8 ways to use non-toxic, home-made cleaning supplies

The Basic Ten at Work Now that you know what products you need, grab a few clean, empty spray bottles; some rags and sponges; and a bucket of water, and you’re ready to clean your house the green way. All-purpose cleaners: An all-purpose cleaner is just that—something you can use for just about every surface in your home, from kitchen counters and appliances to bathroom surfaces and walls. Clean House, Clean Planet author Karen Logan offers this recipe for the all-purpose “Alice’s Wonder Spray”: Put 2 Tbsp. white vinegar and 1 tsp. borax into a 16 oz. spray bottle. Fill the rest with very hot water and shake to blend until the borax is dissolved. Add 1/4 cup of liquid castile soap only after you’ve completed the above steps. If you want to scent your spray, also add 10–15 drops of an essential oil, such as lavender, lemongrass, thyme, eucalyptus, rosemary, rose, or clove. The spray will keep indefinitely. For an even simpler solution, try cleaning with two cups of club soda in a spray bottle. Hard floor cleaner:  This solution is useful for all hard floors (except when directed by the manufacturer to avoid even mild detergents): Combine 1/4 liquid castile soap, up to 1/2 cup white vinegar or lemon juice, and 2 gallons of warm water in a large plastic bucket. Use with a mop or sponge. Carpet cleaner: To clean and disinfect your carpet, blending 1/2 cup baking soda, 1 cup borax, and 1 cup cornmeal. Sprinkle mixture over rug and rub with a cloth. Let rest for several hours or overnight, then vacuum. To remove...

10 Basic Ingredients for cleaning

The Basic Ten Stock your cupboards with these ten products, and you can clean just about anything: 1) White vinegar: An antifungal that also kills germs and bacteria. 2) Baking soda: Eliminates odors and works as a gentle scouring powder. 3) Borax: Borax, the common name for the natural mineral compound sodium borate, eliminates odors, removes dirt, and acts as an antifungal and possible disinfectant. Use with care around children and pets, as it can be toxic if swallowed. 4) Hydrogen peroxide (3% concentration): A great nontoxic bleach and stain remover, as well as a proven disinfectant. 5) Club soda (fresh): A stain remover and polisher. 6) Lemon juice: A pleasant-smelling nontoxic bleach, grease-cutter, and stain remover. 7) Liquid castile soap: An all-purpose cleaner, grease-cutter, and disinfectant. “Castile” means the soap is vegetable-based, not animal-fat-based. 8) Corn meal: Great at picking up carpet spills. 9) Olive oil: Makes a wonderful furniture polish. 10) Pure essential oils: Adding all-natural, organic essential oils to your cleaning concoctions can add wonderful scents to your housekeeping endeavors. Some—such as lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and tea tree oils—also may have antibacterial, antifungal, or insect-repelling properties. To find pure, organic essential oils, visit your local health food store or you can find some great buys with www.mountainroseherbs.com, www.essential7.com and www.herboco.com. Remember to use care with essential oils, as they can cause harmful reactions when ingested or put directly on the skin. Some are considered dangerous for pregnant women (To be safe and simplify things, stick with eucalyptus, lemongrass, and tea tree oils for all recipes below if you’re pregnant). Use SPARINGLY, some essential oils in...

Tile & Grout

Use a baking soda paste to remove mildew stains on the grout around your tub or shower. Apply the paste and then scrub it with an old toothbrush until the stain is gone. Remember to rinse the area well. It’s also a good idea to keep a bottle of this Baking Soda mixture in your bathroom & kitchen, ready for use.­ Baking Soda Cleaning Mixture: 16 ounces baking soda­ 4 tablespoons liquid dish soap 1 cup warm...