A couple years back, I embarked on a greener lifestyle. I started using cloth diapers on my then-5-month-old and in the effort to have safe floors for him to crawl on, while also saving money on products, I opted to make my own cleaners out of natural, environmentally-safe products.

Now that spring is in full swing, many of us are getting around to cleaning and organizing our homes. What better time to create your own cleaning concoctions? Go invest in a few plastic spray bottles, or re-purpose any you might have available and use the following recipes to make your essential cleaners. You will notice that the ingredients needed are relatively cheap, even in large quantities – saving you a ton vs. those name-brand chemically-based products, or even the green ones!

All-Purpose Cleaner
1 cup vinegar
½ gal. water
1/2 cup lemon juice (I added this to weaken the vinegar scent)
Directions: Spray on surface and wipe clean with a dry cloth (let sit longer for heavily soiled areas)

¼ cup baking soda
4 tbsp vinegar
3 cups hot water
¼ tsp castile soap
Directions: Spray and wipe down. You will want to go over again with a cloth soaked in hot water so there is no baking soda residue leftover.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
½ cup baking soda
1/8 cup castile soap
10 drops essential oil
If possible, make this in a cleaned out ketchup or mustard squeeze bottle. Squeeze out along rim of toilet bowl then spray with pure vinegar, allow to foam for 10 minutes then flush. No scrubbing needed (unless extremely soiled)!

Glass Cleaner
1 cup rubbing alcohol
1 cup water
1 tbsp vinegar
Directions: Spray and wipe clean.

Wood Floors
¼ cup vinegar
30 oz water
(do not allow vinegar to stay on wood, make sure it is rinsed properly.)
¼ cup olive or vegetable oil
¼ cup vinegar
10 drops essential oil
Directions: Use microfiber mop to apply and go over again with damp cloth with hot water to get vinegar off.

Dusting – Wood
1 cup olive oil
½ cup lemon juice
Directions: Rub in with cotton or microfiber cloth using wide strokes.