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Home-Made Cleaning Ingredients

for Home-Made Non-Toxic
Cleaning Products


    This page is open for suggestions.  You are invited to submit your recipies for home-made non-toxic cleaning products.  Watch this page grow.  Eventually it might become the most complete collection of non-toxic ingredients available.


This Page:
After-Shave Toner
45 Uses for Vinegar
All-Purpose Cleaner
Alice's Wonder Spray
Complete Line of Inexpensive Safe Products
List of LINKS to related toxic and non-toxic sites

Basic Natural Ingredients
 Some examples of basic non-toxic readily-available ingredients are:
Coca Cola (toxic, but readily available)
Frugal household alternatives:
tea tree oil
baking soda
orange peel oil
artgum erasers
corn cob crumbs
sugar cane extract
Rosemary -- antibacterial
 Grapefruitseed Extract -- antifungal
 Lanvender -- antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral,  antibacterial
Eucalyptus -- antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antibiotic
 Lemon -- antibiotic, antifungal antiviral, antibacterial
Patouli -- antibiotic, antifungal
 Lime -- antibiotic, antibacterial
Peppermint -- antibacterial
 Orange -- antibacterial

Here is a link to a site that lists several wonderful all-natural cleaning product recipes.
This site has lots of information about natural green house cleaning, plus holistic and sustainable information.

All-Purpose Cleaner
Norma Lehmeier Hartie
Harmonious Environment
914-739-8966 or 914-400-8399

Fill a spray bottle with half water and half distilled white vinegar and add a spoonful of biodegradable soap. When ready to use, combing baking soda and distilled white vinegar.  Mixing creates a science-project like foam. I love this mix and keep finding new things to clean with these two miracle ingredients. I never measure.  Use this mixture a few times and you will figure out how much to use for what project. Buy distilled white vinegar by the gallon and pour some into an easy-to-handle bottle, and keep a large box of baking soda on hand.

This mix cleans all kinds of things, including:
    a. Stubborn stains (let sit, then rinse)
    b. Stainless steel
    c. Water fountains
    d. Silver
    e. Brass
    f. Stained glass
    g. Windows and mirror

This recipe (and a whole lot more) can be found in the book, Harmonious Environment: Beautify, Detoxify & Energize Your Life, Your Home & Your Planet, available in September 2006 at bookstores or from Lingham Press:

Alice's Wonder SprayTM
All Purpose Household Cleaner

Ingredients/Supplies: Liquid soap or detergent, white distilled vinegar, borax, purified water, essential oil for fragrance, 16oz. trigger spray bottle.
Recipe: Mix 2 tbsp. of vinegar with 1 tsp. borax.  Fill the rest of the bottle with very hot water.  Shake until the borax is dissolved.  Add 1/4 cup of liquid soap or 1/8 cup of liquid detergent.  To scent, add 10-15 drops of an essential oil (a combination of lavender and lemon works well.)
Special Notes: Because minerals in the water inhibit cleaning, it's best to use purified or distilled water.  It's also important to dissolve the borax in hot water so that it doesn't clog the spray nozzle.  And don't mix the soap and vinegar directly together, because the soap will clump up  -- nmix the vinegar, borax and water first and then add the soap last.  Borax is an eye irritant and can be harmful if swallowed.  Keep out of reach of children.
How to Use: Spray and wipe.  Use as you would any other all-purpose household cleaner.  Use on refrigerator, walls, tile, shower, shelves, toilets.  Because it is not as chemically powerful as commercial cleaners, give it a little more time to work on difficult stains.  One batch will last at least 6 months.
Clean House, Clean Planet
by Karen Logan
published by Pocket Books
To order, call
(800) 223-2348
or go to
If you would like to order a ready-made all-purpose cleaner that costs even less than Alice's Wonder Spray,
contact me at


45 Uses for Vinegar 

Unleash the power of white vinegar―an all-purpose cleaner, brightener, herbicide and more. Just a bit of this multitasker, straight up or mixed with water, can replace many pricier products huddled under your sink. Try these tips to see how vinegar can make your life cheaper and easier.

1. Freshen up the fridge. Clean the shelves and walls with a solution of half water and half vinegar.

2. Brighten coffee cups and teacups. Gently scrub stains with equal parts vinegar and salt (or baking soda).

3. Eliminate odors. Swab plastic containers with a cloth dampened with vinegar.

4. Kill bathroom germs. Spray full-strength vinegar around the sink and tub. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.

5. Save a garment. To remove light scorch marks on fabrics, rub gently with vinegar. Wipe with a clean cloth. This technique also works on antiperspirant stains.

6. Tidy up a toilet. Pour a cup or more of diluted white distilled vinegar into the bowl. Let sit several hours or overnight. Scrub well with a toilet brush and flush.

