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One of the first changes I made in my effort to live a more natural, sustainable lifestyle was that I started making my own cleaning supplies. It had never even occurred to me before, but it’s really very easy and sort of fun, too! I’ve done a lot of experimenting with making green cleaners and have found a few concoctions that I’ve grown to love.

First, you might be wondering what makes homemade cleaners “greener” than store bought ones. The main reason is that these homemade cleaners are made from all natural ingredients The chemicals in standard cleaners are linked to health problems like allergies and asthma. They’re just not great for the environment or our homes. Making cleaners at home also reduces the use of packaging.

Another benefit of making your own cleaners is that you’ll save a lot of money! Each of these recipes costs only pennies to whip up a batch.

Window Cleaner

You’ll need:

  • A spray bottle
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Water
  • Essential Oils (optional)

Fill the water bottle 1/2 full with vinegar, then the rest of the way with water. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Shake well and use just like you would use any other glass cleaner – spray it on the windows and wipe in circular motions.

Wood Polish

You’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup of jojoba or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Combine the ingredients and store in an airtight bottle. Shake it up well before using it to clean and polish your wood furniture.

Carpet Deodorizing Powder

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups of baking soda
  • Essential oils

Put the baking soda in a storage container (a washed out parmesan cheese container works great!) and add a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Cover the container and shake the mixture well. Sprinkle the powder on your carpet and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before vacuuming.

Air/Fabric Refresher

You’ll need:

  • Spray bottle (24 oz.)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp of baking soda
  • Essential oils

Heat  the water and baking soda on the stove and stir until the baking soda dissolves. Let the mixture cool before pouring it into your spray bottle. Add 10-12 drops of your favorite essential oils. It can be really fun to play around with different combinations of oils – I really love a combination of equal parts lavender, tea tree and lemongrass oils. Shake the bottle before spraying on furniture, carpet and throughout the air to freshen a room.

Laundry Detergent

You’ll need:

  • 2 bars of your favorite all natural soap
  • 1/2 cup of borax
  • 1 cup of washing soda

Making your own eco friendly laundry products is one of the biggest ways making your own cleaning supplies can save you some money. It’s also pretty fun. Use any type of natural soap you’d like. I like to use Kirk’s Castile Soap because it’s only about a dollar per bar at the grocery store and it works great. Use a cheese grater to grate the bars of soap into a bowl. Add the borax and washing soda (You can find these near the laundry detergent at most grocery stores) and combine evenly. Store in any clean, dry container and use 2 tablespoons of the powder per load.

All-purpose Sanitizer

You’ll need:

  • A spray bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Essential oils

Put the vinegar in the spray bottle and add a few drops of any essential oils you’d like for fragrance. Essential oils will boost the disinfecting power of this cleaner, too – lavender or tea tree oil are good choices. Spray on countertops, high chairs, floors, toilets, the bathtub or anywhere you’d like to disinfect. It will also remove hard water stains.

You’ll be amazed at how well you can clean your entire home with these simple ingredients. Cleaning isn’t even so bad when you don’t have to suffer through a headache from all the fumes that you get from standard cleaners. Between better health and the money you’ll save, making your own cleaning products makes a lot of sense.a

Green living advocate and freelance writer Kylie Worthington is passionate about living a sustainable lifestyle and does all kinds of crazy things in the name of going green, like making sourdough bread, air drying clothes (in an apartment), and finding ways to recycle all her coffee containers. She also loves checking out green products featured at