Frugal & Eco-Friendly Household Cleaners

FB Reminder: I am away on vacation right now. This post has been scheduled ahead of time.
I won’t be moderating comments until end of August 2009. Thanks for your patience!

Here are the range of recipes for household cleaners that are not as toxic as chemical cleaners, and I’ve personally tested all of them and they work just as well, if not better than what I was using before.

Without further ado!

Wood Cleaner

1) Lemon Juice, Olive Oil

Combine 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Pour a small amount of the mixture on a clean dust rag and rub the mixture into the wood in a circular motion.

You may also place the mixture in a spray bottle and spray onto the wood surface.

Wipe the area with a clean rag in a circular motion.

Be sure not to use too much of the wood cleaner or you will be wiping away the excess for hours.

Tub and Tile Cleaner

1) Baking Soda and Water with a Vinegar and Water Rinse

Combine 2 cups of baking soda with enough water to make a smooth thick paste.

Apply the paste to the tub or tile and let sit for 20-30 minutes.

Rinse off with a soft rag moving in a circular motion.

Once the paste is off spray the tub or tile with a 50/50-vinegar/water rinse.

The rinse will remove any residue and disinfect the area as well.

Makeup Remover

Baby Oil, Baby Shampoo and Water

Glass Cleaner

1) Vinegar and Liquid Soap

Mix 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon liquid soap in a pint of water.

Put mix into spray bottle and spray on windows and mirrors.

Wipe off with old newspapers for a streak free shine.

2) Club Soda

Fill a clean spray bottle with club soda.

Spray on those windows and wipe clean with a rag.

General Cleaner

1) Washing Soda and Water

1 tsp Washing Soda per gallon of water. Add to spray bottle and clean away.

You can add a drop of essential oil to any of these recipes.

It leaves a nice clean fresh scent and gets the job done.

2) Vinegar, Water and Essential Oils

Clean counters and walls with a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water.

Scent the mixture with a couple of drops of essential oils.

Tea tree oil is a great disinfectant.

3) Baking Soda and Water

Very simple. Just baking soda in a paste with water and a sponge. Works like a charm. It really cleaned the stove and counters without a problem.

Floor Cleaner

1) Washing Soda

Two Tablespoons of Washing Soda in a gallon of water.

Wash as usual.

2) Vinegar

Combine 2 cups of vinegar with 6 cups of warm water.

Clean those floors and let dry.

Best to clean the floors with a rag.

Carpet Cleaner

Baking Soda and Salt
Sprinkle non-scented or scented baking soda* on the carpet and let sit for 15 minutes or longer depending on your carpets? cleanliness.

Vacuum the area as usual. If your carpet is dull, sprinkle table salt on the carpet and let sit for 15 minutes, and vacuum.

Trash Bag or Re-Usable Diaper Bag Deodorizer

Baking Soda

Sprinkle non-scented or scented baking soda on the bottom of garbage cans to absorb odors and spills.

Keeps the container smelling great until the bag is changed.

Drain Cleaner

Washing Soda and Water

1/2 cup Washing Soda

2 Cups boiling Water

Put washing soda directly into the drain and pour in boiling water. Leave for 10-15 minutes and then flush with more hot water.

Dishwasher Cleaner

1) Powdered Orange Tang

You can use Tang to clean the dishwasher, with about half a cup.

2) Vinegar
I’ve not tried this, as I put vinegar in mine washer with each cycle, & that does a pretty good job of keeping the machine clean.

Last fact to think about before you leave:

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the States has only banned 9 chemical ingredients, compared to the EU (European Union) who has banned 450 in comparison, in the same amount of time (7 years?).

Any other recipes I’ve missed? Chime in!

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.