7. Lose the carpet stain. Make a paste of 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and ¼ cup salt or baking soda. Rub into the stain and let dry. Vacuum the residue the next day. (Always test an out-of-sight part of the carpet first.)

8. Renew paint brushes. To remove old paint, place brushes in a pot with vinegar. Soak for an hour, then turn on the stove and bring the vinegar to a simmer. Drain and rinse clean.

9. Wipe off a dirty faucet. To get rid of lime buildup, make a paste of 1 teaspoon vinegar and 2 tablespoons salt. Apply to sink fixtures and rub with a cloth.

10. Stop static cling. Add ½ cup of white distilled vinegar to your wash cycle. The acid reduces static and keeps dryer lint from sticking to your clothes.

11. Make old socks look new. Get the stains out of old socks and sweaty gym clothes by soaking them in a vinegar solution. Add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to a large pot of water, bring to a boil and drop in the stained clothes. Let them soak overnight, and in the morning stained clothes are fresh and bright.

12. Restore handbags and shoes. Wipe white distilled vinegar on scuffed leather bags and shoes. It will restore their shine and help hide the marks.

13. Banish weeds. Pour white distilled vinegar on the weeds growing in the cracks of your walkway and driveway. Saturate the plant so the vinegar reaches the roots.

14. Liven droopy flowers. Don’t throw out cut flowers once they start to wilt. Instead, add two tablespoons of white vinegar and one teaspoon of sugar to a quart of water. Pour the solution into your vase, and the flowers will perk up.

15. Put an end to itching. Dab a cotton ball soaked in white vinegar on mosquito bites and insect stings. It will stop them from itching and help disinfect the area so they heal faster.

16. Whiten your teeth. Brush your teeth once a week with white distilled vinegar. Dip your toothbrush into the vinegar and brush thoroughly. It will help prevent bad breath, too.

17. Make nail polish last longer. Before you apply your favorite polish, wipe your nails with a cotton ball soaked in white distilled vinegar. The clean surface will help your manicure last.

18. Keep car windows frost-free. Prevent windows from frosting over in a storm by coating them with a solution of three parts white distilled vinegar to one part water. The acidity hinders ice, so you won’t have to wake up early to scrape off your car.

19. Let your dog shine. Spray your dog with one cup white distilled vinegar mixed with one quart water. The solution is a cheap alternative to expensive pet-care products, plus the vinegar will help repel pests like fleas and ticks.

20. Battle litter-box odor. Cat litter can leave behind an unwelcome smell. Eliminate it by pouring a half-inch of white distilled vinegar into the empty litter box. Let stand for 20 minutes, then rinse with cold water.

21. Kill bacteria in meat. Marinating in vinegar knocks out bacteria and tenderizes the meat. Create a marinade by adding ¼ cup balsamic vinegar for every 2 pounds of meat to your own blend of herbs and spices. Let the meat sit anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours, depending on how strong you want the flavor, then cook it in the morning without rinsing.

22. Prevent cracked eggs. Prevent eggs from cracking as they hard-boil by adding two tablespoons of white vinegar to the water. The eggs will stay intact, and the shells will peel off more easily when you’re ready to eat them.

23. Steam away a microwave mess. Fill a small bowl with equal parts hot water and vinegar, and place it in the microwave on high for 5 minutes. As the steam fills the microwave, it loosens the mess, making clean up a breeze.

24. Repair DVDs. If you have a worn DVD that skips or freezes, wipe it down with white distilled vinegar applied to a soft cloth. Make sure the DVD is completely dry before reinserting it into the player.

25. Get those last drops. If you can’t get that final bit of mayonnaise or salad dressing out of the jar, dribble in a few drops of vinegar. Put the cap on tightly and shake. The remaining condiments will slide out.

26. Rinse fruits and vegetables. Add 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar to one pint water. Use the mixture to wash fresh fruits and vegetables, then rinse thoroughly. The solution kills more pesticide residue than does pure water.

27. Brighter Easter eggs. Before your kids dye Easter eggs, mix 1 teaspoon of vinegar with ½ cup of hot water, then add food coloring. The vinegar keeps the dye bright and prevents the color from streaking.

28. Loosen a rusted screw. Pour vinegar onto the screw, and it will easily unstick.

29. Remove gum. To remove gum from fabric or hair, heat a small bowl of vinegar in the microwave. Pour the warm vinegar over the gum, saturating the area. The gum will dissolve.

30. Keep cheese from molding. Wrap cheese in a vinegar-soaked cloth, then place in an airtight container and refrigerate.

31. Renew a loofah. Soak your loofah in equal parts vinegar and water for 24 hours to dissolve soap residue, then rinse in cold water.

32. Remove wax. If you get melted candle wax on your wood furniture or floors, gently wipe it away with a cloth soaked in a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water.

