Green home cleaning chemistry | Queen of Green | David Suzuki Foundation
Photo: Green home cleaning chemistry

Don’t mix acids and bases when you clean green. Use vinegar as a “chaser”.

I went back in time to high school chemistry and updated my Queen of Green cleaning recipes! Because mixing an acid with a base creates a (not dangerous) acid-base neutralization reaction.

My favourite green cleaning ingredients are vinegar (acid) and castile soap (base). When the two are mixed, they neutralize each other. Have you witnessed the white curdling? That's the vinegar "unsaponifing" the castile soap, taking it back to its original oils. It's a common mistake.

Why didn't I tell you sooner?

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I've used my two faithful recipes — All-purpose scour and All-purpose spray — for years to clean my sink, tub and floors.

Then I read a blog by Lisa Bronner of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. She says "Dr. Bronner's Castile soap and vinegar are a fabulous one, two punch. One after the other. Not at the same time."

So mix up a new batch of All-purpose scour and All-purpose spray with my revised recipes.

After cleaning with the above solutions, wipe surfaces — counters, tubs, tile and sinks — with a spray bottle of vinegar (straight-up for tough jobs or 50:50 with water) as a "chaser".

Please forgive my leading you astray.

To make it up to you, I'll send a bottle of Mountain Sky liquid castile soap to anyone commenting on this blog with a green cleaning recipe of your own. (And the winner is Jenelle!).

Sincerely,
Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green

January 13, 2014
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/queen-of-green/2014/01/green-home-cleaning-chemistry/

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185 Comments

Feb 24, 2014
5:32 PM

My household uses a simple vinegar and water recipe for cleaning all of our floors! (Except the carpet, which we only have on the stairs.) For 1 cup cleaning liquid, we use approximately 1/8 cup vinegar and 7/8 cup vinegar. We’ve bought a mop with a reusable cleaning pad and a refillable container as well so we don’t throw out a new bottle or cleaning cloth every time we clean the floors! We just wash the pad and refill the bottle! So simple.

Feb 12, 2014
7:12 PM

I love vinegar for cleaning. I use my lemon and orange peal left overs to make it better. put the peals in a glass jar and cover with vinegar. Let it steep for 3 weeks. The natural oils in the peals make great grease cutting action. Mix with water and a little baking soda…or washing soda…and tada… so great. You can just use the vinegar without if you wish. both work great.

Feb 11, 2014
8:42 PM

Here is an easy recipe for hand soap: Reuse an old dispenser with a foaming pump (bath and bath works, method, or else you can buy one). Fill it with water. Add one tablespoon castile soap (Dr. Bronner’s rose scented is nice) and 10 drops essential oils of your choice for scent. Shake and your done!

Feb 11, 2014
6:07 AM

Thank you so much for this information. I am trying to do better when it come to adopting a more “greener” lifestyle in every aspect of my life including my art projects so any tip, recipes and tricks I can learn with help me along this personal journey. I use vinegar and baking soda a lot for a multiple of uses around the house. One of my favourite uses for vinegar is the removal of hard water buildup in my kettle, and my low flow toilet.

Feb 11, 2014
6:03 AM

I love using vinegar and water! I’ve never used castile soap though. I would love to try it!

Feb 10, 2014
6:14 PM

My recipes are simple. Water and vinegar for floors. Baking soda to remove coffee stains in the sink. Vinegar on stainless steel to make it shine. Baking soda and vinegar down the drain to clean the drain. Thank you for updating your list!

Feb 10, 2014
12:18 PM

This isn’t a cleaner…per se, unless you count cleaning away spiders. Over the last few years we’ve had a large spider population almost the year round in the house (freaks me out!). I don’t believe in the very toxic raid, and so, I fill a spray bottle with water, about 8-10 drops of lemon oil, and a few drops of Dr. Bronner’s lavender castile soap. Then I spray the walls, ceiling, and linens in the bedrooms. It seems to repel the spiders away for a while, at the same time as freshening the room.

Feb 09, 2014
1:40 PM

I don’t know if this is listed but using rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer for deorderant/antiperspirant.

Feb 08, 2014
5:26 AM

For cleaning my non-wood floors I use 1/2 c of borax in hot water with a few drops if lemon essential oil. Does a great job! I have yet to try castille soap and I am thrilled there is one made in Canada!

Feb 07, 2014
4:42 AM

My recipie is pretty simple- I simply sun- steep citrus peels (orange, lemon, lime) in a mason jar filled with white vinegar for a few weeks then use it as my cleaning spray. It smells wonderful and the citrus boosts the cleaning power too!

Feb 07, 2014
2:40 AM

Orange or citrus peels added to white vinegar (mason jar for up to 2 weeks, then remove peels), along with a few drops of Bergamot essential oil added once the peels are removed—cuts down on the strong vinegar smell. Works great as all purpose cleaner too.

Feb 06, 2014
4:58 PM

A great way to remove the waxy residue off grapes is to rinse them, sprinkle salt and baking soda on them. Shake them in a container. Then rinse them again in water a couple times.

Feb 06, 2014
4:14 PM

To clean mirrors

Feb 06, 2014
1:47 PM

Thanks for the info. I’ve definitely been using your recipes but I did notice it smelled a bit funky when I mixed the two but would put more essential oils (tea tree, and/or peppermint) to counteract. That makes sense though. I only found it in the all-purpose spray (which I didn’t add borax because it seemed too intense for my likings), the scour was still awesome. I would clean with the scour and then spray the metal surfaces in my tub with the vinegar water to get rid of the spots and it worked great. Bottom line, the scour is amazing and I’ve always hated cleaning bathtubs until this magical potion came along. So, thanks! And now, not adding the vinegar will be a good thing because it would bubble up a-la — adding vinegar to baking soda, and make for quite the mess. I don’t have a house-cleaning recipe of my own since I use yours, BUT I do have a hair-cleaning one — I wash my hair with baking soda and water, and rinse with apple cider vinegar and water and it’s fabulous — hairs never been better! :)

Feb 06, 2014
1:04 PM

I love all your recipe ideas and other tips for living healthier! My favourite is baking soda and vinegar in the drains! I feel like a mad scientist lol! I use my dampened-with-water Norwex microfiber cloth for most of my cleaning because the microfiber lifts everything off the surface without the need for other ingredients or chemical cleaners. It explains how here: www.sheryltughan.norwex.biz

Feb 06, 2014
8:10 AM

Vinegar! Do you suppose that’s why there is so many germs floating around — because people are NOT using a disinfectant and germ killer! I would stick to using vinegar for cooking and use the proper disinfectants for cleaning — especially bathrooms and areas frequented by children.

