30 Easy Recipes for Greener Cleaning

While keeping your home clean can play a big part in keeping you healthy, you may be doing more harm than good if you're using harsh and potentially harmful substances. It may seem simpler to just pick up cleaning supplies at the store, but making your own at home won't require a degree in chemistry-- just some basic household essentials and a few minutes. If you've ever wanted to try some greener cleaning recipes, then here are some to get you started. There's a recipe to help you clean nearly every room of your home, keeping things healthy for both you and the environment at the same time.

Basics

These basic cleaning recipes will help you get started with greener cleaning.

  1. Cleaning Kit: If you want to construct the perfect green cleaning kit, use this list from the Care2 network to bring together all the items you'll need, including baking soda, washing soda, tea tree oil and vinegar.
  2. Window Cleaner: You don't need a chemical cocktail to keep your windows squeaky clean. Instead, mix vinegar, liquid soap and water to make a much more earth-friendly version.
  3. All Purpose Cleaner: If you want a cleaner that can go the distance but won't leave your home smelling bleachy, try this recipe from Green Living Ideas. It requires one part vinegar to one part salt.
  4. Disinfectant: When you hear disinfectant your mind probably assumes something pretty heavily laden with chemicals, but here you'll find two recipes that use little more than extracts and oils and water to keep things germ-free.
  5. Wallpaper Cleaner: If your home has wallpaper, you can help keep it clean and pristine by simply wiping it with a piece of white bread. It will remove scuffs and smudges without harming the paper.
  6. Air Freshener: No one wants a stinky home, but store bought air fresheners can do little to actually freshen the air. Not so for these natural alternatives that not only make your home smell great, but help actually remove odors rather than just covering them up.
  7. Linoleum Cleaner: You can use this cleaner to scrub both your hardwood AND linoleum floors. Who doesn't love something that does double duty? Just combine vinegar and water and buff to a shine.

Kitchen and Dining

Because they get so much use and involve sometimes messy meal making, the kitchen and dining areas of your home are probably tougher to keep clean. Not to worry, these recipes will help keep these spaces spick and span without resorting to harsh chemicals.

  1. Stainless Steel Cookware: If you'd like to keep your cookware as shiny as the day you bought it, you'll probably need to put in a little elbow grease. But these cleaning methods using natural products like lemons and vinegar can make it a whole lot easier.
  2. Oven Cleaner: Traditional oven cleaners are harsh and will burn your skin if you come into contact with them. Try using this recipe for oven cleaner that uses baking soda and vinegar instead.
  3. Silverware Polish: Keep your silverware looking like new with this recipe that will remove tarnish and shine up your silverware right before your eyes.
  4. Dish Soap: Make your own dish soap using this recipe that combines all-natural soap, baking soda, washing soda and lemon juice.
  5. Refrigerator Cleaner: A little baking soda and water will help keep your refrigerator grime-free and much less stinky.
  6. Disposal Deodorizer: Got food stuck in your disposal that's starting to stink? Use this remedy to remove the odors: toss some lemon rinds down the drain.
  7. Veggie Wash: Get rid of any dirt, chemicals or pests that might be hanging around on your produce with this recipe.
  8. Fine Linen: Use the power of the sun, boiling water and good old peroxide to clean up old or delicate linens.

Bath

You want your bathroom to be a place where you can get clean, not pick up more dirt. So use these recipes to give it a great scrub down.

  1. Tub Scrub: Kill all the mold and mildew in your tub and leave it smelling fresh and clean by mixing a small amount baking soda, soap and essential oils.
  2. Drain Unclogger: Don't dump a bunch of chemicals down the drain! Instead, use baking soda, vinegar and hot water to rinse away any clogs.
  3. Lime Deposit Remover: Is your shower clogged with lime from your hard water? It's simple to get rid of it with a bag of vinegar looped over the showerhead.
  4. Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Rather than using bleach or one of those silly blue bowl cleaners, combine baking soda, olive oil and a bit of an essential oil to clean your toilet to perfection.
  5. Scouring Powder: If you've got a ring around the tub that just won't come off, you might need something more powerful. This recipe will help you scour your tub without having to worry about getting chemicals on your skin at your next bath.
  6. Metal Polish: There are several metal polish recipes here that can help you keep your bath fixtures looking pristine, whether they're stainless steel, chrome or something else.

Fibers and Wood

From your furniture to your laundry, these helpful recipes will ensure that your home stays clean and fresh.

  1. Wood Floor Solution: With 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 30 oz of warm water, you'll have your wood floors clean in no time, without a harsh chemical in sight.
  2. Furniture Polish: You don't need to whip out the Pledge to shine up your favorite wood pieces. Instead, just use olive oil and lemon juice-- an inexpensive and Earth-friendly alternative.
  3. Carpet and Rugs: Read this article to learn how club soda, cornmeal, baking soda and liquid soap can take the place of harsh rug cleaners.
  4. Wood Buffer: Does your coffee or dining table have a scratch? Simply rub the meat of a walnut or other nut into it and watch it fade away.
  5. Spot Cleaner: If you've got a tough spot on your rug, couch or even shirt, try out this recipe for an amazingly effect spot remover.
  6. Water Stain Remover: Learn how to get rid of water stains on wood through this video, using an all-natural method.
  7. Red Wine Stain: Red wine is notoriously hard to get out, but with this simple recipe of dish soap and peroxide it doesn't stand a chance.
  8. Fabric Softener: If you hate static cling but want to stay green, use vinegar for softening and simply dampen your hands before folding to avoid it.
  9. Laundry Detergent: Check out this site for a number of great detergent recipes that can save you money and keep you green (all while smelling great!)