Homemade Cleaning Products Help Save the Earth

Homemade cleaning products used to be popular for saving money or just used in a pinch when there wasn’t time to get to the store, but now they are becoming accepted as cleaners that help cut down on the chemicals that are being dumped into our water supply.

If you think about the amount of bleach, detergents, and other chemicals that we pour down the drain everyday, it can be alarming. Homemade cleaning products are a great way to give the environment a break. If you are interested in helping out Mother Nature, here are a few recipes for homemade cleaning products that really work:

ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER: Mix 2tbsp. vinegar, 1 tsp. Borax and a little hot water in a 16 oz spray bottle until Borax dissolves. Add a few drops of dish detergent and fill the rest of the bottle with water. Add a few drops of essential oil if desired

GLASS AND WINDOW CLEANER: Take a spray bottle and fill it up with ammonia and vinegar, using 1 tbsp. vinegar per 3 tbsp. ammonia. Spray slowly and lightly for best results. To get the look of a store bought glass cleaner, tint the mixture with a drop of blue food coloring.

NON-ABRASIVE TILE CLEANER: Put a small amount of baking soda in a bowl and add liquid dish detergent until you have a smooth paste. This works well on sinks and counters and won’t scratch the surface.

STAIN REMOVER: Mix 1tsp. dishwashing liquid, ¼ cup white vinegar, and 1quart water in a squirt bottle. Spray mixture on stains and allow the garment to sit for half an hour or more before washing as usual.

WOOD FURNITURE CLEANER: Combine 6 teaspoons light olive oil and 3 cups distilled white vinegar. Pour the oil and vinegar into a 1-quart spray bottle. Mix well. Spray the cleaner onto wood, wipe over with a damp cloth, and finish drying with a clean, lint-free cloth. This mixture is for treated wood only.

WOOD FLOOR CLEANER: Mix ½ cup vinegar and 1 gallon water. Dip mop or cloth into cleaning solution. Apply to floor, being careful not to get the floor overly wet.

CARPET FRESHENER: Combine 3/4 cup baking soda, 2 tbsp corn starch, and 1/4 cup perfumed talcum powder. Sprinkle on dry carpet, let stand 5 to 15 minutes, and then vacuum.

WALL CLEANER: Mix ½ cup ammonia, ¼ cup vinegar and ¼ cup baking soda with one gallon of warm water. Doubling the ingredients works better for bathrooms or high traffic areas.

SILVER CLEANER: Line a plastic or glass container with aluminum foil. Place tarnished silver on top of the foil. Sprinkle the silver with baking soda and cover it with steaming hot water. Soak the silver until bubbles stop, then rinse and polish the silver with a soft cloth. Throw the aluminum foil out after use.

Vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda can also be used as general purpose cleaners, but before you start mixing ingredients at home, keep the following in mind:

    Never mix chlorine bleach with toilet-bowl cleaner or ammonia. This combination causes toxic fumes

    Never mix bleach and vinegar. The vinegar accelerates the potency of the bleach and will cause damage to different fabrics and surfaces.

Always handle any ingredients that you are mixing with care and store them where they can’t be reached by pets or children. Always test cleaners on an inconspicuous area first and always label every bottle with its contents.