Cleaning Green This Spring


Spring is a great time to do some deep cleaning and refresh our surroundings. So why not go green this year? Many commercial cleaning products contain toxins, which can adversely affect our health. And let’s be honest, most of our cleaning chores do not require the use of heavy duty cleaners. Mixing our own cleaning products is not only better for our health and our environment, they cost less also!

Some of the most popular products to have on hand for quick and easy do-it-yourself cleaners are:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Borax
  • Castile soap
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • Essential oils, such as lavender, lemon, orange, eucalyptus, or tea tree oils
  • Fresh citrus peels
  • Fresh herbs


Glass Cleaner

  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

Mix together in a spray bottle. It’s that simple! Quickly evaporates, can also be used to shine tile and chrome.

Scrubbing Powder

  • Baking soda
  • Water (enough to make a paste)

Apply to area and scrub. Can be used on sinks, counter tops, and dishes with baked-on foods. Mix as needed, does not store.

All-Purpose Cleaner

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar or citrus vinegar (recipe below)
  • 1 teaspoon castile soap
  • 2 cups water
  • 15 drops essential oil of choice

Mix together in spray bottle, shaking well. Tea tree, lavender, or lemon essential oil will boost the germ-killing properties.

All-Purpose Disinfectant

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons borax
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 15 drops tea tree oil

Mix together in spray bottle and shake well.

Furniture Polish

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Mix in spray bottle, shaking well. Use with a soft cloth to polish furniture. Wipe dry with clean cloth.

Citrus Vinegar

  • Peels from oranges or lemons (or a combination)
  • White vinegar

Place peels in one quart glass jar. Cover with white vinegar and let sit for two weeks. Remove the peels and strain if necessary (can use a coffee filter or cheesecloth). Use in place of white vinegar in cleaning recipes.


Most of these recipes have a shelf life of about one month, though I’ve stored some for longer. The main concern with storing for a long time is they lose potency, especially if they have essential oils in them. The recipes are simple enough to mix in small batches, or even as you need them.

Have a favorite green cleaner recipe? Feel free to share!

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