5 Simple Make-Your-Own Green Cleaners


Of course we all want a clean kitchen, but it turns out noxious chemicals and lab-created formulas you can’t pronounce don’t work any better than simple solutions made from safe, natural ingredients. From an all-purpose spray cleaner made with vinegar (wait ’til you see the shine) to a powerful sink scrub (baking soda gets stains out fast), we’ve got your kitchen covered. So toss the store brands and get back to basics.

 Photo: Getty Images

All-Purpose Spray Cleaner

Borax—or sodium tetraborate—is a naturally occurring substance that adds some serious cleaning kick to any household chore.  You can find it at most grocery stores or big-box retailers like Target.


4 cups hot water 

¼ cup vinegar

½ teaspoon borax


• Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and store for later use.

 Photo: Getty Images

Dishwasher Detergent

Those little gel packs and soap bricks at the store might smell great, but they’re full of wasteful packaging and chemicals straight from the lab. Washing soda and borax will do the trick just fine.


2 cups washing soda

2 cups borax


• Mix equal amounts of both ingredients. Add more washing soda if your water is hard.

 Photo: Getty Images

Super Sink Scrub

The baking soda and salt act as a mild abrasive for getting out mildew and grime.


1 cup baking soda

¼ cup salt

Squeeze of lemon

Squirt of dish soap


• Mix the ingredients in a bowl until you get a paste that resembles frosting.

• Dip a sponge into the paste and scrub. Let the paste sit for about 10 minutes for stubborn grime.  

 Photo: Getty Images

All-Purpose Floor Cleaner

White vinegar is Mother Nature’s cleaner because it’s so acidic that it prohibits bacteria and mold from growing, even when cutting through tough grease and muck. The lavender oil or grapefruit seed extract will help take the bite out of the vinegar smell.


2 tablespoons plain white vinegar 

4 cups hot water

A few drops lavender oil or grapefruit seed extract


• Join the ingredients in a bucket and use with a mop on basically any washable surface.

 Photo: Getty Images

Scrub-Free Oven Cleaner

An all-natural oven cleaner that doesn’t require scrubbing? Sign us up!


1½ cups baking soda

½ cup salt

½ cup water

Squirt of plant-based liquid soap


• Dampen the oven with a sponge and water.

• Combine ingredients to make a thick paste, and spread all over the interior of the oven. Let the mixture sit overnight.

• Wipe off the mixture using a bit of the soap with a sponge and wash the rest of the oven clean.  



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Max Follmer is the Executive Producer of Series and Franchises at TakePart.com. He has previously covered elections and politics for the Biloxi Sun-Herald, The Huffington Post, and the Los Angeles Daily Journal.  Follow him on Twitter @MaxTakePart