Non-Toxic Cleaning

Some of these Green Cleaning Recipes are from or  Clean House Clean Planet by Karen Logan is also a great book with all of these tips and more.

Contact us for essential oils. They are more pure, so they provide better health benefits even when you're just smelling them while you're cleaning! Plus, they are very strong and powerful, so you'll use significantly less oil and save money.

Here are a few of our favorite recipes. Follow the directions or experiment a little with the ingredients to make your own.

Homemade Fruit & Veggie Wash #1
1/2 cup organic white vinegar
4 tbsp. sea salt
2 cups filtered water
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray directly on produce. Allow to set for a few minutes, then lightly scrub. Rinse well.

Homemade Fruit & Veggie Wash #2
4 tbsp. lemon juice
4 tbsp. baking soda
2 cups filtered water
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray directly on produce. Allow to set for a few minutes, then lightly scrub. Rinse well.

Homemade Fruit & Veggie Wash #3
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. organic white vinegar
1 cup filtered water
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray directly on produce, allow to set, then scrub. Rinse well.

Weed Killer

This recipe is from a blog - I haven't used it myself. What I HAVE done is pour straight vinegar on the weeds in the cracks in my driveway and it worked great!
spray bottle (I had a 34 ounce one I purchased at the $ store a while ago)
Pickling vinegar (It works better than regular vinegar because the acetic acid % is higher)
Salt (1/2 cup for m size bottle)
Dish soap (a squeeze)
Fill a spray bottle almost full with Pickling vinegar. Since my spray bottle wasn't huge, I added only 1/2 cups of salt. If you spray bottle is big, add more salt. Squirt in a dash of dish soap into the bottle. Close the bottle tight and shake, shake, shake. You are done!!!

Go outside on a bright sunny day and spray those weeds. I found the sun sped up the process so try to pick a good day to do it. Remember though, this will also kill your grass and plants too. So don't get trigger happy like me and kill other things around the garden 🙂


Here's a safe way to get rid of ants:
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons boric acid or Borax Laundry Soap
3 cups warm water
Mix the sugar and Borax together and slowly add the warm water, stirring constantly.  Store in a sealed jar.  Pour some in a little container (like a lid) and add a cotton ball to saturate it.  Put the lid near the ants.  They'll drink it and take it back to the colony.  Keep this away from small children and pets.

All-Purpose Cleaner
suggested uses: hard surfaces like countertops and kitchen floors, windows and mirrors

1/2 - 2 cups white distilled vinegar
2 cups water
10-30 or more drops of essential oil (especially citrus oils)


1/2 teaspoon washing soda
A dab of liquid soap
2 cups hot tap water
Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag.


1/4?1/2 teaspoon liquid detergent
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups water
Spray bottle
Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use as you would a commercial brand. The soap in this recipe is
important. It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.

Creamy Soft Scrub
suggested uses: Use this creamy soft scrub on kitchen counters, stoves, bathroom sinks, etc.

2 cups baking soda
½ cup liquid castile soap*  (Tammy's tip:  order Dr Bronner's from iHerb - get the coupon code from our Resources page)
4 teaspoons vegetable glycerin (acts as a preservative)
5 drops antibacterial essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, rosemary, lemongrass, peppermint, or wild orange

Mix together and store in a sealed glass jar, shelf life of 2 years.

Tips: For exceptionally tough jobs spray with vinegar first—full strength or diluted, scented—let sit and follow with scrub.

Dry soft scrubs can be made with baking soda or salt (or combination of both) with 10-15 drops essential oil to scent and boost the cleaning/disinfecting power.

*WVE recommends using a liquid castile soap that does not contain sodium lauryl (laureth) sulfate (SLS) or Diethanolamine (DEA), which may have harmful side effects.


1 cup or more baking soda
Water with lemon essential oil
A squirt or two of liquid detergent
Sprinkle water generously over the bottom of the oven, then cover the grime with enough baking soda that the surface is totally white.
Sprinkle some more water over the top. Let the mixture set overnight. You can easily wipe up the grease the next morning because the grime will have loosened. When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of liquid detergent or soap on a sponge, and wash the remaining residue from the oven.

Furniture Polish
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
20-30 drops lemon essential oil

1 cup distilled water
1 cup  fractionated coconut oil (won't harden)
15 drops lemon or wild orange essential oil

Shake well before using
(2 teaspoons lemon juice may be substituted for lemon oil but then must be stored in refrigerator)

Dip a clean, dry cloth into the polish and rub wood in the direction of the grain. Use a soft brush to work the polish into corners or tight places.

