8 Must-Haves for a Nontoxic Cleaning Kit

Green cleaning can save your lungs and your bank account, keeping your family happy and healthy.

By Leah Zerbe

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Now, make your own green cleaning recipes for mere pennies! (Excerpted from The Naturally Clean Home (c) 2008 by Karyn Siegel-Maier, with permission from Storey Books, www.storeybooks.com.)

Simple All-Purpose Cleaner

Here's Siegel-Maier's go-to cleaner:

Mix equal amounts of water and white vinegar, a few squirts of castile soap, and about 20 drops of basil oil in a 16-ounce spray bottle. "This formula is great for surfaces in the kitchen and bath, spills on tile flooring, and even for minor carpet stains, she says.

Super-Easy Automatic Dishwasher Powder

2 cups washing soda
1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda

Combine all ingredients and store in a plastic container. To use, add about 2 tablespoons to the soap compartment of your dishwasher. If you find your glasses are getting a residue buildup, reduce to 1½ tablespoons.

Minty-Fresh Fabric Softener

1 gallon vinegar
10 drops peppermint essential oil

Combine the ingredients in a glass or heavy-duty plastic container. Add 1 cup to the rinse cycle for each load.

Tough Dirt & Grease Formula

1 gallon hot water
2 Tablespoons liquid castile soap
¼ cup washing soda
1 cup vinegar
20 drops eucalyptus, peppermint, or tea tree essential oil

Combine all ingredients in a large bucket. Dip a mop into the bucket and squeeze out excess liquid. Clean the floor by working in sections, using short strokes and dipping the mop as needed. Rinsing is not necessary.

 

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