Feb 06, 2014
6:20 AM

I use vinegar on my cutting board And I use vinegar to decalcify shower head and kettle

Feb 06, 2014
6:09 AM

I use baking soda and water to clean my ceramic top stove. I use the same container that the expensive store bought brand came in so there is no confusion around what it is. I combine enough baking soda and water to make a watery paste like substance, apply, scrub, wipe off and buff your stove top.

Feb 06, 2014
3:42 AM

For super disinfecting I use apple cider vinegar — straight up!

Feb 06, 2014
12:25 AM

Daily Shower Cleaner

1 cup water 1/2 cup Hydrogen Peroxide 1/2 cup Vinegar 1 teaspoon Castile soap optional: Essential Oil for scent, 20 drops or so……

Mix water and Castile soap ‘till soap is dissolved. Add Hydrogen Peroxide, Vinegar and Essential Oil. Put in a spray bottle. Spray daily after your shower, no need to rinse.

Feb 05, 2014
7:43 PM

I have a reusable window cloth that I keep in the bathroom for wiping the mirror and buffing the stainless taps and fixtures. Sometimes I use water when the spots are really on there but usually I just need the cloth. No windex for me!

Feb 05, 2014
6:12 PM

My favourite recipe (besides your Liquid Laundry Soap) is my silver cleaning recipe because it is so crazy cool: Fill sink with very hot water. Dissolve two tablespoons each of baking soda and salt. Toss in a sheet of aluminum foil. Add silverware. Watch the magic happen! Rinse and dry with a soft towel.

Feb 05, 2014
4:28 PM

I use vinegar to freshen my kitchen sink drains on a regular basis. I also pour vinegar into a plastic bag then secure it over the shower head with a twist tie to soak for a while. The shower head comes out sparkling clean and runs much better after that.

Feb 05, 2014
3:01 PM

Thanks for the update!

Feb 05, 2014
1:56 PM

I take a bunch of orange peels and out them in a jar, pour vinegar over them to the top and let it sit for 2-3 weeks. Then, strain the vinegar and dilute it with water as an all purpose cleaner. Smells great!

Feb 05, 2014
12:44 PM

My go to cleaner for my counters is baking soda first to soak up any stains (e.g. Beet juice) then spray vinegar/water and wipe up.

Feb 05, 2014
12:33 PM

I use vinegar a lot. But I kick it up a notch. I soak citrus rind (grapefruit, oranges, lemon, lime) in vinegar for 2 weeks. Then I compost the rind, dilute the vinegar 2:1 with water and use that as an all purpose cleaner! I sprinkle baking soda on stubborn stains/messes and use the vinegar mix on it too. I also use borax a lot too! Add it to laundry to boost the power of eco detergent (so have to use less detergent). It also helps prevent mold build-up in front load washing machines.

Feb 05, 2014
12:13 PM

Water, vinegar and a few drops of grapefruit essential oil in a spray bottle!

Feb 05, 2014
11:58 AM

I don’t have a great recipe to share but do love using the castile soap to clean.

Feb 05, 2014
11:43 AM

I like and use nearly allyour cleaning recipes. My only problem is that I can’t find soap granules anywhere locally. Can you tell me any sources for granules or a substitution formula using liquid castile soap? Thanks.

Feb 05, 2014
11:13 AM

Here is one I featured on my blog for deodorizing tablets instead of air freshener http://www.frugalistamamas.com/2013/02/homemade-de-odourizer-pucks.html

Feb 05, 2014
10:44 AM

I like to add a few drops of peppermint, lavevder or lemongrass essential oil to a 50/50 vengar and water mix. It cuts down the vinegary scent and smells fantastic!

Feb 05, 2014
10:28 AM

Can’t wait to try these recipes! To date my favourite has been a blend of 1 cup distilled water, .5 cup vinegar (disinfectant), 10 drops each of lavender and tea tree oils in a spray bottle. You could choose other scents, but these are both antibacterial/antifungal. Spray, let sit for a few minutes and then rinse off — or, for tough spots, add baking soda and scrub. Good on kitchen/bathroom surfaces, mirrors, floors. It also smells heavenly, sometimes I just use it as an air freshener! I never thought of adding the oils directly to the baking soda, as Jennie said, to deodorize carpets and mattresses. So many great ideas in this thread, looks like I’m going to be doing a lot of cleaning! :D

Feb 05, 2014
10:25 AM

I don’t have a green recipe to add because like many of the people that have already commented, I use a mixture of baking soda

Feb 05, 2014
10:18 AM

A tip I picked up in theatre — for years wardrobers used vodka and water to remove smells from costumes that could not be laundered between shows.

Mix 1 part vodka (use the cheap stuff) to 3 parts water in a spray bottle. Mist and let dry anything you want un-scented. (I use it on my couches in the summer.)

Feb 05, 2014
10:04 AM

Apology accepted :)! Haha actually Ive been doing nature clean dish soap with vinegar so I can only blame myself. I have found however the greatest sceptic cleaner is baking soda and vinegar. I coat evrry drain in the house with baking soda then pour vinegar over it creating ” volcano lava”. I do this once a month and havent needed draino in almost a year!

Feb 04, 2014
4:11 AM

Great one! I’m surely gonna try them out instead of outsourcing the cleaning work to a residential cleaning industry

Feb 04, 2014
1:03 AM

intersting Blog Sir http://www.messerscommercialcleaning.com/“mackay cleaning .

Feb 02, 2014
10:55 AM

I use vinegar mixed with water for cleaning mirrors and stainless steel and just started making and using the Queen of Green All purpose spray, which works great. I also use a little bit of baking soda when scrubbing the tub and sink.

Feb 01, 2014
5:49 AM

Great recipes from the Queen and in the comments below! Can’t wait to try the foaming hand soap recipe!

Jan 22, 2014
9:43 PM

I usually use just the vinegar

Jan 21, 2014
10:41 AM

I use baking soda with water for most of my cleaning and chase it with 50:50 water and vinegar spray. I use Dr. Bronner’s for toilet, shower, home made shampoo and laundry detergent for cloth diapers. All work great. Most people ask if we just ate fish and chips when they come over after a clean due to the vinegar smell, which brings a chuckle but a proud smile for cleaning green.

Jan 20, 2014
9:33 PM

handed down from my mom — the best carpet/fabric cleaner:

A dash of vinegar A squirt of liquid soap A cup of hot water

Mix it all up and use a scrubby brush to work it into carpets, upholstery, whatever. Every time I moved I used this to get rid of stains in the carpet. Always got my damage deposit back!

