That’s Green to Me! Kitchen Chemistry 101

Myra Piper, CIC

Myra Piper

“Green” is the buzz word these days.  The attached article give some great recipes for creating “green’ household cleaners.

Myra K. Piper



With just a few things that are probably already in your cupboards, you can make simple green cleaning supplies for your home. Here are a few recipes to get you started.


Clear As Day Glass Cleaner

To make glass cleaner, mix two teaspoons white vinegar and one quart warm water in a bowl. Stir. Use crumpled newspaper to wipe a window or mirror clean. Hint: To avoid streaks, don’t clean windows if the sun is on them or if they’re warm.

Mean, Green Furniture Clean

To make furniture polish, mix one cup olive oil and 1/4 cup white vinegar and pour into a spray bottle using the provided funnel. Spray the mixture onto a soft cotton cloth and polish the furniture, rubbing with the grain of the wood. (Please be sure to test a small, unnoticeable area first for surface safety).

Counter Intelligence Cleaner

To make all-purpose spray cleaner, combine one teaspoon borax (a common household cleaner), two tablespoons white vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon liquid soap in a non-aerosol spray bottle using the funnel provided. Add two cups hot water and shake gently until the ingredients are dissolved. Spray onto surface and wipe with a damp sponge or cloth.

Want to try cleaning green around the whole house? Get on your rubber gloves and mix up some more. Here are some other easy recipes to try.

Drain Cleaner

The “greenest” way to clear the drain is to take your drain off, and simply remove the hair or clog. You can also use a coat hanger as a simple snake. If that doesn’t work, pour approximately 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain to be cleaned, followed by 1/2 cup vinegar. After 15 minutes, pour in boiling water to clear residue. Caution! Use this method only if you have metal pipes since large amounts of boiling water can melt plastic pipes. Also, skip it if you’ve just tried commercial drain opener. Vinegar and drain opener combined can create dangerous fumes.

Toilet Cleaner

Mix 1/4 cup baking soda and one cup vinegar. Pour the mixture into the toilet bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub with a brush and rinse. You can also try a mixture of two parts borax and one part lemon juice.

Surface Cleaner

Mix two teaspoons borax, four tablespoons vinegar and three cups hot water in a bowl. Use the funnel to put it into a non-aerosol spray bottle or apply with a dampened cloth.

Grout Cleaner

Sprinkle baking soda on damp grout and scrub with a stiff toothbrush. Let it sit for about five minutes. Boil a pot of water and, if you’re cleaning an area with a drain, pour it over the baking soda to rinse it away. Otherwise, dip a rag in hot water and wipe it clean. Tip: wear gloves to keep from burning your hands.

Oven Cleaner

Sprinkle a generous amount of water on the floor of the oven. Cover with baking soda until the surface is virtually white. Sprinkle more water on top and let the mixture sit overnight. Wipe away most of the grease, then use a little liquid soap on a sponge to wash away the remaining residue.

Mold and Mildew Cleaner

Simply apply white vinegar or lemon juice at full strength with a sponge.

Oil and Grease Cleaner

For small spills on the garage floor, add baking soda and scrub with a wet brush.

Why Clean Green?

It’s easy.

It doesn’t take much to mix vinegar and water.

Less waste.

Reusing your spray bottle saves the earth and your pocketbook.

Less expensive.

Have you seen the price of a bottle of kitchen cleaner lately? Many moms make their own supplies for economic reasons as well as green ones.

Less harmful.

You’ll do your family, your pets and the earth a big favor.

Less stink.

For some reason, manufacturers think “clean” smells like chemicals. Homemade alternatives use lemon juice and other easy-on-the-nose ingredients.

This entry was posted in Articles & Information, Education, Safety. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s