10 Essential Items for Green Cleaning

10 essential items for green cleaning. These are all the items you need to for safe and nontoxic cleaning!

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

white distilled 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

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!

3. Lemons

lemons 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

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.


5. Borax

Borax 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

Tea trea oil 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

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

Bar of castille soap 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

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

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!

photo credit: hfreesartography via photopin cc


DIY Non-Toxic Cleaning Recipes

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.

Update: For the month of March ONLY you can get this book at 25% OFF listing price! Use code SPRING25.

About Stephanie

Stephanie is a stay-at-home mom to her curly-haired two year old son, a nursing student, dog lover, and yoga enthusiast. She loves to share her tips on making green and healthy living attainable to families getting
started in the wonderful world of eco-consciousness. She believes in
real food and living as natural as possible…and why not, leaving behind a
better planet for our children.


  1. Great list. I often forget about orange peels!

  2. Really great list – We have most of them. My daughter wants me to get the Borax so she can make flubber and gak like she did in camp last week.

  3. I don’t think I’ve seen a post yet with all the essentials in one handy list! Thanks, pinning…

  4. I’ve got five out of ten in my house right now! This post makes me want to always have lemons in a bowl on my counter.

  5. Great list! I would add essential oils to mine. Also, I have stopped using Borax after reading it is rated F on the EWG cleaning database: http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/2507-20MuleTeamBoraxNaturalLaundryBoosterMultiPurposeHouseholdCleaner

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