Jan 19, 2014
6:53 AM

I use for cleaning: 2 cups apple cider vinegar 2 cups purified warm water 2-6 drops of pure essential oils( I use orange)

Jan 17, 2014
8:54 PM

Sage infused vinegar anti bacterial spray!

2 cups distilled vinegar bunch fresh (not dry) sage spray bottle water air sealed (fido) jar

-twist sage and put into jar with vinegar. wait 2-4 weeks to let it infuse -after time, transfer sage infused vinegar into spray bottle with equal part water and use

Jan 17, 2014
6:15 PM

Tub Scrub: 2 parts baking soda 1 part salt 1 part borax powder

sprinkle on, let sit 10 to 15, spray with a bit of water or vinegar and scrub.

Jan 16, 2014
6:06 AM

I recently tried equal parts of salt, water and baking soda for those ceramic stovetops. It seemed to do a good job, but I’m not sure if the salt is needed! Thanks for the tips!

Jan 16, 2014
5:18 AM

I echo using citrus to infuse vinegar to get a great spray cleaner. I keep the peels of orange, clementines, lemon, or whatever in a mason jar. Once I have enough, I cover the peels with vinegar (regular white will do) and let it infuse for about 2 weeks. Shake it up once in a while. Then, strain the peels out and transfer to a spray bottle. Voila! Smells great and I think the citrus adds an extra grease cutting oomph! to the whole mix.

Jan 15, 2014
11:35 PM

My favorite recipe is 3 cups water, 1/2 white vinegar and 15 drops tea tree oil for a multi-purpose cleaner. I feel so great knowing that I am no longer using chemicals to clean — especially with small kids in the house.

Jan 15, 2014
8:37 PM

For the Dishwasher detergent, is regular table salt an okay substitute for kosher salt? Something to do with the iodine content?

Jan 15, 2014
7:17 PM

I actually used the recipes you gave and hosted a Green Cleaning Party with friends, and those were the first cleaners I’ve used. However, I’ve since discovered a ridiculously simple non-toxic foaming hand soap. I bought a foaming hand soap pump at a local kitchen supply store and then I just mix about 1/8 cup of Dr. Bronner’s liquid castille soap (I like lavender) and about 1 cup distilled water. I will never buy hand soap again!

Jan 15, 2014
6:02 PM

For any marks and spots on walls try rubbing the stain with baking soda and water. This tip has helped my poor old white walls stay looking clean. Also, if you have any glue stuck on walls from peeled off stickers try using vinegar to rub the glue off.

Jan 15, 2014
4:40 PM

Good article. Since you mentioned dr. Bronners (which I use exclusively as a soap and shampoo as well as their body lotions) I am wondering why not mention the bronners product “sal suds” which is what I use as an organic ,safe cleaner around the house and even for my laundry. Any thoughts on that product? Sorry if you have already mentioned this in a precious article. I just came across this website.

Jan 15, 2014
4:06 PM

Dishwasher Detergent

1 cup borax 1 cup washing soda 1/2 cup Kosher salt Mix together well.

Use 1 tablespoon in main wash compartment, and a little in the prewash side too.

You can also use white vinegar in the rinse compartment as a rinse aid

Jan 15, 2014
3:56 PM

I use vinegar and baking soda as a septic cleaner. Seems to work. I havent needed Draino in years”

Jan 15, 2014
3:52 PM

I clean the bathtub by dipping the cut side of half a lemon in Borax and scrubbing hard! It work great every time and smells awesome!

Jan 15, 2014
2:27 PM

My green bathroom cleaning recipe is to use baking soda to scrub my sink and tub then use vinegar as a chaser that also helps my pipes clear out. To help in scrubbing with the baking soda I use an old toothbrush, rag or just my hand.

Jan 15, 2014
1:57 PM

I love soaking lemons and grapefruit in vinegar and then diluting with water for a gorgeous citrusy fresh cleaner. Particularly great after you squeeze them for juice to drink first so you don’t waste the rest! We also love using eucalyptus and tea tree oil in our green cleaners — it smells minty fresh! And while you’re at it, soak a small cloth in a little vinegar and some eucalyptus oil for scent and use it as a homemade dryer sheet to keep static down and your clothes smelling cleaner longer!

Jan 15, 2014
11:23 AM

Make a great furniture polish… 1/4 cup melted Beeswax 1 cups olive oil 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Carefully pour the melted beeswax slowly into a heat resistant bowl containing the olive oil and lemon juice. Slowly stir with a wooden spoon. The mixture will thicken as it cools to the consistency of smooth peanut butter. To use: Work a small amount into wood using a soft cotton cloth (or repurpose an old t-shirt). Buff to a soft glow.

Jan 15, 2014
10:36 AM

HOMEMADE ROSEMARY-LEMONGRASS LAUNDRY DETERGENT

This DIY recipe makes about 1 gallon of laundry detergent, which is good for about 60 — 120 loads of laundry. I usually only need to make detergent twice a year for our family of four, and it costs about $4.50 USD per batch. Very economical!

=== INGREDIENTS === - 1 cup Borax - 1 cup washing soda (a.k.a. sodium carbonate from a pool supply store) - 1 cup plain liquid castile soap (such as Dr. Bronner’s) - 12 cups very hot water - 10 drops rosemary essential oil (optional) - 10 drops lemongrass essential oil (optional)

=== MIXING INSTRUCTIONS === In a large bucket, mix all the ingredients until they dissolve. Let the solution sit for a few days, mixing it a bit each day with a wooden spoon. It will turn white-ish and become a gel. You can leave it as a gel and just use a scoop or ladle to put it into your laundry, or you can use a hand blender to liquefy it. Transfer the detergent into covered containers—either buckets with lids for a gel detergent, or old detergent bottles if you make it into a liquid.

=== USAGE === Use 2 tablespoons of detergent for light loads or up to 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) for extra dirty loads. If you liquefied your detergent, you will need to shake it up before each use, as it separates. If you left it as a gel, just scoop it into the machine with your clothes.

Jan 15, 2014
10:17 AM

i scrub my wooden chopping board with salt and lemon juice. :)

Jan 15, 2014
10:02 AM

I have been cleaning my windows and mirrors using just water and micro-fiber cloths. Spray the water on the window then using the rougher cloth scrub, this removes any fly spots or soap scum, then polish with the softer cloth and presto…spotless surface with no dirty hands and the vinegar can be used for something else.

Jan 15, 2014
9:56 AM

Thanks for the tip! I add a few drops of peppermint oil to a spray bottle of 50/50 water and vinegar. It masks the sent of the vinegar and leaves my counter tops and sinks clean and smelling fresh!

