish brush! It's funny how we rely on chemicals to clean, de-grease, and remove baked on food...when all we need is a little elbow grease! A simple $2-3 dish brush or potato scrubbing brush from Wal-Mart is what we use and it works wonders.
|Ingredients: funnel, soap dispenser, Dr. Bronner's Castile|
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 spray bottle (I just use my the old Fruit and Veggie spray bottle)
|Ingredients: vinegar, water, funnel, old spray bottle|
|Cleaning produce on the cheap...|
Granted you may need to put a little money in up front to buy all the essential oils that you like, but just like the tea tree oil...they will last forever. My advice would be to start with one and see if you even like the scent it creates. My absolute favorite scent is peppermint and I use it nearly daily in my class. I also have: Tangerine, Lavender, Orange, Vanilla and Lemon. A word of caution about the scent pads, I try to mark them in specific ways so I do not mix the different essential oils, you could try a small colored dot on the back of the pad and then making that same dot on the bottle of the essential oil. Now all the pads need to get a good scent going is about 4-5 drops of your preferred essential oil, but you may find that some essential oils are stronger than others, so play around with it. I know it's a little non-traditional when it comes to adding a scent to a room, but it's non-toxic, pure, and very simple to do- give it a try!
|Just slide in the pad, plug it in, and|
enjoy the non-toxic scent!
8. You may use..."Drain-O". Now try..."Turbo Snake". I don't know about you, but my long, curly hair clogs up my sink and shower drains all the time! So instead of using Mega-Toxic Drain-o, you might want to give these "Turbo Snakes" a try. Basically they are just thick, rubber-covered wires that you shove down your drains and then pull back up. There is a textured piece on the very tip that drags back up whatever it comes across. Although it probably can't unclog a drain with a big problem, it sure helps with maintenance and to keep things from taking forever to go down. It's very reasonably priced on Amazon.com ($6.50) and you get 2 total units (that's 4 turbo snakes total- 2 for sink drains, and 2 for shower/tub drains)...that's about the price of a bottle of Drain-o! So next time your drain is running slow, give the Turbo Snake a try.
|Turbo Snake for cleaning drains.|
|Ecover Dishwasher Tablets|
Alright green friends, so that sums up my favorite green cleaners, both homemade and store-bought. I hope this gives you some ideas on how you can "green" your cleaning routine in fun, easy, and affordable ways. Do you have any favorite green cleaners you make at home? Share them below! Happy Green Cleaning!