Green Cleaning Recipes

Here are some cleaning products you can make yourself to leave your home fresh and chemical-free.

Posted: January 13, 2010, 3 a.m. EST

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Many people are trying to move away from harsh products for cleaning their homes — and that includes cat parents, who don’t want any fumes or chemicals around their kitties.

There are simple alternatives to commercial cleaning products that are inexpensive, easy to make, and use ingredients that are easily found in the supermarket.

Here are a few simple recipes that will make it a snap to clean up after your cats and leave your home smelling fresh.

Basic Ingredients

Baking soda
Found in every grocery store, baking soda is odor absorbing, deodorizing and mildly abrasive, which makes it good for scouring. It works best on proteins, grease and cat messes.
Baking soda
Distilled white vinegar
Available at grocery stores, vinegar cuts grease, dissolves sticky buildup, inhibits the growth of mold and freshens the air. This is a mild acid works well on stains.
White vinegar
Vegetable oil-based liquid soap
Found in grocery stores, health-food stores and specialty food stores like Trader Joes, these are soaps that biodegrade quickly. Castile soap made with olive oil, such as Dr. Bronner’s, is another alternative.
Castile soap
Available at grocery stores, it disinfects, deodorizes and inhibits mold and mildew.
The recipes

Soft scrub
Add enough liquid soap to ¼ cup of baking soda to make a creamy mixture. Use a sponge to apply the cleaner, then rinse the surface well.

Hardwood or lineoleum floor cleaner
Mix ¼ cup distilled white vinegar in 1 gallon of hot water. Mop wood or linoleum floors, then rinse with water and try with old towels or rags, buffing to a nice shine.

All-purpose spray cleaner
1 teaspoon borax, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, ¼ teaspoon liquid soap, 2 cups hot water, spray bottle.
Combine the first three ingredients in a spray bottle. Add hot tap water, shaking the bottle gently until the ingredients are dissolved. Spray onto surfaces, then wipe with a sponge or cloth. This cleaner is also a disinfectant and anti-mildew agent.

Toilet cleaner/deodorizer
Sprinkle toilet bowl with 1/2 cup baking soda. Drizzle with ¼ cup vinegar, then scour with a  brush.

Air freshening ideas

  • Place slices of citrus fruit, cinnamon and/or cloves in a pot with water and simmer gently.
  • Place 1 tablespoon of salt in an orange half with the flesh scooped out.
  • Place 1-2 teaspoons of natural vanilla extract in small container near offensive odors

Some recipe ideas adapted from “Clean & Green” by Annie Berthold-Bond.



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Reader Comments

kathy    Indianapolis, IN

2/22/2010 10:08:09 PM

this is a great idea for keeping our furry friends healthy and happy in there own homes.I am going to try the cleaning products listed in the article .

Kim    Edmonton, AB

2/11/2010 10:11:52 AM

This is great! It's environmentally friendly and it's not just cat friendly, it's dog and bird friendly! I'll definitely be using this!

Jan    St Petersburg, FL

2/3/2010 6:16:11 AM

All the ideas are fabulous. Love the article and info I did not know. Keep it up. Good ideas for a monthly feature. I've been using a half/half mixture of water and vingegar in a spray bottle as a glass/window cleaer and it works super. I have books galore on using everyday stuff for cleaning most people never think of. I have books on just about everything, salt, vinegar, baking soda.

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