Jan 15, 2014
9:41 AM

I use 1:1 water and vinegar. Or add a few drops of dish soap for window cleaner. Or add a tbs of olive oil, and a few drops of lemon essential oil for wood cleaner! I’ve been dying to try castile soap, but haven’t found a good price anywhere.

Jan 15, 2014
9:08 AM

Thanks for tip! I had heard that before but was never quite sure of the details and rules.

Jan 15, 2014
9:05 AM

Vinegar and water for floors, baking soda for the kitchen and some drops of Bergamot essential oil for an invigorating scent.

Jan 15, 2014
8:28 AM

I use baking soda and Dr. Bronner’s to clean the tub, and baking soda and half a lemon to clean bathroom fixtures. I use vinegar as my dishwasher’s rinse agent. I guess if it is added during the rinse cycle it should fall under the “vinegar chaser” category. Yay!

Jan 15, 2014
8:21 AM

Thanks for the tip! I had shared this on my FB page because i’m sure there are people who do mix the two and are getting less effective results. I’ve just started using more vinegar and baking soda in my cleaning routine and find it works really well, esp around the stove ( cleaning the drip pans and the grease that gets caked over time on the frame of the stove, like where the handles are and above that…not sure if anyone knows what i mean but its sticky and for the longest time i couldnt get it to clean off….voila…vinegar is the answer! ) anyways, id love to win the draw! I like Mountain Sky! They make amazing soaps, i esp like the hemp one, id love to try out another product from them! :)

Jan 15, 2014
8:18 AM

I have just discovered soap nut powder and it is AMAZING for hard water buildup and soap scum. I was using borax/vinegar/lemon essential oil before and it was ‘ok’. Will try vinegar chaser next time and im sure the tub will sparkle even more!! I use vinegar/water/lemon essential oil in the kitchen and really love it.

Jan 15, 2014
8:14 AM

Not sure if this qualifies as a recipe, but heres one to clean a dirty microwave effortlessly. Mix a cup of water with the juice of half a lemon and boil in the microwave. Use a humid rag to wipe off the guk.The vapour/steam combined with the lemon works magic!

Jan 15, 2014
7:43 AM

Vinegar with lemon juice and water! Smells so good. Meagan

Jan 15, 2014
7:30 AM

A splash of limonene oil and vinegar in water to wash floors!

Jan 15, 2014
7:23 AM

I had been brought up to use the same recipe, bronners and vinegar but recently i began making “orange” vinegar. this masked the smell and became my fabourite kitchen spray. you basically fill a jar with orange peels. fill with vinegar and wait. Then, voila! the vinegar now smells of oranges and its a citrus affair in the kitchen.

Jan 15, 2014
6:40 AM

Thanks for the update, Lindsay! I use your cleaners! I also make a lemon enzyme cleaner. Usually in the summer, I make a lot of fresh probiotic lemonaid using around 12 lemons per batch. I put all the peels in a large glass jar, cover them with water, top with a plate to submerge, and wait three months. I strain out the lemon peels and bottle. I use a 1 part cleaner to 10 parts water ratio for cleaning toilets, tubs, floors, and sinks.

Jan 15, 2014
6:12 AM

I drop a lemon into a mason jar and then fill it with vinegar. I then use that vinegar with a little tea tree oil and water. Then I clean everything.

Jan 15, 2014
6:10 AM

For floors: in a bucket of hot water I add 1 cup vinegar, 2 tbsps baking soda and the juice of half a lemon. To sanitize countertops, cutting boards and other germy hard surfaces: spray straight vinegar, then 3% hydrogen peroxide. Let mixture sit for a few minutes then rinse or wipe clean. Windows: equal parts vinegar and water, spray and wipe. I must be saving hundreds of dollars per year by buying vinegar and making my own product, instead of those expensive, toxic products.

Jan 15, 2014
5:47 AM

I am glad you sorted this out for people. I use vinegar, for it’s disinfecting qualities, water, Lemongrass oil and Lavender oil. I love the anti-fungal properties (well, anti-everything, except good bacteria) of the Lemongrass and the smell. The lavender has some incredible properties as well and I get green clean without any issues for my planet or my family. Essential oils added to the water and vinegar mixture, make for some excellent cleaning and lovely smelling combinations. Be well.

Jan 15, 2014
5:04 AM

Wow, this was always my recipe so thanks for the info! I will definitely start using a separate spray bottle for the vinegar. Another easy all purpose cleaner (esp good for bathrooms and kitchens) is 30 drops of grapefruit seed extract to 32oz of water in a sprayer. GSE has many wonderful uses — we clean totally green for our own health and the environment and cost but also because we have pets including a bird who is very sensitive, this gives a nice smell the natural way.

Jan 15, 2014
4:33 AM

For cleaning I like to use 50% vinegar mixed with 50% water and a tablespoon or two of baking soda. It keeps faucets free of deposits and scale.

Jan 15, 2014
4:26 AM

Thanks for the tips — very helpful!

Jan 15, 2014
3:58 AM

Yup, baking soda and vinegar for all of my cleaning and sometimes I add a drop or two of scented essential oil for a different scent

Jan 15, 2014
3:36 AM

I haven’t cleaned green before but I will after reading this article, especially when I already have most of the ingredients in my cupboard!

Jan 15, 2014
3:26 AM

Awesome! Thanks for the tip!! Will definitely use it!!

Jan 15, 2014
2:15 AM

save orange peals and place in a liter of vinegar. Let soak for 2 days and strain the vinegar. For a citrus multi purpose cleaner.

Jan 15, 2014
12:08 AM

Lemon and Lime-Time! …cleaning with the leftovers of a lemon: There’s always enough juice in it to wipe off sink, bathtub, etc. even after squeezing it! …lime leftovers are an awesome deodorant.

Jan 14, 2014
11:58 PM

Lemon rinds make a great kitchen counter or cutting board cleaner. Must be because they are acidic. Wipe then rinse with a clean cloth. I believe they disinfect too :)

Jan 14, 2014
11:49 PM

I use a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.. this works for so many things, but especially to remove salt stains from your boots! Works like a charm, just give a quick spray and wipe to your leather boots when you come in from walking on salt covered winter sidewalks.

Jan 14, 2014
11:44 PM

This isn’t new to anyone, but quick and easy laundry detergent: 1c washing soda, 1c borax, 1c oxy clean and I grated bar of Castile soap, mix together and use 1T per load of laundry.

Jan 14, 2014
11:15 PM

I like to throw slices of lemon into my jug of vinegar and keep it in the bathroom behind the toilet. Every morning, I throw a splash into the toilet bowl and it keeps things clean and smelling fresh with minimal upkeep needed.

