There are many eco friendly ways to clean your household and avoid exposure to the toxic chemicals in many household cleaning products. You'll find that most eco cleaning products basically amount to three or four types of natural cleaners, mixed into a paste, a spray, or a undiluted and left to set. If you keep baking soda, toothpaste, vinegar, and club soda in the house, there is pretty much nothing that you can't clean. It's as easy as keeping around a hammer and some duct tape to fix little things in the household. Here are some eco cleaning recipes to use to make cleaning a less costly and more environmentally friendly chore for you.

  • For a soft scrub solution, mix 1 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of soap. Mix and use to scrub tile, bathtubs, toilets, and sinks. The soap can be a mild commercial detergent, but if you want to get really eco cleaning, use a natural soap from the local co op.
  • For an eco cleaning approach to liquid detergent, mix 1 cup of soap, 1/3 cup of salt, 1 cup of dissolved baking soda (dissolve the baking soda in low heat over the stove), 1 cup of vinegar, 40 drops of grapefruit seed extract, and fill a gallon jug halfway with water. Then pour in the mix, and shake well. Use the solution on tubs, sinks, and tile. The soap and the grapefruit seed oil can be purchased at the co op- don't use grapefruit essential oils, like the kind that are used in incense or eco room fresheners; it's not the same thing.
  • To make an eco-friendly disinfectant, mix ¼ cup of Borax with a half gallon of hot water. Put in a spray bottle and disinfect. Borax is great, its one of the cleaners that Grandma used, and it is as eco friendly as you can get for a "commercial" product.
  • For a natural oven cleaner, mix ¼ cup baking soda, 2 tbsp. salt and hot water so it becomes a paste. Let the paste sit for five minutes, then scrub your oven. Make no mistake about it, this will take longer then a chemical spray, but chemical oven cleaners use fluorocarbons and the smell/ fumes can make you pass out. Also, you have to wear gloves with commercial oven cleaners for a reason-they burn like heck if you get them on your skin. Not so with this method.
  • For a good mixture to clean toilet bowls, put ¼ cup of baking soda into a bowl and add a small amount of vinegar. Let the mixture sit for half an hour. Scrub with a toilet brush and then flush. Use borax to remove remaining stains. The longer you let it set, the easier it will be. If you keep your bowl clean regularly, you shouldn't have any problems using this method.
  • For an eco friendly way to use foam carpet cleaner, mix ¼ cup of oil-based liquid soap, and 3 tbsp. water. Whip the mixture in a bowl until it becomes foamy. Rub the foam into stained areas of your rug or carpet, and then rinse.
  • To polish silver, rub white non gel toothpaste on your silver piece. Let it dry, and then rinse it well with water. This is a time tested trick from the sixties. Toothpaste is a great cleaner because it is abrasive enough to get the job done but won't take the surface off your silver-or your teeth.

The only fret I hear about eco cleaning is that the house often smells like vinegar afterward. This is true; most people acquaint the smell of pine with a clean house. The solution for this is citrus or lavender oil mixed with mineral water and sprayed around the house-guess where you can buy that? That's right, the co op.