Clean your home from top to bottom with these environmentally friendly and inexpensive cleaning recipes.
Window cleaner: Clean your windows with a mixture of 1/2 cup vinegar to one gallon of water using old newspapers instead of paper towels or clean coffee filters to dry your windows. You can also use: 1/4 cup undiluted white vinegar, 1 tbsp cornstarch, and 1 quart warm water.
-variation: Use a spray bottle filled with club soda.
Furniture polish and dusting: Mix two parts olive oil to one part lemon juice to make a simple homemade furniture polish. Apply with a soft cloth. This recipe is best for unvarnished wood.
Or try these varieties on homemade furniture polish recipes:
Combine 1 cup lemon juice with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp water. Apply with a gently touch to furniture using a soft cloth. Leave on the furniture a couple of minutes then buff.
Dusting Rag: Wet cleaning cloths and let dry until almost dry, leaving them slightly damp. Use this for dusting, or fabric softener sheets.
Black Tea Furniture Polish: Boil water and steep black tea. You can use a tea bag as these are inexpensive and save on messes. Steep approximately 3-4 bags in hot water until it cools. Remove tea bags. Using a cotton cloth polish you wood furniture. The end result is a shiny, beautiful surface.
Vinegar and Olive Oil Furniture Polish: This recipe is perfect for all types of wood furniture. Mix one cup olive oil and a quarter of a cup of white vinegar together, and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on cotton cloth and polish the wood furniture rubbing with the grain. Although when you first use, the vinegar will have a strong aroma, however it disappears as the polish dries. You can also replace the vinegar with an equal amount of lemon juice, leaving behind a light lemony fragrance.
Mayonnaise Furniture Polish: To polish your wood furniture, put a small dollop of mayo on a soft cloth, and polish your furniture, rubbing with the grain of the wood. Buff until your wood furniture has a nice shine, there is no need to rinse. For use with real mayonnaise, not fakes.
Shower cleaner: Clean the shower with full-strength vinegar; then scour with baking soda powder for stains and tough soap scum. Rinse thoroughly with clean water when finished.
Toilet bowl cleaner: Sprinkle baking soda into your toilet. Next add a small amount of vinegar before scrubbing with toilet brush.
Grout and Tile Cleaner: Mix 1 cup water and 3 cups baking soda mixed into a paste. Apply , scrub and rinse.
Tub and Tile Cleaner: Combine 2 cups of baking soda with enough water to make a smooth thick paste. Apply the paste to the tub or tile and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Scrub off with a soft rag in a circular motion. After the paste is removed, spray the tub or tile with a 50/50-vinegar and water rinse. The rinse will remove any residue and disinfect the area as well.
Floors and Carpets
Floor Cleaner: Combine 2 cups of vinegar with 6 cups of warm water. Clean those floors and let dry, with a cleaning cloth or rag.
Carpet stains: Using equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, spray the mixture directly on the stain and let soak for several minutes, and clean with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water.
Carpet freshener: Freshen your carpets naturally by combining two tablespoons cornstarch, 1/4 cup perfumed talcum powder, and 3/4 cup baking soda in an old spice container. Sprinkle the mixture on dry carpet and let stand five to 15 minutes before vacuuming.
Floor Cleaner and Polish
For wood floors: apply a thin coat of 1:1 mixture of vegetable oil and vinegar and rub in well.
For painted wood floors: mix 1 teaspoon washing soda into 1 gallon (4L) hot water.
For brick and stone tiles: mix 1 cup white vinegar in 1 gallon (4L) water; rinse with clear water.
In most cases wood floors can be cleaned using equal amounts of vinegar and water. For a refreshing scent, add 15 drops of pure peppermint oil; shake to mix.
Fabric softener: To reduce static cling; spray clothes with a light mist as you remove from the dryer, or use dampened hands. Shake out your clothes as you remove them from the drier. Line-drying clothing also saves you energy, static cling and in some cases ironing.
Dishwashing Soap: While many low-phosphate detergents are not harmful, the phosphates contained in them up oxygen in waterways. A detergent substitution is to use liquid soap. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of vinegar to the warm, soapy water for tough jobs, or you can try phosphate free cleaners, like Purex Naturals or Arm and Hammer Essentials.
Air Freshening and Deodorizing Recipes and Tips
Air fresheners are hard on nasal passages, sinuses, and allergy sufferers. Try these tips:
-Keep windows open to let air circulate through the home, on cold days leave open for 5 minutes with ceiling fans going.
- Place a drop or two of essential oils on your light bulbs. The heat of the bulb makes the oil release its scent.
- Baking soda or vinegar with lemon juice in small dishes absorbs odors around the house, just as it does in the fridge.
-Houseplants help to reduce odors in the home.
-Stop cooking odors in their tracks by simmering vinegar (1 tbsp in 1 cup water) on the stove while cooking.
- Wipe cutting boards and utensils with vinegar and wash in soapy water to get out the smell of fish and onion.
- Keep fresh coffee grounds on the counter.
-I do this every couple of days — grind up a slice of lemon in the garbage disposal.
- Simmer water and cinnamon or other spices on stove, to add variety add a teaspoon of vinegar and sliced fruits like oranges or apples.
-Create your own potpourri by placing bowls of fragrant dried herbs and flowers in room.
Deodorizer: To create our own earth friendly deodorizer, sprinkle non-scented or scented baking soda on the bottom of garbage cans to absorb odors and spills. You can scent the baking soda by placing 3-5 drops of essential oils in 2 cups of baking soda. Mix well and let air dry before storing for future use.
Air Filters: Use fabric softener sheets in your air vents, to catch air borne pollutants and freshen the air.
Now your house is cleaned green, you saved money by using products already in your home and you can have people over knowing your house has a nice, clean fresh scent that is all natural, environmentally friendly and saved you tons of money.
Do you have a favorite cleaning tip that is good for the environment? Or maybe even a homemade air freshener? Share your favorite cleaning recipes with us.