My journey into greener living has been exciting and eye-opening. One of the first big steps I took was taking control of what sorts of products we use in our home. Keep in mind I am far from “perfect” [ie: still using my bed head root boost, loving the Victoria's Secret body spray I've had for years, and cleaning up after a raw chicken adventure with Clorox.] However, I decided to tackle all of the other cleaning products. I dreaded cleaning our hardwood floors, because the scent of the swiffer cleaner sent my kids into coughing fits, not to mention the money I knew I could save if I made my own.
So, recently I decided to just go for it. I happily loaded up all of my old cleaners, recycled what I could and passed others along. I hit up the dollar store for empty spray bottles, then the health food store for some yummy essential oils and I was on my way. Now, does it make you a bad person if you still prefer Windex over a vinegar and lemon cocktail? Of course not! We all have our faves… I’d encourage you to try out a homemade cleaning recipe some time! You just might be hooked!
Okay, bust out those basic items and have some fun!
For the windows
Mix equal parts of the following into a spray bottle: white vinegar & water. spray onto windows and wipe with a newspaper for a streak free shine!
For the potty
This is something you will create with each cleaning. The kids will think this is great, so be sure to get them in on the fun! Grab your glass jar and mix 1 cup of white vinegar and 1/4 cup of baking soda. It will fizz, so go ahead and pour it into “the potty”, let it sit for a bit, then return and scrub-scrub away.
For the air
This is one of my absolute faves, and is where your yummy essential oils come into play! Fill one of your spray bottles with water, then simply add about 12 drops of any combination of essential oils. I recently made a lavendar / lemon freshener. Mmmm. Shake & spray around your home for a lovely burst of fresh. [Sidenote: this blend also works well as a surface cleaner, as the oils are naturally anti-bacterial!]
For the mold
In another empty spray bottle, combine the following: 2 parts water + 1 part hydrogen peroxide. spray on areas of nastiness, leave for at least 30 minutes, and return for a good rinse.
For your floors
Our previous home was equipped with 90% hardwood floors. As I mentioned, the swiffer being as awesome as it is, leads us all to nearly choke from the strong aroma of the hardwood floor cleaner. I was ecstatic to come across this recipe, and have found in our new home [equipped with tile floors] the recipe works just fine! Yes, another spray bottle… very simple. cCombine 1 part water with 1 part white vinegar and 10 drops of essential oil. Tea tree oil is a great one to mix in, you could also add lemon or orange for a nice fresh scent. Spray directly onto the floor and go ahead using the swiffer [why not recycle it this way eh?] : )
For your veggies
This was an exciting find for me! Especially if you are like us and can’t afford to strictly buy organic, cleaning those fruits & veggies prior to eating is so important. Simply add 1 cup of water to 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 15-20 drops of essential oil [i use lemon] or if you have fresh lemon, squeeze the juice into your mix. Clean those freshies and let them dry, love it!
For everything else
In yet another spray bottle, mix 1 liter of water with 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of white vinegar. Add 10-12 drops of essential oils [i like sweet orange & lavender personally] and shake. This is an all purpose cleaner that has the added benefit of the essential oils which of course are a natural antibacterial. Use this on surfaces, your shower and bathrooms, in the kitchen and more.
I’ve even created a free, down-loadable PDF with green cleaning recipe cards. Click the image below to get yours!