Tips: To remove water spots rub well with toothpaste. To remove scratches use 1 part lemon juice and 1 part oil, rub with soft cloth.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Option 1
Sprinkle toilet bowl with baking soda mixed with 1-2 drops lemon essential oil, drizzle with vinegar, let soak for at least 30 minutes and scrub with toilet brush.

Option 2
Put ¼ cup borax in toilet bowl and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Swish with a toilet brush and then scrub. A few drops of pine oil can be added for increased disinfecting. (Note: some people are sensitive to pine oil.  It should also NOT be used around pets.)

Tip: Let ingredients soak for a while to make for easy scrubbing, especially on persistent stains like toilet bowl rings.

Drain Opener
½ cup baking soda
½ cup vinegar

Pour baking soda down the drain and follow with vinegar. Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Flush with boiling water.

Tip: Prevent your shower from clogging by using a drain trap to catch hairs.


Keep a clean spray bottle filled with straight 5% vinegar in your kitchen near your cutting board and in your bathroom and use them for cleaning. The smell of vinegar dissipates within a few hours. Straight vinegar is also great for cleaning the toilet rim. Just spray it on and wipe off.

OR . . . .
add  essential oil to an 8-oz glass spray bottle of distilled water. Shake and spray to disinfect counters, toilet seats, door knobs, hands, throats, or the air. (Can also be sprayed on apple slices.)

OR . . . . .
ad 15 drops each Wild Orange and Peppermint to an 8-oz glass spray bottle of distilled waters. Spray liberally to freshen air in stale or stinky rooms.

Laundry Detergent
1 cup soap flakes
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax
Essential oils enhance the cleanliness of laundry. They kill tiny dust mites which live in bedding and feed off dead skin cells that we constantly shed. Add 6 drops Eucalyptus or lemon to the wash cycle.

Soap flakes can be made by grating your favorite pure vegetable soap with a cheese grater. Mix ingredients together and store in a glass container. Use 1 tablespoon per load (2 for heavily soiled laundry), wash in warm or cold water.

This standard recipe can be adjusted for soft water by using 1 cup soap flakes, 1/4 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup borax. For hard water, use 1 cup soap flakes, 1 cup washing soda, and 1 cup borax.

Note: Borax should not be ingested.

Fabric Softener

Add 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to rinse as a fabric softener. For a whitener, use hydrogen peroxide rather than bleach. Soak your dingy white clothes for 30 minutes in the washer with 1/2 cup 20% peroxide. Launder as usual.


add a few balls of wadded up foil paper or a washcloth with 4-5 large safety pins pinned on it into the dryer.

MOLD KILLERS: Tea Tree Treasure

Nothing natural works for mold and mildew as well as this spray. Note that the smell of tea tree oil is very strong, but it will dissipate quickly.

2 teaspoons tea tree oil
2 cups water
Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse. Makes two cups.

MOLD KILLERS: Vinegar Spray

Straight vinegar reportedly kills 82% of mold. Pour some white distilled vinegar straight into a spray bottle, spray on the moldy area, and let set without rinsing if you can put up with the smell. It will dissipate in a few hours. Wipe the surface with a cloth sprinkled with Melaleuca, Lemon and Grapefruit essential oils.

Borax disinfects and prevents mold from building up. Use it to PREVENT mold.

*Washing soda is sodium carbonate; Baking Soda is sodium bicarbonate. Washing Soda can usually be found in the same place as the laundry detergents (or order it from Amazon). Another tip: 3/4 cup of white vinegar with laundry detergent helps remove stains and grease and 3/4 cup white vinegar in the final rinse as a fabric softener without the residue commercial fabric softener often leaves; great for people with allergies and sensitive skin.


The citric acid in lemons (and other citrus fruits) works to neutralize odors, and the lemony smell leaves a pleasant odor after cleaning. This works especially well on food odors.


Deodorize your dishwasher. Add 1 cup of lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best) to the bottom of your dishwasher and run just the rinse cycle to disinfect and deodorize it.
Freshen up your whole kitchen. Fill a pot with water, and add lemon (and/or orange) peels, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Simmer on your stove.
Deodorize your sink. Put a handful of lemon, lime or orange peel in the sink disposal and run with water.


The oil from Eucalyptus is an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, which makes it a great deodorizer. It can help freshen up musty places that are often kept closed off like closets. Its fragrance can help you breathe better by opening up your sinuses.


Freshen a musty closet. Place a few branches in a closet or musty room. Be sure to check it in a few weeks and simply replace it when the fresh scent starts to go away.
Polish Furniture. Add 2 Tbsp. of Eucalyptus oil to 1 gallon of water to use as an antiseptic spray, or as an all natural replacement for Pine-sol or Lysol.


