Category Archives: Green Cleaning

DIY recipes for non-toxic alternatives to home cleaning

How to Make Your Own Laundry Soap: Homemade Natural Coconut Laundry Soap Recipe

Homemade Coconut Laundry SoapOne of the most exciting things about our transition to become a more non-toxic and chemical-free household has been learning to make soap. It’s one of those things that – for me, at least – was super scary at first. Like jumping out of an airplane or off a cliff (you can see the bottom but have no idea how long the ride will take). I entered into it with a lot of excitement and trepidation… and it has become something I truly love.

It still scares me a little. Like teaching or performing or running a workshop. There’s a wiggly-tummy feeling and a bit of anxiety that I get before I begin but ultimately know will pass. I consider it a healthy fear. It keeps me alert in the process, and it serves as a good reminder that I need to be as careful as possible.

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How to Clean (Almost) Everything in Your Home with Vinegar and Baking Soda

The Green Cleaning Team: Baking Soda & Vinegar!

The Green Cleaning Team: Baking Soda & Vinegar!

One of the first “greening” projects I took on was household cleaners. All 3 of us have asthma in this household, and I had long-noticed how the conventional cleaners would set mine off like crazy (especially when cleaning smaller rooms, like the bathroom).

I also didn’t like the thought that I was cooking and preparing food on countertops using chemicals we could not safely ingest. And… the big capper for me was the thought of my little girl taking her bath in heavily chemical-laced water.

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DIY Lavender-Rosemary Laundry Detergent (How to Make an Effective All-Natural Laundry Powder)

120513 029Ah, laundry. Probably even more difficult to crack than the dishwasher detergent, personal care products, or food has been the detoxification of our laundry detergent.

For a long time I used the “green” products found readily in the grocery store, though with a bit of research, it became clear who was greenwashing and who was not… and all for a very pretty penny. (Those “natural,” store-bought solutions never come cheap!)

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Eureka: DIY Dishwasher Detergent… a new and improved recipe!

dec1_2013 023Over the holidays, I managed to finally put together a batch of homemade dishwasher detergent that works perfectly with my new dishwasher!

As you may have already read, the old version worked great with my old washer… but every machine is different, and so I had to come up with a slightly altered formula to yield better performance now that our kitchen remodel is complete.

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DIY Lemon-Eucalyptus Dishwasher Detergent… aka THE SAGA

august_13 091One of the first things we wanted to tackle when we started to de-toxify our home was dishwasher detergent. It’s the item we’re most likely to consume, we use it every single day, and the list of ingredients on most brands is filled with things I cannot pronounce.

“How hard can it be?” we thought. And therein lies what has probably been the greatest saga in our household toward finding a green, chemical-free solution that works as well as the brands we were trying to replace.

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DIY Foaming Hand Soap: Natural Peppermint-Lavender-Lemon Foaming Hand Soap

foaming_hand_soap3I don’t know why I never questioned whether or not I could make hand soap. I suppose because I thought soap-making was too difficult and that the products out there that are labeled “green” were adequately safe.

After scouring through EWG’s Skin Deep database, I decided it was going to be cheaper, safer, and better for the planet for me to make my own. Nice that all those things happened to align!

This recipe is so simple and effective, I will never go back to buying hand soap again. Truly never. It’s softer than the store-bought brands, smells amazing, and is quick and painless to throw together.

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DIY Dishwasher Rinse Aid Recipe: How to Make Your Own Citrus Vinegar

Homemade Citrus VinegarFiguring out how to de-chemical-ize our automatic dishwasher detergent has been one of the most difficult transitions thus far. In some ways, personal care products are so much easier to finagle. And it’s very easy to go more natural for hand-washing (I’ll post more on that another time)… but the automatic dishwasher has driven us a bit nuts.

Later in the week, I’ll give you the actual saga of our search for an effective detergent, but today I wanted to focus on a great rinse aid trick.

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