The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women

Clean with green.

aMy 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.

a2

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?] : )

a1For 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!

CWG

About Bree


Bree is the founder and writer of BakedBree.com, a recipe site that shares her love of cooking, baking, and entertaining with others. BakedBree.com launched in February of 2010 as a way to merge Bree’s love of photography with her love of food, and share both with friends and family. Currently, Bree lives in the suburbs of Washington DC with her husband and 3 children.

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  • Julie

    Also…10 drops of tea tree oil and 16 oz warm water creates a disinfecting solution that’s safer than chemical alternatives. :)

  • Julie

    Great job, Angie! I would avoid lavender though (in everything) – it’s an endocrine disruptor (bad news). Also, avoid citrus oils on cloudy and smoggy days as they mix with ozone and create dangerous formaldahyde toxin that you don’t want to breathe in – carcinogenic. Hope that helps!

  • http://www.domestically-speaking.com Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking

    Thank you! I’ve been wanting to try to make my cleaning “my green” & health of our family.

  • http://www.alisiakphotography.com Alisia K

    thank you so much for sharing. :)
    …just wanted to let you know that it appears the ‘clean with green’ download link is broken.

  • angie

    elaine, glad you stopped by! i’ll be writing more on yummy essential oils soon… stay tuned! :)

  • angie

    Theadora, thanks for the great natural spray starch recipe! i’ll be sure to use this next time.

  • http://hokeypokey-renaissancemom.blogspot.com Elaine

    Thanks for the fantastic tips. I’ll have to look for those “essential oils.”

  • http://theakohlhepp.blogspot.com Theadora

    One of the families I baby sat for in college many moons ago…used water and cornstarch for a “natural” spray starch when ironing clothes. Just make sure when you add water to the cornstarch that it is warm…it will dissolve quicker! :)

  • angie

    kristi! glad you are checking in here, miss chatting with you! thank you for the encouragement, i am glad to be of inspiration to others, hugs!

  • angie

    kika, i mix and leave them all – with the exception of the veggie cleaner and toilet cleaner. the veggie i use fresh lemon for, so i mix that usually once a week after my grocery shopping. the toilet cleaner i make as i go. everything stays nice and fresh, i am on my second month with most and they are working out fabulously.

  • angie

    becky, great idea on post topics. i would love to hear other’s opinions on keeping things tidy with limited time and clingy LOs. i am struggling with that myself lately! thanks for your suggestions!

  • angie

    rochelle, making your own baby wipes – fabulous! i’d love to know your recipe for it. i have one but haven’t been thrilled with it. do you use paper towels or cloth? thanks so much for your input!

  • Kristi

    Hello my friend! I’m sorry I haven’t been participating more but see that you are doing an AWESOME job of marketing and posting such great topics!! Way to go girlie! I look forward to browsing more and seeing more of your creativity blossom here. Hugs!!

  • Kika

    When you mix these solutions in your spray bottles do you leave them there until they’re all used up (they don’t “break down” or anything?). Nice timing for me. I’ve been buying organic cleaners but recently realized I need to switch to homemade b/c of cost.

  • http://familydavidson.blogspot.com Becky

    Rochelle- ooh making your own wipes! i did not know that was possible! if you would be willing to share that recipe i would greatly appreciate it.

    Ang- i love this site and part of my new years resolution besides working on baby weight is to do things green and money saving in hopes it will make me feel better.

    anyone have tips on small ways to clean house when you have little time and a grumpy clingy baby? i feel like our house is a dumpand i did take time off in march to do it thouroughly while shes at daycare but would love anyone’s input on little ways to keep up with it after i do the big clean out! thanks ladies!

  • http://www.myexperimentallife.blogspot.com Rochelle

    I have been making most of my own products too since my first child over ten years ago. She would get a rash from commercial baby wipes and so I started making my own. From there I was on a roll! Love your veggie one as I never thought of that!

  • angie

    becky – what a fabulous idea! i will get on that today. thanks for the great tip, so glad you’re gonna give it a try! :)

  • http://familydavidson.blogspot.com Becky

    Ang- I know youre a busy creative mama but is there a way you could liste the ingredients for each in a printer friendly version? I really would like to try this and search to see if I can save some dough in the process! thanks! if you cant dont worry bout it!
    Becky