Jan 14, 2014
10:49 PM

After many years of working with cleaning supplies I mix water, baking soda, vinegar with some drops of scent oil to clean my home ! I will like to try your recepi !

Jan 14, 2014
10:29 PM

I use vinegar 50:50 with water.

What is castile soap? Where can I get it?

I use just green products for cleaning since I have my 19 monthd baby and I’ll keep using it for safety issues and for the environment too.

I use baking soda to wash cloth diapers.

For counters I also add pepermint to the vinegar for a better and fresh smell.

Jan 14, 2014
10:04 PM

I just started making my own dishwasher powder from a recipe I found at wellnessmama.com: 2 parts Borax, 2 parts washing soda, 1 part citric acid, 1 part kosher salt. You can add essential oil if you want a scent

Jan 14, 2014
9:47 PM

For stubborn food on pots and pans, add a teaspoon of baking soda, a teaspoon of dish soap, and some water. Boil it on the stove and turn it off when it gets super foamy. Let it cool down and the pan should wipe and rinse right out.

Jan 14, 2014
9:42 PM

I use baking soda and some lavender essential oil in a glass jar with holes in the lid and place it in my linen closet as a freshener, makes my linens smell dreamy. I’ll use the same jar to sprinkle onto my mattress, leave it for a half hour then vacuum off to deodorize.

Jan 14, 2014
9:38 PM

I use dried orange peel,ground in spice grinder,mixed with borax to clean my toilet. Also vinegar and dish soap ( I use Natura from home hardware) half and half in spray bottle, in bathtub, let sit for 20 to 30 mins then wipe clean and rinse. Goodbye soap scum!

Jan 14, 2014
9:16 PM

Anytime I use a lemon or lime in a recipe I’ll use the empty citrus shell (with all its useful oils) to scrub down the sink and especially the area around the drain. Sometimes I’ll add a bit of baking soda for extra clean power. Makes it shine and smell lovely.

Jan 14, 2014
9:11 PM

I use a mixture of vinegar and water to clean pretty much everything — from baby toys to the kitchen cabinets to the floors. Lately I’ve been leaving (soaking for a few days) orange peels in some water to give the water a nice scent and then mixing it with the vinegar solution. It’s been great so far! I’ve been looking for a good scouring recipe so I’m excited to try your updated one!

Jan 14, 2014
8:59 PM

Mix 8-12 oz vinegar with .25 oz tea tree essential oil and spray it on tile grout — mildew will scrub off easily with a brush. Vinegar alone works well, but super-charge it with the tea tree and it’s great.

Jan 14, 2014
8:56 PM

I like vinegar as a daily shower spray, reduces soapy buildup — probably due to that desaponifying effect you mentioned.

Jan 14, 2014
8:56 PM

For my tub and tile and also my sinks, I use baking soda, liquid soap and water, but I do add a couple tbsp’s of vinegar. It seems to bring it all together nicely.

Jan 14, 2014
8:52 PM

I use the remnants of a can of tomato paste to shine the bottom of my copper pots. I slather a little onand let it sit overnight rinse it off in the morning and they’re bright and shiny.

Jan 14, 2014
8:45 PM

Clean floors with hot water, vinegar and blend of essential oils- tea tree and lavender

Jan 14, 2014
8:44 PM

Castile Liquid Soap, If you have one made with coconut oil it’s a much better cleaner. 10 drops of Lemon and/or orange essential oil — maybe a drop of clove.

OR

Vinegar 10 drops of Lemon and/or orange essential oil — maybe a drop of clove.

Jan 14, 2014
8:38 PM

I too make a paste of baking soda and liquid soap for cleaning the bathtub, bathroom sink etc. Works marvelously. The best cleaner I have found for mirrors is the orange cleaner homemade from orange / citrus peels and vinegar, although I have found club soda will work in a pinch for both chrome and mirrors if I have run out of the orange cleaner.

Jan 14, 2014
7:48 PM

vinegar is not good to use on countertops that are stone. I learned the hard way.

Jan 14, 2014
7:45 PM

I found this recipe several years ago and I’ve been using it ever since.

Baking Soda Liquid Soap, I’m not exactly sure about the proportion but it’s a paste.

I use it to clean the microwave, counter, etc. I heard Baking soda Vinegar can unclog the drain in the tub.

Jan 14, 2014
7:41 PM

I don’t know if this technically counts, but I like to repurpose for household purposes as much as possible. For example, I save all my old ends of candles that would otherwise be discarded, and use them as furniture wax for all my wood (I do this two or three times a year, and just keep the old wax and a designated rag in a jar under my sink). And every time I have any extra paper (newspaper, or the stuff they wrap your purchases in at stores), I save it and use it to clean my glass, mirrors etc with vinegar. It works better than a rag and would just go into the recycling bun anyway, might as well get one last use out of it first!! I also heat my vinegar with orange and lemon peel, it adds an additional disinfectant kick, and it also adds a light citrus scent that helps with the yucky vinegar smell.

Jan 14, 2014
7:40 PM

Cut a grapefruit in half. Sprinkle on some salt. Scrub a disgusting tub with it…..like, the really gross parts.

It’s not harsh, and it works. Whenever my grapefruit are beyond the point where I feel like eating them, I use them to scrub!

Jan 14, 2014
7:39 PM

Thanks for clearing this up, it’s one of my pet peeves with green cleaner recipes. And guys, when you mix baking soda and vinegar, what you’re left with in that chemical reaction is very expensive salt water—-not a great cleaner. As for a home recipe, I put straight baking soda in a shaker jar and use it on an old rag as an abrasive scrub for my bathtub. Cheap and easy!

Jan 14, 2014
7:36 PM

We use baking soda for a lot of things, followed by vinegar as the chaser. My favourite use is keeping the sink drain unclogged.

Jan 14, 2014
7:34 PM

I appreciate the discussion of the chemistry of cleaning.and the great sharing that comes out of admitting a mistake and finding a better solution ( teehee little chemistry joke there) My new favourite cleaning recipe is blending celtic salt or other very grey or black salts with fresh lemon juice. It cleans and scours beautifully and also takes the smell out of toilets, mildew, and fridges.
I also use 8 drops of grapefruit seed extract in a litre of water to sterilize surfaces and cleaning brushes and cloths. i sterlilize my lab this way too. So much more effective than chlorine plus it is so all around uber green. Concentrated and safe enough to take camping et al.

Thanks for your good work.

