More Cleaning Essentials


Nontoxic recipes for home-cleaning come together easily for daily use. You may already have most of the ingredients on hand, as well as various re-usable bottes, spray-top bottles, glass jars with screw-top lids, salvaged old t-shirts and sponges. Add a little elbow grease, and your home is sure to shine.

Some newer ingredients now available to homemakers are tea tree and essential oils, both used in the disinfectant spray recipe below. Many local co-ops, apothecaries, and organic foods stores are now selling a variety of these strongly-scented oils for both homeopathic and everyday use. Tea tree oil is a natural disinfectant with antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Essential oils are costly, but just a drop or two adds a lovely scent to any cleaning supply recipes, entirely masking the use of vinegar. Oils range in scent from classic lemon to cinnamon to summer berry.

Laundry Detergent
1 oz. liquid castile soap
1/2 cup washing soda
1/4 cup baking soda or 1/4 cup white vinegar

Using the liquid castile soap as a base, combine with washing soda (regular washing), and either baking soda (reduces static and softens fabrics) or white vinegar (reduces static, softens fabrics, and bleaches clothes). This recipe is for one load of wash. If your clothes aren’t clean enough, add more liquid castile soap one ounce at a time, using up to 1 cup (8 ounces) per load.

Laundry Bleach Alternative
1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide

Wood Floor Polish
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 gallon warm water

Mix in a large mopping bucket and mop as usual.

Copper and Brass Cleaner
2 Tbsps salt
White vinegar
Flour, if necessary

Add vinegar to salt until you’ve created a paste. Apply with a rag and rub clean. If the paste is too hard for your piece, add flour to reduce abrasiveness.

Stainless Steel Cleaner
Baking soda
White vinegar

Apply baking soda with a damp cloth, using the vinegar to eliminate spots.

Disinfectant Spray
2 Cups Water
1/4 Cup White Vinegar
1/4 tsp. Tea Tree Oil
1/4 tsp. Lavender Oil

Combine and store in a spray bottle. Shake occasionally. Use where ever a disinfectant spray is needed.

5 thoughts on “More Cleaning Essentials

  1. March 1, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Hello,
    Where are you from? Is it a secret? :)

    Have a nice day
    SonyaSunny

  2. Christine Emming
    March 3, 2009 at 9:40 am

    It is not a secret. 😉 About eight months ago, I moved from Denver, CO, to Garnett, KS. Despite my current location, I consider myself “from” Minnesota, where I spent my formative years moving all around the state with my minister father’s changing assignments.

    Thanks for your question!
    Christine

  3. Rob
    March 15, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    What a awesome find! I’m glad I found this.

  4. allison
    April 17, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Where do you find Washing Soda? I live in the Kansas city are and the closet stores I have found that carry arm and hammer washing soda are in lawernce…

  5. Christine Emming
    May 26, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Hey, Allison, have you tried Whole Foods yet? I was also surprised to find it in small town groceries and some hardware stores, like Ace, though I usually buy it in Lawrence as well.