What we use
Dr. Bronner's tea tree oil castile soap
essential oils: lemon, lavender, tea tree
What they do
White vinegar acts as an antibacterial agent and can be used, diluted with water, to clean hard surfaces including tile.
Dr. Bronner's is a pre castile soap safe for cleaning your home, your clothes, and your person! It comes in liquid and bar form. The liquid is form is great for adding to a vinegar and water mix for cleaning hard surfaces like countertops. It's concentrated so a few drops go a long way.
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is another multipurpose product. It can be used for the body internally and externally. Most importantly, it makes a great scrubbing agent for cleaning tubs, tile, and toilets. It's also great in laundry to freshen garments.
Essential oils tend to have antimicrobial and antifungal properties among others that promote a healthy environment. Because they are the natural oils and not manufactured fragrance oils, those wonderful scents don't leave behind unwanted chemicals in the air.
Borax is is sodium brate and functions much like baking soda. While not safe for human consumption, it is a great addition to cleaning solutions for natural deodorizing. It's already found in lots of commercial detergents but can be purchased on its own making more eco-friendly.
Ivory soap is another brand of castile soap. Castile soaps are simply the purest, gentlest kind of soap one can get. As a bar soap, Ivory is great for making laundry soap.
Washing soda (sodium carbonate or soda ash) also acts much like its counterpart, baking soda. It's not safe for human consumption but will soften hard water and boosts the cleaning power of a castile soap in the laundry.
How we use it
Scrubbing paste: In a plastic bowl, I mixed baking soda, a few drops of liquid castile soap, and water to form a paste for scrubbing the bathroom tub and tile.
Floor cleaner: For the kitchen, which is vinyl flooring, I did approximately a 1:3 solution of vinegar to water, a few drops of liquid castile soap, and a 12 drops of lemon oil.
For the hardwoods, I did approximately a 1:5 solution of vinegar to water and damp mopped. This was done after sweeping the floors. Again, the mop should only be damp not soaking wet. I used a microfiber mop as I figured the cloth would be great for picking up any remaining dust and not scratch the floors.
Hard surface spray: I mixed a 1:4 solution of vinegar to water, a few drops of liquid castile soap, 10 drops lemon oil. Shake vigorously, spray as much as needed and wipe with sponge or cloth. I cleaned the refrigerator, stove, counters, and window sills with this.
Pour baking soda down the drain and let sit for at least 15 minutes then rinse to freshen sink drains.
If you need to quickly get rid of kitchen or bathroom odors, pour vinegar down the drain or let simmer on stove with water.
Add 10 - 20 drops of an essential oil like orange, lemon, grapefruit, or lavender to a spray bottle and fill with water for an all natural air freshener. Remember to shake well and can even be lightly misted on furniture and window treatments.
What green cleaning tips do you have?