DIY: 3 Nontoxic Cleaning Products

Written by Pip Waller
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These cleaners are wonderful and effective environmentally-friendly alternatives to strong-smelling chemicals. The essential oils leave a fresh, clean smell and mildly disinfect the area. Herbs also make perfect room sprays and wonderful potpourri.



  • 3/4 cup + 5 teaspoons water, boiled or distilled
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 drop Liquid Castile Soap
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops pine essential oil
  • 3 drops spruce or fir essential oil
  • 1 drop geranium essential oil

Makes 1 cup. Keeps indefinitely.


Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake to mix. Shake well before use. Spray the surface, then wipe clean.


  • 4 teaspoons washing soda
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • 5 tablespoons Liquid Castile Soap or 10(4-oz.) bars solid castile soap, grated
  • 10 drops lemon or orange essential oil
  • 10 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 10 drops tea tree essential oil

Makes about 1 ¾ cups. Keeps at least 6 months.


If using grated soap, stir into the water until dissolved, then slowly stir in the soda. If not, dissolve the washing soda in the water, then add the liquid soap, continuing to stir until dissolved. Let cool. When cool, stir in the essential oils and bottle. Shake well before use.


The herbs and baking soda control germs and help eliminate bad odors.


  • ½ oz. dried thyme leaves, ground
  • ½ oz. dried rosemary leaves, ground
  • ½ teaspoon thyme essential oil
  • ½ teaspoon basil essential oil
  • 4 cups baking soda essential oil

Makes about 4 ½ cups. Keeps at least 1 year.


Put the thyme and rosemary with the essential oils into a jar. Mix well. Add the baking soda, then shake and stir to mix thoroughly. Store in a dry, airtight jar. To use, first run the hot tap water for a few minutes to warm up the drain. Then slowly pour about 1 teacup or half a mug of the scouring powder down the drain. Dribble in a little hot water to send it down the pipe. Let the cleaner work overnight, then rinse to clear

*Recipe courtesy of Michael Vertolli

From The Herbal Handbook for Home and Health by Pip Waller, published by North Atlantic Books, copyright © 2015 by Pip Waller. Reprinted by permission of publisher.

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