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Simple Green Cleaning Tips

by Tiffany in Green Cleaning

Simple Green Cleaning TipsLOVE to talk about green cleaning. No really, could talk about it all day long. I do not understand why so many folks rely on mainstream cleaners with their noxious and toxic chemicals. The green stuff works just as well and it is safe for humans and safe for our planet. There is just no reason to buy up most of the stuff you will see in the cleaning isle of your conventional grocery store. NO REASON. And before anyone brings up price I will concede that bottle of mainstream all purpose cleaner “may” cost less than a bottle by Seventh Generation. But you don’t have to buy pricey bottled cleaners at all. Ever heard of vinegar, baking soda, lemons, borax and the like? Yeah, I thought so. Cheap and effective green cleaning for pennies.

Here is what I use in my house:

Vinegar – Words cannot describe how much I love to clean with vinegar. I keep it in a spray bottle under the kitchen sink and I use it all the time. I use it as an all purpose cleaner, floor cleaner, laminate floor cleaner, window and glass cleaner, and I use it as a follow up to baking soda in tubs, sinks, toilets, and showers. AND I also use it as a hair rinse for our No Poo routine. Just recently one of my kids got head lice (the offender shall remain nameless) but we used vinegar daily to dissolve the glue from the nits. We got the lice under quick control and no one else in the house got lice either. How much more amazing could this stuff be?

Baking Soda – A scrubbing powder for grime. I use it in tubs, toilets, showers, sinks, etc. It can also be mixed with essential oils to make a scented scrub. Just put it in a Ball jar, drop in some essential oils such as Tea Tree or Lavender, slap a sprouting lid on top of it for a homemade shaker! This can be used to deodorize carpets as well. Sprinkle and let sit for 20 minutes and then vacuum up.

Essential Oils – Many essential oils have antibacterial properties that make them perfect for cleaning. Plus they make the house smell great. My homemade kitchen floor cleaner is vinegar, water, and tea tree oil. My homemade shampoo is pure castile soap, water, and peppermint oil.

Pure Castile Soap – Safe, natural, and effective. We would be LOST without our big bottles of Dr. Bronners. In addition to adding it to homemade cleaners and shampoo I also use it in my washing machine and to clean my carpets with my SteamVac.

Borax – I use this in my dishwasher coupled with baking soda.

Natural and Green Cleaners to Purchase

I will on rare occasions buy a cleaner. Some of my faves are the Seventh Generation Cleaner with Lemongrass and Thyme that I linked to in the first paragraph and the Cedarwood and Sage Cleaner from Trader Joe’s. I really like both of those and will buy them when the mood strikes me.

If you need further help I have a FREE green cleaning ebook you can read with homemade cleaner recipes! I made it in 2009 but it is still relevant of course. Pass that link on to anyone you know who may benefit! I also like the book Creating Your Perfect Cleaning Schedule. It is not green per say but it has a great tips about getting it all done in less time.

So what do you use to clean your house? How do you keep it green?

learn more about essential oils

  • Greenscenecompany

    Awesome information! Thanks for putting out this information. Kids are so susceptible to the toxins in traditional cleaners since their bodies are still developing. Research is continually showing how the traditional cleaners are linked to some very dangerous health issues.

    • Anonymous

      Vinegar, baking soda, Castille soap and tea tree oil have become staples in our home. I’ve tried Castille as shampoo and it was leaving my hair too greasy. Instead I’ve switched to only washing my hair once a week and I’m surprised how nice and clean it stays!

  • Shared in my Facebook group, The Natural Domestic :)

  • MJurnak

    I am so going to try some of these ideas, vinegar and baking soda I knew about the others I did not.  Just starting out with the whole natural cleaning.  So thank you for the great information

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for this!  I shared it on my Facebook wall, at Hot Mess House.  We use Castile soap for pretty much everything at our house, from baby wash, to laundry detergent, to hand soap to household cleaner to baby wipes.  I LOVE it.  There’s a household cleaner recipe on my blog that has tea tree oil, vinegar, and Castile soap.  It is hands down the best cleaner I have EVER used. 

    The only thing I don’t love Castile soap for is shampoo for me (love it for my kiddos, but not me). I feel like it makes my hair too greasy.  I may try your no poo method instead!  Here’s the blog link, if you’d like to see more about our Castile soap recipes and uses: Thanks for the post!

  • Laura Hojnacke

    We just bought our first bottle of castile soap. It is the citrus one (Dr. Bronner’s).  My husband used it to clean the kitchen floor.  I didn’t love the scent.  Do you have a recommendation?  I’m definitely going to have to try it in our carpet cleaner. The ground here in Vegas is nasty and our carpet is covered in the greasy grime that gets on our shoes and everything else.  Regular carpet cleaning doesn’t get it out.  Maybe this will!

    • Laura, I have never used the citrus scent. We use the peppermint. You can also get unscented and add your own essential oils to make it any scent you want.

  • I also love baking soda and cornflour (1 part baking soda, 6 parts cornflour, applied with a fat make-up brush) as deodorant.

    I’d be wary of borax though – it’s not THAT green:

    The natural cleaner I use all the time that you haven’t mentioned yet is washing soda. 1tbsp each washing soda and baking soda = laundry powder! That’s if I’m not using soap nuts.

    Oh, and citric acid and salt are both good too. Add them to baking soda and washing soda to use as dishwashing powder. I’m still looking for a good dishwashing liquid for hand-washing dishes, if anyone wants to share :)

    • Meryl, this is why we only use small amounts and only in one place where it is washed away and the kiddos cannot come into contact with it.

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  • GailNash

    I find that vinegar and water used with newspaper, makes window cleaning a breeze–no streaking.  There is something about the ink on newsprint that cuts out the streaks!  I use it on the inside of the car windows, too.

  • great info,  thanks for posting! It’s scary that household cleaners can be SO dangerous to our health…especially kids! We use “Get Clean” non-toxic, all natural cleaners and LOVE them. The Basic H2 organic concentrate can be used to clean anything and it is actually cheaper than buying things like Vinegar etc… Their all natural laundry products are amazing too! Tons of toxins in most laundry products, especially dryer sheets. 

    Love your blog!

  • I did not know that vinegar dissolves the glue of head lice eggs!  Awesome! We had battles over the summer with lice, and had great success with TeaTree for killing them… but I still went through and picked out the eggs, to make sure they were gone.  Thanks for the tip!