8 Handy Green Cleaning Recipes

You can find so many good cleaning products right in your kitchen. Artem Shadrin/Shutterstock

Like most people who like to cook, and even some who just like to eat, you’ve probably got stacks of cookbooks on the shelves full of awesome recipes for foods of all kinds. But when you’re looking to cook up some non-edibles, things can get a little trickier.

We’ve gathered up some of the best green cleaning recipes out there to clean and conquer almost anything life can throw at you. These recipes will help you save money on commercial products, personalize the smell of your cleaners, and insure that you don’t harm your family with unhealthy chemicals.

Nontoxic green cleaning kit: If you’re ready to take the plunge and prepare a whole slew of green cleaners, here are some step-by-step instructions using a short list of simple ingredients. The products you can make from one easy shopping list include bathroom scrub, window cleaner, oven cleaner, all-purpose cleaning spray, furniture polish, deodorizer and mold killer.

Porcelain and tile cleaner: This recipe from The Daily Green tackles tile using three basic pantry staples — baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar — to get rid of soap scum and mildew and make your tiles shine like new.

Carpet cleaner: Here are some instructions for a DIY carpet cleaner and stain remover that will help you erase all those footprints from snow-stomping family and friends.

Vinegar stain remover: Wine stains and gravy spills on holiday garb should disappear with this handy list that includes specific instructions for 10 types of stains that can be treated with vinegar alone.

Stain treatment: Simple and effective, this recipe from TipNut walks you through three easy steps to make a jelly-like stain treatment using bar soap shavings and hot water. For best results, pre-treat the cloth as soon as the stain occurs.

Laundry detergent: Here’s a large-batch recipe for laundry detergent that calls for borax, bar soap, washing soda and essential fragrant oils, and gives you the option of making a liquid or powder detergent.

All-purpose cleaning spray: This recipe for all-purpose cleaner is simple and effective using vinegar and water. With only two ingredients and a spray bottle, it’s embarrassing to actually call this easy mix a recipe. To mask the smell of vinegar, add a few drops essential oil to the spray bottle. There, now it has three ingredients, and we can call it a recipe.

Multi-use cleaner and homemade labels: These nifty, downloadable labels from Amy Bayliss will help you keep track of all your new homemade green cleaning goodies. She’s also got a six-ingredient recipe for all-purpose cleaner that’s a bit more involved, but will do a great job cleaning most of the surfaces in your home for a fraction of the cost of commercial products, and with no thought of polluting the air.

Making your own cleaning supplies is environmentally friendly, cost-conscious and ultra-organized. If this sounds like too many good things all at once, remember that 2011 is coming to an end and all your old spending habits can be tossed out the window along with your chemical-laden commercial cleaning products. (Don’t actually toss them out the window, but you get our drift.) Ring in the New Year with a commitment to cleaning green by making your own fabulous collection of safe and effective cleaning products. To Borax!

Have other ideas for green cleaning recipes? Leave us a note in the comments below.