The Green Clean

Cleaning Product Aisle

It can be overwhelming these days trying to find the right cleaning products to get the job done. But try to find products that actually clean without the toxins that pose a risk to your health or pollute our water supply, and most people are ready to throw in the towel and buy the first bright blue bottle of “antibacterial,” “extra-strength,” and who knows what else, that they come across. But getting rid of the dirt, grime and dust can be as simple as a few key ingredients that are easy to find, most of which you probably already have on hand like baking soda, borax, lemons, water, white vinegar, a plant based liquid soap and even newspaper.


Try some of these natural, do-it-yourself cleaning solutions which will leave your home sparkling without leaving behind a toxic residue and fumes:

  • For a basic surface cleaner: Start with a plant-based soap, add water. Really, it’s that simple. But if you need a little more scrubbing action, Martha suggests mixing a little baking soda and plant-based liquid soap into a paste and applying by using the cut side of a halved lemon.
  • On mirrors and windows: Try a 2:1 ratio of water to white vinegar in a spray bottle, use newspaper, a coffee filter or a washable cloth rag to apply and say goodbye to the ammonia and synthetic colors and fragrances found in most commercial cleaners.
  • Wood Furniture: Use a 1/4 cup vinegar and a few drops of olive oil.
  • Bathroom needs: Baking soda and white vinegar for the toilet bowl and 1/2 lemon dipped in borax to get the dirt left on the tub and tile.
  • Kitchen specifics: Baking soda and white vinegar for the sink too! Clean the oven with a sprinkling of baking soda, a spray of water, a soak overnight and a good scrub in the morning. And use lemons to cut the grease on the stove-tops.

To get extra eco-cleaning points apply your DIY green cleaners with re-usable or re-used household items like washable cloth rags, a Twist sponge, and old toothbrushes for those little tiny crevices.


For more specific cleaning needs, check out a few green cleaning guides from The Daily Green and The Green Guide. But if you just insist on going for a commercial cleaner, you must first educate yourself and read this primer from The Naked Truth Project so you know what to look(out) for, as it’s easy to get confused once your standing in a store aisle like the one pictured above!

Posted in At The Market,Living Green by Liz on March 25, 2008 | Permalink | 3 Comments

3 thoughts on “The Green Clean

  1. ~M says:

    I am trying to go green for cleaning as I finish my chemically products. What do you recommend for cleaning a bathtub (please provide details, since I’ve never done this before). Thanks!

  2. ~M says:

    Also, how would you clean the plexiglass shelves of a fridge? Thanks!

  3. Liz says:

    Hi M-

    Good questions. For the bathtub, I would cut a lemon in half, dip the cut side in a little borax and then use it as a scrubber, rinsing with water. The Naked Truth Project also recommends vinegar and water and for mold and mildew suggests a solution of 2 Tbsps of tea tree oil dissolved in 2 cups of water sprayed on and wiped clean with a sponge and water after sitting for about 30 minutes.

    For the plexiglass shelves of a fridge, how about good old soap and water applied with a soft microfiber towel?

    Hope this helps!

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