As a blog all about green cleaning, we strive to help maintain our environment by eliminating cleaners with all those harsh chemicals. However, many of you may be concerned that even those “green” products aren’t completely chemical free. While most of these products are most likely free of any harmful chemicals, the EPA does not require that these companies list every last ingredient on their cleaners. So what is the best way to ensure that your cleaners are 100% chemical free? The only real answer is to make it yourself!
Before you get too concerned that you will never have time to create a cleaning product in your spare time or find all the ingredients, check out some of these green cleaner recipes that require only a few common kitchen ingredients and an empty spray bottle and only take a couple minutes! Thedailygreen.com website offers these great recipes:
For Porcelain and Tile:
- Baking Soda and Water: Dust surfaces with baking soda, then scrub with a moist sponge or cloth. If you have tougher grime, sprinkle on some kosher salt, and work up some elbow grease.
- Lemon Juice or Vinegar: Got stains, mildew or grease streaks? Spray or douse with lemon juice or vinegar. Let sit a few minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush.
- Disinfectant: Instead of bleach, make your own disinfectant by mixing 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil. It's easy!
2. For Kitchen Counters:
- Baking Soda and Water: Reclaim counters by sprinkling with baking soda, then scrubbing with a damp cloth or sponge. If you have stains, knead the baking soda and water into a paste and let set for a while before you remove. This method also works great for stainless steel sinks, cutting boards, containers, refrigerators, oven tops and more.
- Kosher Salt and Water: If you need a tougher abrasive sprinkle on kosher salt, and scrub with a wet cloth or sponge.
- Natural Disinfectant: To knock out germs without strong products, mix 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil. Spray or rub on countertops and other kitchen surfaces.
3. For Windows and Mirrors
· White Vinegar, Water and Newspaper: Mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water, and dispense into a used spray bottle. Squirt on, then scrub with newspaper, not paper towels, which cause streaking.
· If you're out of vinegar or don't like its smell, you can substitute undiluted lemon juice or club soda.
4. For Rugs and Carpets
· Beat Those Rugs: Take any removable rugs outside and beat the dust and hair out with a broom.
· Club Soda: You've probably heard the old adage that club soda works well on carpet stains. But you have to attack the mess right away. Lift off any solids, then liberally pour on club soda. Blot with an old rag. The soda's carbonation brings the spill to the surface, and the salts in the soda thwart staining.
· Cornmeal: For big spills, dump cornmeal on the mess, wait 5 to 15 minutes, and vacuum up the gunk.
· Spot Cleaner: Make your own by mixing: 1/4 cup liquid soap or detergent in a blender, with 1/3 cup water. Mix until foamy. Spray on, then rinse with vinegar.
· To Deodorize: Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the carpet or rug, using about 1 cup per medium-sized room. Vacuum after 30 minutes.
5. For Wood Floors
· Vinegar: Whip up a solution of 1/4 cup white vinegar and 30 ounces of warm water. Put in a recycled spray bottle, then spray on a cotton rag or towel until lightly damp. Then mop your floors, scrubbing away any grime.
6. For Oven Cleaning
· Baking Soda and Water: Coat the inside of your dirty appliance with a paste made from water and baking soda. Let stand overnight. Then, don gloves and scour off that grime. Make spotless with a moist cloth.
7. For Clogged Drains
· Baking Soda and Boiling Water: Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the problem drain, followed by 2 cups of boiling water. If that isn't doing it for you, chase the baking soda with a 1/2 cup of vinegar and cover tightly, allowing the vigorous fizzing of the chemical reaction to break up the gunk. Then flush that with one gallon of boiling water.
8. For Antique Linens
· Sunlight: What could be easier than sanitizing and removing stains... with sunlight! (Just don't do it too often with fragile pieces, because they can start to break down). Simply lay your old lace, curtains and other fine linens on the grass in the sun for a few hours. Dirtier pieces can be dampened first.
· Boiling: If that doesn't do the trick, fill a pot with water and bring to a boil on your stovetop. Drop in linens and let steep until stains lift.
· Detergent and Borax: Mix dishwasher detergent and borax together until you get a thick rubbing paste. Rub into soiled linens, then rinse clean.
· Peroxide: If you have stubborn stains, try spraying them with peroxide, then rinsing with water.
9. For Silverware
o Aluminum Foil, Boiling Water, Baking Soda and Salt: Keep your sterling shined with this seemingly magic method. Line your sink or a bucket with aluminum foil, and drop in tarnished silver. Pour in boiling water, a cup of baking soda and a dash of salt. Let sit for a few minutes. The tarnish will transfer from the silver to the foil.
o Toothpaste: If you can't immerse your items or are otherwise inclined to polish by hand, rub tarnished silver with toothpaste and a soft cloth. Rinse with warm water and dry. Instead of toothpaste you can substitute a concoction made of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water.
o Ketchup: To keep your copper pots, pans and accents looking bright and shiny, try rubbing with ketchup.
With these simple recipes, you can create a cleaner for any job. The products used are kitchen and household staples, making them even more accessible and even cheaper than the chemically infused alternatives. Creating a cleaner for your household cleaning tasks is even easier than you might think and by using these recipes you can achieve a clean home without breaking the budget and help to keep our environment clean on top of all the other benefits they offer!