Making Our Household a Little More 'Green' ...


I started doing research on making my own household cleaners while I was pregnant.  I was very paranoid and OCD about everything.  The house had to be clean at all times.  I'm pretty sure I vacuumed every day.  I did not like random things just laying around (i.e. my dear husband's things;).  Ok, well I'm a lot more lenient about that stuff now (baby toys EVERYWHERE.. I wouldn't have it any other way:).  I used store bought household cleaners a lot... but hated the toxic smell.  That really couldn't have been 'good' for me.  I always felt like I needed to air out the house after I was done cleaning.  Lysol.  Gag.  Comet.  Gag.  I sure as heck didn't want to be breathing that stuff.. and I definitely don't want my baby girl breathing that in either.

So I looked on tons upon tons of websites and tried out different recipes for homemade cleaners.. did you know you can make just about anything yourself?  Including laundry detergent -- although I haven't gone that far because I really like the detergent I use.  I still have a boat load of Seventh Generation laundry detergent that I bought before Clara was born (yes, I haven't had to buy laundry detergent in over 4 months.. it was on sale & I had coupons, don't judge).  All these recipes that I have listed is what I use in our home and I love them and they work wonderfully.  You can make just about any cleaner yourself -- check out the sources at the bottom for a ton more of useful information.

Not only is this stuff more safe and more 'green'.. it cheap!  I'm always up for saving money.  Does anyone else make their own cleaners??

Picture Source

 Glass/Window Cleaner
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 3-4 drops of Dawn dish soap

 Mix all ingredients in an empty spray bottle.  I love this -- works great, and doesn't leave streaks.  I will never use a store-bought glass cleaner again.

Surface Spray (Homemade '409')
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. borax
  • 1/8 cup Dawn dish soap
  • 1 cup hot water

    Pour vinegar, borax, and hot water, and Dawn dish soap in spray bottle.  Then fill spray bottle the rest of the way with cool water.  Don't shake, just swish from side to side a little bit to mix.  (do not use things containing vinegar on granite countertops/surfaces) 

    All-Purpose Cleaner/Grease Cutter
    • 2 cups warm water
    • 1/4 cup Castile Soap (like Dr. Brommers)
    • 10 drops Tea Tree Oil

    Mix together in a spray bottle and spray on surface, let sit for a few seconds then wipe off with a damp cloth. 

    Toilet Bowl Cleaner
    • 1 cup Borax
    • 1/4 cup vinegar

    Let sit for a few minutes.  Scrub with toilet bowl brush.

    Oven Cleaner
    • Dampen with water
    • Sprinkle generously with baking soda

    Leave for 20 minutes, scrub until clean.

    Microwave Cleaner
    • 1/2 cup vinegar
    • 2 cup water

    Combine in a bowl and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, remove bowl and wipe down inside of microwave.

    Tub Scrub
    • 1 cup baking soda
    • 1 tsp. liquid soap
    • 10 drops Tea Tree Oil (or Peppermint or Eucalyptus)

    Add enough water to form a paste, use it with a brush/sponge to scour bathtub surfaces.

     Air Freshener 
    • 2 parts water
    • 1 part rubbing alcohol
    • 5 drop essential oil of your choice

    Mix in spray bottle, do not spray on delicates.  If you need to put more than 5 drops of essential oil in, then do so.

    • Just use a microfiber cloth.

    A few more tidbits of information for you --
    • There are a few essential oils that have antimicrobial properties.. such as eucalyptus, tea tree oil, and peppermint.  Good for use in homemade cleaners.
    • Use crocheted or knitted dish cloths that you can wash and reuse instead of sponges/dish cloths that are meant to be thrown away.
    • A lot of store-bought air fresheners contain phthalates.. not good for you, your children, or pets!

    Sources:   Martha Stewart, Young House Love, Maillardville Manor,, (Consumer Reports), Farmers Almanac


      1. I really need to invest in some vinegar and baking powder. Who knew this stuff was that amazing! But I have some friends that swear by it!

      2. When you say "liquid soap" for the tub scrub, do you mean dish soap, or can I used dr. bonners too? I love you list of recipes, I will be trying them all!! The "green" cleaners so expensive, this list is great!

      3. Thank you! I'm determined to try all of these! :)

      4. I've been making my own cleaners for several years, including laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent (which, by the way, is the MOST toxic thing in your house if store-bought). One of my favorite things is my sink scrub for the kitchen. It is simply baking soda with orange and lemon essential oils stirred in. I have also made it with lavender essential oil instead. Both smell wonderful and do absolute wonders for the sink. It also works for scrubbing toilets.

      5. I have been making my own laundry detergent for about 3 year. Costs me less than $20 a year to wash all our clothes and does a great job!!! Family of 5 - young children.

        Check out Australian website - fantastic.

        knitted my own dishclothes about about 4 months ago, super quick and easy (and Im a beginner knitter) ad they are fantastic!!! Love them and just pop in wash. never buying store bought and I can colour coordinate with my tea towels!!!

        See for free pattern for knitted dishcloth and kitchen "scrubby". this lady does the BEST knitting tutorials, she is how I'm learning to knit!



      I'd love to hear from you!