Green cleaning products have become quite popular since their reintroduction to the market. They give traditional cleaning products a run for their money with labels that tout their eco-friendly, non-toxic but-equally-effective nature. Even property managers are using green cleaning products to draw in eco-friendly folks and stay competitive in the rental market.
But with the rise in popularity of green cleaning products, so has the price. However, it’s easy to make your own eco-friendly cleaning supplies at home for a fraction of the cost. It’s a great way to save money and the environment, while achieving a clean, non-toxic home. Plus, most of these ingredients are probably already in your pantry.
For these do-it-yourself home cleaning products, all you need is a couple of empty spray bottles, baking soda, white vinegar, tea tree oil and liquid castile soap. You can order liquid castile soap online or find it in the all-natural aisle of most grocery stores.
Here are a few ways you can use these concoctions in different rooms of your home.
Kitchen and Bathroom Counters
Create a basic disinfectant spray by gently mixing two cups of water, half a cup of vinegar and half an ounce of tea tree oil into a spray bottle. The natural disinfecting properties of tea tree oil provide a punch against bacteria and germs. This spray is perfect for wiping down kitchen counters, bathroom surfaces, fridge shelves and more.
Tub and Shower
Mix equal parts water and vinegar into a spray bottle and spritz the shower daily. For mildew and deeper cleaning, spray pure vinegar in the desired area, let it work its grime-dissolving magic for 20 minutes and wipe away.
Pour half a cup of baking soda and a few drops of tea tree oil into the toilet bowl. Then slowly add in half a cup of vinegar. While the baking soda and vinegar mix together to cause a natural fizzing, use a brush to gently scrub the toilet bowl. Wipe down the toilet seat and cover using the countertop disinfecting spray and a clean rag.
Windows and Mirrors
Toss aside your Windex in favor of half a cup of vinegar, two cups of water and a couple drops of liquid castile soap. Spray the mixture on windows and wipe for a streak-free shine.
For tile floors, add a cup of vinegar into a small bucket of warm water and scrub using a mop or rags.
For hardwood floors, add a quarter cup of castile soap into the bucket, instead of vinegar. When your floors completely dry they look remarkably clean.
Fill a microwave-safe container with a couple cups of water and half a cup of vinegar; microwave on high for two minutes. The seemingly petrified food remnants stuck inside should melt away with the hot steam and vinegar. Carefully remove the container and wipe down the interior of the microwave with a rag. If it’s not clean enough, repeat the process again. Tougher messes require a second round of steam before they wipe away.
Squirt a quarter-sized amount of liquid castile soap onto a damp, clean rag and wipe down any surface in your kitchen. This simple solution is ideal for stovetops, vent hoods, appliance exteriors and grease removal.
Clean the sink with either castile soap or vinegar, but not both—castile soap is a base and vinegar is an acid which effectively cancel each other out. Squirt some castile soap directly into the sink and scrub using a brush or sponge. Or, spray some pure vinegar into the sink and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it down.
To remove food particles stuck on the sink, boil a large pot of hot water and pour it into the sink slowly. Scrub with a brush immediately. As an added bonus, boiling water is great for clearing out your garbage disposal too.
With these simple cleaning solutions, you can condense your entire supply of cleaning products down to a few basic ingredients.
About the Author: Satinder Haer writes about real estate, home improvement and interior design for Zillow and other partners.