Jan 14, 2014
7:32 PM

I have a bunch of green cleaning recipes I use. A good simple one is to add antibacterial essential oils (lavender, tea tree oil, etc) to a jar of baking soda and shake well. I use this to deodorize carpets and freshen mattresses. Just sprinkle on, wait a bit, and vacuum up. I also sprinkle it in the tub and scrub as a good abrasive cleaner.

I also love castile soap, so I hope I win!

Jan 14, 2014
7:30 PM

I use teatree oil and water to clean stainless steel. Works great! No streaks. Also works good to disinfect the counters.

Jan 14, 2014
7:17 PM

My multi purpose cleaner is a spray bottle of white vinaiger in which i let marinated lemon skins ( when i use a lemon juice i keep the yellow skin , cut it in piece and go in my bottle). So it smells viaigner yes, but lemon vinaiger with lemon essential oils!

Jan 14, 2014
7:16 PM

Mix 25% Australian Eucalyptus Oil with 75% methylated spirits. Use for all cleaning, floors, benches, baths, showers, toilets, walls, doors etc.

Jan 14, 2014
7:14 PM

I always use a 75/25 ration vinegar to water in a spray bottle, but I also add a few drops of tea tree oil to each bottle for it’s antibacterial properties.

Jan 14, 2014
7:02 PM

I usually fill a spray bottle with vinegar, water and lemon juice and clean pretty much anything with it.

Jan 14, 2014
6:55 PM

I always spray down the bathroom with vinegar first. Then, while that’s soaking, I make a paste of Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild Castile soap, water, baking soda, tea tree oil, and eucalyptus oil. Rinse off the vinegar quick, then scrub away. So amazing to be able to take a deep breath while cleaning the tub and know it’s not bad for me!

Jan 14, 2014
6:50 PM

Thank you!!!! I use vinegar and Dr Bronner’s Soap together in the same spray bottle. I’ll change it to seperate and wash my floors tomorrow.

Jan 14, 2014
6:48 PM

Sprinkle baking soda into your sink and tub and on your toilet. Then spray straight vinegar (or 50:50) and scrub. It will bubble while it works…soap scum, and all scum will disappeer!

Jan 14, 2014
6:45 PM

Spraying vinegar on kitchen surfaces and following by spraying hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria including e coli. My dirt buster spray is 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup water, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 4-5 drops tea tree oil and 8-10 drops essential oil of choice (I use sweet orange) Works great with no residue. Use baking soda paste as a scrub for baked-on stains.

Jan 14, 2014
6:45 PM

I like to use leftover squeezed lemons on my sink: once I’ve squeezed as much juice as I can from the lemon for whatever recipe I am preparing, I rub whatever remains on my stainless steel sink.

Jan 14, 2014
6:39 PM

Does anyone have advice for cleaning marble? We just moved into a house with marble floors, which are beautiful, but I have no idea what to do with them.

Jan 14, 2014
6:29 PM

Don’t forget the benefits of lemons! Mix 1 cup olive oil with ½ cup lemon juice and you have a furniture polish for hardwood furniture.

I look forward to trying Mountain Sky Castile soap.

Jan 14, 2014
6:26 PM

Wow! I also did the same mistake with my own cleaning solution! Thanks for the info!! One of my green cleaning solution for everyday cleaning spray is water, vinegar are essential oil like tea tree oil as an antifungus/ antibacterial agent!

Jan 14, 2014
6:16 PM

I leave orange peel in vinegar for a few weeks and then remove the peels. Then put the orange vinegar solution in a spray bottle to use on surfaces when wiping them down.

Jan 14, 2014
6:15 PM

Not really a recipe, just that I use a microfibre cloth for pretty much every type of cleaning except for soap scum and grease (those definitely need a green scrubby pad). Always make sure you rinse it out with very hot water after each use and hang it in a ventilated spot to dry, and it will take a very long time before you notice any slight smell in the cloth. When you do, just soak it in a bowl with a couple of tablespoons of vinegar and lots of boiling water, and a few drops of a nice-smelling essential oil.

Jan 14, 2014
5:57 PM

Love this! My favorite is cleaning toilets to put a half cup of white vinegar in and sprinkle with baking soda. For the tub and sink I just use plain baking soda. Baking soda is also great for tough to clean kitchen pans…ok…i am a baking soda fiend!

Jan 14, 2014
5:45 PM

Oh wow!, great advices..so far I haven’t found something to really make my oven shine, so looking forward to the draw

Jan 14, 2014
5:43 PM

I was wondering what was going wrong with my castile soap… it was the first time I’d tried it!

My favourite soap scum is baking soda and water using an old sock turned inside out!

Also love to make my copper-bottom pans pretty and shiny again by soaking lemon-juice and water for a few hours (a can of cola also works…but that’s not exactly “natural”, it’s just what I do to use up pop when guests leave it at my house :)

Jan 14, 2014
5:39 PM

Apple cider vinegar diluted with water. Works great and leaves a nicer smell!

Jan 14, 2014
5:39 PM

Baking soda immediately on any curry or red wine stains will take it out ASAP!

Jan 14, 2014
5:38 PM

Soak orange peels in a jar of vinegar for a few days… Transfer the vinegar mixture to your cleaning bottle.. leaves your house smelling likecitrus!

Jan 14, 2014
5:37 PM

I use a glass jar, and pack it with orange/lemon/grapefruit peels then fill to the brim with white vinegar. Shake every day and I leave it for a week or two before straining out the peels. Add solution to a spray bottle and add a little water. I use it as a multi purpose spray on almost everything. I find the added city’s oils give it a nice extra boost!

Jan 14, 2014
5:35 PM

This is a super helpful update, I’ve been making this mistake for years.

Jan 14, 2014
5:32 PM

ok this isn’t so much a cleaning recipe as technique. Starting with a basic lye soap ( I make my own from potassium lye leached from wood ash, rendered fat and a bit of salt, but you can buy it) and a sponge ( I use sea sponge so I can microwave or boil it to sterilize) I put the plug in the sink, place cups and glasses in run just enough hot water to wet the sponge, letting it run into the worst of the cups for soaking. Soap up the sponge, empty the first cup’s water into the next, scrub it down and rinse pouring the hot rinse water into another cup etc. By the time you are at plates you have enough water in the sink to cover a few of them. Never put sponge in the water. Add a little soap and tiny bit of water if the sponge dries or stops lathering and cutting grease. next cultlery, mixing bowls, then pots, animal dishes and finally the compost bins. This technique uses about 3/4 sink of water for a family sized 2 rack load of dishes. No toxic petrol chemicals. and very little water.

Jan 14, 2014
5:28 PM

I like to clean my toilets with baking soda and vinegar. It works great and gets rid of any odour!

