From epic spring cleaning, to building your first green cleaning stash, these are the essential green cleaning products you need to clean your home from basement to ceiling. These products will help you clean without harmful or toxic chemicals to make your home clean and healthier for you, your family and the environment. So if you are looking to build your first green cleaning supply trove or expand your current one, check out this list to ensure you’ll be ready for every cleaning need.
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Vinegar Or Lemon
Plain old white vinegar has a million different cleaning uses. One of my favorite uses is as a fabric softener. Just add a little bit to your laundry when it’s in the wash (use your bleach dispenser for this) and your clothes will come out static free and soft! No harsh chemicals, artificial fragrances, or wasteful sheets needed! (And no, your laundry will not smell like vinegar, at least not once it’s dry 🙂 ) Lemon juice serves the same purpose in green cleaning as vinegar, kinda like how you can replace it in your favorite dressing recipe. A great way to use up lemons is to literally scrub your tub/sink with them. Got lemons left over from dinner? Scrub! The acid and essential oils give your sink or tub a bright citrus smell and get rid of soap scum and other dirt. Just remember to rinse thoroughly, to avoid leaving a stick residue behind.
Baking soda is a pantry must for anyone who bakes, but it’s also a valuable tool to have in your green cleaning supplies. It provides much needed grit to help you clean the most difficult messes. My favorite application? Got a glass top stove? Sprinkle your baking soda on your stove top, then spray or sprinkle with water so it forms a paste. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes then wipe away with a damp cloth or sponge. It helps to gently clean even the toughest baked on junk! PS. works great as an oven cleaner too!
Essential oils have their place in a cleaning regimen. Oils like Tea Tree, have their own antiseptic and antiviral properties and add much needed power to your green cleaners (plus they smell nice). BUT they are NOT non-toxic. Always dilute your essential oils, and keep kids and pets away. Looking for a good supplier? I highly recommend Mountain Rose Herbs. They have high quality, sustainably harvested, fair trade, and organic herbs and essential oils for all your needs.
Borax is a common ingredient in many green cleaning recipes and as a greener way of dealing with pests. While it’s not non-toxic is is a less toxic option, especially when diluted. While it is created from mining operations, which obviously have negative environmental consequences some mining companies are doing what they can to minimize this. Borax can be a valuable tool in your green cleaning arsenal, but depending on your views you may want to search for an alternative. I personally use it in my toilet bowl cleanser recipe, as well as to keep ants out of the house. Sprinkle borax around your foundation to keep ants from invading your home in the warm months.
Hydrogren peroxide is a great addition to your cleaning supplies. It’s an essential ingredient for cleaners that whiten whites, getting baked on gunk off your cookie sheets and whitening your grout. Plus, it’s got it’s place in your first aid kit too, so it serves a double purpose.
Paper towels are wasteful (though admittedly convenient), switching out rags or reusable cloths is a much better option. Just toss them in the wash after each use to make sure you have clean rags that don’t spread germs or dirt. They can be used for cleaning pretty much everything and you don’t have to worry about harming your delicate surfaces with abrasive materials. You can find really nice non-paper towels for cleaning on Etsy or make your own, they come in a variety of designs so you can find one to match your style. Or just use those clothes, sheets or other material that has outgrown it’s original use and re-purpose it to cleaning duties!
Looking for more Green Cleaning tips and recipes?
Check out my Green Cleaning Pinterest board!
Mop with Cleanable Head (and Bucket)
If you have hard surface floors you need a mop. Sweeping only gets you so far, and eventually you have to get down and dirty and a mop will save your back and your knees. Trust me, cleaning on your hands and knees isn’t fun! I like the mops with the reusable heads that you can take off and toss in the wash, that also have that convient self-wringing feature. Of course to go with that mop you’ll probably need a bucket. Get one that’s large enough to hold a good amount of water, but not so large that it’s hard to move.
From cleaning your window screens to washing your horse’s winter blankets in the driveway because your washer isn’t large enough (or is that only me?), scrub brushes have a ton of uses. They are cheap and last forever, or until their bristles fall out, whichever comes first. I love my scrub brush for cleaning textured tile floors, as the bristles can really get into the bumps and grout lines.
Not everyone has the time or desire to make their own green cleaning supplies. So when the time crunch is on where do you turn? Pre-made, commercially available, natural cleaners of course! I use these all the time, especially for laundry detergent and dish soap. My favorite brand of green cleaning products is Seventh Generation. They are a B-corp and local (to me) company. I love their products and their philosophy! However, if you aren’t Seventh Gen fan or can’t find them Method, and Mrs Meyer’s Clean Day are also great options.
Castile soap is a major part of many natural personal care recipes and green cleaning recipes. It’s a wonderful soap that doesn’t have have any sulfuricants. It’s made simply from oil, such as olive oil, and sodium hydroxide and comes in both liquid and bar form. Use it as a base for your favorite green cleaning recipes or all by itself.
Broom (and dustpan)
Sweeping, while not a fun activity is definitely on of the most satisfying for me. There’s just something nice about seeing your freshly swept floor all clean…you know for the 2 minutes it will stay that way before someone walks on it. Not only is your broom good for actually, physically removing dirt and debris, it’s also through folk lore associated with removing negative energies. So next time you are sweeping, envision yourself sweeping away black, negative energies and leaving only “clean” positive energy in your home. This practice works best if you walk in a counter clockwise direction as you sweep, as this is the direction of banishing.