33. Take a relaxing bath. Add ½ cup of vinegar to warm bath water for a cheap spa session at home. The vinegar removes dead skin, leaving you feeling soft and smooth.

34. Brighten your hair. Remove hair product buildup by rinsing a tablespoon of vinegar through your hair once a month.

35. Freshen fabrics. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and spritz your home to neutralize odors in fabrics, carpets, shoes or any sprayable surface.

36. Erase crayon. If your kids get crayon marks on the walls or floor, dip a toothbrush in white vinegar and gently scrub. The vinegar breaks down the wax, making for an inexpensive, nontoxic way to clean up after children.

37. Sticky stickers. Don’t scratch at the residue left by stickers or price tags. Instead, apply vinegar to the gunk, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe the glue away.

38. Clean the dishwasher and coffee pot. Reduce soap buildup and food residue by pouring a cup of vinegar into your empty dishwasher or coffee pot once a month and letting it run a full cycle.

39. Sanitize pet accidents. You can remove the stain―and smell―of your pet’s accident by mixing ¼ cup vinegar with a quart of water and blotting the mixture onto the mess with a washcloth. Continue dabbing until the spot is gone.

40. Prep for summer grilling. To remove charcoal buildup from your grill, spray white distilled vinegar on balled up aluminum foil and scrub the grate thoroughly.

41. Restore showerhead pressure. If your showerhead gets clogged with mineral deposits, soak it for 15 minutes in a mixture of ½ cup vinegar and 1 quart water.

42. Clean your scissors. When your scissor blades get sticky, wipe them down with a cloth dipped in full-strength white vinegar. Unlike soap and water, vinegar won’t ruin the blades or rust the metal.

43. Unclog drains. For a natural, nontoxic way to clean clogged pipes, pour one cup of baking soda, followed by one cup of white vinegar, down the drain. Let the products bubble and foam, then flush the pipes with a pot of boiling water.

44. Eliminate dandruff. If your scalp is feeling dry or flaky, vinegar can be a simple at-home remedy. Once a week, pour one cup of apple cider vinegar over your scalp, and let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cool water.

45. Soften your feet. Summer sandals leaving you with cracked heals and calluses? Soak your feet for 20 minutes a day in one part vinegar to two parts warm water. The vinegar removes dead skin, leaving your feet soft and smooth.

Aftershave Toner


             Aloe Vera Gel                       15ml
             Witch Hazel                          50ml
             Patchouli floral water             30ml
              Rose Water floral water       15ml
             Glycerin (vegetable)              10ml
             Benzoin Tincture                     2ml

 Essential Oils

 Tea Tree                                      5 drops
 Rosemary                                    2 drops
Chamomile Roman                        6 drops
 Frankinsence                                6 drops
 Sandalwood                                 1 drop
 Cassia                                          1 drop

                             Mix all ingredients together in a dark glass bottle
                                   and store in a cool dark location.
                                     This toner has a shelf life of
                                      approximately 6 months.
                                   This formula makes 125 ml


Coca Cola


 1. The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. Its pH is 2.8. It will  dissolve a nail in about 4 days.
 2. The commercial trucks carrying Coca-Cola syrup (the concentrate) must  use  the "Hazardous Material" place cards reserved for highly corrosive materials.
 3. The distributors of coke have been using it to clean the engines of their  trucks for about 20 years!
 QUESTION: Are you maybe drinking too much soda?

For a rebuttal, go to
Urban Legends Reference Pages © 1995-2005
by Barbara and David P. Mikkelson

Their sources:
Allen, Frederick.   Secret Formula,  New York: HarperCollins, 1994.   ISBN 0-88730-672-1   (p. 209).
Pendergrast, Mark.   For God, Country, and Coca-Cola, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1993.   ISBN 0-684-19347-7   (p. 191).
Poundstone, William.   Big Secrets, New York: Quill, 1993.   ISBN 0-688-04830-7   (p. 25-46).

You be the judge.  Do your own experiments.
How do you use Coca-Cola?


The Only Five Items You Need In Your Home To Do Everything

I try to keep my cleaning supplies to a minimum. Having a different product for every type of cleaning is excessive and cumbersome. I also try to avoid chemicals when possible. I don’t like the thought of using cleaning supplies that could harm my cats or myself. And why would I use these things when I can get what I need with common, natural products?

Did you know that the skin absorbs most of what we put on it? I find it strange that it’s acceptable to use harsh chemicals on our bodies that we would never eat. If we are absorbing it anyway, what’s the difference?

When it comes to household cleaners, I feel the same. If it’s not natural, I don’t want it. Not only are a lot of these products bad for the environment but they can also be dangerous for pets and children. My cats are naturally curious. They get into everything. The last thing I want to worry about is coming home from work and finding out Batman (my cat) drank glass cleaner and poisoned himself.

