So many of the standard cleaning agents we have all used in our homes are made with toxic chemicals and petroleum derivatives. When we spray standard cleaner around our homes we and our children breathe in ammonia and hundreds of other toxins. Most laundry and dish soaps are made from petroleum, which is a non-renewable resource. We don’t need to pollute our homes with these scary cleaners, right?

Fortunately, it is very easy to use a few simple ingredients to make your own effective, healthy cleaning potions. White vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, borax, and good old water are mainly all you need to get started. And you won’t believe what you can do with toothpaste!

Making these cleaners will save you money AND protect the environment and the health of your family.

Make An All-Purpose Floor/Kitchen/Bath Cleaner

natural cleaner
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Mix together a tablespoon of borax (available in most grocery store laundry sections), a tablespoon of liquid soap (like castile soap, which is also available at most grocery stores), a tablespoon of lemon juice, and a quart of warm water.  Shake it up and use it as you would a normal cleaner.

Window Cleaners

window cleaner
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Fill a spray bottle with water and 2 tablespoons lemon juice or a 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Spray and wipe off as you would with a standard cleaner.

Bathtub Scouring Agent

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Mix baking soda and water into a paste. Scrub the tub. You can polish it off with a spray of the all-purpose cleaner you made above for further sanitizing if you like.

Furniture Polish

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Mix one 1 cup mineral oil and 1 cup white vinegar.  Rub it on with a clean cloth.

Carpet Freshener and Cleaner

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Sprinkle baking soda on the carpet then vacuum it up. If you need to treat spots, mix 1/4 cup of liquid soap (like Castile) and 1/2 cup of warm water. Beat them together and then rub the foam into the spots. Then rinse with clean water and blot dry.

Silver Polish

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Toothpaste!  Yes– this works!  Just put some toothpaste on an old toothbrush or wet cloth and go to town. After polishing, rinse the item in warm water. Then you can dry the silver object with a soft cloth.

BONUS TIP: How to keep your drain clog-free without corrosive liquids!

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  1. Put two tablespoons of baking soda into/over the drain of your sink or tub.
  2. Pour one cup of vinegar on the baking soda. (It will fizz a lot– do not panic, this is normal.)
  3. Wait about five minutes, and then pour a kettle of boiling water over the soda/vinegar residue.
  4. If this doesn’t work, try it a second time. If this doesn’t work then, get out the good old snake.

Cover image: photo via unsplash

Erica R. GibsonAbout the author: Erica R. Gibson is a tech writer at the service where everyone can ask to write my essay. She is fond of learning something new. In this case, likes reading self-development blogs to improve her professional and personal knowledge.