Green Cleaning: How to Create DIY Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

This entry is part 3 of 27 in the series Eco-Friendly Products for Home

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the impact of traditional cleaning products on our health and the environment. Many commercial cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to both our well-being and the planet. Fortunately, there’s a better way to keep your home clean and healthy – green cleaning with do-it-yourself (DIY) eco-friendly cleaning products.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the world of green cleaning and provide you with easy-to-follow recipes for creating your own eco-friendly cleaning solutions. By making the switch to DIY green cleaning, you can reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals, lower your environmental footprint, and still enjoy a sparkling clean home.

The Problem with Conventional Cleaning Products

Before we delve into DIY eco-friendly cleaning recipes, it’s essential to understand why many conventional cleaning products are problematic:

  1. Toxic Chemicals: Most commercial cleaning products contain a cocktail of toxic chemicals like ammonia, bleach, and phthalates. These substances can irritate your skin, eyes, and respiratory system, and they can also linger in your home’s air long after cleaning.
  2. Environmental Impact: The production and disposal of conventional cleaning products contribute to pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and water contamination. They often come in non-recyclable plastic bottles that add to the world’s plastic waste problem.
  3. Health Concerns: Prolonged exposure to the chemicals in conventional cleaning products has been linked to various health issues, including allergies, asthma, and even hormonal disruptions.
  4. Animal Testing: Many mainstream cleaning product brands still engage in animal testing to ensure product safety. This practice is widely criticized for its ethical concerns.

The Benefits of Green Cleaning

Switching to green cleaning offers a host of benefits for both your health and the environment:

  1. Healthier Indoor Air: Green cleaning products use natural ingredients that won’t release harmful fumes into your home. This means cleaner, fresher indoor air for you and your family.
  2. Safer for Pets: Conventional cleaning products can be toxic to pets who walk on freshly cleaned floors or surfaces. Green cleaning products are a safer choice if you have furry friends at home.
  3. Eco-Friendly: Homemade green cleaning solutions typically use ingredients that are biodegradable and safe for the environment. You reduce your ecological footprint by avoiding the use of harsh chemicals and single-use plastic bottles.
  4. Cost-Effective: DIY eco-friendly cleaning products are often more budget-friendly than their commercial counterparts. You can save money while being kinder to the planet.
  5. Customizable Scents: You have the flexibility to customize the scents of your cleaning products by using natural essential oils like lavender, lemon, or tea tree.

Essential Ingredients for DIY Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

Before we dive into specific recipes, let’s familiarize ourselves with some key ingredients commonly used in DIY green cleaning:

  1. Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate): An excellent abrasive cleaner, deodorizer, and stain remover.
  2. White Vinegar: Effective for dissolving mineral deposits, cutting through grease, and eliminating odors.
  3. Castile Soap: A versatile, plant-based soap that’s gentle on the skin and effective for cleaning various surfaces.
  4. Lemon Juice: Natural acid that acts as a powerful degreaser and has antibacterial properties.
  5. Essential Oils: Natural oils like lavender, tea tree, and eucalyptus can be added for fragrance and additional cleaning properties.
  6. Hydrogen Peroxide: A natural disinfectant that can effectively kill bacteria and viruses.
  7. Olive Oil: Used in furniture polish and stainless steel cleaners for a natural shine.
  8. Cornstarch: Ideal for cleaning windows and glass surfaces.

Now, let’s explore some easy-to-make DIY eco-friendly cleaning products for various areas of your home.

1. All-Purpose Green Cleaner


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil (e.g., lavender, lemon, tea tree)


  1. Mix water and vinegar in a spray bottle.
  2. Add baking soda, and let it fizz.
  3. Add essential oil for a pleasant fragrance.
  4. Shake well before each use.

This all-purpose cleaner works wonders on countertops, sinks, and appliances. The vinegar cuts through grease and grime, while baking soda provides gentle abrasion for tougher messes.

2. Window and Glass Cleaner


  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 10-20 drops of essential oil (e.g., lemon or lime)


  1. Combine water and vinegar in a spray bottle.
  2. Add rubbing alcohol and cornstarch.
  3. Shake well to mix.
  4. Add essential oil for a fresh scent.

Use this eco-friendly glass cleaner to make your windows, mirrors, and glass surfaces sparkle. The addition of rubbing alcohol helps with streak-free cleaning.

3. Natural Disinfectant Spray


  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 20-30 drops of tea tree essential oil


  1. Mix the white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle.
  2. Add the tea tree essential oil.
  3. Gently shake to combine.

This homemade disinfectant spray is effective against bacteria and viruses. Use it on high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, and countertops.

