green_cleaning_products_4.jpg
Credit: Flickr / Kevin McShane

Rather than buying cans of chemical-filled cleaning products, why not try making your own?

Making your own cleaning products can be easy and more effective than the store-bought alternatives

You’ve emptied out drawers and swept away clutter. Now is the time to scrub things until they shine.

Unfortunately, the chemicals found in conventional cleaning products can be more of a problem than the dirt they’re intended to clean, and the disposable paper towels so many of us use aren’t so earth-friendly either.

There are loads of good green products available these days, but it’s also easy to make your own.

Basic Supplies You’ll Need for DIY Green Cleaners

  • White vinegar (sold in the cooking section of most supermarkets)
  • Baking soda
  • Olive oil
  • Borax (sold in a box in the laundry aisle)
  • Liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronner's brand, found in most natural foods stores)
  • Essential oils (found in natural foods stores, usually in the cosmetics section)
  • Microfiber cleaning cloths or better yet, rags made from discarded clothes and towels
  • Newspaper

Green Cleaning Supply Recipes

  • Glass cleaner: Mix 75 mls vinegar with one litre of water in a spray bottle. Spray on glass and wipe clean with old newspaper or a lint-free cloth. Need a stronger glass cleaner? Add a drop or two of the castile soap.
  • Countertops and bathroom tile: Make a runny paste of two-parts vinegar and one-part baking soda and four-parts water. Apply with a rag, scour, and rinse well. Prefer a creamier cleanser? Add a tablespoon or two of castile soap. Keeps well in a glass jar if you add a teaspoon of vegetable glycerin.
  • Floors: Mix 500 ml of vinegar into a bucket of hot water. Add a few drops of pure peppermint, pine or lemon oil for a pleasant scent, or tea tree oil if you need disinfecting. The smell of vinegar will dissipate quickly and leave behind the scent of the oil.
  • Wood furniture: Mix 30 mls of lemon juice and 15 mls olive oil. Apply a small amount to a cloth and rub onto the furniture in long, even strokes. Add a few drops of lemon oil for a longer lasting scent.
  • Toilet bowl cleaner: Sprinkle a toilet bowl with baking soda or borax and scrub away.
  • All-purpose cleaner: Mix 10 mls borax, 75 mls vinegar, 750 mls water, and a few drops of liquid castile soap. Wipe on with dampened cloth or use a spray bottle. Rinse if desired. An optional cleaner that’s great in the kitchen can be made by collecting the peels of lemons and oranges in a jar, covering them with vinegar and letting it sit for a week. Pour out the liquid and clean away, but be careful of marble counter tops or any other surface that may be sensitive to acid.
  • Mold and mildew: Wipe with straight vinegar.