homemade cleaner recipes

Since as long as I can remember, I'm a clean freak !  I don't like the feeling of germs in our house (we take transit to work), it's one of my neurosis :) so all of our furniture are either wood or leather for easy cleaning.  I try to 'deep' clean my house at least once a week.  I don't want to use harmful chemical (store brought) products because I have a baby and a dog who both like to lick everything in sight and are spending a lot of time on the floor.  I decided to google up some non toxic and green cleaning ideas and found some.  Below is a list of recipes I found and tried and have great success with.  I will update this page as we go along, as we become more environmentally concious :)

MUST HAVES ingredients for me are:  baking soda, vinegar and rubbing alcohol

All-Purpose Cleaner
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon castile soap
- 3-5 drops tea tree oil

Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the baking soda has dissolved.

Hardwood Floor Cleaner
- 1 part water
- 1/2 part vinegar
- 1/3 rubbing alcohol
*a couple drops of citrus or lavender oil if you like

Mix all ingredients in the sink or bucket, depending on the area you're cleaning.  The vinegar helps kill bacteria/mold and the alcohol helps the water to evaporate, for less water streak marks on the floor.  I make this solution every weekend to mop our hardwood floor squeaky clean !

Window Cleaner
- 1/4-1/2 tsp liquid detergent
- 3 tbs vinegar
- 2 cups water
- spray bottle

Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use as you would a commercial brand. The soap in this recipe is important. It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.

Creamy Soft Scrubber
Simply pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough water to make a texture like frosting. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and wash the surface. This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn't leave grit.

I also use this to clean my glass stove top.  I lay a thick layer of the paste on the stove rims and let it sit for a few hours (over night is best).  Then I take a cloth rag and scrub off the paste.  It's great for removing liquid burnt mark or any food mark on the glass top.

Oven Cleaner
- 1 cup or more baking soda
- water
- A squirt or two of liquid detergent

Sprinkle water generously over the bottom of the oven, then cover the grime with enough baking soda that the surface it totally white. Sprinkle some more water over the top, then let the mixture set overnight.

You can easily wipe up the grease the next morning because the grime will have loosened. When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of liquid detergent or soap on a sponge, and wash the remaining residue from the oven. If this recipe doesn't work for you the first time, try it again with more baking soda this time around !

Mold Killer
- 2 teaspoons tea tree oil
- 2 cups water
- Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse.

*Vinegar is also a natural mold/bacteria/mildew/germs killer.  I use it to disinfect baby K's toys and our kitchen.  You can also add 1 cup of vinegar in your rinse cycle to remove odors.

Natural Drain Declogger
- Pour about 1/2 of a cup of baking soda down the drain
- Then pour about 1/4 cup of white vinegar or vinegar concentrate down the drain (foaming action will form to help clear the pipe)
- Let stand at least 20 minutes and rinse with hot water.

* I also use this mixture (cut down portion in half) with some salt to clean and deordorize my kitchen sinks !