Green Cleaning Recipes

Try these green cleaning recipes as alternatives to chemical cleaning products. They’re safer for you, your family and the environment, and cost less, too!

Tub & Tile Cleaner

  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup liquid soap (not detergent)
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • A few drops of essential oil (optional)

Dissolve soap in water. Stir in baking soda. Add vinegar. Store in a squirt bottle.
Shake before using. Rinse surface thoroughly to avoid leaving residue.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

  • 1 cup borax
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice or vinegar.

Mix. Pour mixture into toilet bowl. Let sit. Scrub.

Glass Cleaner

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 quart warm water

Mix ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake and clean as you would with a commercial product.


  • Hydrogen peroxide (3%)

Spot clean. Let dry. Repeat if necessary.

  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 2 gallons water

Mix together & presoak.

Drain Cleaner

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vinegar

Pour baking soda down the drain followed by vinegar. Let it bubble for 15 minutes, then pour down about 1 quart boiling water. For stubborn clogs, use a mechanical snake.

Oven Cleaner

  • 1 tablespoon liquid soap (not detergent)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 3/4 cup baking soda

Spray oven surfaces with soapy water. Mix salt & baking soda, then sprinkle on wet surface. Spray again so the mixture is damp & pasty. Let stand overnight. Scrape off with putty knife or wet pumice stone. 

Tile Floor Cleaner

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 gallon hot water

Mix, mop & wipe clean.
Tip—To remove scuff marks, sprinkle with baking soda & spray with equal parts vinegar & water. Wipe clean.

Silver Cleaner

  • 3-inch square of aluminum foil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 cup warm water

Dissolve salt & baking soda in warm water. Submerge foil & silver in the solution.
Wait one hour. Rinse silver & wipe dry with a soft cloth.
Apply non-gel toothpaste to a soft cloth. Rub tarnished spots. Rinse & dry.

Fabric Softener

  • 1/2 cup vinegar

Add to rinse cycle to soften & deodorize fabrics.

Books and Resources

The following books offer a variety of green cleaning recipes, as well as information about commercial green cleaning products and other eco-friendly household products. They are available through the Mariposa County Library and its branches.

  • Easy Green Living: the ultimate guide to simple, eco-friendly choices for you and your home by ReneeLoux, 2008
  • The Green Book of Household Hints:keeping an efficient and ecologically Sound Home, by Marjorie Harris, 2001
  • Clean Naturally--Recipes for Body, Home & Spirit, by Sandy Maine, 2001
  • Green Cleaning for Dummies, by Elizabeth B. Goldsmith, 2009
  • Better Basics for the Home, by Annie Berthold-Bond, 1999
  • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Cleaning, by Mary Findley and Linda Formichelli, 2009
  • Clean Home, Green Home: the complete illustrated guide to eco-friendly homekeeping, by Kimberly Delaney, 2009
  • DVD--Green Cleaning for a Healthy Home, produced by Saul Nir and Ari Firestone, 2008


These are merely suggestions for further reading. We do not guarantee the results of any of the recipes contained in any of the above materials/websites.