Archive for June, 2008

Non-Toxic Cleaner Recipes

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Thanks to all who contributed the recipes bellow.  I have found some additional recipes that I thought looked worth trying as well.

Holly’s Happy Bathroom De-Funker:  Mix 2 teaspoons Tea Tree oil with 2 Cups water to kill mildew and mold and adding a fresh and invigorating scent.

Sandi’s So Strong Soda Scrub :  Scrub baking soda on counter tops, tubs, and sinks.  For extra strength add some borax.

Meghan’s Mighty Disinfectant:  Add 2 quarts of apple cider vinegar to 2 handfuls (each) of dried of lavender, rosemary, sage, rue, and mint.  Allow the mixture to sit for 4 weeks then strain and pour into spray bottles.

Other recipes:


Wood floor polish

What you’ll need:

 What to do:

  • 1/8 cup of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp vodka
  • 10 drops of lavender oil (or other essential oil)
  1.  Mix the ingredients together and apply to your wood floor with a soft cloth. After rubbing it in, buff with another clean, soft cloth.

Glass Cleaner 

What you’ll need:

 What to do:

  • Club soda
  • 8 or 16 oz. spray bottle
  1.  Fill the bottle with plain club soda, spray and wipe.


Simply pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough liquid detergent to make a texture like frosting. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and wash the surface. This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn’t leave grit.

Note: Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to the mixture and store in a sealed glass jar, to keep the product moist. Otherwise just make as much as you need at a time.

1/4-1/2 teaspoon liquid detergent
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups water
Spray bottle

Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use as you would a commercial brand. The soap in this recipe is important. It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.

1 cup or more baking soda
A squirt or two of liquid detergent

Sprinkle water generously over the bottom of the oven, then cover the grime with enough baking soda that the surface is totally white. Sprinkle some more water over the top. Let the mixture set overnight. You can easily wipe up the grease the next morning because the grime will have loosened. When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of liquid detergent or soap on a sponge, and wash the remaining residue from the oven. If this recipe doesn’t work for you it is probably because you didn’t use enough baking soda and/or water.

1/2 teaspoon oil, such as olive (or jojoba, a liquid wax)
1/4 cup vinegar or fresh lemon juice
Mix the ingredients in a glass jar. Dab a soft rag into the solution and wipe onto wood surfaces. Cover the glass jar and store indefinitely.

Thyme Cleaner – Disinfectant

2 1/2 cups water
1 handful thyme (fresh or dried)
Liquid castille soap (squirt)

  • Boil water, add thyme. Simmer for several hours over medium-low heat, covered. Cool, then strain. Pour the water into a spray bottle, top with white vinegar and squirt of soap. Use as needed.

Herb Disinfectant Cleaner

This spray cleaner disinfects surfaces, kills mold, and discourages its return. Eucaplyptus, lavender, and tea tree are all known for their antimicrobial properties.

1 tsp. sodium lauryl sulfate
1 tsp. borax
2 Tbs. white vinegar
2 cups hot water
1/4 tsp. eucalyptus essential oil
1/4 tsp. lavender essential oil
3 drops tea tree essential oil

  • Mix all ingredients together and stir until dry ingredients dissolve. Pour into spray bottle. To use, spray as needed on any surface except glass. Scrub and rinse with clean, damp cloth.

*Source: The Herb Companion, September 1999

Herbal All Purpose Cleaner

1 cup water
1 cup vinegar
2 tsp liquid castille soap
25 drops essential oil of thyme, eucalyptus, tea tree, lavendar, sandalwood, lemon, orange

  • Add all ingredients to a large spray bottle (about 22 ounces) and shake before using. This formula disinfects and can be used on any washable surface in your home. Naturally antiviral and antifungal.

*Source: The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier

Lavender Soft Scrubber

3/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup powdered milk
1/8 cup (one-eighth) liquid castile soap
5 drops lavender Essential Oil

  • Combine all ingredients in a squirt-top bottle and add enough water to make a smooth paste. Shake or stir to mix. Apply to surface, then wipe area clean with a damp sponge or cloth. Rinse well.

*Source: The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier




Non-Toxic Home Cleaners

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

In the past months, we have been discussing the many ways to avoid putting toxins into our bodies through the foods that we eat.  Unfortunately, when choosing non-toxic foods we usually must spend more.   This month, we are discussing how to reduce toxins in our homes while we save money.  In doing a bit of research, you will easily find that making our own home cleaners is much more cost effective.  The benefits are numerous.  Herbal and non-toxic cleaners are:

  • Safer home for our children and pets
  • Kinder to the planet
  • Eliminate the need for plastic packaging
  • Customized to include your favorite herbal fragrance
  • Family Friendly:  Involve you children in making the solutions.  In addition, children can help clean with out being exposed to harsh chemicals

I hope that many of you will join us on Thursday as we make our own herbal all purpose cleaner.  The recipe that we will make includes fresh or dried thyme.  If anyone has any thyme growing in there garden that they can spare to add to my supply, please let me know.

I hope to discuss the use of Borax  in the home.  I have not yet used it myself, this is my first try at making any home cleaning products.  I have found lots of recipes including borax, but also some strong statements on why we shouldn’t include it.  I know that Sandi mention that she has liked including it when baking soda doesn’t do the trick.  Anyone else?

Open Space Community Meeting on 6/12

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

The Open Space Community Meeting will be Thursday June 12 at 6 pm at UPS, in the Murray Board Room at the Student Union Building.  1500 N Warner

For background reading, check out or

This will be a discussion of the city’s approach to managing, acquiring and restoring habitat areas as well as parks and trails, etc..  A little talking and a lot of milling around looking at maps, providing input, and supporting green city planning. 

Consumer Power (topic for June, 2008)

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

In June we will be discussing Consumer Power.  It is easy to feel that we, as individuals, have no way to take a stand against some of the troublesome practices of corporate America.  Whether we find fault in buying cheep clothing and toys from China,  food made with GMO’s, or objectionable marketing campaigns we do have a voice.  This month, let’s share our idea’s in how we can practice using our voices and wallets to bring about the change we deserve.  Please post your ideas for conversation, references and opinions.

Homemade Household Cleaners (June 2008 event)

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Please Join us on Thursday, June 26 at 4:30 PM as we make our own household cleaners at Jefferson Park. Hopefully, the weather will be warmer by then and the children can enjoy the spray ground.  Please bring your own empty cleaning containers and we will supply the rest.  Since the cleaners are all natural and safe, the kids can help us mix them up. Better yet, they can help with the cleaning once you get home! If you have a tested recipe that you would like to share please post it here so that we can include it at the event. If you are not on our mailing list and would like to be join us, please contact Melissa at