Make your own Green Cleaning Products
The older I get, the more concerned I am about being exposed to toxins.
I know the cleaning supplies I’ve used almost every day come with serious warnings. I’ve had rashes and chemical burns, red eyes and throat irritation.
Believe it or not, I haven’t always been “Mrs. Clean”, and I’ve made some really stupid cleaning mistakes.
One important thing I want to share is don’t assume any product is safe- Even “green” or simple cleaning products. Make sure to read all warnings and manufacturer instructions.
My Wake Up Call:
I found out the hard way just how dangerous cleaning products could be when I mixed ammonia and chlorine bleach together. I’ve warned people all over my website not to mix the two products, but never admitted that I did it myself when I was young.
What happened? I was cleaning a bathtub and used bleach and ammonia at the same time without rinsing the tub thoroughly in between uses.
The two products combined and formed a toxic chlorine gas that immediately closed my throat and lungs. My physical reaction was severe and serious and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to make it out of the bathroom in time without collapsing. I was really scared.
That was the moment I realized just how seriously I needed to pay attention to the warnings on cleaning products. It was a youthful mistake but I have never forgot the lesson.
How To Find Chemical Safety Information (MSDS):
By law, every chemical manufacturer is required to produce a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), listing the ingredients, health hazards, toxic ingredients and first aid/personal protection precautions.
MSDS sheets can be found at the US Dept of Health and Human Services.
You might want to bookmark the site- I know I’ve referred to it many times.
The Benefits Of “Going Green”:
If you go back to the basics, you can use cleaners that work just as well as specially formulated ones in the store, and protect your health and the environment when you do so.
Many of the ingredients for homemade cleaning products are in your kitchen cabinets. None of the recipes are very complicated, and you can mix the few parts together in just a short time.
It’s cheaper to make your own cleaning products, even spending as much as only one-tenth on homemade cleaning materials as it would cost to buy at the store.
Your Basic Shopping List Of “Green” Home Cleaning Products:
These are common ingredients used in green homemade cleaning product recipes. These basics are tried and true and people have used them for decades to clean.
I prefer to use simple products anyway- You might need to use a little more “elbow grease” to scrub something clean, but you won’t have to worry so much about harmful chemicals.
- Dishwashing Liquid (like Dawn Detergent)
- Baking soda
- Plain white vinegar
- Washing soda
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Oxygen bleach (like oxy-clean)
Grout Cleaner Recipe:
You can easily make your own solution for green cleaning grout.
Only mix up as much as you will need for a cleaning because it doesn’t keep well without adding vegetable glycerin and sealing it airtight.
Apply with an old toothbrush and let sit for 5 minutes. Scrub with a plastic bristle brush and rinse thoroughly.
- 1/2 cup of baking soda in a bowl
- Add enough liquid soap to make a paste
- Mix well
Window and Glass Cleaner Recipe:
Making your own green window and glass cleaner is easy. All you need is a few ingredients and a spray bottle.
In a spray bottle, combine two cups of water with three tablespoons of white vinegar and one-half teaspoon of liquid detergent.
Give the bottle a little shake to mix ingredients for a natural cleaner that only took minutes of your time.
Laundry Soap Booster:
Give your regular laundry detergent a power boost by adding either 1/2 a cup of baking soda or borax to your regular wash load. Washing soda does the same, but use only 1/4 cup instead of 1/2 a cup.
Detergent does not lather well and cannot do it’s job properly with a high concentration of minerals. Baking soda, washing soda and borax are water softeners that “neutralize” minerals present in hard water. This allows your laundry soap to do a better job.
My Favorite Stain Remover:
Plain household strength hydrogen peroxide is my hands down favorite stain remover. Pour it directly on the stained item. Cover the stain with something to keep it out of the light and allow it to work for about 60 minutes.
Hydrogen peroxide turns to water when exposed to light (That’s why it comes in a dark container). It removes stains without bleaching, lightens and brightens without damaging fabric and leaves no residue.
Oxygen bleach (like oxy-clean) has the same effect as hydrogen peroxide but it’s a powder rather than a liquid. Use it in the place of bleach when cleaning or doing loads of laundry to remove stains and brighten without damaging fabric.
Plain white vinegar and baking soda are 2 of the oldest and most natural green cleaners around. Both of these are excellent deodorizers to use when cleaning. Especially areas like the refrigerator, sinks, tubs and counter tops.
We use 1 gallon of warm water to about 1/4 cup of vinegar to clean hard surface floors like wood, linoleum and ceramic tile(not stone floors). Vinegar does not leave a residue so you don’t have to do a second rinse.
Rather than use a product like comet or soft scrub, you can use a mix of dish washing liquid and baking soda for the abrasive scrubbing power it has. Since baking soda also works as a deodorizer it works really well removing stains and odor from sinks and tubs or showers.