DIY: 9 Best Recipes for Nontoxic Cleaning Supplies

From on August 10, 2009 in Green Remodeling

Cleaning your home with toxic chemicals isn’t really cleaning, is it? You may be picking up grease and grime, but you’re leaving behind a trail of toxic fumes and residue. Did you know that the number one cause of household poisoning is dish detergent? Or that air fresheners are made with an air pollutant called formaldehyde? And then there’s sodium hypochlorite, an ingredient found in almost all cleaning products, which is quite commonly used in chemical warfare. C’mon, we deserve better. green-cleaning.jpgPhoto Credit: Care2 Since our ancestors didn’t use this junk and they survived for thousands of years, maybe we should take a leaf out of their book. Build a cleaner lifestyle with recipes you can make yourself, or get the whole family involved for a cool weekend project. The basic ingredients you’ll need are baking soda, washing soda, white vinegar, soap (not detergent) and lemon juice. We’ve got your back:

Fruity-cinnamon air freshener

  • 1 pot of water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ lemon or orange – sliced

Fill the pot ¾ of the way with water and add the cinnamon sticks and fruit. Simmer one to two hours. You can substitute cinnamon with allspice or cloves for variation.

Natural no-streak window and glass cleaner

window-cleaner.jpgPhoto Credit: D’Arcy Norman

  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 quart of warm water

Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle and wipe windows with crumpled newspaper for the ultimate shine.

Wholesome all-purpose cleaner

  • 1 bottle of white vinegar

Pour undiluted white vinegar into a spray bottle. Spray on countertops, appliances, bathroom and floors. The vinegar smell dissipates within a couple of hours.

Fresh countertop spray

  • 1 teaspoon washing soda (sodium carbonate)
  • 1 quick squeeze of biodegradable liquid soap
  • Hot water

Add the washing soda and liquid soap in a spray bottle and fill to the top with hot water. Shake bottle until washing soda has dissolved. Spray on and wipe off.

Super clean coffee machine

coffee-pot.jpgPhoto Credit: Muffet

  • 1/8 cup washing soda
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • Handful of ice cubes

Combine all ingredients into the coffee pot and swirl vigorously for 30 seconds, making sure all ingredients are scouring the entire pot. The washing soda is a natural scouring agent and will remove scale build-up. Rinse with water. This process will restore your coffee pot to its shiny new look and make your coffee taste its best.

Fresh scent carpet

  • 1 box corn starch


  • 1 box baking soda

Sprinkle corn starch or baking soda on top of rugs and carpets and vacuum. These two ingredients are natural deodorizers and will have your carpets smelling fresh in no time.

The fresh outdoors toilet bowl cleaner

  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 lemon

Add the baking soda and vinegar and scrub toilet clean; squeeze juice from the lemon into the toilet for a zesty, citrus-fresh scent.

Tubs & tiles

  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • Warm water

Combine ingredients into a bucket and stir. Use a damp sponge or mop and clean scum free.

Natural wood polish

  • 2 teaspoons lemon oil
  • 4 cups mineral oil

Spray on wood furniture, rub and wipe clean.

Related links:

National Institute of Health – great site to look up ingredients in your household cleaners:

Information on pesticides:

Health & safety: