My husband's aunt sent an email awhile back about how hydrogen peroxide had so many uses. I am skeptical about some of its purported health benefits, but I did believe that it is effective as a cleaning product. Then, a friend from my mom's group emailed a recipe for a green cleaner that she uses, and I decided it was time to start trying to make my own household cleaners. I already knew that baking soda, Dawn detergent, and lemon juice were handy for cleaning since I use those when I strip diapers, but I needed to investigate some other common household items that are said to be excellent cleaners. Here is what I have learned so far...
First Attempt: 2 cups vinegar left in toilet over night and then scrubbed in the morning.
- The toilet is clean and sanitized and some of the rust ring is diminished (we have iron in our well water).
- Vinegar is an inexpensive cleaning product that most everyone has at home.
- This is very simple!
- The smell of vinegar is one that I can't stand. I am going to continue looking for a greener way to clean the toilet bowl, however, it must NOT make me want to throw up!
Second Attempt: Equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water mixed in a spray bottle. I used this to clean the kitchen sink, counter, and stove top, the toilet bowl, lid, and seat, dining table and chairs, bathroom mirror, and windows.
- Everything is clean and sanitized without a chemical (or vinegar!) smell.
- This cost-effective cleaning solution is quick and easy to make.
- It seems to clean glass well without leaving streaks behind.
- I still need something to cut the grease residue on my stove.
- Cleaning smudges from mirrors and windows takes a bit more elbow grease than with a commercial window cleaner.
- There is some cleaning solution residue left on the table on chairs, possibly because the wood is finished.
Safe and Green Household CleanerIn a spray bottle mix:
3 tablespoons vinegar1 teaspoon Borax (found in the laundry detergent aisle- I bought a 4+ lb. box for under $5)
2 cups water
1 tablespoon dish soap (I used Dawn)
1 drop scented oil (optional)
- Everything is clean and sanitized, and the vinegar smell is so minor, I am easily able to use this solution for cleaning just about anything. It really lives up to the name "all purpose cleaner."
- This appears to work better on grease than the hydrogen peroxide and water alone, I am guessing because of the Dawn.
- This works well on windows and does not leave streaks.
- I think this worked better on my linoleum floors than a commercial cleaner, and it smells much better, too.
- This is much cheaper than commercial cleaning products, and it is simple to make.
- My table looks about the same as with the 50/50 hydrogen peroxide/water mixture: some residue left behind. (This bothers my husband much more than it bothers me.)
- For window cleaning, you may want to spray a bit on your cloth instead of directly on the window because it is a bit sudsier than commercial window cleaners (again, I think because of the Dawn.)
- Everything is clean and sanitized without being scratched.
- This also appears to work better on grease than the hydrogen peroxide and water alone, I am guessing because of the Dawn.
- This really got rid of the soap scum and even mineral deposits from our hard water (both on the shower door and in sinks).
- This is much cheaper than commercial cleaning products, and it is simple to make with products that most everyone already has in their homes.
- I even tried this mixture watered down so I could put it in a squeeze bottle. It worked just as well as the more concentrated paste. A little bit goes a long way!
- No chemical odors means that this is a safe cleaner to use (and I wasn't worried about cleaning without wearing gloves.)
- The inside of my microwave is cleaner than it has been in quite some time. (Okay, I will admit to having not cleaned it in quite some time, but still...)
- This is so effective, that it's almost too sudsy. My only complaint was how often I had to re-wet my sponge.
Basically, I am thinking, "Why didn't I do this sooner?!" The amount of money saved by making cleaners instead of buying them makes it worth it. And that's before considering environmental impact, both for my household and overall. I feel so much better knowing that I am not filling our home and our bodies full of unnecessary chemicals.