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DIY Green Cleaning Tips from The Green Mama

Healthy, affordable cleaning products and tips that you can easily do yourself

You can tackle nearly every cleaning need in the house with baking soda, white vinegar,  hydrogen peroxide, borax, essential oils, a gentle soap (like Dr. Bronner’s), vegetable oil, and your favorite (non-chlorine) oxygen-based cleaner for the tough stuff.

White distilled vinegar can disinfect, deodorize, and dissolve tarnish and gummy substances. It can be used for everything from softening cotton diapers to cleaning your hardwood floors.
Lemon juice can cut through grease, lighten stains, and polish metal.
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) can eliminate odors and be used as a cleaner. It is good on the sink, tub, oven, and countertop. Sprinkle it on the carpet and vacuum to remove odors. Clean drains by pouring 1?2 cub baking soda down the drain followed by 1 cup vinegar, wait 15 minutes and then pour hot water down.
Washing soda (sodium carbonate) can be found at just about any hardware store and is more alkaline than baking soda and can be used instead of harsh chemicals for extra-stubborn stains or greasy ovens.
Borax (sodium tetraborate) can be used to kill mold. (Borax is toxic when swallowed, so exercise caution.) Combine it with equal parts vinegar to make a mildew and mold-zapping paste. You can also pour 1 cup of borax into the toilet and leave overnight for extra-strength cleaning.
Oxygen-based whiteners (hydrogen peroxide and sodium percarbonate or perborate) are chlorine-free bleaches that are great for removing stains on clothes or hard surfaces and are much safer than bleach (still handle with caution and don?t ingest). For really resistant stains, rub the powder version into the cloth or surface and then add boiling water and let it sit. This has worked time and again on my daughter’s favorite dresses and on the weird, grime-y stains that plague my countertops and porcelain sinks.)
Essential oils e.g. tea tree oil or lavender can be used to mask smells or even kill germs in a load of laundry. Use sparingly (2 or 3 drops) and never ingest. Remember, almost anything with “fragrance or parfum” listed as an ingredient contains phthalates or other chemicals harmful to human health.

By The Green Mama, Manda Aufochs Gillespie. Photo courtesy of Vanessa Filley of Moira & Obbie.

One response to “DIY Green Cleaning Tips from The Green Mama”

  1. Judith says:

    I love using these basic ingredients for cleaning pretty much everything! And they really do the best job, too! It would be great to link this up to my post about green cleaning: