Tuesday, January 13, 2009


In my effort to "go green" and again no I am not a "tree hugger" I decided to make my own household cleaners. I don't know about you but I get sick of buying the household cleaning needs and spending a hundred bucks. You know the toilet bowl cleaner, the bleach, Clorox wipes, Pledge, Windex, shower cleaner, paper towels, dishsoap, dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, stain remover, oven cleaner, floor cleaner and some magic erasers (I don't know if I can give up the magic eraser!) goes in the cart and you gasp at the total! I know most of the time you don't have to buy these all in one trip since some last longer than others but they get expensive. So far I have discovered that making my own cleaners is not only a LOT CHEAPER but easy plus the best part is they work just as well. I am sharing a couple of the "recipes" I used that I found on The Toby Show Green Cleaning Series ~ Green Cleaning 101, The Arsenals and the Extras ~and various other "green clean" websites. Most of the websites have the same basic recipes but I tweaked some of them to my satisfaction.

Here is a list of supplies found in most of the recipes:
  1. Distilled White Vinegar
  2. Baking Soda
  3. 20 Mule Borax
  4. Essential oils (lemon, orange, tea tree, peppermint or whatever you like ~ available at health food stores)
  5. Corn starch
  6. Washing soda
  7. Club soda
  8. Castile soap or other vegetable based liquid soap (I can't seem to find this one!)
  9. Olive oil
  10. Mineral oil
  11. Lemon juice

You do not need ALL of these to get started! I bought 1 gallon of white vinegar, baking soda, 20 Mule Team Borax, tea tree oil, orange oil and lemon oil on Saturday and spent $27. Once you see how much you have and how little you have to use in each recipe you will realize how little you spent and how long it will last!

Here are the "green clean" recipes I have tried feel free to tweak them to fit your needs:

General All-Purpose Cleaner

3 tbsp white vinegar

2 tsp borax

2 cups hot water

1/8 cup liquid soap

20 drops lemon oil

20 drops tea tree oil

Add all ingredients in bottle except the soap, shake, add soap then stir. Spray away! Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic but since I am not especially fond of the smell I used the lemon oil to cover it up but you can use whatever oil you like.


Many of the recipe measurements for this didn't work for me so I just dumped some of both in!!

Scientific, I know!


Baking soda

I must admit this one surprised me. Some call for using borax and I have yet to try that. The vinegar really does a good job of whitening the bowl. I let the vinegar sit for as long as possible in our house since it seemed like everytime I poured the vinegar in I would hear the toilet flush within 5 minutes until I said DO NOT FLUSH THE TOILET UNTIL I TELL YOU!! After you let the vinegar sit for the desired time, dump in some baking soda. This combination will fizz and foam but I wanted it to foam more so I added the baking soda then sprayed some more vinegar over it. I also read about just dropping in denture cleaning tablets but alas I was all out! lol

Isaiah's old cloth diapers which we used as burp rags are now my cleaning rags and I no longer use paper towels. I like using the them and have for awhile now especially for dusting but I am really missing my paper towels.

That is it for now but more green clean recipes will be coming soon I promise! I get to experiment again tonight. What did I learn from the last experiments with the general all-purpose cleaner? Do not just add baking soda to any concoction unless you feel like cleaning up a foamy mess! Learn something new everyday but I should've known this would happen but I was having so much fun experimenting that I got a little carried away!


  1. We always use a vinegar and warm water mixture to mop our ceramic tile floors. I'm not so fond of the smel, but it doesn't leave a film on your floors. Also- do you normally use paper towels when you dust??

  2. Do you have any recipes for shower cleaner??

    Also, I think I discovered the commenting problem. I seem to be able to leave a comment if I am on the PC, but not on the Mac. I am reading, though!


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