Thursday, April 16, 2009

Green Cleaning

Cleaning supplies are not required to have ingredients lists.
There are no regulations on what goes into them!

Just think for a minute about how awful the cleaning aisle at the grocery store smells. I can hardly stand to breathe when I'm in that aisle! I don't want to expose my children to chemicals unnecessarily. Cleaning my home doesn't require some expensive chemical cocktail solution sold in plastic bottles at the grocery store. It really only requires having a few ingredients on hand and a couple spray bottles that you can reuse each time you make more solution. Now that I use homemade green cleaners I'm so much happier about cleaning, I don't have to turn on the bathroom fan and worry that the lingering harsh smells are eating away at my brain.

I don't know why this is such a well kept secret because its so easy and inexpensive. Having a few base ingredients on hand allows you to easily mix up a solution of your favorite cleaning recipe whenever you run out. There are some great recipes here which I typed into a document, printed off and then laminated. I have the laminated one page cleaning list stuck to the inside of my cupboard where I keep the cleaning supplies so that its easy to mix another batch of cleaner when I need to.

If you're just getting started, all you need are a few ingredients and a couple empty spray bottles. You can reuse bottles from commercial cleaners, just be sure to thoroughly wash the bottles and relabel them. I keep on hand:

washing soda (found in the cleaning aisle near the bleach)
baking soda
liquid soap (Dr Bronners, found at the health food store)
tea tree oil, lavender oil (these are expensive little bottles, but last forever as you only need a few drops)

I use my all purpose cleaner for just about everything including window washing. For cleaning the sink I sprinkle baking soda on and then wipe it off with a soapy sponge. Tea Tree Oil is naturally antiseptic and antifungal; I sometimes add a few drops to my all purpose cleaner or dilute in water and spray on counters to disinfect. For an air freshener, add a few drops of lavender oil to water and spray lightly. There is a recipe for furniture polish here and I'm working on a dishwasher detergent recipe to share as well.

Go give it a try!  It works for me.


  1. I use vinegar as a fabric softener - the chemicals in commercial sheets and liquids are toxic.
    I add about 40 drops of lavender essential oil to 4L of natural vinegar.Each time I use it shake it before pouring about 1/2 cup into the fabric softener dispenser. The clothes come out smelling lightly of lavender, and are less static-y.
    I have a recipe for homemade laundry soap as well but haven't yet tried it.

  2. I'm going to order from Abbys Lane in the next few days. I need some stuff for wool and I remember you saying that I can put in your information so you can receive something?

  3. Heather, thanks for thinking of me! If you have never ordered from before you can put my name in the comments section and my email address. Its just for first time referrals and I get a small credit. (Christy Also, if you join their yahoo group you'll see the discount code for 5% off. :)

  4. No I never ordered from them before! Thanks I'll check out the yahoo group.

  5. I'm so glad you wrote about this... I've started using vinegar and baking soda to clean and as a fabric softener too! Thanks for all of the info!