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How to Make Your Own Green Cleaning Products



The area under most people's kitchen sinks is reserved for toxic chemicals that can either get you high or kill you. Somehow we've accepted the idea that the stronger the chemical smell, the cleaner our homes are, but anyone who's gotten dizzy off of fumes while scrubbing the tub has realized the irony of the situation: a clean home doesn't necessarily equal a healthy one.

But it doesn't have to be that way. You can make comparable cleaning products at home, often with ingredients you already have in your pantry. The big three are vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice — ingredients that, if you took a swig, wouldn't kill you (or get you high).

All-Purpose Cleaner
Mix a 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup of baking soda into a half gallon of water. Use on shower walls, chrome fixtures, windows, mirrors, and more.

Glass Cleaner
Mix a 1/4 cup of white vinegar with 2 cups of water and dispense into a spray bottle. Squirt onto a glass surface and scrub with newspaper or coffee filters (paper towels cause streaking). Undiluted lemon juice or club soda can be used as a substitute for vinegar.

Drain Unclogger
Pour a 1/2 cup of baking soda into the drain followed by 2 cups of boiling water. For more serious clogs, chase the baking soda with a 1/2 cup of vinegar and cover tightly, allowing the fizzy chemical reaction to break up the clog. Then flush it with a gallon of boiling water.

Knock out germs by mixing 3 Tbs. of liquid soap and 20 drops of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water. Spray or rub on countertops and other kitchen surfaces. Lemon juice and vinegar work for mildew or grease streaks.

Laundry Detergent
Combine one bar of shaved bar soap (like Ivory), one cup of Borax, and one cup of washing soda. Stir for five minutes. Use one tablespoon per load, two for really dirty loads. This can be used for energy-efficient washers, too.

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