Mix simple household products such as baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice to make your own green, nontoxic cleaning products. If you make cleaning products such as window cleaner and surface cleaner at home, not only will you help protect the earth, you will save money by using ingredients that you most likely already own.
Head into your kitchen and open your cabinets. Odds are you have a bottle of white vinegar and a box of baking soda in there. A lemon or two may be lurking in your refrigerator. You may also already have a bottle of castile or natural dish soap, such as Dr. Bronner’s in your home somewhere. Other basic natural cleaning ingredients include Borax, hydrogen peroxide and washing soda. You can also use items that are slightly abrasive, such as salt or sand as ingredients in scrubs.
Squeaky Clean Window Spray
Once you have run out of a current cleaner, rinse out the spray bottle and use it to hold your homemade product. You can also buy an empty spray bottle at a drug store if you don’t want to use up the last of a commercial product. Combine 3 tbps. of vinegar with 1 qt. of water in the bottle. You can add 1 tsp. of dish soap if you want the cleaner to have a nice scent. You can be even more green by using old newspapers to wipe the windows instead of paper towels.
Clean Up In the Kitchen
Make a hard surface cleaner for your stove top and counters by mixing 4 parts water with 1 part vinegar and 1.5 parts hydrogen peroxide. Add about 1 tsp. of natural dish soap. If you want a scented cleaner, add about 20 drops of an essential oil to the mix. If you need to scrub off dried-on food, sprinkle baking soda on top of the cut side of half a lemon. Use the lemon as a handle and scrub the surface with the baking soda.
Homemade Toilet Cleaner
You don’t have to buy an expensive gel in a fancy bottle to get your toilet bowl clean and sparkling. If your toilet bowl is in need of a deep clean, sprinkle about a cup of Borax on the sides of the bowl and let sit overnight. The next day, pour about a 1/4 cup of white vinegar into the bowl and scrub. You can also use baking soda instead of the Borax and scrub right away.
Make Things Smell Nice
While commercially available air fresheners may make your home smell nice, they often cost a pretty penny and can irritate people who are allergic to them. You can quickly make your own air freshener using only two ingredients. Mix 2 tbsp. baking soda into 2 cups of hot water and stir until the baking soda dissolves. Pour into a spray bottle and spritz anywhere the air needs to be freshened.
- lemon image by Henryk Olszewski from Fotolia.com