The Saturday Question: What’s your favorite green cleaning product or recipe?

Some of you whip up homemade brews out of vinegar and baking soda while others of you are loyal to an eco-friendly company with products you love.  Do you have any tricks that we could learn from?  (My favorite is to use Borax for cleaning the shower–it’s amazing and so cheap!) Please share your secrets!


  1. I like using white distilled vinegar, baking soda, and tea tree oil for most of my cleaning. When I want to splurge I love Mrs Meyers cleaning products. They smell soooo good!!! A little goes a long way when you use the concentrated all purpose products.

  2. I love Biokleen Soy Cream Cleaner, it makes me want to clean all the time!

  3. Do you just sprinkle the borax and scrub? I use Borax, washing soda and grated soap as laundry detergent.

  4. i love plain baking soda for scouring, scrubbing, and deoderizing around the house.

    a few squirts of biokleen bac-out is great in my cloth diaper laundry and for soaking tough stains.

    i want to make my own dishwasher detergent. does anyone know, is citric acid necessary, or will borax and washing soda alone do?

  5. This isn’t a “brew,” but more of a trick. I bought a nice shower scraper and I use it to squeegee down the walls of the shower to dry them. If this is done after every use you can go much longer without having to clean the shower with any soaps or chemicals. It really reduces the growth of mildew on the tiles, grout and curtain. Then, when I do clean, I use just a minimal amount of Bon Ami polishing cleanser (it’s like Ajax without the perfumes and dyes) and I scrub with a stiff-bristled brush. It goes pretty fast. This is my best tip to date for minimizing the use of soaps, which is important to me.

  6. Vinegar takes soap scum right off. Baking soda overnight on a yucky baking pan makes it effortless to clean the next morning (make a damp paste).

    Suzannah – maybe citric acid’s what I am missing? I am using baking soda + borax and I have had probs w/residue. Let me know if you come up with a good recipe. I actually have some citric acid on hand…

  7. Dido to all the vinegar and baking soda. I tried the dishwashing with borax and soda but get major residue. I then added vinegar as a rinsing agent, still residue. If anyone has a dishwashing soap that works it is the only thing I’m not making myself.

  8. baking soda paste and a scrubber gets almost anything off. I also love surgical scrub brushes for anything that needs a touch but gentle touch (lee valley tools sells them). For actual products, I love Bac-Out from Bioclean for laundry stains.

  9. Mamasimpson says

    Vinegar in a spray bottle is great. Baking soda works wonders. A couple of drops of tea tree oil in the laundry soap dispenser for killing dust mites.
    A.P cleaner
    10-15 drops tea tree oil
    Ab. 2 cups water
    Dash of liquid dish soap
    Mix in spray botlle

    We love this it smells good.

  10. I just bought dr. bronners and I love it, both the smell and the price. I hate the smell of vinegar so I struggle with homemade cleaners.

  11. Mix 2 cups water with a couple drops of tea tree to clear up mold and keep green shower residue from coming back as quickly! Plus – then I don’t have to worry about my little one sitting in chemicals in her nightly bath!

  12. i haven’t tried this dishwasher detergent recipe, but found it over at Naturally Knocked Up:

    1 cup Borax
    1 cup Washing Soda
    1/8 to 1/4 cup citric acid

    oddly, another site said you could sub two unsweetened lemon kool-aid packets for the citric acid!

    supposedly, the citric acid is key to clean rinsing. i’ll have to give it a shot…

  13. Suzannah – good tip on the citric acid. I was making that detergent and stopped because my glasses were getting hazy.

    The only thing I can think of that hasn’t been said is furniture polish made from a mix of olive oil and lemon juice. It worked great. I can’t remember the exact mix.

    I have gotten into the “it’s not rocket science” mode of natural cleaning where I sort of mix things up without measuring and see how they work. If you are sticking to the simple ingredients and not using ammonia and bleach, you are unlikely to blow your house up with your experimenting. But once you’ve followed a few recipes, you start to get a feeling for what different ingredients will do and if your cleaner isn’t doing what you want, you can play around with other ingredients.

  14. Vicki Hutchinson says

    A mixture of Hydrogen Peroxide and water 1/2 and 1/2 on bathroom mildew works great. Spray on the mildewed area and let is sit about an hour and then scrub. If it is old you may have to do it a few times. It actually helps to stop the mildew from coming back.

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