Make Your Own Green Cleansers
With basic ingredients—baking soda, vinegar, Murphy’s Oil soap, and salt—you can make non-toxic alternatives to more hazardous chemicals that are traditionally used at home.
- Please do not mix the Green Cleaning recipes with other cleaning products.
- Keep these basic cleaning products out of the reach of children.
- To properly dispose of hazardous household products you no longer want or need, call the Hazards Line at (206) 296-4692.
Follow these simple recipes to make your own cleaners
Translation is available in five languages (pdf):
English | Cambodian | Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese
Tub and sink cleaner
- Use baking soda in place of scouring powder.
- Sprinkle it on porcelain fixtures and rub with a wet rag.
- Add Castile Soap or Murphy's Oil Soap to the rag for more cleaning power.
- Rinse well to avoid leaving a hazy film.
Window and mirror cleaner
- Put ¼ cup of vinegar in a spray bottle and fill to top with water.
- Spray on surface.
- Rub with a cloth diaper, other lint-free rag, or sheets of newspaper.
Outdoor window cleaner
- Use a sponge and wash with warm water mixed with a few drops of liquid soap.
- Rinse well.
- Squeegee dry.
Toilet bowl cleaner
- Sprinkle baking soda inside the bowl.
- Squeeze in several drops of soap.
- Scrub with a toilet bowl brush and finish outside surfaces with a rag sprinkled with baking soda.
Linoleum floor cleaner
- Mix 1/2 cup vinegar in a bucket of warm water.
- Mop as usual.
- The vinegar odor will go away shortly after the floor dries.
For spots on linoleum, tile, and woodwork.
- Add a drop of Murphy's Oil Soap on a wet washcloth.
- Rub briskly.
A washcloth will last longer and create less waste than a sponge.
Copper cleaner (Do not use this cleaner on lacquered finishes)
- Mix equal parts vinegar and salt (a tablespoon of each should do).
- Apply to surface with a rag.
- Rinse thoroughly with water to prevent corrosion.
- For a shiny appearance, apply a little vegetable oil with a cloth and rub.
This recipe will free minor clogs and help prevent future clogs.
- Pour ½ cup baking soda down the drain.
- Pour ½ cup vinegar down the drain.
- Let it fizz for a few minutes.
- Pour a teakettle full of boiling water down the drain to clear it.
- Repeat if needed.
If the clog is stubborn, use a plunger. If very stubborn, use a plumber's snake
Oven cleaner (Do not use this cleaner on self-cleaning ovens)
- Mix 1 cup baking soda with enough water to make a paste.
- Apply to oven surfaces.
- Let stand for several minutes.
- Scrub with a scouring pad for most surfaces.
- Use a spatula or bread knife to get under large food deposits.
Try spot cleaning your oven regularly; dirty ovens are less energy-efficient.
Links to other sites
Washington Toxics Coalition
Local Hazardous Waste Program