March 9, 2010

Homemade (non-toxic) Cleaning Products



Liquid Dish Soap
I filled an old squeeze bottle with approximately
2 cups liquid castile soap (Dr. Bronner's)
1/2 cup warm water
a few drops of essential oils (tea tree and lavender)

Mix well and wash away!

Tip: To cut through the greasiest dishes, let them soak in your sink filled with HOT water and 1/2 cup of salt. Then wash as usual. Vinegar and lemon juice also have degreasing properties.

I just made my first batch, I think I'll enjoy all my cleaning products better with Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap.  I will use what I have, try again with the peppermint (mint and lavender sounds wonderful), and still buy green/safe products with coupons and discounts.  I like knowing I can make all my own products but I still feel limited with my scents.  Plus, I'm a sucker for the great packaging of 7th generation, Dapple, Mrs. Meyers... what can I say!? source.


Dish Washing Detergent
There are both liquid and powdered recipes, but here's the one I'm going to try (when I run out of what I'm using now):
1 Part Baking Soda
1 Part 20 Mule Borax (available at Walmart, cheap!)
 Mix together and store in plastic container.  Use 1 TSP-2 TBSP per load, figure out what works best for you.  Sometimes using too much soap can leave a filmy residue.  To help with that also, put vinegar in the "jet-dry" rinse compartment.  source.

update: I just made my first batch, added 4-5 drops of Tea Tree Oil and put one Tbsp. in the compartment.  I made sure to fill the rinse aid compartment with white vinegar.  My first load came out great!  I'm going to try 1 1/2 Tbsp. next time and see if that gets it a little bit cleaner without the residue.  Very, very happy!!

Laundry Detergent
Here is a link to Ten Homemade Laundry Detergents.  This may be the last thing I make myself.  I already have enough issues with my laundry, I'm not sure it's worth the time and effort and trial and error, for me.  I already use All Clear detergent, and I'm looking into 7th Generation (powdered, then liquid).  We'll see!  I'm keeping my eyes peeled for clearances and coupons!

All-Purpose Spray
Fill an empty spray bottle with
Water, almost to the top
2 TBSP Dr. Bronners (or another castile soap)
A few drops of Tea Tree Oil
Optional: a few TBSP vinegar or 2 TBSP baking soda

Mix well.  Spray and wipe.  Be careful not to use too much vinegar on grout, it can start to eat away at it after many, many uses.


I found a great clearance, plus had a coupon for 7th Generation all-purpose spray cleaner at Babies R'Us.  So I will be using that as well as my homemade kind! source.


Window/Glass Cleaner
50% water
50% vinegar

I love this, works great!  No streaking, easy and quick.  I also use to wash produce before rinsing, and eating!


Toilet Cleaner
Pour 2 cups of vinegar and 5-10 drops of Tea Tree Oil.  Sprinkle with baking powder just before scrubbing.
or
1/2 cup of 20 Mule Borax

I tried each recipe out today, one for each of my toilets.  I definitely liked the vinegar and baking soda best because of the TTO smell.  Much cleaner smelling and I think it cleaned just a tad bit better than the Borax.  source.

Carpet Freshner
Sprinkle Baking Soda over your carpets, let set 15-20 minutes and then vacuum.  Makes a great deodorizer!  source.


Five Basic Ingredients for Non-Toxic Cleaning Recipes source.


Baking Soda - Cleans and deodorizes.  Softens water to increase sudsing and cleaning power of soap.  Good scouring powder.

Borax ("20 Mule Borax")- Cleans and deodorizes.  Excellent disinfectant.  Softens water.  Available in the laundry section of most grocery stores.


Soap - Biodegrades safely and completely and is non-toxic.  Sold as liquid, flakes, bar,  or powder.  Insist on soap without synthetic scents, colors, or other additives.  Castile soap (made from vegetable oil) is a great buy.


Washing Soda - Cuts grease and removes stains.  Disinfects.  Softens water.  Pure form "sodium carbonate."  I haven't been able to find this anywhere locally. 


White Vinegar - Kills 99% bacteria, 82% mold, and 80% of germs (viruses).  Is powerfully antibacterial.  Cuts through grease.  source.


Lemon Juice - Antibacterial.  Neutralizes vinegar scent.  Natural bleaching agent.  Cuts through grease.  source.

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