Green Cleaning DIY: The Ingredients You Need

Green Cleaning Ingredients

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The internet is abounding with DIY recipes for making your own cleaning products. There are hundreds of ways you can combine various safe ingredients to create effective cleaners for every purpose in your home. It is not difficult, time-consuming, or expensive to DIY, and when you do make your own green cleaners, you no longer have to worry about whether you are bringing harmful substances into contact with your family.    (Pin this article for later here)

When you begin to delve into the world of cleaning DIY, you will quickly realize two things:

  1. There are a bazillion different recipes out there, and
  2. The same ingredients show up over and over again in most of those recipes.

I certainly have my favorite concoctions for various cleaners, but first, let’s look at the ingredients that are used in all those DIY recipes. Here are the items to have on hand so you can make easy and effective green cleaners for your home.

Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Pure Castile Liquid Soap

Ingredients in Baby Unscented: Water, Organic Coconut Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Organic Palm Kernel Oil, Organic Olive Oil, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Citric Acid, Tocopherol

This stuff is amazing. It is a concentrated natural soap made out of organic, fair-trade ingredients. It is biodegradable. The Environmental Working Group rates it an “A” for “Few/no known or suspected hazards to health or the environment.” [1] It comes in different scents including baby unscented, lavender (my favorite), peppermint, tea tree, citrus, almond, rose, and eucalyptus.

The scented varieties contain extracts or natural substances as the fragrance in addition to the above ingredients.

White Vinegar

Ingredients: Water, acetic acid. Most white vinegar is a 5% concentration of acetic acid.

Like Dr. Bronner’s, vinegar is rated an “A” for “Few/no known or suspected hazards to health or the environment” by EWG.[1] A mild acid, vinegar has the ability to kill germs, including those that cause food-borne illness such as E. coli. [2]

While the odor of vinegar is off-putting to some people, it does dissipate and then completely goes away once the vinegar is dry. (Read 5 Effective Uses of Vinegar for Nontoxic Cleaning.)

Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda

Ingredients: sodium bicarbonate

Arm & Hammer Pure Baking soda is also rated an “A” with EWG. [1]

Baking soda is a powder that has gentle abrasive qualities, making it a good substitute for toxic scouring products. It is mildly abrasive so there is minimal risk of damage to surfaces. It is also a natural deodorizer and can help absorb unpleasant odors.

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Rubbing Alcohol

Ingredient: Isopropyl alcohol, 70%-99%

Rubbing alcohol is rated a “B” by EWG for “Low Concern: Limited potential for hazards to health or the environment.” It is an effective disinfectant, capable of killing flu virus and other germs on surfaces. It is also the magic ingredient in products that remove ink from surfaces and fabric.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Ingredient: Hydrogen peroxide, 3%

Like rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide is rated a “B” by EWG for “Low Concern: Limited potential for hazards to health or the environment.” Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful oxidizer, capable of lightening fabric and killing germs. When used on a “bodily fluid” stain on clothing, it will fizz as it reacts with the stain’s enzymes, removing the stain altogether. It is chemically unstable and is best kept in its dark bottle to prevent it from breaking down into water and oxygen.

Olive Oil

Ingredient: Olive oil

Olive oil used for cleaning is rated an “A” by EWG. It has powerful moisturizing properties, making it ideal for nourishing wood surfaces around the home.


Essential Oils: Tea Tree, On Guard, & Lemon

Essential oils do much more than add a nice smell to your DIY cleaners. These 3 oils, in particular, are the best ones to have around to add power to your cleaners. Tea tree essential oil is known for its deodorizing, cleansing, and disinfectant qualities. DōTERRA’s On Guard, aka their “protective blend,” is used for cleansing and boosting immunity. It is a blend of Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Leaf, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower essential oils. Finally, lemon essential oil can be used for cleaning, degreasing, and deodorizing. (I am a distributor of dōTERRA essential oils–I swear by them THAT much!– so if you would like to purchase any, you can click here to find them on my dōTERRA site.)

That was a pretty short list of some really basic items, wasn’t it? That is the beauty of DIY green cleaning. It is simple, cheap, effective, and healthy for your family and for the environment. If you are like me and want to do what you can to keep toxins to a limit in your home, making your own DIY green cleaners is a GREAT place to start!!

diy green cleaning

[1] Environmental Working Group|Green Cleaner Database

[2]|U.S. National Library of Medicine|National Institutes of Health|

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