Alternative Cleaning Products

Many household cleaners contain harsh chemicals that are unhealthy and unnecessary. As an alternative, try these "do-it-yourself" recipes - most of them are made up of common ingredients you already have in your home. Try some of these recipes out and take a step towards a healthier, cleaner home!


General Household Cleaner

Ingredients:
1 tsp. liquid soap (castile, peppermint)
1 tsp. borax
Squeeze of lemon
1 qt. warm water

Instructions:
Mix together and use in spray bottle, or dunk a cloth in a bucket of cleaner for large jobs.

-OR-

Ingredients:
1/4 c. baking soda
1/2 c. borax
1/2 c. vinegar
1 gal. water

Instructions:
Mix together and use in spray bottle, or dunk a cloth in a bucket of cleaner for large jobs.


Window Cleaner

Ingredients:
2 tsp. vinegar
1 qt. warm water

Instructions:
Put the ingredients into a spray bottle and shake it up a bit. Spray on windows and rub dry with newspaper to avoid streaking.

-OR-

Ingredients:

1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap or detergent
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups water

Instructions:
Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle and shake it up a bit. The soap cuts the wax residue from commercial products you may have used in the past.  Spray on windows and rub dry with newspaper to avoid streaking.


Disinfectant

Ingredients:
1/4 c. borax
1/2 gal. hot water

Instructions:
Mix together and use on surfaces you want to disinfect.


Oven Cleaner

Ingredients:
1/4 c. baking soda
2 tbsp. salt
Hot water, as needed to make a paste

Instructions:
Apply paste to areas needing cleaning. Caution: Keep off wires/heating elements. Let paste sit for 5 minutes, then wipe clean with warm water.

-OR-

Ingredients:
2 tbsp. liquid soap (castile, peppermint)
2 tsp. borax
1 qt. warm water

Instructions:
Mix items together and spray on oven and wait 20 minutes. Wipe clean with cloth and warm water.  For tough stains, scrub with very fine steel wool and baking soda.


Drain Cleaner

Ingredients:
1/2 c. borax
2 c. boiling water

Instructions:
Pour borax down drain followed by hot water.

-OR-

Ingredients:
1/4 c baking soda
1/2 c. vinegar
2 qts. boiling water

Instructions:
Pour baking soda down drain and then pour vinegar down drain. Cover drain and let sit for 15 minutes. Follow with boiling water.

-OR-

Ingredients:
Boiling water

Instructions:
Pour boiling water down drain and use a plumber's "snake" or plunger.


Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Ingredients:
1/4 c. baking soda
Splash of vinegar

Instructions:
Pour baking soda into toilet bowl and drizzle with vinegar. Let sit for hour. Scrub and flush. Add borax for stains if needed.


Sink, Tub and Tile Cleaner

Ingredients:
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup liquid castile soap
5-10 drops of antibacterial essential oil, such as lavender, tea tree or rosemary (optional)

Instructions:
Pour baking soda into a medium size bowl.  Add soap a little at a time, stirring continuously, until your mixture has begun to resemble frosting.  Mix in drops of essential oil.  Store in an airtight jar for up to a year.



Bathtub Cleaner

Courtesy of Natural Home Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup baking soda, in a medium sized mixing bowl
  • 1/2 cup liquid castile soap
  • 5-10 drops of antibacterial essential oil, such as lavender, tea tree or rosemary (optional)

Procedure:

  1. Pour baking soda into a medium size bowl.
  2. Add soap a little at a time, stirring continuously, until your mixture has begun to resemble frosting.
  3. Mix in drops of essential oil.
  4. Store in an airtight jar for up to a year.

For more recipes and instructions, please visit the following websites:

  • Eco-Cycle - Recipes and instructions for alternative cleaners
  • Earth Easy - Non-toxic home cleaning ideas

The following companies offer "non-toxic" or "environmentally-friendly" products:*

*Note: This information is intended for informational purposes only. Washtenaw County does not endorse any of the above-mentioned products or companies.

back to Home Toxics Home

Document Actions
Google Translate