Saturday, February 16, 2008

eco-friendly, homemade cleaners

I've been cleaning house again. Since I've become so sensitive to cleaners, I've scoured old household manuals for some recipes that would get rid of all the nasty dirt and germs without trying to kill me with toxic fumes. Here are some I've found work so far:

Disinfecting Cleaner

Use on stains, on pots to lift baked on foods, or leave on a surface for a moment to disinfect. Also suppose to be good for that greasy film on cupboards.

1tsp baking soda
2Tbs hydrogen peroxide
1cup water

Add hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to spray bottle and swish around a little bit (will get a bit fizzy). Add watter.

Floor Cleaner

For wood, linoleum & vinyl floors. Also good as an all purpose bathroom cleaner.

3/4cup white vinegar
5 drops essential citrus oil
4quarts hot water.

Mix them all together and start cleaning.

All-purpose cleaner

You can either mix this in a spray bottle or use it from a small tub with a cloth. Works well either way. Great for bathrooms.

1/2 cup white vinegar
1tsp salt
4cup warm watter
2-3 drops antibacterial essential oil (thyme, clary sage, grapefruit seed, &c.)

Drain Declogger

To clear clogged drains and/or get rid of nasty drain smells. (No good for toilets)

1-1/2 cup white vinegar
2Tbs baking soda

If you are cleaning a double sink, do both drains at once. Pour baking soda into the drain best you can. Follow with a vinegar chaser. Wait five(5) minutes and rinse with HOT water. Repeat if necessary.

Scouring Powder

I use an old tea tin with a very firm fitting lid. I poked some holes in the lid so it will work just like a shaker. I've put the recipe right on the container so I can mix it up at a drop of a hat when I need some more. You could use an old Parmesan cheese shaker just as well.

1-1/2 cup baking soda
3-5 drops disinfectant essential oil (thyme, clary sage, grapefruit, &c.)
1Tbs borax (optional - for extra whitening)

Mix and LABLE WELL so as not to confuse with food later on.

Glass Cleaner

Works wonders. One tip if you are cleaning especially nasty windows is to scrub them with old crumpled up dry news papers afterwards. This takes a bit of elbow grease, but it makes a great shine.

1/4 cup vinegar
4 cups water

Pour into spray bottle. Recommends you use it with newspaper for a better clean.

Laundry Soap

Now this I use constantly. The hardest part is grating the soap so it really helps to invest in a mechanical grating devise of some sort that you reserve just for soap. This is a great way to use up those old soap ends as well. Works best with non-petroleum based, non-scented soap. Something like olive oil soap is ideal.

Oh, and don't forget that baking soda is sold in the bulk food section of most grocery stores. Not the best for baking, but ideal for cleaning.

8cup baking soda
6cup borax
4cup grated castille soap
1Tbs essential oil (lavender, lemon or grapefruit - optional, but adds a disinfecting element)

Mix in a large pail or bucket. use 30ml (2Tbs) ONLY per load. This amount is sufficient for hard water and well solid loads. If you have soft water or are doing a smaller load, use just over half this.

The reason why you use so little is that when you buy laundry soap in the shop, you pay for all sorts of filler and chemicals that do nothing to help clean your cloths, they just make the product more expensive.

To clean a toilet bowl

Pour 1cup white vinegar in the bowl and let stand 1/2 an hour. sprinkle baking soda onto toilet brush and scour. This works best when done at least once a week.

These are the ones I've tried and found to be good. They are all environmentally friendly and I've found that they cost a small fraction of the price of regular household cleaners. Also, they last longer too. I'm still on the look out for some good dish washing soap ideas as well as anything that will help improve the state of my home.


TinkingBell said...


2oz pure soap flakes(do you have 'Softly' in Canada? You can grate a pure soap too)
5 oz hot water
1 tblespn eucalyptus oil

Pour the hot water over the soap flakes and stir gently to dissolve (don't get excited and froth it!)
Add the eucalyptus oil. mix gently and bottle. Use around 5 mls in a sink of tepid water to hand wash woollens. The Eucalyptus just floats the dirt out so all you need to do is sink them in it and leave for 10 or 15 mins. Then rinse once and spin dry and deal with normally. The eucalysptus is antibacterial and seems to help keep any moths away!

Sarah's Blog said...

Salt is great for scouring kitchen sinks.

Holly said...

Vinegar is good for a lot of things, and cheap which is also important.

It is always good to be careful (like no acids and alkalies in the same pot or enclosed area....

treat yourself - you have worked hard

Miss Scarlett said...

Sarah is right - salt is an excellent scour-er. I use it a LOT at work - it gets crayon, pen, paint and various other kid-messes out of tabletops and flooring.

And the children can help!

Love the eucalyptus tip from Tinkingbell. That's great.

I am going to try your toilet bowl tip tomorrow. That sounds brilliant.

amy said...
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趙又廷Mark said...
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