Making Your Own Cleaning Products

homemade cleaners green living enviro-mama booksHave you ever had something nagging at the back of your mind? Something that you really want to do, and have been meaning to do, but just can’t seem to get around to actually doing? I’ve been feeling that way about a fabulous book that has been sitting in my tray for months. It’s called Homemade Cleaners: Quick-and-Easy, Toxic-Free Recipes, and it’s written by Mandy O’Brien and Dionna Ford. Unfortunately, being back at school, living through a major renovation fiasco, working and parenting all conspired to keep me away from this book.

I knew I wanted a copy as soon as I heard about it. I’ve always been intrigued by making my own cleaning products. I did attend a local event last year where I tried making my own all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner and tub and tile cleaner. It was good, and it whet my appetite enough to learn more. I’ve looked online, but I found it overwhelming. There’s so much out there, and people seem to experience such mixed results, that I’m not really sure where to start. This is why I appreciate this book, which provides a friendlier introduction to non-toxic cleaning.

For such a small book, Homemade Cleaners is packed full of information. It starts out by encouraging simple steps, and explaining why we should care about the chemicals in our cleaning products. Then it’s divided into sections by cleaning task. There are tons of tips, and recipes for everything from all-purpose cleaners to glass cleaners to furniture polish to laundry soap and more. There’s also information on dealing with bugs, keeping your yard healthy, purifying indoor air and choosing and cleaning a grill (which, being from Vancouver, I will insist on calling a barbeque).

I haven’t tried as many of the recipes as I would have liked, but even on first glance I’ve appreciated that green cleaning doesn’t require you to go out and buy a whole lot of stuff. If you’ve got baking soda, vinegar, borax, castile soap, lemon juice and some essential oils you’re most of the way there. There are multiple recipes you can try for most cleaning tasks, so if one doesn’t work for you there are lots more to try. With the renovations happening in my house and new wiring, tile, cabinetry and paint in my bedroom and ensuite, I especially appreciated the tips on how to use plants to remove chemicals from indoor air.

homemade cleaners non-toxic cleaning book review

I would say that Homemade Cleaners is mostly about how to adopt a simpler, less toxic cleaning philosophy for yourself and your family. It’s much more than a recipe book. If you’re wondering how to reduce the number of chemicals your family is exposed to at home, it’s a great place to start.

What about you – what are your favourite green cleaning resources?

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  1. The lady who comes to clean my house uses Enjo clothes and water. And my house sparkles. I also have a norwex window/glass cleaning cloth and a polishing cloth which make all the glass and mirror things in my house absolutely beautiful with only a bit of water. I really like not having to use or buy cleaners. It’s easy and I am cheap!

  2. Very creative ideas indeed!! I’ve never made cleaning products by myself but after reading this article I’m inspired to try out some of these ideas to make own cleaning products. Thanks.
    Leo’s last post … Should You Read the Lint Lizard Reviews?My Profile

  3. Hi Amber! I thought I’d share an illustration of my favourite all-purpose cleaning recipe that I did recently. I got the original recipe from my son’s wonderful preschool teacher, quite a few years ago now. It’s here: Cheers!!

  4. I make most of my own cleansers, the green kind you can buy in grocery stores are extremely expensive. You can actually make do with just a few basic things.
    Andrea Cole’s last post … 19 Food Additives to Avoid At All CostMy Profile

  5. I really want to make my own laundry detergent and dishwasher soap. They have been on my to do list for some time now, and I’ve pinned so many blog posts about them, and I have an eBook or two on the topic. I may have to check out the book this summer. Thanks!
    Christy’s last post … Spot the PollinatorMy Profile

  6. Homemade cleaners are a huge hit in my home. While we go through a sizable amount of baking soda and vinegar, its a much healthier way to live.

    I also see your book talks about the benefits of plants in the home. My personal preference is the pothos plant. While not best at cleaning the air, it takes a remarkable amount of abuse or neglect.

    Thanks for sharing the book!
    Norm Brown’s last post … Switch to Castile Soap, Go Green, & Save Money.My Profile

  7. This book is my bible! I love making my own homemade cleaning products and would love to read some tested and ready recipes. Thanks for sharing!

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