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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Making Home Cleaners

Oct 23, 2014 11:06PM
by Michele Muise

Many people think using “green” products is more expensive and if referring to premixed commercial products available at the grocery store, that can be true. On average, each U.S. household spends more than $600 or more a year on cleaning supplies. For about $25 per year, you can replace all the traditional cleaning products in your home and save the planet many pounds of chemical impact to the water supply. One way to save and ensure you are using only eco-friendly biodegradable solutions is to make them yourself. If you have children, this is a great project to share with them as well, particularly if they are between the ages 8 and 11.

To make cleaning products at home, assemble the following items:

  • Containers: reuse empty ones you already have, such as spray bottles, empty gallon containers, laundry bottles or dish soap bottles
  • Astringents: lemon, white vinegar and alcohol
  • Scents: essential oils like orange, peppermint, ginger and lemon.
  • Castile Soap:  any kind (without scent recommended)
Have fun with it and let the children design the product “labels” or use markers right on the clean bottles.

To make a general cleaning solution: mix together in a gallon container: one cup of clear vinegar with five cups water. Add three to four drops of essential oil for a scent and 2 teaspoons of castile soap.

To make a window cleaner:  in a spray bottle, combine one tablespoon of white vinegar, two tablespoons of lemon juice and a cup of hot water and shake well.

To make tub and tile cleaner:  rub in baking soda with a damp sponge directly onto the surface and rinse with fresh water for light cleaning. For tougher jobs, wipe surfaces with vinegar first and follow with baking soda as a scouring powder. A word of caution: vinegar can break down tile grout, so use sparingly.

There are many sources of other solutions to make, which can be found in resources such as The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Step at a Time by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen. Looking online, there are great resources to be found at by looking up nontoxic solutions.


Michele Muise is the owner of Sustainable Solutions Cleaning and facilitates the seminar she wrote Green Your Routine. Connect with Michele at 


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