27 Aug

Green Cleaning Products To Buy Or Make Yourself

What is “Green Cleaning” anyway? You’ve probably heard about “green” products, so here’s a quick overview:

  • Green cleaning products are those that are comprised of ingredients that create less of an impact on the environment and human health than competing products intended for the same purpose. (ISSA.com)


Toxic? What? 

For example, many drain cleaning products have an ingredient called sulfuric acid. This ingredient is a corrosive agent, and can cause severe chemical burns. It strikes us that, as plumbers, pouring a corrosive agent down your pipes is not only harmful to YOU, but your pipes as well.

Have you ever used a clip-on toilet bowl freshener? Many of these products contain paradichlorobenzene. This chemical has been recognized in the scientific community to cause cancer. Who wants a cancer-causing agent lurking around in your toilet? There’s a better, healthier way!

Green Cleaning All-Stars

If you want to have ready-made products on hand, these are our favorites:

  • Seventh Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Mrs. Meyers Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • CLR
  • Drainbo Natural Solution Drain Cleaner
  • Seventh Generation Natural Tub and Tile Cleaner
  • CitraSolv Glass and Surface Cleaner
  • Aura Cacia Aromatherapy Mist

(source: EWG’s Guide To Healthy Cleaning)
The one catch with ready-made green cleaning products is that they can be quite expensive. Good resources for finding them cheaper are places such as Amazon and Costco. Also, check out these product’s websites for online deals and printable coupons.

Green Cleaning DIY 

You’d be surprised at how cheap and easy creating your own cleaning products can be. First, have a few staples on hand. Here are some basics that we’ve tracked down as the most versatile:

  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
  • Household White Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Borax
  • Lemons/lemon juice
  • Essential Oils such as lemon oil, lavender, and eucalyptus
  • Cheap vodka – did you know it makes a wonderful carrier for essential oil mist air fresheners?

These ingredients can do almost everything you can imagine. From deodorizing your microwave to killing the weeds in your yard, the standard ingredients listed here are the heavy lifters of environmentally and human health-friendly cleaning products. 

Here are our favorite sites for green cleaning product recipes:

  • Apartment Therapy20 DIY Green Cleaning Recipes. We like this site because the article has the recipes broken down by room.
  • Good Housekeeping9 Cleaners You Can Make Yourself. One of the recipes on this site calls for ammonia. Please, be safe with ammonia and never mix it around bleach. The fumes they create are extremely dangerous.
  • Pinterest – DIY Household Cleaners. Pinterest is loaded with pins and boards dedicated to DIY green cleaning products. The link is simply one example

Greening up your home cleaning routine has a host benefits for your home, your health, and the health of our environment, including our water supply. Give some of these a try and let us know how they work for you!

About Karen Mares

A Portlander born and raised, Karen lives in Southwest Portland with her husband and children. Karen has kept journals throughout her life, and she began her personal blog, Random Thoughts From A Suburban Mom in 2007. She hasn't stopped writing online since, channeling her passion for words and information into writing and communicating through social media and blogging.