Jan 14, 2014
5:27 PM

Try using sour milk or yogurt to polish brass and other metals

Jan 14, 2014
5:25 PM

I love cleaning with vinegar. During the holidays, I eat 2 cases of mandarins and save all the skins and put them in Masson’s jars with vinegar for a month. This gives me enough scented vinegar spray for the year. I use it non diluted for some tougher stuff and 50/50 with water for a less scented softer effect. I also love 10% hydrogen peroxide for my wood cutting boards.

Jan 14, 2014
5:25 PM

I soak lemon and orange peels in vinegar for at least 3 weeks. I use one cup of this lemoney vinegar with one cup of water and add a little bit of soda in it.

Jan 14, 2014
5:21 PM

I just collected citrus rinds in a glass jar and covered them with vinegar for a few days. The citrus not only aids in the vinegars cleansing strength, but also masks the strong scent of the vinegar. My house smells amazing!

Jan 14, 2014
5:20 PM

Was just talking about Castile soap! I want to try it (use baking soda). Thx!

Jan 14, 2014
5:20 PM

I always use vinegar with Baking Soda to clean the sinks and is also good to open clogged pipes

Jan 14, 2014
5:19 PM

I haven’t heard of castile soap but it sounds wonderful. I use limes for soap scum in the bathtub. I slice limes and rub over the shower glass enclosure and walls and then rinse off with water.

Jan 14, 2014
5:17 PM

Vinegar, castile soap and baking soda do a very good job at cleaning my home — I need nothing else! When I run out of castille soap, though, I like to use Aleppo soap, which I already use for cleaning my skin. I chop off small pieces from the block of soap, mix it with hot water until it has disolved. Then I pour it in a bottle, add a few drops of lemon or peppermint essential oil and use that solution to clean the toilet bowl, the floors, and whenever I need a more “soapy cleanser”.

Jan 14, 2014
5:17 PM

we have made almost every recipe but a new favorite is soaking orange and other citrus peels in vinegar for a few weeks and then using this super orange solution either straight up or with water to dilute ans we spray it on everything…its so fresh and love knowing it has nothing bad in it for us…and the citrus oils can clean anything and surprisingly not sticky…no real recipe just need a mason jar, peels and vinegar to cover and shake it up whenever you feel the urge and in a week to a month it will be done drawing all the oils out, a good indicator is when the vinegary smell is gone…so lovely

Jan 14, 2014
5:16 PM

1tablespoons borax 1tablespoons castile soap a few drops of any essential oil 1 litre warm water for a multi purpose cleaner :)

Jan 14, 2014
5:16 PM

Vinegar, water, a tiny bit of castille soap. Works winders :)

Jan 14, 2014
5:12 PM

I always use baking soda with castile, it makes an excellent non-scratch bubbly scrubber. Perfect for cleaning ring-around-the-tub and soap scum in the sink. It’s pretty excellent on stainless steel sinks too. That’s about all I use for cleaning actually, castile and baking soda. I use Norwex cloths for glass, chrome, fridge and stove. No products needed, naturally disinfecting too.

Jan 14, 2014
5:11 PM

Tub Cleaner: Sprinkle tub liberally with baking soda.

Take half a lemon, and squeeze about 2/3 of juice around edges of tub.

Let sit for 10 minutes (I build breaks into my housework…), while the lemon juice has it’s way with the baking soda.

Scrub the tub with the lemon half as your sponge.

I find the reaction helps loosen the soap scum. That’s what I like to think, anyway. And you still have half a lemon if the tub is really gross, or to make lemonade for when you’re finished.

Jan 14, 2014
5:07 PM

Homemade laundry detergent: 1 cup borax, 1 cup washing (not baking) soda, 2 cups grated hard yellow soap (such as Linda — all ingredients located in the laundry products aisle of the grocery store). You can also add 1-2 teaspoons of the essential oils of your choice to add some zing, but I think it’s a nice clean smell all on its own. Sift all together

Jan 14, 2014
5:06 PM

I like using a baking soda/water paste for cleaning the oven.

Jan 14, 2014
5:02 PM

I use coarse salt and a lemon to scrub my wooden cutting board. Afterward I put a cup of vinegar down the kitchen drain. I let that sit for about 30 minutes. I boil a kettle of water and put the lemons above my sink trap. I pour hot water over the lemons. It gets the yuck out of your drain and deodorizes.

Jan 14, 2014
5:00 PM

I have never used castile soap in my household cleaning? I use baking soda to scrub and deodorize and vinegar in a spray bottle after. Good trick I found to get rid of that calcium build up around your faucet is to wrap paper towel around the area then soak the paper towel with your vinegar spray bottle. Leave it for 20 minutes or longer and it will be shiny as new again!

Jan 14, 2014
4:59 PM

I’m also in the vinegar and baking soda cleaning crowd (but never used at the same time!) Like many people, I put a small container or box of baking soda in the fridge. When it’s past its usefulness, I tend to go on a cleaning frenzy with the ‘used’ baking soda: toaster, kettle, sink, stove top

Jan 14, 2014
4:56 PM

Also, Fresh pet urine cleaner for safe use on wood: wipe up any liquid residue and cover spot with salt. Leave for a few hours, or over night. The salt will absorb the rest of the moisture and the odor! Then simply vaccume or sweep up the salt.

Jan 14, 2014
4:54 PM

Thanks for the update Lindsay! Quick question: would it be okay to add some essential oil drops to the vinegar ‘chaser’? When I clean our antique solid oak dining table, I first use a thin skim of vinegar to cut the old buildup of oil, then rub in some walnut oil with a soft cloth. The table seems to really appreciate this ‘drink’ especially during the dry winter months. Keep up the great work!

Jan 14, 2014
4:52 PM

I’m fermenting organic orange peels in a mason jar to make an enzyme cleaner. Smells great, bubbling like crazy, and apparently the end result after 3 months of fermentation is a powerful orange cleaner. I stuffed the jar full of orange peels, handful of sugar to get it going and water to cover. The jar is loosely covered — not sealed, as the fermentation would cause a pressure build up that could result in an explosion of glass if the top were fully sealed. We shall see… reports are that it works great. Thanks for the info and all the good work.

Jan 14, 2014
4:52 PM

Recently started using a recipe of peroxide, baking soda and dishsoap to remove pet urine stains and odor. Works great! Also good for removing stains from mattresses and covers. Obviously a base/acid mix. Any other suggestions?

Jan 14, 2014
4:51 PM

Lemon! When I use one for cooking, I wipe down the sink and stoppers to keep it fresh and rinse in hot water. And I also rinse my dishes in hot water and a dash of vinegar. I have never used Castille soap though, now I’m interested. :) I mainly use a scouring cloth and vinegar/water solution.

