8 Essential Ingredients for Homemade Green Cleaning

Homemade green cleaners are eco-friendly, effective, and inexpensive to make. Green cleaners use plant based, environmentally friendly products that are biodegradable. By going green you bypass all those harmful chemicals like chlorine, ammonia, phosphates, solvents, and synthetic dyes that are commonly found in commercial cleaners. Going green is better for your health as well as the health and well-being of our children, pets, and the planet. To get started cleaning the green way, all you need are a few basics you can find at your local grocery store or online.



These ingredients are all tried and true cleaning multi taskers:


1) White Distilled Vinegar

Vinegar is a very versatile and effective ingredient for cleaning. Use as a grease cutter, stain remover, deodorizer, fabric softener, glass cleaner, germ killer and more. If you are just getting started in the switch to green cleaning, start with vinegar, it is non-toxic, cheap, and a highly capable all purpose cleaner.White distilled vinegar


How does vinegar clean? White distiiled viinegar is about 5% acetic acid. This acidic nature kills germs, bacteria and molds. The acid in vinegar also absorbs odors and neutralizes soap scum.


How to use it:

What does the research say? In a laboratory study comparing commercially available household kitchen and bathroom cleaning products to lemon juice, ammonia, vinegar, baking soda and borax, researchers found that "commercial cleaners and vinegar gave the most effective microbial reduction..."

Olson, W. (1994). Hard Surface Cleaning Performance of Six Alternative Household Cleaners under Laboratory Conditions
Journal of Enviromental Health - Jan / Feb 1994


2) Baking Soda

Next to vinegar, baking soda is perhaps the most useful and versatile household green cleaning ingredient. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a naturally occurring material. Baking Soda

How does baking soda clean?- Baking soda is a white, crystalline, mildly abrasive powder. It is slightly alkaline. This alkalinity works to absorb odors by neutralizing acids and acidic scents making baking soda an effective all purpose deodorizer. Some things just need to be wiped clean. Other things need to be scrubbed. Baking soda's gritty texture makes it excellent for scrubbing chores. Works great on toilets, stoves, sinks and counters.

How to use it:


3) Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a natural mild bleaching agent that is good for removing stains. It is also a mild disinfectant good for killing bacteria and fungi.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide is available in different concentrations. The 3% concentration is the one most commonly used in households for cleaning and disinfecting purposes.


How to use it:

Hydrogen Peroxide Spray Bottle

Whenever you get a stain or spot on the carpet, spray some hydrogen peroxide on it. Wait 5 - 10 minutes, then blot it up with warm water and bit of liquid dish detergent. Get to your stains quickly, if you let the stain get old, the peroxide may just lighten the stain rather than remove it. Bloodstains are like this. If you get to them while they are fresh, you may get them out completely. If they are allowed to set, they may be permanent.

What does the research say? Finding factual studies using hydrogen peroxide for cleaning and disinfecting for household purposes is tough. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved hydrogen peroxide "for controlling microbial pests on crops growing indoors and outdoors." The EPA also stated that it "prevents and controls bacteria and fungi that cause serious plant diseases." Additionally, a study done by the Department of Paedodontics, Medical University of Lublin in Poland found "hydrogen peroxide caused a significant decrease both in the number of total fungi and individual fungal species" in cleaning dental waterline equipment.


4) Castile Liquid Soap

Castile liquid soaps are made from renewable and biodegradable natural ingredients, using vegetable oil instead of animal fats or petroleum products. Castile liquid soaps are true multipurpose cleaners suitable for use in your kitchen, bathroom, shower, and laundry room.

How to use it: Castile Soap

A few drops of castile liquid soap mixed in with a spray bottle of water makes an excellent, mild all purpose house cleaner. Add a few drops of essential lemon or tea tree oil for a fresh scent. This makes a great alternative cleaner if you don't like the smell of vinegar cleaners.


5) Olive oil

Olive oil is extracted from the whole olives from olive trees. Throughout history, olive oil has been used for heating, medicinal use and food use. It is currently used as one of the best all-around oils for food preparation and making salads. It also is terrific for making home made furniture polish.

How to use it:

6) Lemon Juice

The citric acid from lemon juice is a very good grease cutter and natural germ killer. Ideally, recipes for lemon Lemon Juicejuice would use real juice fresh squeezed from lemons, but bottled lemon juice is a suitable substitute.


How to use it:


7) Club Soda

Club Soda is water with carbonation and sodium salt added. The carbonation comes from dissolving pressurized carbon dioxide in water.

How to use it:

Club Soda


8) Essential Oils

Essential oils are liquids derived from plants and seeds. These natural oils protect plants from insects, diseases and the environment. They are the essense of plant's ability to to live, grow and adapt. A plant's essential oils also determine the plant's scent. Be sure to buy only natural, not synthetic essential oils.

How to use it:

Buy a few different scents to have a variety on hand for recipes. Suggestions are lemon oil, tea tea oil, eucalyptus, and lavender oil. essential oilsMost recipes call for 10 or more drops. These are just guidelines and you'll sometimes add more or less to suit. Many of the oils, such as tea tree oil, have natural disinfectant qualities and can actually aid in the cleaning process.


Using Eco Friendly Cleaners:

Most of these natural cleaners are effective for mild to moderate cleaning duties. They are not the caustic, abrasive, toxic cleaners that will magically strip every surface they touch of all germs, grease, and stains that heavy duty commercial solvents, bleaches and cleaners will eat through. These eco friendly cleaners will however handle most typical household cleaning jobs effectively, inexpensively and safely.