Going green while cleaning is not as hard as it seems. You’ll find basic household products can handle most of your day-to-day cleaning jobs. Many of the items such as baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, hydrogen peroxide and water are already in your cabinet. You can stock up on less common items like castile soap, borax and natural scented oils that are fragrant to your nose, to round out your needs.

With these ingredients under your sink, you’re ready to take on cleaning in a whole new way. We’ve got some handy dandy recipes that take just minutes and are completely non-toxic. And for the record, yes we do use these products and recipes to clean our homes, and yes, they actually do work!

Green Cleaning

Furniture Polish

¾ cup olive oil
¼ cup distilled white vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice

Mix the olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice together. The olive oil works to hydrate the wood, the vinegar helps clean it and the lemon removes stains. Shake the mixture before each use, apply to a soft cloth and rub gently on your wood furniture. Let dry and buff with clean cloth.

Rug Cleaner

1 tsp dish washing liquid
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix all the ingredients together in spray bottle and shake. Add the baking soda and quickly close the bottle. We suggest doing so over a sink, as there concoction will bubble up and go all over the place if not fast enough. Use this mixture to spray on soiled areas of your rug by spraying and gently rubbing it in. Grab a dry towel and blot it on the area to absorb both the water and stain.

Carpet Deep Clean

¼ cup salt
¼ cup borax
¼ cup vinegar

Combine all three ingredients and mix together until it forms a paste. After a good vacuum, apply the paste to heavy traffic or deep stained areas and wait until it dries to vacuum it all up. Use a steam cleaner (easily available for rental at any supermarket) to really deep clean your carpet. Follow the cleaner’s instructions for a nice, good clean.

Ingredients to make green cleaning products

Leather Cleaner

¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
Several drops of orange or lemon essential oils

Use a damp cloth to give your leather upholstery a quick wipe down of dust, dirt and crumbs and let dry. Whisk the olive oil, vinegar and essential oil to create a mix, which you’ll gently rub into the leather with a circular motion. The vinegar cleans, while the olive oil breaks up the dirt and the essential oil gives your leather a fresh scent. Don’t forget to test a hidden patch of the leather before starting so you can check for accidental discoloration. Once upholstery is covered, use a clean paper towel to wipe off all the solution.

Brass Metal

1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp baking soda

Stir ingredients together until they form a paste. Use a soft cloth and rub the paste into the brass. (Side note – your item may not be brass. It’s best to test it by holding a magnet to your piece. If the magnet doesn’t stick, it’s probably brass.) Once its dry, wash the paste off the brass, let dry and use rub a touch of olive oil against it to really make it shine.