Green cleaning recipes

Nearly any household job can be done with simple ingredients. It may take a little extra time to activate and effort to scrub, but the benefits to health are worth it!

Oven cleaner. Start by removing debris with a vacuum or towel. Coat the oven (not the burner) with a paste of baking soda and water. Let sit at least 30 minutes. Scrub tough spots with a rag in a circular motion. Wipe clean. Finish with a vinegar spray to remove any remaining baking soda.

Toilet cleaner. Flush the toilet, and then turn off the water. Flush again to empty the bowl. Coat with a paste of borax or baking soda and water. Spray with white vinegar. Let rest ten minutes and then scrub. For a fresh scent, add drops of tea tree oil or citrus essential oil to the baking soda paste.

 Remove rust from tools and rust stains from porcelain. Soak tools in sugary cola overnight. For rust stains, soak rags in sugary cola and press them on to rust spots overnight. Then, scrub with a non-metal brush or scrubber.

 Make your own air freshener. Choose an essential oil that appeals to you: clove, lavender, or mint work well. Add a few drops to an open container of baking soda or cotton balls in a dish. Be careful not to apply to skin—concentrated oils are powerful!

 Clean up mold and mildew. On hard surfaces, use a paste of soap and baking soda with a stiff scrub brush or tooth brush to remove visible mold. EP does not recommend using bleach, Spray regularly with vinegar and water to prevent mold, and use fans to control moisture. Mold on soft surfaces such as ceiling tile and sheet rock may have to be replaced.

 Remove gummy, sticky adhesive. Mix baking soda with vegetable oil: coconut, olive or whatever is handy. Let the paste soak into the sticker, and then scrape with a plastic scraper. Alternatively. soak the sticker with vinegar and wrap in a rag. Let sit, and then scrape away sticker.

 Glass cleaner. Mix 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 1/4 cup white vinegar with two cups of water. For very dirty windows, add a teaspoon of corn starch. Spray on and wipe with a microfiber cloth. Finish wiping with crumpled black and white news print for a streak-free surface.

 Silver polish. Add baking soda and salt to a pan with a sheet of aluminum foil. Add silver items. Add 1/2 cup of vinegar. Pour boiling water over the mixture. Let soak and then buff silver to a shine.


The way you maintain your home can make a big difference to your family’s health. Get a healthy homes checkup with our guide and tips.