Home Cleaning Recipes

To create healthier cleaning solutions look no further than your own pantry. 

Combining specific common household ingredients—many of which are food-grade—will also save you money. Remember as with any cleaning agent, test on a small and unobtrusive spot to be sure you are satisfied with the results. Also be sure to use clean, dry containers. Label any jars containing cleaners you will save for another day. Extend the life of any solution containing water by using distilled instead of spring or tap water.

All Purpose Spray
1 teaspoons borax
¼ - ½ teaspoon washing soda
¼ teaspoon liquid castile soap
10 drops of essential oil (optional)
Put borax and washing soda in spray bottle. Add 8 oz. hot water. Shake to dissolve. Add liquid soap and essential oils. Leave out washing soda if using on fiberglass—it will scratch.

Mildew Eraser
You don’t need harsh chlorine bleach to kill mold and mildew. Instead mix one of these with one cup of water and spray onto mildew-covered surface (may also be used to prevent mildew):
1 teaspoon of tea tree oil; or
1 cup of hydrogen peroxide; or
1 cup distilled white vinegar; or
2 Tablespoons borax

Brass and Copper Cleaner
lemon juice
salt or baking soda
Mix to a paste consistency.
Rub on, rinse with water, and dry.

Chrome Cleaner
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 quart water
Mix. Apply with a soft cloth.

Wood Polish
2 parts vegetable or olive oil.
1 part lemon juice
Mix. Apply with a soft cloth.

Soft Scrub Paste
3 Tablespoons liquid castile soap (such as Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap® or Vermont Soap Organics)
¼ cup baking soda
1 Tablespoon water
Mix to a paste consistency (Add another ½ Tablespoon water if necessary).

Glass Cleaner
Pour equal amounts of distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Wipe dry with crumpled newspaper, a lint-free soft cloth, or use a squeegee.

Antimicrobial Spray(s)
For rinsing produce and killing germs on food preparation surfaces.
Add distilled white vinegar to a spray bottle.
Add hydrogen peroxide (standard 3% drug store strength) to a separate spray bottle.
Spray one then the other. Which one comes first does not matter. Be sure to keep them in separate bottles. These each kill Salmonella, E. coli and other pathogens. According to the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service the combination of the two increases the effectiveness, killing 99.99% of Salmonella on apple slices.


Published on February 2, 2015