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All Purpose Green Cleaner: Home Recipe

There are a ton of green cleaners on the market, but my favorite cleaners are the ones I make at home.
One thing you know for sure, when you make it – you know every ingredient.
You will also save a lot of money, the ingredients are so inexpensive, no wonder the companies that manufacture cleaning products have so much money to spend on advertising! It costs so little to make a batch – it’s crazy!

I make it in batches that make 4 28oz bottles.

13 1/4 cups of Water (1 hot)
1/4 Cup of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Liquid Soap – I like Citrus for the All Purpose Cleaner
1/4 Cup of Borax
1/4 Cup of Vinegar

Borax Free – The Vinegar & Baking Soda reaction is fun for kids!

NOTE – Cleaning with the following recipe requires rinsing.  I’m working on a reformulation and will leave this posted with this caveat until I have a borax free option that doesn’t require rinsing.

10 1/4 cups of water (5 hot)
1/4 Cup of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Liquid Soap – I still like Citrus for the All Purpose Cleaner.
1 1/2 cups of Baking Soda
3 cups of Vinegar

Mix the hot water with the borax or baking soda until it disolves.
Once dissolved pour into a bucket – make sure that you have a bigger bucket – the next step will give you a little foaming action!
Add the remaining water, vinegar & Castille Soap.

Use a funnel to pour the solution into the four bottles.

I used to use the Method Products, so I have reused the spray bottles & taken the labels off. Using the handy label maker, made my own labels so I know what’s in each bottle and it looks organized.

There are rumblings about the safety of Borax and while it certainly appears to be a better option than the chemicals in commercial cleaners, there are people who would prefer to avoid it.

Click here to read what they say at Chemistry.com.

I have posed the question about Borax to the EWG. I’ll be curious to hear their response.

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship September 12, 2009, 11:19 pm

    Have you seen any warnings about borax?  I’m a little concerned about its safety, especially for something you might not rinse off or might use around the kitchen.  I use borax to kill ants; I learned about its hazards in this post and discussed it a bit more in my natural dishwasher detergent results post.  Do let me know what you think.  I don’t see a checkbox to make sure I see your reply, but feel free to email me.Thanks, Katie

    • Tania Reuben September 13, 2009, 12:08 am

      I’ve heard some rumblings about borax, but to date, nothing I’ve read has caused me to use a different formula.
      I’ll look at the link you sent over. Thank you!

  • Winnie January 17, 2011, 3:45 pm

    I absolutely love this cleaner recipe ! I add a few drops of aroma oil and poof! a all purpose cleaner that is amazing and makes my house smell good without the high price cost :)

  • CFA August 25, 2012, 7:07 am

    I think that mixing vinegar with castile soap negates the affect of either ingredient. The castile is a weak base and the vinegar a weak acid, canceling out the chemical properties that make either of them effective; neutralizing the solution. I believe there are several discussion about it Lisa Bronner’s blog http://lisa.drbronner.com/?p=292A diluted acid (vinegar) rinse is great to use after the castile soap, and using one after the other promotes great results.

    • Tania August 28, 2012, 10:59 pm

      Very interesting. This is the first I’ve heard of this. I’ll have to do some further research.
      There are many sources that purport a combination of Castille Soap and Vinegar.

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