Thursday, April 2, 2009

Green Cleaning

After being diagnosed with asthma in the fall, I started to notice that certain cleaners were affecting my breathing, especially when used with great frequency. While cleaning Jon and Autumn's place, my chest began to feel tight, and the fumes bothered my throat. 

I've been making my own bath soap and laundry soap for quite some time, and decided to try some other products as well. Each of these does a great job, and costs just pennies. I found these recipes at Rhonda Jean's Down to Earth blog. 

*All Purpose Cleaner *

1/2 tsp. washing soda
2 tsp. Borax
1/2 tsp. grated soap or homemade laundry detergent
2 c. very hot water

Combine washing soda, Borax, and soap in a spray bottle. Pour very hot water over all. Replace cap, and shake well. This keeps with no danger of going bad. Mark the outside of your spray bottle *All Purpose Cleaner*. Shake before each use. 

We've used this on everything from wood furniture to countertops. Spray the surface that needs cleaning, and use a terry cloth rag or a microfiber cloth to remove dirt. Dry surface with a clean cotton cloth. 

*All Purpose Cleaner 2*

1/4 c. baking soda
1 cup ammonia
2 quarts warm water
Mix all, and store in a clearly marked container. This is great for walls and floors such as vinyl, tile, or laminate. 

*Wood Furniture Polish*

1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 c. vinegar or fresh lemon juice

Mix ingredients. Store in a marked jar or a condiment container such as a squeeze ketchup container. (You can find picnic style ones very inexpensively at Wal*mart.)

Wipe onto wooden surfaces and polish gently with a clean, dry cloth. 
The only downfall to this is that my cat started licking the furniture! It left the wood looking beautiful, though.  

The last recipe I have for you is not from Rhonda Jean's blog, but one that I've had in my recipe file for nearly 20 years. It works like a dream in a steam cleaner. 

*Carpet Cleaner Recipe*

1/4 c. Tide laundry soap
1/3 c. ammonia
1/3 c. distilled white vinegar

Combine all and add 1 bucket full of water. Use in your carpet cleaner as you would any commercial brand. 

We recently used this to clean the carpets at Jon and Autumn's place. They came out absolutely beautiful and smelled great, too!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for these great recipes Tracy! :)

jAne said...

THANK YOU! I saw a link at RhondaJean's for homemade household cleaners but didn't have time to click so thank you for sharing!

Do you have a recipe for dish soap? Or, do you use the storebought variety?

..cracked me up to read about your cat licking the furniture..

~~Deby said...

hey thanks for the new recipes...I am trying to start making these...I also use some Mrs. Meyers Lavender stuff....I too seem more allergic to things as I age..what's a girl to do?

Susan said...

Great post!!! You know how into this I am.

Kristy said...

Cleaners can be very harsh and harmful. My sister works for Shaklee and has found out some amazingly scary facts about the average cleaners on the market. We have all switched to Shaklee cleaners; I'm glad you have found something to work for you. The important thing is to get those other cleaners out of our houses.

Tracy said...

I use very few chemicals for cleaning, much to Dh's dismay (he sells cleaning chemicals among other things). I use Enjo cleaning cloths and a bicarb/vinegar, or Jif (an abrasive cream cleanser).

Gena said...

I have a question about the carpet cleaner, which by the way, I've NEVER seen a recipe for (THANK YOU!!) - do you use it straight in your cleaner, or do you mix it with water, which is what I do in mine. My carpet cleaner has a water reservoir where you mix a few ounces of cleaner, then the rest hot water. Just curious since the Bissell stuff is quite pricey. Thanks for your help, Tracy.

Mrs. Rabe said...

Cats are weird aren't they? :)

Let me add my thanks for these recipes! I need a good wood cleaner and just can't bring myself to buy chemicals anymore!

randi---i have to say said...

I have been wanting to make some more homemade cleaners because I am so happy with the laundry detergent. Your post is a great reminder to GET ON IT!

Terri said...

Thank you for sharing the recipes, Tracy.

Tracy said...


Since the first three ingredients are mixed with a bucket of hot water, you just use this recipe straight in the machine.

Kelli said...

Thank you for the recipes...especially the carpet cleaner. We had a plugged up shower leak onto the carpet in Phillip's closet and this will be perfect for getting it nice and fresh in there again.

Jordin said...

These days, I just don't have the time or even the "want-to" to make homemade cleaners, although I wish I did! :) I did want to pop in and say, though, that your homemade carrot soap is THE BEST. :) I've been out of it for several months, so I should order more.

My face is oily in places and dry in places, and for years I tried the popular facial washes and soaps. They would just make my face worse. But when I tried that carrot soap, I was floored. My complexion has been 100% better. It has been perfect for my skin. I used it during this pregnancy, and I didn't even get the hormonal skin issues that I did the last time. Needless to say, I need to order more very soon! :) Thanks, Tracy!

Persuaded said...

I linked to you this morning in my "linky love" post... hope you don't mind!

have a blessed Sabbath♥

the voice of melody said...

What a wonderful and non-toxic way to clean! Thanks for sharing. :)

Mrs. Anna T said...

My husband has asthma, so I try to use as little chemicals as possible. I clean with vinegar a lot. It works great on sinks and tubs.