{gentle cleaning}

I strongly believe in getting rid of harsh chemicals in our homes.  This has become one of my passions, that is, making the air in my home safer for my health and the health of my family.  There are a lot of harsh chemicals we can’t always do anything about, like in our floors or built-in furniture, but changing what we clean with is something we can easily do.

Here I want to share with you simple homemade solutions for everyday needs.  I have to admit I didn’t come up with these on my own, but found them through other crafty websites (like eartheasy.com, thenewhomemaker.com, and ecocycle.org– there’s lots of information on the web).  There really are so many recipes out there for homemade cleaning solutions, beauty products and more that I thought I would share with you the ones that I have personally tried and liked the best.  Above all I look for things that are easy and inexpensive to create and are non-toxic alternative solutions to conventional products.  Feel free to leave a comment or share a homemade solution that has worked for you!

{Shower Cleaner for Tough Stains}

1/4 c Borax powder

1/2 c white distilled vinegar

2 c warm water

couple of drops liquid dish soap

spray bottle that holds 2 cups (optional)

scrubber sponge

Pour the borax into a measuring cup and fill with one cup warm water to dissolve the borax.  This makes it easier to pour into the spray bottle (or you can just mix all the ingredients into a bowl). Then pour the white vinegar into the spray bottle, the drops of dish soap then fill the rest of the bottle with warm water.  Spray onto tub or shower (or simply pour over stains).  Let it sit for about 10 minutes then scrub with your sponge until clean.  Have some water handy to get your sponge wet or to rinse it off as you clean.

{Treatment for Dried On Paint Stains}

For fabric

Rubbing Alcohol

Cotton balls or Q-tips

toothbrush (one you will not use again!)

I was glad I didn’t listen to some who said it would be impossible to get out dried on interior paint that I got on a favorite shirt of mine.  Some said this remedy would work and it did!  Put some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball or Q-tip and rub onto the dried on paint stain.  Rub gently in different directions with your toothbrush bristles to get the paint off.  Keep rubbing with more alcohol and continue rubbing with your toothbrush until the stain lifts.

{All-Purpose Cleaner}

1 tsp washing soda

several drops of liquid dish soap (I use Planet, its biodegradable, hypoallergenic, unscented)

2 c hot water

Combine all ingredients into a empty spray bottle (I got mine at Wal-Mart, the one in the laundry isle for ironing is the absolute perfect size for this recipe).  Note: I shake mine up a little before each use.  Use and enjoy!

{Glass and Mirror Cleaner}

That awful ammonia smell in products like Windex is worth avoiding, and although vinegar does have a smell, I have used it my home enough times to know that the smell dissipates very quickly.

Combine the vinegar and water with a ratio of 1:1.  Spray on mirrors and windows and wipe with a clean cloth.  You will very likely see streaks as you are doing this, but I promise they dissipate just as quickly as the smell.  Take a couple minutes to finish a chore in another room and when you return to the mirror or glass it should be spotless and streak free!

{Gunk/ Stain Remover 1}

For hard surfaces

For dried on messes, this simple solution works surprisingly well.

Baking soda

Hot water

Pour a small amount of hot water on the dried on mess or stain.  Cover liberally with baking soda.  You always want more soda than water so that it becomes a thick paste.  It doesn’t work as well if its mostly water.  Let it sit and then use a sponge or rag and work the paste into the stain.  Really give it some elbow grease!  For me this worked to get some black stains off of my stove top.  If it didn’t get it all completely, just restart the process.  Thanks to the Natural Home magazine for providing this idea!

{Gunk/ Stain Remover 2}

For hard surfaces


Something to scrub with

Liberally shake or pour some salt on the dried on gunk or stain and rub- you don’t even really need water, but you can try it if it helps.  (Make sure that the surface you are working with will not scratch!)

{Carpet Stain Remover}

Ok, even my husband was excited about this one.  It got the pet mess my dog made right up, and then my husband used it in his truck to get out some stains on the carpet that that were there when he bought it and it got those right up too.  The best part- it can be as gentle and free of chemicals as you need it to be depending on what type of detergent you use.

2 Tbls detergent (I like All’s free and clear but you could easily use any detergent, including a homemade one)

3 Tbls 5% white vinegar

1 qt of warm water

Mix ingredients.  It should get a little bubbly.  Take a rag and work the solution into the stain, but don’t soak the carpet.  It really should come right up!

{Disinfectant Spray}

1 c water

1 c 5% vinegar

Combine in a spray bottle.  Use for kitchen cleaning on cutting boards, countertops, or door knobs after a family member has been sick.   Combined with the water the vinegar smell wont be as strong, but I actually use straight 5% vinegar in a spray bottle.  Here’s what I found out from care2.com:

“Heinz company spokesperson Michael Mullen references numerous studies to show that a straight 5 percent solution of vinegar—the kind you can buy in the supermarket—kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs (viruses). He noted that Heinz can’t claim on their packaging that vinegar is a disinfectant since the company has not registered it as a pesticide with the Environmental Protection Agency.”

And no harsh chemicals!

{Leave in Conditioner for Hair}

Conditioner of your choice (I enjoy Burt’s Bees)


Combine 1 part conditioner with 4 parts water.  Mix and pour into a spray bottle, shake until well combined.  A great inexpensive way to nourish hair!

Check back every so often, as I will be updating and adding new recipes to this page!


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Booksphotographsandartwork
    Nov 18, 2010 @ 01:45:35

    I have some sort of strange pet stain that I will most definitely try that recipe on. Thanks.


  2. Food, Flowers, Herbs and Life!
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 21:04:10

    I will definitely try your cleaning methods. I hate using products with harsh chemicals! Thank you!


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