5 Easy and Eco-friendly DIY cleaners
As we make our way into the first throes of spring and the sun begins to shine through the windows, suddenly all of the dust and grime that has collected during the dark winter months is revealed.
Instead of running for the cleaning products aisle at your local grocery, try going green for your spring clean. Easy, cheap DIY cleaners can replace those costly and harsh name-brand products.
It’s true. Do-it-yourself cleaners might use a little more elbow grease to create, but in the long run you are saving 2/3 the money you would spend on store-bought products. And you get to keep the Earth happy, your home smelling good and your family away from toxic fumes and sprays.
Personally, I enjoy making these products. It’s fun, somewhat like cooking (there are recipes involved) and I get to customize the cleaners the way I want. It’s also a great way to create detergents for those of us who have sensitive skin.
The supplies are cheaper in bulk, so most often if you run out, you’ve got some backup ingredients to whip up a new batch. You can pick up most of the supplies listed below on the laundry detergent aisle. Dr. Bronner’s can be bought in some grocery and big box stores and online in bulk.
So roll up your sleeves and commence to creating your greener cleaning products!
Twinkle’s Top 5 Green Cleaners:
What to buy:
- 1 bar of Fels-Naptha
- Liquid Castile soap, like Dr. Bronner’s
- Large box of Borax
- Large box of washing soda
- Large box of baking soda
- 1 gallon of distilled white vinegar
- 2 gallons of distilled water
- A few large lemons, oranges and grapefruit (for zest and juice)
- Fresh rosemary sprigs, rose petals or other herbs
- Essential oils, if you want to add scents to detergent
- Plastic spray bottles (buy these new)
- 2 1-gallon plastic container with a handle, or 2 recycled 1-gallon milk jugs
- 2 empty coffee cans, or canisters with plastic lids
Cost: approx. $25
Liquid Laundry Detergent
- 1/3 bar Fels Naptha
- ½ cup washing soda
- ½ cup borax powder
- 2 1-gallon plastic containers with a handle
- 10 cups hot water
- 1 gallon + 6 cups distilled water
Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan.
Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of distilled water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. Use ¼ cup for a large, top-loading machine load. This recipe will work for approximately 120 loads.
For the whipped version:
Instead of gallon containers, use wide-mouth quart canning jars. Let mixture cool overnight, upside down. After about 18-24 hours, use an immersion blender to whip detergent.
*You can add essential oils if you want a fresh scent, like lavender or jasmine oil.*
Good on all surfaces except wood floors and furniture
- 3 tbsp. white vinegar
- 3 tbsp. lemon juice
- 3 tbsp. liquid Castile soap
- 3 tbsp. Borax
- 3 cup distilled water
- 1 sprig of crushed fresh rosemary, some crushed rose petals and/or orange zest
- Small plastic spray bottle
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle, shake and let sit. You’ll need to shake before use. The longer the herbs sit, the stronger the pleasant smell becomes.
- 1 tbsp. liquid Castile soap
- 3 tbsp. lemon juice or grapefruit juice
- ½ white vinegar
- 3 cups distilled water
- Small plastic spray bottle
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake before use.
Pro-tip: This worked GREAT on my greasy stove top.
Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Liquid
- 2 cups of liquid Castile soap
- ½ cup of white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
- 3 drops of essential oil
Pour the following ingredients into a recycled plastic bottle with a squirt-top and shake until thoroughly incorporated.
Tub and Surface Soft Scrub
For ceramic tubs and sinks, laminate counter tops
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 2-3 tbsp. liquid Castile soap
- Coffee can, or plastic canister with lid
Combine in a plastic canister and mix until smooth. Apply with cloth to surfaces you want to clean, rinse and remove.
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