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Going Green: 5 Cleaning products you can make at home this Earth Day

Welcome April and Earth Month!  This month it is especially important to think about our impact on the planet and what small changes we can make to lessen that impact.  We know, life comes with a lot of priorities but even with a busy life we promise you there are things you can do to make a difference and change can simply start at home.

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Look, it could be as easy as fixing a leaky faucet because dripping at the rate of one single drip per second will waste more than 3,000 gallons a year and those 3,000 gallons are equal to the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers! 

If your faucets are perfectly tight then go give your car tires a once over.  Did you know that properly inflated tires will save you gas (or kWh’s if you own an EV)?  The U.S. Department of Energy says that a shocking amount of gas, 4 million gallons a day, is wasted by driving with low tire pressure and this is as easy to fix as checking the air pressure when you stop to top off your tank.  See?  We told you it’s easy to make a difference.

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Need even more tips?  One day a week make a commitment to walk, hike or bike to work or errands, pick a day that is meatless or plant a tree. Pulling weeds instead of spraying herbicides will get you outside burning calories and at the same time protect bees and other vulnerable pollinators.  Again, E.A.S.Y!

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And oh, if you are getting ready to do some spring cleaning how about going green to clean! Cutting down on harsh chemicals that you use in your household is not only good for the environment but good for you and your wallet. If you’re not sure how to start here are 5 effective cleaning products that you can make yourself with items already in your cabinets and a few essential oils you can pick up at your local drugstore. .

1.  DIY Soft Scrub Cleaner – Believe it or not you can make a simple scrub that rivals the commercial kind without the harsh chemicals and one that uses only two ingredients.  The “scrub” in this recipe comes from the abrasive qualities of baking soda while the lemon essential oil will tackle the goo and gunk of the kitchen or bathroom.  In addition, this scrub can be used on tubs, tile, floors, countertops, ovens, microwaves, and kitchen appliances.  It’s a powerful cleaner without toxic ingredients.  Check out for the scrub recipe and directions.

2. Natural Glass Cleaner – The next time you run out of the traditional blue spray to clean all of the glass in your home mix up a batch of your own right from your pantry.  The Spruce has 3 recipes that are sure to match any tough cleaning situation.  Each easy recipe uses a different base such as vinegar, rubbing alcohol or cornstarch so make one with ingredients you already have.  Check out How to Make Homemade Glass Cleaner on the Spruce for more details.  

3.  Bleach Alternative – Bleach is toxic to humans and wildlife not to mention the accidental toxic gas produced when mixed accidentally with other cleaning agents.  Here’s an alternative that uses hydrogen peroxide as the disinfectant hero while also a whitening agent.  See below graphic for how to make and use this DIY bleach alternative and not if you make it use a dark jug or dark spray bottle to store because light will break down the hydrogen peroxide.

4.   Toilet bowl scrub – We all rely on a store–bought toilet cleaners to get our bowls sparkling again but did you know that you can make your own batch that will do as good of a job using safe and natural ingredients?  And while you’re swishing and spraying your way through this icky chore you’ll be helping the earth without flushing all those chemicals into the water system. This all-natural toilet bowl cleaner from Bob Vila uses disinfecting essential oils such as tea tree oil, lavender, orange, or pine along with baking soda for the initial scrubbing and then follows up with a strong ½ cup of 20% vinegar you can find online (for comparison grocery store vinegar is 5%) that causes some healthy fizzing.  Bob Vila explains how to use the cleaner and when to apply the potent vinegar so check it out and stop flushing all those chemicals to the fish!

5.  Homemade wood polish – This simple but effective polishing spray will have your wood surfaces looking amazing in no time without toxic chemicals.  Olive oil brings out the luster of the wood while the vinegar breaks down old wax buildup.  Check out for the in-depth tutorial on which oil is best for use on wood and some great tips on how to apply the your DIY wood polish. 

Did you know?

  • Lemon is a very strong food acid and is effective against most household bacteria, mildew and mold, cuts grease and shines hard surfaces. Rub lemon and course salt on wooden cutting boards to best clean and disinfect!
  • Vodka can be used as a disinfectant and can kill mold and mildew.  It can also absorb odors. (Plus leftovers go well with tonic and lime!)
  • Castile soap is made from 100 percent plant oils so it’s safe to use when green cleaning.  (But don’t mix with acids like vinegar – it reduces the strength and leaves a hard-to-remove white film behind)
  • White Vinegar – cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains and wax buildup.  Another great use… removing price tags and stickers from walls.
  • Houseplants reduce odors
  • Instead of spraying air freshener simmer some water and cinnamon or other spices on the stovetop
  • Vodka can be substituted for vinegar in green cleaning recipes if you don’t like the smell of vinegar (hmmm, another vodka solution?!)
  • Dirty Microwave?  Try this simple fix.  Pour some vinegar in a glass cup and add some lemon juice.  Heat the microwave for 2 minutes and let the steam do its work, then wipe down inside microwave walls.  No chemicals needed!
  • Use baking soda as a scouring powder for the top of the stove or other surfaces that should not be scratched. Apply directly with a damp sponge.
  • Baking soda has proven virus-killing abilities and cleans, deodorizes, brightens and cuts through grease and grime.

Until we see you in the next blog have fun doing some Green Cleaning and Happy Earth Month!

Deb Fries works with the Julianna Rae team to offer the best shopping experience for quality silk and cotton sleepwear while also writing for the blog at