Friday, January 30, 2009

Homemade Non-Toxic Cleaners

I've been using "environmentally friendly" cleaning products for several years, ever since I realized that cleaning the shower would give me a gigantic headache. It was either stop cleaning the shower or use products that didn't give me a headache. (I seriously considered the first option though!)
If you haven't noticed, these "environmentally friendly" products are usually quite a bit more expensive than their Earth damaging counterparts. Making my own cleaning products is cost effective, environmentally friendly, and fun! I've been messing around with some different options for cleaning and here are a few things that I came up with: a dusting aid, a window cleaner, a multi-purpose and I still use my laundry soap. There isn't a homemade cleaner for the toilet, shower or a dish soap. That's because I tried the baking soda and vinegar thing in the toilet but found that I had to clean my toilet several times a week to keep the pink stuff from growing and I just don't like cleaning my toilet that often so I'm using Seventh Generation toilet bowl cleaner instead. I'm using Seventh Generation in the shower too, because when you use pure soap in the shower, it leaves one heck of a soap ring that is hardly dented by homemade stuff. I did give up my beloved Comet for straight up baking soda to scour with and I think that it works as well. As for dish soap, I tried to convince my husband that using Dr. Bronner's Castile soap cleaned the dishes just as well as the foamy soap, he just wasn't convinced so we compromised on Seventh Generation Dish Soap (I also love Trader Joe's Dish Soap because it smells yummy but the dishwasher (aka Dennis) thinks that it doesn't work as well). You would think that this is an advertisement for Seventh Generation. It isn't. I just use them because I can get it at most supermarkets and at Target and I've been pleased with the results. As for the floors, I just squirt a bit of Dr. Bronner's into warm water and scrub on my hands and knees. This is not an advertisement for Dr. Bronner's either. The guy may be a bit wacky (just read the the label), but his soap is pretty good!
I bought a few ingredients to get me started. Here are the ones that are the most helpful, some you probably already have in your kitchen:
  • baking soda
  • vinegar
  • Arm and Hammer washing soda
  • Borax
  • Murphy's Wood soap
  • Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap
  • essential oils: tea tree, sweet orange, lavender, and peppermint are a good assortment

I bought the spray bottles at the dollar store and made the labels myself by using (really fun)sticker paper. Have fun and let me know what you think!!

Dusting Aid

  • 1/2 cup Murphy's Soap
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 5 drops orange essential oil
  • 15 drops cedar essential oil

Window Cleaner

  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp. castile soap
  • 8 drops essential oil

All-Purpose Cleaner

  • 1/4 tsp. washing soda
  • 1/2 tsp. castile soap
  • 2 cups water
  • 10 drops essential oil


Artistmama said...

Cool, I Love your labels! My permanent marker on plastic spray bottles just isn't as pretty!

I use vinegar and baking soda for everything. And am just about to try your laundry detergent or another liquid recipe like it. Can't wait to try that. I think it's really much more cost effective as well.


Michelle said...

I use baking soda and lemon juice to clean my toilet bowl and it works great! I also have a wonderful and easy recipe for homemade dish soap using Dr. Bronners liquick castile soap. Visit for instructions on these and other safe, homemade cleaners. They have worked great for me and I love knowing I am cleaning my home without harsh chemicals!

Lilian said...

in fact I also prefer to use an environment friendly degreasing and cleaning product as I feel it is our duty to contribute towards the safeguard of our envioronment. So Now I use Odofree To keep My Environment Green And Clean

richsmith said...

Vinegar is a great Non Toxic Cleaner along with lemon juice and baking soda they form a great combination of homemade Non Toxic Cleaner

Pure Mod Life said...

love the label idea, makes it look so pretty...nice job!