DIY Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products

by Josée

Everyday cleaning products are full of harmful toxic chemicals. With the trend to be green many companies are offering consumers the option of purchasing green cleaning products. Unfortunately many of these new products aren’t much of improvement. Companies are fooling consumers by greenwashing their products. Of course, there are some companies that make environmentally friendly cleaning products and this is a good alternative if you aren’t the DIY kind of person. However, making your own environmentally friendly cleaning products is easy, quick and inexpensive. Most ingredients can already be found around the home or are available at the grocery store.

Scum-Busting Paste

Make your own scum busting paste using three ingredients. This paste works well to remove sink, bathtub and toilet scum.

Borax (is it safe?)
Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap
Essential oils (optional)

Find a container. Scoop borax into your container being careful not to breath in the dust. Pour in the castile soap and mix with a spoon until you reach the desired consistency. If you want your paste to smell nice use a scented castile soap or add a few drops of your favourite essential oil.

Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap can be found in health food stores and occasionally at the grocery store. If you can’t find Dr. Bronner’s use a biodegradable dishwashing soap. Some nice essential oils for this paste are tea tree oil, lavender, sweet orange, and grapefruit. If you’d prefer not to use borax, baking soda makes an acceptable substitute but I don’t find it works as well.

Disinfectant Spray

Vinegar has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It also acts as a natural deodorizer. Don’t be turned off by the strong smell of the vinegar, it dissipates quickly.

White vinegar (how does it work?)
Water

Put vinegar in a spray bottle and use it on door handles, light switches, toilets, mirrors, windows counter tops (do not use it on granite!). You can use vinegar on it’s own or dilute the vinegar with water by a third to a half. To get streak and lint free windows use a lint free cloth.

Sudsy Floor Cleaner

Water
Biodegradable dish soap
Essential oils (optional)

Fill of bucket with warm water and squirt in some dish soap. Add a few drops of essential oils if desired. Start scrubbing!

Ditch the Toxic Cleaning Products (safely!)

Don’t finish using up your toxic cleaning products and don’t leave them in your home. Instead bring them to a hazardous waste disposal centre for safe disposal. Start making your own household cleaners using the recipes above as a starting point. Since switching to homemade cleaning products I have had no desire to use the toxic products again. I no longer need to worry about pouring chemical down the drain or exposing my family to cleaning toxins. My children are more involved with helping me clean and if they do happen to get a hold of the vinegar spray there is little harm done.

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5 comments

Kim Corrigan-Oliver November 30, 2012 - 11:44 pm

We have made our own products for years, easy and cheap! We pretty much stick to vinegar, essential oils, baking soda and lemon for most of our cleaning needs.

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Sarah M. December 1, 2012 - 4:18 pm

I am so glad that we made the switch, like you I can't imagine going back. I use baking soda and find that it works just fine when used with a plastic scrubby. ;o) And my vinegar supply never runs out. My one downfall is the toilet, I admit I still buy actual toilet cleaner. I cringe at the thought of all the nasty germs associated with the throne. lol What would you suggest?

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Josée December 1, 2012 - 4:27 pm

I understand your concern about the toilet. I had this worry too. I wanted those germs dead, really dead, because I can be a little paranoid about them. I've found vinegar to be very effective against killing bacteria, fungus and most viruses (check my link on vinegar above) and you can even get "pickling" or "cleaning" vinegar which has a higher percentage of acetic acid which makes it more potent. A strong vinegar is what I use and I'm satisfied that it kills everything. Sometimes I'll even put in a few drops of tee tree oil which also has antiseptic properties. I hope that helps 🙂

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Amy Caroline December 4, 2012 - 2:51 pm

I am pinning this! Thank you.

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Sarah M. December 8, 2012 - 3:18 pm

Thanks Josee, I will have to give it a try. Tee tree oil huh? That stuff is just great for everything!

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