Clean Green

Earth Day 2011Today is Earth Day, y’all.

While I jumped on the “go green” bandwagon long ago, each year this holiday gives me reason to stop and consider what else I could do to be a better steward of the natural resources God has entrusted us with. Around our house we already do most of the typical things – recycle, eat organic meat and produce, grow our own veggies, compost, support local farmers, and shop with reusable bags to name a few. But on the flip side, we’re not doing any favors to the ozone layer by commuting a combined 650 miles per week in our gas-guzzling vehicles. So while I’m not exactly giving No Impact Man a run for his money, there is a long list of things I can do to reduce my carbon footprint…..and hopefully make my little corner of the world a better place.

Homemade Cleaning Products
My latest experiment is replacing our off-the-shelf cleaning products with natural, non-toxic alternatives that I can make at home from a few simple ingredients. Not only are these homemade cleaners better for the environment, they are also healthier and significantly cheaper. There are many variations, but here are some common recipes for natural cleaning products:


All-purpose Cleaner

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/4 gallon hot water
  • a few drops of essential oil (optional)

Combine ingredients in a bucket, stir, then allow the mixture to cool before pouring into a spray bottle.

Glass Cleaner

  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/4 gallon water
  • a few drops of lemon essential oil (optional)

Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake. Wipe the glass surface with crumpled newspaper.

Furniture Polish

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well before use. Store extra in the refrigerator to prevent lemon juice from souring.

Dishwasher Soap

  • Equal parts borax and washing soda

Mix the ingredients and store in a labeled container. Use the amount normally called for in your dishwasher.

Laundry Soap

  • 1 cup unscented, dye-free soap (such as Ivory), grated or ground with a food processor
  • 1/2 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup borax
  • a few drops of essential oil (optional)

Combine the ingredients and store in a labeled container. Use 1 tbsp for lighter loads and 2 tbsp for heavy loads.


Free Labels for Homemade Cleaning ProductsFree Printable Labels for Homemade Cleaning Products
clockwise from leftPatterned, Birdies, Dots, Shapes

So far I’ve only tried the recipes for all-purpose and glass cleaner, but found them to work just as well as the store-bought varieties. I plan to continue replacing the traditional, chemical-filled products for my natural homebrew as they run out. I’m even saving the spray bottles so I can reuse those…..after attaching a cute label, of course!

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  1. By Homemade Laundry Detergent – design finch on July 17, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    […] months ago I began a personal mission to replace the commercial cleaning products in our home with natural alternatives that are both gentler on the environment and easier on the ol’ wallet. After a couple months […]

  2. By Money Saving Sunday « MOMA on January 22, 2012 at 9:04 am

    […] from Design Finch (along with other great homemade cleaner […]

  3. […] of Pinterest and so many now making their own Homemade Cleaners, I thought I would post these great Free Printable Homemade Cleaner labels from Design Finch. This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← $1 off Silk Fruit […]

  4. […] of Pinterest and so many now making their own Homemade Cleaners, I thought I would post these great Free Printable Homemade Cleaner labels from Design Finch. This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← $1 off Silk Fruit […]

  5. By Make it, Clean it | JackedUpNews on April 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm
  6. […] alternatives that are more environmentally-friendly. Since then, I’ve been making my own natural cleaning products and laundry detergent with excellent results. It’s incredibly easy and saves so much money […]

  7. […] I wanted some cute printables to go along, and found a background pattern from Vinne Pierce on typad via Design Finch. […]

  8. By A DIY clean for an OCD happy. on April 20, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    […] Also be sure to check out my own recipe for making diy laundry detergent using handmade soaps. I also recommend checking out Sew Chatty Blog for a free printable cleaning chart. It serves as a […]

  9. By 8 Srping Cleaning Tips | OffBeat Emporium on May 3, 2013 at 10:26 am

    […] 5. Go Green It’s always good to be conscious of what chemicals you are using. Take a look at the ingredients in you cleaning supplies. It’s amazing how many unnecessary chemicals we are sometimes spreading all over our homes. There are alternative cleaning supplies; you can make them yourself too! You can find some simple recipes for furniture polish, all-purpose cleaners, and more here. […]


  1. Great article. Love that you found printable labels. Those are very cool. Thanks for sharing.

    Posted May 11, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Permalink
  2. JoyNo Gravatar

    What is Washing Soda?????

    Posted March 17, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Permalink
  3. ShaylaNo Gravatar

    @Joy: Joy, you can find washing soda at most stores near the laundry detergent. It comes in a box that looks sorta like baking soda, but it is NOT the same thing.

    Posted March 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink
  4. vickyNo Gravatar

    i couldn’t get the birdies printables, they transfered to a new site and if you click on the scribd button they’re supposed to be on it says its not there. And the dots one flashes on the screen for a second, then says they can’t connect to it. Anybody else having any luck?
    thanks so much

    Posted April 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink
  5. Audrey EhaltNo Gravatar

    Windows/Mirrors or glass of any kind: For Glass cleaning – especially windows – try using about 1/4 cup cornstarch and a bit of vinegar in a bucket of water. Wash with the solution. Then use a dry cloth to finish it off. Never worry about streaky windows again. You can wash the window sills and all with the same water. It’s the powder in the cornstarch that is the key as it leaves a fine dust that works as a polish while you dry it.

    Posted July 19, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink