Here are some recipes for cleaning green in your home.


Household Cleaner

Mix together:
1 tsp. liquid soap (castile, peppermint)
1 tsp. borax
Squeeze of lemon
1 qt. warm water
¼ c. baking soda
½ c. borax
½ c. vinegar
1 gal. water

For surfaces that need scouring, try moist salt or baking soda and a green scouring pad.

Window Cleaner

Mix together:
2 tsp. vinegar
1 qt. warm water
2 tbsp. borax
3 c. water

Rub dry with newspaper to avoid streaking.


Mix together:
¼ c. borax
½ gal. hot water

For a solution that will wipe up messy spots, mix two cups of white vinegar with equal parts water (plus a little essential oil, like tea tree, rosemary or lavender, to add a fragrance, if you want one). To boost its cleaning power, warm it in the microwave in a glass container.

Do your bathroom or kitchen tiles need a good scrubbing? Mix two cups baking soda, 1/2-cup liquid castile soap or dish soap, four teaspoons vegetable glycerin, and five drops of an antibacterial essential oil, such as cinnamon bark, lemongrass and thyme oils, for fragrance. Then, tackle those tiles! And once you are done, you can store the scrub in a glass jar for two years.

Shine up your favorite furniture by wiping it down with a mix of 1/4-cup olive oil with four tablespoons white distilled vinegar and 20 to 30 drops of lemon essential oil. Don’t have the latter? Swap it for two teaspoons of lemon juice and store the polish in the fridge after you have cleaned, to keep it fresh.

This detergent gets your clothes clean without the extra chemicals. First, make soap flakes by grating a bar of Fels Naptha or a bar of a pure vegetable soap bar with a cheese grater. Then, mix one cup of the flakes with 1/2-cup of washing soda (found in the laundry aisle) and 1/2-cup of borax, a powder or crystalline salt water softener and disinfectant. Use one to two tablespoons of the detergent per load of laundry.



1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (NOT baking soda!)
5.5oz Fels Naptha soap (you can also use Zote or castile soap – about the same amount, you don’t have to be exactly precise)
5 gallon bucket with a lid
essential oil for scent (optional)
  1. Grate the Fels-Naptha soap. Add the soap shreds to a pot with 4 cups of hot water. Put the heat on medium-high, & stir until completely melted – about 10 minutes.
  2. Fill up a 5 gallon bucket halfway with hot water (I like to use the shower for this, it’s easier in my opinion). Pour in the melted soap mixture & give it a quick stir. Stir in the borax & washing soda. If your’e using essential oil, now is the time to add it. You add in ½oz to 1oz, depending on how scented you want it. Although, I never really measure it anymore – I just shake in enough drops to where I feel satisfied. Stir the contents again.
  3. Fill up the bucket with warm water, all the way to the top – and stir again. If you don’t have a utensil long enough to reach the bottom, just put on a pair of rubber dish gloves beforehand.
  4. Snap on the lid, & let it sit for 24 hours to gel up. It will have the consistency of egg noodle soup – watery with glops of gel…. This is what it should look like! If you would like a smoother consistency like the store-bought brands, you can use an immersion blender at this point to smooth it out. I don’t bother with this step though personally – the ‘glops’ dissolve just fine in the wash – and having a smoother consistency has no effect on the cleaning power or finished product.
  5. At this point, you can divide it up between different containers like empty laundry detergent containers, cleaned out milk jugs, etc. I prefer to use 1-2 empty containers, and leave the rest in the bucket to save on space – refilling my containers as necessary.

2.5 cups white vinegar
5.5 cups water
20 or so drops of the essential oil of your choice {optional}
  1. Mix all ingredients together with a whisk. Pour into container(s) of your choice.
  2. Use the same amount you’d normally use of store-bought fabric softener in the rinse cycle, or pour into a spritz bottle & spray on a wash cloth to throw into the dryer.


Who knew vinegar works wonders on clogged drains, too? Pour 1/2-cup of baking soda into the drain, and then follow that with a cup of vinegar. After about 30 minutes, flush the train with boiling water.


10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil or citrus essential oil

2 cups of water

Because spiders and many other critters despise peppermint and citrus fruits, the essential oils of these items make a natural, safe, and chemical free repellent for spiders, and ants. Mix about 10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil OR a citrus essential oil (orange, lemon, or lime) to every 2 cups of water.


Active ingredients:
1/2 ounce citronella oil
1/4 ounce lavender oil
1/8 ounce pennyroyal oil
1/8 ounce tea tree oil
1/8 ounce jojoba oil

16 ounces almond oil (or 16 ounces alcohol or vodka for a spray)

Mix citronella, lavender, pennyroyal, tea tree, and jojoba oils and blend with 16 ounces almond oil base before rubbing on your skin. For a spray, mix with 16 ounces rubbing alcohol or vodka. Be sure not to apply undiluted active ingredients to your skin! Do a spot test for irritation before applying.

To avoid making the repellent too concentrated, remember to add approximately two ounces of base for every 1/8 ounce of additional essential oil.


1 Response to “Green Cleaning”

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Vomitus of the Brainus © Aimée Easton 2006 - 2011 All Rights Reserved Material contained on this site are under copyright, whether my own or someone else's. The material here is published strictly for personal use, and may not be copied to any other place without prior permission. I have borrowed or linked resources from elsewhere and I have given credit to the source from where I got material. Any form of copying or distribution, may face legal penalty.

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