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how to make your own green non-toxic cleaning agents

Alternatively, you also have the option of making your own green cleaning supplies. By manufacturing your own household cleaning agents, you can save money and remain 100% sure that they only contain natural, non-toxic ingredients. To help you do so, here are some of our tried and tested green cleaning options, which will clean your home whilst conserving the environment.

When making your own green non-toxic cleaning agents it is important to start with the basics. As matters stand, there are eight core non-toxic ingredients that can form the basis of any green cleaning agent. These ingredients are listed as follows;

  • Lemons
  • Vinegar (only use distilled white vinegar for cleaning purposes)
  • Baking soda
  • Olive oil
  • Aromatic plant oils (such as eucalyptus or lavender)
  • Salt
  • Corn starch
  • Sodium borate (Borax)

Once you have acquired all of these ingredients you can begin to make your own non-toxic cleaning agents. Here are some of the best recipes for making simple yet effective cleaning agents that can be used in any room throughout your home.

All-purpose kitchen and bathroom cleaner: If you need a multi-purpose cleaning solution to disinfect and remove stubborn stains from kitchen and bathroom surfaces then all you need to do is mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda into 2 litres of water. Apply onto a multipurpose cloth and use it to scrub your kitchen surfaces, sink, bathroom fixtures, mirrors, windows and shower stalls to remove all manner of water marks, stains and debris. If you are washing stubborn bathroom tiles or sinks, wipe the surfaces first with vinegar, then rub in baking soda applied directly onto the surface, scrub with a damp cloth and then rinse thoroughly with warm water.

Surface disinfectant: If you require a more potent disinfectant cleaning solution, you can mix two teaspoons of sodium borate (borax) with four tablespoons of vinegar and three cups of hot water. Wipe this disinfectant onto the intended area with a damp cloth and then after cleaning, rinse the surface with fresh warm water and rub with a dry cotton cloth.

Air freshener: Instead of using a commercial aerosol air freshener why not make your own? There is a wealth of non-toxic options at your disposal. For instance, you can rely on the natural scent of houseplants, by mixing up your own fragrance using aromatic plant oils such as lavender, thyme or eucalyptus. Place them within an organic reed diffuser and place bowls of fragrant herbs and flowers throughout your home.

Floor cleaner: Rid your vinyl or linoleum floors of unsightly marks and stubborn stains by mixing 1 cup of vinegar with 4 litres of warm water. Add an aromatic plant oil to this solution to eliminate the smell of vinegar and then proceed to scrub across the floor. Make sure you sufficiently ventilate the room afterwards to promote better indoor air quality.

Furniture polish: If you previously used a chemical cleaning agent to freshen up your furniture, why not try a natural alternative? Mix 1/4 cup of olive oil with four tablespoons of vinegar, two teaspoons of lemon juice and 1/2 cup of warm water. Use a soft multi-purpose cloth to wipe this solution across furnishings and then repeat the process with a dry cotton cloth to remove any remaining residue.

Laundry detergent: Whether your clothes have been spoiled by coffee, tea, wine or food, you can easily remove these stains in an eco-friendly manner by mixing 1/2 cup of plant-based liquid soap with 1/2 cup of sodium borate or table salt. Apply this mixture directly onto the stain, leave to soak, then rinse with warm water for naturally clean clothes.

Drain cleaner: To unclog drains in an eco-friendly manner, start by mixing 1/2 cup of salt with 4 litres of warm water and pouring it down the drain. If it remains blocked after 10 minutes, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda followed by 1/2 cup of vinegar. The chemical reaction caused by these natural agents will break down any residual fatty acids and efficiently unclog any drain. After 25-30 minutes, pour warm water down the drain to remove any remaining residue.

Carpet stains: Rather than using a potent and highly toxic carpet cleaner, you can remove stains just as effectively by using a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Apply this solution directly onto any stains, leave for 5 to 10 minutes depending upon the severity of the stain and then scrub clean with a brush or sponge soaked in warm soapy water (use a plant-based liquid soap for best results). If the stain remains, try mixing equal parts 1/4 cup of borax, salt and vinegar together into a paste, rub onto the stain and leave for 1-2 hours before vacuuming clean.

Cutting board cleaner: If you need to clean a surface where you prepare food, you can use a slice of lemon which will leave a sweet fragrance and no harmful residue. Simply rub a slice of lemon (or use half a lemon if you need to clean a large chopping board) to disinfect the intended surface. If the surface masks a stubborn stain, leave the lemon residue to sink in for 5-10 minutes before wiping off.

Lime deposits: If you live in a hard water area, then it is highly likely that your kettles, taps and other kitchen or bathroom fixtures suffer from an accumulation of lime deposits. To remove these unsightly marks, mix 1/2 cup of vinegar with 2 cups of warm water and apply onto the affected area. For tougher lime deposits, squeeze fresh lemon juice directly onto the affected area, leave to soak for 5-10 minutes and then wipe clean with a wet cloth.

Marks, mould and mildew: Baking soda applied directly onto a damp sponge can work wonders on any marked, mouldy or stained surface. From walls to skirting boards, rub the affected area gently with your baking soda soaked sponge then wipe and rinse with a damp cloth to remove all manner of ink spots, pencil marks, food stains, mould, mildew or unsightly blots. Similarly, if your home suffers from stubborn mould or mildew, the repeated application of baking soda, white vinegar and lemon juice via a damp sponge will remove these unsightly marks.

Coffee and tea stain removal: Suffering from unsightly tea and coffee stains? Not a problem. Simply apply some white vinegar onto a sponge and wipe the affected surface. For tougher stained kettles, teapots and coffee makers, mix 2 cups of water with 1/4 vinegar, bring to a boil and wipe with a clean cloth, rinsing thoroughly with warm water.

Windows and mirrors: To leave your home's windows and mirrors sparkling clean, mix two teaspoons of vinegar with 1 litre of warm water and apply with a soft cotton cloth. This solution works best on cooler days when the sun is not shining directly onto the window. If this solution leaves any streaks on your windows or mirrors, simply soak a cloth in warm water and wipe all surfaces down before drying with a dry cotton cloth.

Oven cleaner: The citrus acids within fresh lemons have natural cleaning properties due to their ability to emulsify fatty acids; making them the best remedy for degreasing dirty ovens. All you need to thoroughly cleanse a gritty oven are two lemons, cut in half and squeezed into a dish. Fill this dish a third of the way full with water, place within the centre of your oven and cook at 250 degrees for approximately 30-45 minutes.

During this time, the vapours produced from the water and lemon juice solution will attach onto the oven grime and grease, loosening it and making it more susceptible to scrubbing. After 30-45 minutes turn the heat off, leave your oven to cool completely and remove the dish. Once cooled, use a scouring pad to scrub away any remaining grime. Upon scouring all the grime and grease away, use a sponge to rinse your oven interior with the remaining lemon juice and water solution, then rub clean with a dry towel. After a spout of scrubbing you will be rewarded with a glistening, lemony fresh oven without the accompanying headache caused by conventional chemical oven cleaners.

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