Vinegar is one of the most versatile liquids around. Apple Cider Vinegar has incredible health properties when consumed, which is why I made it the main ingredient in my Secret Detox Drink. It’s also a great all natural alternative for everyday cleaning around the house. Don’t worry about the strong smell, it completely goes away when it dries.


Neutralize hard-to-get-rid-of Odors. Add a tablespoon of white distilled vinegar to the fabric softener of your washing machine to neutralize bad odors that tend to stick around even after washing.
Clean your washer. Every couple of months, run an empty washer load with 1 cup of vinegar to keep it clean and working well.
Bathroom cleaner. Combine equal parts white distilled vinegar and water to a spray bottle. Ideal for hard to remove grime in your bathroom or shower.
Hair Conditioner. I’ve been known to use a tablespoon of vinegar as a replacement for hair conditioner.
Clean a clogged drain. Pour boiling white distilled vinegar down a clogged drain to remove the obstruction.


Baking Soda is an alkaline powder that’s great at neutralizing acid based smells like body odor and the smells that come from aging food.


Neutralize odors in the fridge. Place an opened box of baking soda in the fridge to neutralize the bad smells created by food starting to go bad.
A natural toothpaste. Sprinkle a little on a wet toothbrush and brush as normal. (I typically use approx. half a teaspoon, or a pinch)
Bathroom Air Freshener: Fill a Mason jar about 3/4 full with baking soda, 12-15 drops lavender essential oil, and dried lavender flowers (optional - added for a pretty look). Place a square piece of scrap fabric over the top and screw the cap ring around. Set on counter or back of toilet for natural freshening for months. Change baking soda a few times a year.
Fabric and Room Deodorizer: In a clean spray bottle, add 1 cup vodka, 1 1/2 cups filtered water, and 1 Tablespoon of baking soda. Shake the bottle gently until the baking soda dissolves. (You can add about 15 drops of your favorite pure essential oil.) Spray into the air, on your couches, curtains, carpets, and car seats! The vodka will not leave any alcohol smell or stain, but it will help to deodorize the fabrics.
Fabric and Room Deodorizer: In a clean spray bottle, add 1 cup vodka, 1 1/2 cups filtered water, and 1 Tablespoon of baking soda (Tammy's note:  I omit the baking soda because it clogs up my spray bottle).  Shake the bottle gently until the baking soda dissolves.  (You can add about 15 drops of your favorite pure essential oil.)  Spray into the air, on your couches, curtains, carpets, and car seats!  The vodka will not leave any alcohol smell or stain, but it will help to deodorize the fabrics.

Your dog’s urine is a combination of ammonia, bacteria, hormones, nitrogen and uric acid. It’s the uric acid that creates a lingering smell even after you’ve cleaned up after your dog. It can be especially potent when the air is humid.
Since the canine sense of smell is hundreds of times more powerful than ours, it’s important to remove all traces of urine odor. If you don’t, your dog is very likely return to the same spot to do it all over again – especially if he’s not thoroughly housebroken or is left too long between trips outdoors to eliminate.
Take the following steps to thoroughly clean urine stains and odor from carpets and rugs:
1. Using paper towels or other absorbent material like a rag or cloth, blot up as much of the urine as possible.
2. Pour plain water over the spot and soak up the moisture again using clean paper towels – continue blotting until you don’t see any more yellow on the towels.
3. Apply a homemade natural cleaner (see below).
4. Using more clean paper towels, blot up as much moisture as you can and allow the spot to air dry – avoid walking on it while it is damp.
Depending on how long the urine spot has been there, you might need to repeat steps 3 and 4 at least once to remove all the odor and yellow staining.
Suggestions for safe, natural cleaning agents for pet urine:
• Combine one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts water. Let the mixture sit on the spot for five to ten minutes before blotting up the moisture.
• Undiluted white vinegar. Soak the area completely and let it sit for several minutes before blotting dry.
• Baking soda. Cover the area with baking soda and let it sit for a few hours. Vacuum.

DEALING WITH ANTS IN YOUR HOUSE? The normal, tiny ones respond to borax and powdered sugar. We mix up one part borax to 3 parts powdered sugar, place it in bottle caps, and put it in areas where the ants are coming in. You WANT them to swarm it and take it back to the nest. The entire colony will die in a few days.
Carpenter ants are tougher. These are the bigger (1/4 inch to 3/4 inch in size), black, fast-moving ants. Carpenter ants create nests in wood. You can find nests by looking for sawdust-looking piles, usually around the foundation of your home, in trees, decks, or other wood piles near your house. Finding the nest and injecting it with Diatomaceous Earth will kill carpenter ants. If you don't find the nest, you're unlikely to rid your house of them because they will just find new entry points as long as they are alive.