I’ve discovered that you basically only need five ingredients:

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps  

Dr. Bronner’s Hemp Castille Soap

This stuff is amazing. I found Dr. Bronner’s soaps in college and have not stopped using them since. My favorite is peppermint (the original blue bottle) with lavender a close second. This stuff is organic pure-castile soap, vegan, all natural, fair trade, and has the best bottle ever. Dr. Bronner had a very… I don’t even know what word to use…unique philosophy which you can read about on all their bottles.

If you aren’t aware of Dr. Bronner’s soaps or aren’t a complete nut for this stuff yet, check out our product review on Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. Or watch the documentary done on Dr. Bronner and his soap company. It’s currently on Netflix and is called Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox.

Personal Uses:

Shampoo, body wash, face wash, massage therapy, baths, hand soap, cat baths, toothpaste

Household Uses:

Laundry detergent, furniture cleaning, floor cleaner, pest spray

Apple Cider Vinegar

Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar

A great detox when digested. Works to fight off diabetes, high blood pressure, and helps with weight loss. It’s great for balancing the pH of the body, inside and out as well as evening out dry, oily and combination skin.

Personal Uses:

Conditioner” hair rinse, skin toner, sunburn reducer, teeth stain remover, Healthy drink – mix with water, cinnamon, and a bit of sweetener. Yum!

Household Uses:

Cooking, salad dressing, glass cleaner, surface cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner – let one cup stand overnight to kill germs.


Coconut Oil

Trader Joe’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

The best moisturizer money can buy. I have very dry skin, hair, and scalp. I’m the only person I know who gets callouses from wearing rings.

I used to have terrible dandruff and extremely frustrating combination skin. My face would be literally peeling in one area and almost dripping oil in other areas. Sorry if that’s a vivid image, but it’s true. I hated my hair and skin and could never find a combination of products that worked for me. That is until I started using coconut oil.

Apparently, the overproduction of oil is due to the body thinking it is needed when it’s not, causing breakouts and dandruff. It’s a frightening thing to put oil on an oily face.  After I included coconut oil in my daily routine, my skin never feels tight and is much more even toned and clear.

One of my favorite things to do for my face is massage a dollop of oil onto my face, take a small towel, dampen it with hot water and hold it over my face until the towel cools. I then wipe the majority of oil off my face to encourage my pores to open, allowing the coconut oil to clean away the bad oils and exfoliate my skin.

You can get a jar at Trader Joe’s for under $10 that can last you a very long time. Make sure to get organic, virgin, and unrefined! If you can’t stand the scent of coconut, try refined oil. It’s not as pure, but the scent of coconut is much less potent.

Personal Uses:

Skin moisturizer, hair moisturizer, hair deep conditioning treatment, face wash, face lotion, lip balm

Household Uses:

Cooking! – Coconut oil is one of the best oils you can use for frying. Also great for baking.

Natural butter spread – When chilled.

Baking Soda

Bob’s Red Mill Aluminum-Free Baking Soda

One of the best cleaning supplies out there and extremely affordable.

Personal Uses:

Teeth Whitener – sprinkle on toothpaste and brush as normal.

Shampoo” – dilute with water.

Household Uses:

Cooking, deodorizer – fridge, cat litter, garbage, etc.

Surface cleaner, grease removal, pot/pan stain remover, bathtub/sink cleaner

Laundry detergent – add a dash to your loads for fresher clothes.

Hydrogen Peroxide 

I love this stuff! I start to panic when I’m running low.

Personal Uses:

First aid, infection fighter, toothache reducer, mouthwash– be careful! It can foam like crazy and tastes strange.

Household Uses:

Houseplant pest control, bleach alternative, glass cleaner, stain remover, mold remover

I have listed just some of the things you can do with these five amazing products. By switching to these products as your go-to cleaning supplies, you can cut back on the amount of products in your home and save your wallet, especially when purchasing in bulk. Instead of buying a new product for every cleaning need, this list will hopefully work as a guideline and starting point for you to simplify your routine and organize under your sink.

Amber Noel

Learning to survive the rabid streets of Los Angeles, Amber Noel looks to spread veganism across the world. A mountain lover by heart, Amber is trying to understand how she ended up living in Los Angeles. She is an avid photographer, jam maker, and beer lover; partaking in the creation of all three. When not writing behind a computer or typewriter, she enjoys debating politics, talking to her cats, and traveling. She has a bachelors degree in European History from San Francisco State University and uses that background as an eyepiece to filter through the noise of today's political and societal shortcomings.


Best Option
No time to mix your own ingredients?
for information on how to
convert your home to products that are:
  • safe
  • fresh
  • unique
  • non-toxic
  • non-caustic
  • environmental
  • no animal testing
  • recyclable containers
  • remarkably high quality
  • fully guaranteed even if used
  • wholesale prices, rebates, profit sharing
  • delivered directly from the factory to your door

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