The average person in the U.S. uses some 40 pounds of household cleaners each year, and many of those products have harmful or toxic ingredients. Choose safer products or make your own cleaners at home with the recipes listed on the left side of this page. You may already have all of the ingredients you need.
Common ingredients in recipes you can make at home
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) absorbs odors and is a mild abrasive. Found in the baking section of the grocery store.
Essential oils deodorize or add scent. Mint, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, tea tree and other oils can be found in the natural food section of many grocery stores, or herbal supply shops.
Glycerin is an antiseptic and moisturizes the skin. Found in pharmacies or in some grocery natural food sections. Use vegetable oil-based glycerin.
Hydrogen peroxide is a disinfectant. Use the 3 percent household concentration, found in pharmacies.
Vegetable oil-based liquid soap or detergent, sometimes referred to as castile soap. Found in many grocery natural food sections.
Vinegar removes soap scum, grease and mineral deposits and acts as a deodorizer. Use white distilled vinegar for most of these recipes. Found in the condiments aisle of the grocery store.
Washing soda (sodium carbonate) removes grease and is slightly caustic. Found in the laundry section.
|Find it in
|Use it to
|baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
|grocery store baking ingredients aisle
|scrub sinks, pots and stains, polish sterling or silver plate
|abrasive cleaners like Ajax, silver polishes
|white distilled vinegar
|grocery store condiments aisle
|clean glass, remove soap scum, grease and mineral deposits
|window cleaners like Windex, drain treatments like Drano
|hydrogen peroxide, 3 percent
|pharmacy or grocery store first aid aisle
|brightens whites in the laundry, disinfect surfaces
|plant-based liquid soap (Castile soap)
|grocery store natural products section
|wash cars, mop floors, wash clothes, clean marble counters
|liquid car wash, laundry detergents, floor care products
|washing soda (sodium carbonate)
|grocery store laundry supplies aisle
|cut oven grease, remove wine stains, boost cleaning power of laundry soap
|oven cleaners, all-purpose cleaners like Oxi-Clean
Learn about safe use, storage and proper disposal of cleaning products you may already have