Non-Toxic Cleaning Recipes

Do It Green! Minnesota

Feel like you are killing yourself trying to keep your house clean? You may laugh, but you may be closer to the truth than you think if you are using expensive, commercial cleaners. There are many chemicals in commercial cleaning products that are not adequately tested or regulated. An estimated 2.5 million exposures to household poisons occur every year. So what is the solution?

Non-toxic cleaning products do the job safer and cheaper. You can make your own non-toxic cleaners using simple, ordinary ingredients you probably already have at home – baking soda, vinegar (just smell its pungency and you will know it is working), and lemon juice.

Vinegar, while it kills bacteria and mold, does not harm the environment. A 5% vinegar solution kills 99% of bacteria and 82% of mold. To make a 5% solution, add three ounces of vinegar to half a gallon of warm water.
Here are some popular recipes for making your own non-toxic cleaners from the book Clean House, Clean Planet:


All purpose non-toxic cleaner recipe: 2 T distilled white vinegar, 1 tsp Borax powder detergent, 1 1/2 Cups of warm distilled or purified water, 1/8 Cup liquid dish soap. Mix the vinegar and borax in a 16 oz. spray bottle. Fill the bottle with water and swirl to dissolve the vinegar and borax. Add the dish soap last. Use as you would any all purpose cleaner.


Unclog drains: Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda in and around the drain opening. Follow with a cup of white vinegar. Repeat if needed and finally flush with hot water.

Oven cleaner: Sprinkle water inside oven, then add baking soda. Let sit overnight and scour with a plastic sponge.

Tile/linoleum floors: Dissolve 1-2 teaspoons of dishwashing soap in 3 gallons of warm water. Mop floor with this solution; to rinse – follow this procedure with 1 cup of white vinegar in 3 gallons of cool water.

Wood floors: Dissolve 3 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar in 3 gallons of warm water. After mopping, wipe dry.

Furniture Polish: Use one part white distilled vinegar and three parts olive oil. Add a little natural lemon oil (not the synthetic kind) and you’ve got a great polish!

Glass Cleaner: You won’t believe it, but you can actually use plain club soda for a great glass cleaner.

Rust Remover: Sprinkle a little bit of salt on the rust, squeeze a lime over the salt until it is nicely soaked in lime juice. Leave the mixture on for two or three hours. Use the leftover rind as a handy scrubber. Rust is gone.


There are also many brands of non-toxic cleaning products available at your local natural foods store, including Restore, a local company offering a full line of non-toxic products.



Action! Get rid of your commercial household cleaners, lawn care, and garden products today. Drop them off the nearest Household Hazardous Waste facility. Call 651-222-7227 or visit Caution: This product is poisonous. If you should not ingest it, why should the environment?

Non-Toxic Cleaners

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