Jan 14, 2014
4:49 PM

I make an all purpose spray using a vinegar/water mixture, and put an orange peel in t to soak for 2 weeks, in a glass jar. . It smells great, and the essential oils from the peel are an added cleaning punch!

Jan 14, 2014
4:46 PM

Thanks for the revised recipes! My fave green cleaner is orange degreaser! Steep orange peels in white vinegar for 2 weeks. Strain, dilute and degrease away!

Hope I win :)

Jan 14, 2014
4:44 PM

My favorite home made cleaner? I really just mix water and vinegar with a simple mix of essential oils (mainly tea tree). I use it for basically everything. :)

Jan 14, 2014
4:44 PM

Multi-purpose spray: Mix vinagar and water in a 40:60 ratio with peppermint extract (1-2mls depending on bottle size) in a spray bottle. Label ‘peppermint cleaning spray’ and use for simple clean ups such as tables, counters, fridges, floors, etc. :)

Jan 14, 2014
4:43 PM

For mopping I use 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar with a tablespoon of dishsoap and add a few drops of lavender or whatever essential oil I feel like to a couple gallons of hot water and floors are squeaky clean:)

Jan 14, 2014
4:43 PM

To keep down mold and mildew in your shower, instead of using a store bought shower spray… Use a spray bottle that will hold 500-750mL. Pour in: 1/4C rubbing alcohol, 1/4C 3% peroxide, fill the remaining space of the bottle with water, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to help cut the antiseptic hospital smell haha! Now if you want spot-free for glass showers, it gets a little less green, but add a 1/4C of Jet dry before filling with water. I found that ALL store bought shower sprays made me cough, this way is fine for me

Jan 14, 2014
4:39 PM

For cleaning up dog or cat urine on carpet, I use a couple rags to soak up as much as I can, then spray the spot with equal parts water and vinegar, let it absorb for a couple minutes, than take some new rags and soak up what’s left of the spot. Sounds gross but works amazingly, especially if you have a puppy and have to clean up frequent messes.

Jan 14, 2014
4:37 PM

Does pickling vinegar (7%) work any better than ordinary vinegar (5%) for cleaning?

Jan 14, 2014
4:36 PM

Mix Baking soda with a little water, put on an old toothbrush and get into the cracks and crevasses along water taps. Works wonders on a top mount sink where it seems all sorts of guck gets under the sink rim on the counter. I use a butter knife to loosen, then spray with my 50/50 vinegar water solution for mop up..

Jan 14, 2014
4:29 PM

When cleaning glass and mirrors, I usually just use a microfibre cloth and water. Streak free every time!

Jan 14, 2014
4:26 PM

I think someone said it but I sprinkle baking soda in my toilet and then add vinegar. If you have water lines it really takes them off when it bubbles. Is that ok to do?

Jan 14, 2014
1:05 PM

I’ve always used straight vinegar to remove food burnt to the bottom of a pot. Works great!

Jan 14, 2014
12:38 PM

SOAP SCUM REMOVER: Sprinkle on baking soda, scrub with a cloth or sponge, and rinse. Vinegar or kosher salt also work.

love this blog just found it

Jan 14, 2014
6:00 AM

I usually mix baking soda and castile soap to make a “scrub” or “paste” that cleans my bathroom. It leaves the tub super clean and the scrubbing power really helps with soap scum! I never thought to use a vinegar chaser! I will try this!

Candice

Jan 14, 2014
5:36 AM

I always thought it was weird when green cleaning recipes had vinegar and baking soda in them. Didn’t these people make volcanoes in public school? I didn’t realize that Dr. Bronners was also a base — thanks for the updated info!

Jan 13, 2014
7:20 PM

I don’t really have a recipe- usually just add vinegar to water and use a microfibre cloth. That’s it.

Jan 13, 2014
7:08 PM

I use baking soda and vinegar to clean bathrooms. Baking soda and lemon juice for kitchens ( a nicer smell ). And of course a 50/50 of vinegar and water for all my windows and mirrors. My baby always loved licking the sliding doors so knowing that it was only vinegar made it ok.

Jan 13, 2014
5:33 PM

Thanks for the update! I’ve been using your old cleaner and know the reaction you’re talking about!

This is a not-yet-vouched for suggestion, but I am in the process of making lemon-infused vinegar. I make lemon ice cubes (so I can easily have warm lemon water in the mornings), and I have all the peels in a jar with vinegar.

I’ve been told to let them sit for at least two weeks, then to strain the liquid and mix with water at a 1:1 ratio. Apparently, it is especially good for cleaning up grease. I am looking forward to testing it out!

Jan 13, 2014
4:49 PM

Good to know. I have been doing the vinegar chaser with cleaning my glass stove top. Baking soda sprinkled on and a very damp hot old towel spread out and left for 30 minutes. A light scrub and hot water rinse and all the baked stains come right off. A splash of vinegar and then a rinse gets it shining like new. No need to buy those expensive toxic cleaners.

Jan 13, 2014
4:49 PM

I don’t have any of my own recipes…I started green cleaning last year after subscribing to your newsletter. I’ve only used your recipes so far and really like them. Thanks for posting the updated version

Jan 13, 2014
4:23 PM

My mom taught me to wash the floors the “green” way right from the get-go. As early as the age of 11 I was washing the floors with a bucket of hot water with a splash of vinegar. Well it was supposed to be a splash — I always added more than that, which, according to my mom, made the house smell like a pickle factory :)

Jan 13, 2014
4:01 PM

I love Castile soap and vinegar for home cleaning! I have a spray bottle of diluted soap and one with 50/50 vinegar and water that I use for just about everything. I love baking soda to deodorize, scour and help make my laundry fresher and brighter!

Jan 13, 2014
3:58 PM

Both are my go to cleaners! I use them for just about everything :)

Jan 13, 2014
3:34 PM

Wait, so don’t use vinegar and baking soda to clean floors? My own green cleaning is not a recipe but I have used a dish scrubber instead of sponge for years. They last forever, and if you want to reuse, just get an onion bag and it can be turned into a dish scrubber. I also find that sponges carry a lot of bacteria, which scrubbers don’t.

Jan 13, 2014
3:26 PM

My favorite recipe that I use is my glass and mirror cleaner, which I also use for some bathtub and sink cleaning as well. This is where I steep grapefruit rinds in white vinegar for about 2 weeks and then mix with some water in a spray, often adding a few drops of teatree oil, sweet orange oil, or lavender oil. Smells and cleans fantastically!

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