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Non-Toxic & Eco-Friendly DIY Cleaners

Woman holding a dish rag and glass cleaning bottle

There are so many good cleaning recipes out there, but I would like to share a few that we use in our home.

All-Purpose Cleaner

  • 1 3/4 c Water
  • 1 3/4 c Vinegar
  • 1 dropper full of Grapefruit Seed Extract or several drops of Tea Tree Oil
  • Optional: 1 tbs Dish Soap (a small squirt)

Pour the ingredients into a spray bottle and give it a gentle shake.  That’s it!

(If you love soap berries, try my Simple Soap Berry All-Pupose Cleaner Recipe!)

Glass Cleaner

  • 1 1/3 c Water
  • 1 1/3 c Vinegar
  • 1 dropper full of Grapefruit Seed Extract or several drops of Tea Tree Oil
  • 1/3 c Rubbing Alcohol (this will give you a great streak-free shine)
  • Optional: 1 tbs Dish Soap (a small squirt)

Again, mix gently and you can leave out the dish soap and grapefruit seed extract (or TTO) if you need/want to.

All-Purpose Scrub

  • Baking soda!

Add a bit of water to make this a paste and scrub away.  You could also use a bit of dish soap to make it soapy/scrubby.

Tough Water Marks/Soap Scum

  • Apple cider vinegar.

In the bottom of the shower or sink, plug the drain, add hot water and some ACV.  Let it sit for a while and then you should be able to really wipe the scum away.

If you can’t let this sit (it’s on a virtical surface) try using hot water & ACV to scrub with.  Sometimes I’ll add a bit of baking soda too.  Be careful if doing this with hot water/acv as it will foam up quickly.

Fabric Softener

  • Vinegar – use 1/4-1/2 cup per wash during the rinse cycle.

I like to use a Downy Ball to make it easy.

You could also use 1/4-1/2 cup of vinegar & baking soda.  Some people like to mix these up beforehand in a large batch.  If you do this, be sure to do it in a large bucket or other basin.  This will fizz up a lot.  Stirring the baking soda in slowly will help with that.  Once you’re done you can put it into a container.  Be sure to give it a gently shake before each use as some of the baking soda may not dissolve completely.

Alternatively you could not use additives at all and simply keep some dryer balls in your dryer.  Read more about that here.

Bulk Clothing Laundry Detergent Recipe

More info &a a smaller batch recipe can be found here

Use 1-2 tablespoons per wash load.

Bulk Cloth Diaper Detergent Recipe

This also great for laundry. More info & a smaller batch recipe can be found here

Use 1 tablespoon per wash load – start out with half of this amount for a high efficiency machine.

If you use this for clothes use 2-3 tbs per load.

Stain Pre-Treater

Full instructions (with video) can be found in my DIY Laundry Pretreater tutorial.

Concerned about borax?
AN article by EWG cautions the use of borax for cleaning in the home noting that toddlers and young children face special risks from hand-to-mouth transfer of carpet or crack and crevice, dust or spray borax treatments. I would recommend not using borax as a general home cleaner – any cleaner (aside from pure water) used for these purposes will leave a residue.  I feel comfortable using the minuscule amount found in each use of the detergent. It is not used on open surfaces and is washed out during the rinse cycle.

You can read a bit more on this debate here – there are some great points of view in the comments.

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