4. DIY Furniture Polish


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 10-15 drops of lemon essential oil


  1. Combine olive oil and white vinegar in a small bowl.
  2. Add lemon essential oil and stir.
  3. Dip a soft cloth into the mixture and use it to polish your wooden furniture.

This eco-friendly furniture polish will keep your wood surfaces looking shiny and nourished without the use of toxic chemicals.

5. Natural Oven Cleaner


  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • Water (as needed to form a paste)
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil


  1. Mix the baking soda with just enough water to form a thick paste.
  2. Add lavender essential oil for a pleasant scent.
  3. Spread the paste over the interior of your oven, avoiding heating elements.
  4. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight.
  5. Scrub with a sponge or cloth, and rinse thoroughly.

This natural oven cleaner effectively removes baked-on grease and grime without the noxious fumes of commercial oven cleaners.

6. Homemade Dishwasher Detergent


  • 1 cup washing soda (not baking soda)
  • 1 cup borax
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 1/2 cup salt


  1. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Store in an airtight container.
  3. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load in your dishwasher.

This eco-friendly dishwasher detergent will leave your dishes clean and spotless without phosphates or harsh chemicals.

7. Natural Carpet Cleaner


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 10-20 drops of essential oil (e.g., lavender or tea tree)


  1. Mix water and vinegar in a spray bottle.
  2. Add salt and essential oil.
  3. Shake well to dissolve the salt.
  4. Spray the solution on stains, let it sit for a few minutes, then blot with a clean cloth.

This natural carpet cleaner is excellent for tackling stains and odors. Test it in an inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t damage your carpet.

8. DIY Toilet Bowl Cleaner


  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 10-20 drops of tea tree essential oil


  1. Sprinkle baking soda into the toilet bowl.
  2. Pour white vinegar over the baking soda.
  3. Add tea tree essential oil for extra cleaning power.
  4. Let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a toilet brush.

This eco-friendly toilet bowl cleaner effectively removes stains and odors while deodorizing the bathroom.

9. Green Laundry Detergent


  • 1 bar of Castile soap (grated)
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup borax
  • 20-30 drops of your preferred essential oil (e.g., lavender or eucalyptus)


  1. Grate the Castile soap bar.
  2. Mix the grated soap, washing soda, baking soda, and borax in a large container.
  3. Add essential oil for a pleasant scent.
  4. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load of laundry.

This DIY laundry detergent is gentle on your clothes and the environment. It’s free from synthetic fragrances and harsh chemicals.

10. Natural Stainless Steel Cleaner


  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • A few drops of olive oil (for shine)
  • 10-15 drops of essential oil (e.g., lemon or orange)


  1. Combine white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
  2. Add a few drops of olive oil for shine.
  3. Add essential oil for fragrance.
  4. Shake well before each use.

Use this eco-friendly stainless steel cleaner to remove fingerprints and smudges from your appliances while leaving a streak-free shine.

Tips for Effective Green Cleaning

  • Label Your Containers: Clearly label your DIY cleaning product containers with their names and ingredients to avoid confusion.
  • Store Safely: Keep your homemade cleaners out of the reach of children and pets, especially if they contain essential oils.
  • Ventilate: While green cleaning products are generally safe, it’s a good practice to keep the area well-ventilated when using any cleaning solutions.
  • Spot Test: Before using any DIY cleaner on a surface, perform a spot test in an inconspicuous area to ensure it won’t cause damage or discoloration.
  • Mix Fresh: Some DIY cleaners may lose their effectiveness over time, so consider making small batches and using them within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Recycle Containers: When your commercial cleaning product bottles are empty, recycle them properly. Many communities have recycling programs for plastic bottles.

Conclusion: A Cleaner, Greener Home

Making the switch to DIY eco-friendly cleaning products is not only good for your health but also for the health of our planet. These homemade solutions are effective, affordable, and free from harmful chemicals, making them an excellent choice for conscientious homeowners.

By embracing green cleaning, you reduce your environmental footprint, minimize plastic waste, and contribute to a healthier indoor environment for your family and pets. Plus, you’ll discover the satisfaction of knowing exactly what’s in the products you use to keep your home clean.

So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on a journey towards a cleaner, greener home. With these DIY eco-friendly cleaning recipes in your arsenal, you’ll enjoy a sparkling, healthier living space while leaving a smaller ecological footprint.

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Series Navigation<< The Ultimate Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Products<< 10 Must-Have Eco-Friendly Kitchen Gadgets for Sustainable CookingSustainable Home Decor: Stylish and Eco-Friendly Ideas >>

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