Cleaning ingredients - make your own non-toxic cleaning products


Keeping a healthy and spotless home by using an array of commercial cleaning products is perfectly normal in most Western homes these days but it didn't always use to be like that. And it doesn't need to be like that any more either. We have the power to say "No" to toxic cleaning products that are harming out health and our environment.

Look over to the column on the right and you will see a list of "green" cleaning recipes you can make.

The following information tells you more about the products you will be using to make them. You most likely have most of these ingredients in your cupboards already.

Baking Soda, also known as Bicarbonate of Soda:
Baking soda is made from soda ash. It is slightly alkaline and neutralizes acids. It also absorbs odours from the air. It is most usually used sprinkled onto a damp cloth and it becomes a very gentle, non abrasive cleaner. It can be added to the wash (use about a cupful) to remove perspiration and chemical odours from clothes. It is also a wonderful air freshener and carpet cleaner. In Australia we know this item as Bicarb and it can be found on supermarket shelves.

Washing soda:
Washing soda is a relative of baking soda but it is much more alkaline. It is still quite caustic so it is advisable to wear gloves when using it. It is very good at cutting through grease. It removes wax well so keep it away from waxed surfaces such as floors. It should also be kept away from fibre glass, plastics and aluminium. It can usually be found in the laundry section at the supermarket.

White vinegar and lemon juice:
These are both acidic so they neutralize alkaline substances, e.g. the scale created by hard water. These acids dissolve sticky build ups, they eat away tarnish and they remove dirt from wood surfaces. Lemon juice is a weak solution of citric acid and is a mild bleach, deodorant and cleaning agent. Vinegar is a weak solution of acetic acid. Vinegar is used as a bleach, disinfectant, deodorant, and anti-mould cleaner.

Liquid soap and detergent:
They sound the same but they are not. If you have soft water you can use liquid soap. If you have hard water you need to use a bio-degradable detergent.

Cloudy ammonia:
Cloudy ammonia is sometimes called sudsy ammonia. It is normal clear ammonia that has had soap added to it in the manufacturing process. The soap gives it a cloudy appearance. It is a fast drying, non streaking multi-purpose cleaner. It is a strong bleach and cleaning agent. Ammonia vapour is extremely strong and the solution is very caustic so be careful. It quickly breaks down in the environment.

Borax is a white powder that easily dissolves in water. It is used as a fabric and water softener and hence is regarded as a natural laundry booster. Borax removes certain stains, plus it bleaches and disinfects. It is also a fungicide. It is not harmful to washing machines, plumbing or septic tanks. Although it is a natural ingredient it is mildly toxic so it should never be used around food. It should also be kept away from children and pets. Borax can be found in the supermarket.

Cream of Tartar:
Purchased in small drums at the supermarket. You will only need a small amount of this as it is not used often.

Common table salt will do.

Olive Oil:
Buy the cheapest brand you can find.

Tea tree oil:
Tea tree oil is produced from the leaves of the Australian tea tree. Tea tree oil is a great antiseptic and disinfectant. It can be found in the supermarket.

Eucalyptus oil:
Eucalyptus oil is produced from the leaves of eucalyptus trees. It is a strong antiseptic and it is used in the treatment of colds and influenza. It is also useful for removing oily or greasy stains from dirty clothing. It can be found in the supermarket.

Lemon oil:
Can be purchased at health food shops. It comes from the peel of the lemon. Delightful perfumed oil you will use in making dish washing liquid.

Glycerine is a sugar alcohol and is used to give a smoothness to products. It is an odourless, clear liquid which is terrific as loosening stains. Sometimes it can be found in supermarkets otherwise try a chemist shop.

With these items you can set about making your own cleaning concoctions. You must ensure that everything you make is labelled correctly.

Now glance upwards and to the right side of this page to all the various "green" household cleaning recipes. Now you can make a positive impact on the environment and make life healthier for your family too. Go, do it!



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