Green cleaning doesn’t have to overwhelming. Sure, there are lots of recipes for green cleaners out there, from the very basic to very complicated ones; enough to fill a whole Pinterest board with them. But green cleaning can be easy and simple. The key is to know what the essential items are and what to use them for.
1. White Destilled Vinegar
This is by far the most popular item for green cleaning. And with good reason, vinegar is effective at killing most mold, bacteria, and germs, due to its acidity. It is very economical and environmentally friendly. My only word of caution is to be mindful a lot of the white distilled vinegar is not so natural, but rather a combination of chemicals including petroleum derived chemicals. For this reason it is best to stick with brands who have a good reputation.
2. Baking Soda
AKA sodium bicarbonate, or the subject of grade school experiments. Baking soda is a mild alkali effectively dissolving grease and dirt when fully dissolved in water. When used partially dissolved, like in the case of direct application or in a soft scrub mixture, baking soda is gently yet abrasive enough. My Friend Kristen at Rethink Simple has 22 ways to clean with baking soda to get you inspired!
Lemons is nature’s first antibacterial cleaner. They clean well due their low pH and antibacterial properties. Plus, they smell absolutely delicious. Did you know you can clean your whole kitchen with just one lemon? Check out one my oldies but goodies to see how.
4. Washing Soda
Or Sodium carbonate. Washing soda is related to baking soda, and works in similar ways but is a little more abrasive –with a pH of 11–so gloves are recommended because it can irritate the skin. I use Washing soda in my Nontoxic Laundry Detergent, and for this Soft Scrub & Mold killer for Tub and Tile.
Also known as sodium borate. It is found deep within the ground. Borax is suitable for as laundry detergent because when mixed with hot water it converts some molecules into hydrogen peroxide. There is a big debate whether or not borax is safe and Eco-friendly. But it all comes down to this: “Borax is wholly natural. It doesn’t cause cancer, accumulate in the body, or absorb through the skin. It is not harmful to the environment” (source).
6. Essential Oils
Essential oils can turn a natural cleaner into a powerhouse. Many have anti-microbial properties making them the perfect addition to a sift scrub, for example, or they can be used as mold killers, anti-greasers, you name it! My favorite EO’s for cleaning are tea tree, lavender, lemon, orange, clove, and lemongrass. I always caution people before using essential oils, particularly for those with pets in the home as some EOs can be toxic to animals. Before using any EO please learn a little about them.
7. Liquid Castille Soap
The only soap I use. Dr. Bronner’s unscented is my favorite. It is so versatil; it can be use diluted as hand soap, body soap, mixed with baking soda for a soft scrub, and it’s the base for my Homemade Al-Natural Baby Wash and Shampoo and All-Natural Anti-Flea Dog Shampoo.
8. Castille Soap Bar
This is the third ingredient in my Nontoxic Laundry Detergent, and peppermint is my favorite scent because it really leaves my laundry smelling faintly like peppermint.
9. Orange Peels
Yes another citrus powerhouse. Orange peels are great a deodorizing and cutting grease and grime. My Orange Infused Vinegar is one my favorite ways to clean the stove, it works great at removing grease.
10. Bi-o-kleen’s Bac-out
One word. Amazing. Bac-Out is a natural stain and odor eliminator with live enzymes and cultures. Wine on your white carpet? Bac-Out. Spaghetti sauce stain on the kids clothing? Bac-Out. Pet piddled on the carpet? Bac-Out. I haven’t found a job that Bac-Out can’t do. It’s completely natural, works fast, and it’s easy to use as well. Check out my post on 5 Natural Stain Removing Solutions for more ideas.
There you have it. Stock your house with these essential items and you’ll be so green people might start calling you the hulk!
Looking for recipes for green cleaners?
This is the perfect book just for that, in fact it is my favorite book. Packed full of nontoxic, easy to make, green cleaner recipes. Heather Dessinger has taken out the hassle out of trying lots of recipes, sometimes with no success. Every recipe works, and works well. From citrus all-purpose spray to mold and mildew remover, this book has every recipe you’ll need. Learn more HERE.