Recipes - Homemade Cleaning Products

Recipes - Homemade Cleaning Products

Source: Women's Voices for the Earth - Green Cleaning Party Kit

Women’s Voices for the Earth

Green Cleaning Recipes

Furniture Polish

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup white distilled vinegar

20-30 drops lemon essential oil or 2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)

Shake well before using

Dip a clean, dry cloth into the polish and rub the wood in the directions of the grain. Use a soft brush to work the polish into corners or tight places.

Tip: To remove water spots, rub well with non-gel toothpaste and wipe away with soft cloth. To remove scratches use 1 part lemon juice and 1 part olive oil; rub with soft cloth.

**Lemon juice may be substituted for lemon oil, but then cleaner must be stored in refrigerator.


Laundry Detergent

1 cup soap flakes

½ cup washing soda

½ cup borax

Soap flakes can be made by grating your favorite pure vegetable soap with a cheese grater. Mix ingredients together and store in a glass container. Use 1 tablespoon per load (2 for heavily soiled laundry), wash in warm or cold water.

For soft water: Use 1 cup soap flakes, ¼ cup washing soda, and ½ cup borax.

For hard water: Use 1 cup soap flakes, 1 cup washing soda and 1 cup borax.

Tip: Add ½ cup white distilled vinegar to rinse as a fabric softener.

Tip: For whites, use hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach. Soak your clothes for 30 minutes in the washer with ½ cup 20% peroxide, then launder as usual.

**Gloves are recommended as washing soda may irritate skin after prolonged contact; not to be used with silks, woolens or vinyl.


Drain Opener

½ cup baking soda

½ cup vinegar

Pour baking soda down drain and follow with vinegar. Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Flush with boiling water.

Tip: Prevent your shower from clogging by using a drain trap to catch hair.


Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Option 1

Sprinkle toilet bowl with baking soda, drizzle with white distilled vinegar, let soak for at least 30 minutes, and scrub with toilet brush.

Option 2

Add ¼ cup borax to toilet bowl and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Swish with a toilet brush and then scrub. A few drops of pine oil can be added for increased disinfecting. (Note: Some people are allergic to pine oil)

Tip: Let ingredients soak overnight to make for easy scrubbing, especially on persistent stains like toilet bowl rings.


All-Purpose Cleaner

Suggested Uses: Hard surfaces like countertops and kitchen floors, windows and mirrors.

2 cups white distilled vinegar

2 cups water

20-30 or more drops essential oil (optional)

Tip: Warming in microwave until barely hot with boost cleaning power for tough jobs. Only microwave in a glass container.

**Optional, but suggested to reduce vinegar smell; try lavender or lemon essential oil.

**WVE recommends purchasing industrial cleaning strength bottles from a custodial supply store because vinegar will corrode ordinary bottle components.


Creamy Soft Scrub

Suggested Uses: Kitchen counters, stoves, bathroom sinks, etc.

2 cups baking soda

½ cup liquid castile soap

4 teaspoons vegetable glycerin (preservative)

5 or more drops essential oil (optional- try tea tree, rosemary or lavender)

Mix together and store in a sealed glass jar; shelf life of 2 years.

Tip: For exceptionally tough jobs, spray with vinegar first- full strength or diluted. Let sit and follow with scrub.

Note: You can use essential oils as an alternative preservative, but using the vegetable glycerin significantly increases the shelf life of the product. If you plan to make a large batch to store, WVE recommends using vegetable glycerin.

**WVE recommends using a liquid castile soap that does not contain sodium lauryl (laureth) sulfate (SLS) or Dietholamine (DEA), which may have harmful side effects.

See these recipes at the WVE site HERE

Download these recipes HERE

Even obscure sounding ingredients can be bought locally.

- Borax and washing soda are available at Roche Bros.

Homemade Cleaners: Supplies

- List of common ingredients in homemade cleaners and where to buy them. Note Whole Foods and Trader Joes