Monday, March 7, 2011

Spring Cleaning / Going Green

Yep, you heard right, it’s that time of the year again.  But I don’t know about you, I’m constantly cleaning year-round.  Yes, there are the once every few months things, the curtains and the carpet cleaning etc., but I’m talking about good ole de-germination of the things we use every single day.

spring cleaning

As you know, over the past several months, I have gotten to know quite a bit about the Breast Cancer Fund.  It was one of the beneficiaries of the fundraiser I recently chaired.  As a result, I’ve started looking a little closer at the everyday chemicals and products we use in our homes and in and on our bodies.  I encourage you to view the site and educate yourselves as well.


Oh my stars…..did you know about all the harmful chemicals in these products?  Breast cancer isn’t the only disease that has a link to cleaning chemicals I won’t even go into the details, but this website HERE has a wonderful article. 

After doing even more research, I discovered that safe cleaning is not hard at all….even for this busy working and volunteering mommy and wife!


So, I am starting a trial of using “greener” cleaning products by making my own homemade cleansers for three reasons:

1)  This is WAY healthier for me and my family.

2) It’s WAY less expensive then purchasing ready-made harmful chemical products

3) It’s green and better for the environment, always a plus.

So, where to begin.  From a combination of websites like Earth Justice, Organized Home and Eartheasy, I have discovered these recipes.

First you need to gather these supplies (let me guess, you already have most of these products right?):

  • Spray bottles
  • Glass jars (mason jars work great)
  • White Distilled vinegar
  • Borax (instead of bleach)
  • Castile soap like Dr. Bonner’s (can be bought at Target)
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice
  • Essential oils (like lavender or mint)
  • Olive oil


General All Purpose Cleaners

Recipe 1:  1 cup vinegar, 1 cup water and 20 drops of essential oil (for smell good).

Recipe 2:  1/2 cup vingear, 1/2 gallon water, oil drops, 1/4 cup baking soda (OR 1 tsps Borax)

The vinegar smell is a little strong at first, but dissipates very quickly and takes all the other smells with it.  Add a little baking soda for tougher jobs.


Fabric Softener

I’ve been using this for quite some time now as a “de-smeller,” had no idea it was a fabric softener too!  Just add 1 cup to the rinse cycle (less for smaller loads).


Toilet Cleanser

1 cup vinegar with 1/4 baking soda.  Pour into toilet and let sit until done foaming and then clean as usual.  For ring around the toilet (or bathtub), remove some of the water, make a past of vinegar and baking soda and rub along the rings and let sit for a few minutes.


Soft Scrub

I am always using this on my Corian sink, my hands smell so chemically afterwards….not anymore!

2 cups baking soda, 1/2 cup castile soap, 4 tsps vegetable glycerin, few drops of oil for smell….keep in a glass jar for up to 2 years!

__________________________________________________________________Furniture Polish

1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup vinegar with a few drops of oil for smell.  Slightly dampen cloth and use.

No worries, it is essentially the same thing as Pledge, just without the butane, silicones and propane.  (I thought that stuff was only for your car?)

__________________________________________________________________Window Cleaner

This one I actually got from Crazy Domestic today, she just posted it actually.  While Windex is not the most dangerous chemical on the market (at least as much as has been disclosed), if you want, you can always make homemade glass cleaner.  Me – this is one I’m not running out to get as it’s still alcohol and ammonia (which remember…..ammonia and bleach DO NOT MIX!  Danger Will Robinson, Danger!)

1 tbsp ammonia, 1 cup rubbing alcohol, 1/2 tsp dawn and 1 cup water


Grout Cleaner

I tried this one last night and it actually works!! (even better than Tilex…I can hardly breath with that stuff around!)  Though I would not suggest using this on sand grout, just bathroom grout that is less porous.

mix equal parts kosher salt and baking soda with some lemon juice.


And of course, never underestimate the power of good oil soap and water.

My mom, the microbiologist, has said for years that anti-bacterial soap is not a great invention as everyone has made it out to be.  Yes, I do carry the little bottle of gel with me for those times I can’t get to a restroom, but plain ole soap and water is the best for killing off those bad germs and keeping those good ones that help kill off the bad ones.

Happy Spring Cleaning Y’all!


  1. Great post! Im going to try these this week - thanks! -Natasha

  2. I love this post. I've been concerned with using so many unnatural chemicals in our home, but have been putting off making my own until we move into our "forever house" in a couple of months. Also, the links to cancer and other health problems are very eye-opening. Thanks so much for the info.

  3. Thanks for the tips - I'm bookmarking this post. I have been using just plain ol' water and vinegar for a lot of cleaning, but this is even more detailed.

  4. Thank you so much for posting this! I have been buying the natural cleaning products but they are so pricey... these will be great! : )

  5. Great post. I have been working on going green with my cleaning supplies

  6. Oh gosh, we've been doing so much cleaning lately! I could go weeks without seeing another storage container or dust rag. We've donated just about 25 + boxes to Goodwill! Must pass along to those that can/will use it!

    Love all these tips!