Our new home came with a septic system. I grew up on a septic system, but my parents never followed any of the “rules” (no bleach, no chemicals, etc) — and our system was fine.

Nonetheless, DH begged me to not take the same approach, and to scale back on what I used to clean. So I have.

I figured I’d share a few of these “non chemical” cleaners with you here. They’re pretty common and pretty simple…I don’t know where they originated, but I got them from a co-worker (thanks Kim!)

I’ve found that most of the ingredients are available in my local grocery store. Things like tea tree oil, castille soap and lavender essential oil are also on my grocery store’s organic section, but if your store doesn’t have an organic section, call around to natural foods shops and see if you can find them. Or order them on the internet 🙂

The rest of the items can be purchased in large quantities at a Club Store (Sam’s club, Cosco, etc), or you can do like I do — and just stock up at the dollar store 🙂

All Purpose Cleaner
Combine in a clean spray bottle:
2 teaspoons Borax (found in the laundry detergent isle)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 quart water

Heavy Duty All-Purpose Cleaner
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon Borax
Hot Water
1/4 cup Castille Soap
Essential Oils (optional)

– Mix 2 tbsp vinegar with 1 tsp Borax. Fill with very hot water. Shake until borax is dissolved. Add 1/4 cup Castille Soap last. To scent, add 10-15 drops essential oil.
– How to use: Spray and wipe refrigerator, walls, shower, toilets, etc. To remove or prevent mold or mildew, use 1 tablespoon Borax in your mixture.

Window and Glass Cleaner
Combine in a clean spray bottle:
1 part vinegar
1 part water

Strong Glass Cleaner
Mix in a clean spray bottle:
1 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol
1 cup water
1 tablespoon clear, non-sudsing ammonia

Oven Cleaner
3 parts baking soda
1 part water
nylon scrubber
elbow grease

– Combine baking soda and water and use like a paste with the nylon scrubber. For really stuck on stuff, instead of 3 parts baking soda, mix half baking soda and half salt (this will increase the abrasiveness). Keep baking soda off the heating element.

Floor Cleaner
1/2 cup baking soda
1 gallon warm water
(For extra disinfecting power, add 1/2 cup Borax)

– Mix all together to dissolve the baking soda (and Borax). Apply with a rag or mop. When finished, rinse the rag/mop and go over the floor with warm, clean water so there’s no residue left.

Fruit Cleaner
Mix in sink, scrub and rinse veggies/fruits well with:
3 parts baking soda
2 parts water

Drain Cleaner
Move over Drain-O!
1 cup baking soda
1 cup salt
1 quart boiling water

– Blend together and pour down drain, followed by boiling water. Let set for several hours or overnight, then run hot water down the drain.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
– For scouring power, sprinkle baking soda in the toilet and scrub with your brush
– For stained toilets, try:
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup vinegar
Beware, it bubbles and fizzes a bit.

Furniture Polish
Mix together:
1 part olive oil
1 part lemon juice

– Apply lightly with a soft cloth. Don’t make much more than you need; it doesn’t store well.

Hardwood Floor Polish/Shine
1 part vinegar
1 part olive oil or vegetable oil

– Apply to the floor, and then rub it in well.

Lavendar and Tea Tree Spray Cleaner
1 teaspoon Borax
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 cups hot water
1/4 teaspoon lavendar essential oil
3 drops tea tree essential oil

– Mic all ingredients together and stir until dry ingredients are dissolved. Pour into a spray bottle for long-term storage and use. Spray as needed on any surface except glass. Scrub and rinse with a clean, damp cloth.

Rosemary Deodorizer and Disinfectant
6 drops Rosemary essential oil
6 drops Grapefruit essential oil
4 drops Lemon essential oil
2 ounces purified water

– Combine oils and water in a 2-oz. glass spritzer bottle. Shake well before each use. Spray liberally into the air. This spray will combat oders and kill infectious organisms. During cold and flu season, add 2 drops of eucalyptus. This blend works well in a diffuser also without the water.

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