What's a great cleaning product you've discovered?

30  Answers

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My favorite cleaner is vinegar! And if vinegar can't clean it, I use Rockin Green Laundry soap or Funk Rock. Rockin Green is great for pet stains, dirty carpets, dish soap, and cleaning fabrics like couches/chairs/curtains/pillows.

Here are some tips for vinegar:
-Vinegar can be used as a carpet cleaner. Not only does vinegar get marker, crayon, grease, and juice stains out, it also lifts pet urine out of carpet!
-Vinegar is great for laundry. You can let your whites soak in 1/2 cup of vinegar and detergent to help brighten them. Vinegar also gets out laundry stains and bad smells.Vinegar is a great fabric softener as well. Pour some in your softener compartment just like you would a mainstream softener.
-Vinegar is great to clean coffee pots, water filter jugs, stainless steel bottles, and pots or pans. You can even soak bottles and lids to get out any unwanted mold.
-Vinegar cleans up spilled paint. Vinegar also removes leftover paint on brushes.
-Vinegar can clean and polish glass, stone, brass, bronze, or silver.
-Vinegar also is a natural weed killer and keeps unwanted pests- like ants- out of your garden. All you have to do is pour the vinegar directly on your weeds to kill them.

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Bleach is what I use to use but once I learned that bleach is a neurotoxin...meaning it burns brain cells...and it is a registered pesticide that we can not detoxify!...I sought for a solution that a stay at home mom like me could afford. I found like most of you that if it said green or natural did not mean it worked or was non-toxic but it just meant it was more expensive. So I tried vinegar and baking soda that works good but I got tired of the smell. So I kept searching...and found a set of cleaning items I will never live without again. And the best part most are less than the dollar store! I am able to use them with my kids, have a home that is toxin free, and not worry I am killing my kids and family slowly. Then the more I searched too I learning that crushed fiberglass is used in almost all of the laundry soap at the market causing my itchy skin not the fragrance. Then I don't even want to get into the whole thing about the most dangerous thing in the house...dish washing detergent...and I have never seen one with a safety cap. Have you? And where do we keep it? Right under our sinks! I have gotten rid of my migranes, eczema, and know my family is safe. Ok I am getting on a soap box now and could talk about this for hours, I am passionate about this can you tell?

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What products do you use?

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Making your own is definitely my favorite way to go. You know that you are keeping your family safe by using all non-toxic ingredients, it costs so much less, and you can put the kids to work without fear of exposing them to unnecessary chemicals. That is a win-win for everyone!

The ingredients I always keep stocked to make a cleaner for any situation:
Vinegar
Baking Soda
Castile Soap (I like Dr. Bronner's)
and often essential oils like tea tree oil, lavender, or mint

A general cleaner might be made with 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap and 3/4 cup warm water, shake to blend.

A soft scrub might be made with 1/2 cup baking soda and enough castile soap to make a frosting-like mixture. Add 10-15 drops of tea tree oil.

The only cleaner I don't make myself is dishwasher detergent/soap. And I have yet to find one that I like commercially as well - still looking.

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The greatest cleaning products are never anything that you can simply purchase in a store... they're what you can CREATE with distilled white vinegar, baking soda and water! You can also add lemongrass oil (which happens to be an anti-bacterial) and tea tree oil (with properties that are both anti-viral and anti-fungal) and create a home environment that is fantastically clean, "green", and chemical-free! You can conquer stainless steel, chrome, countertops, sinks, toilets, tubs, showers, mirrors, windows, floors, doors, ovens, microwaves… the list goes on and on! Google "chemical free cleaning" or check out www.MomGoesGreen.com and I'd love to share more tips! Green clean, friends! -- Doreen/Mom Goes Green

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I have to tell you, vinegar is nice as is baking soda. I like to try to use natural products. But there are times we need something with a bit more oomph, so to speak. This is when I shout about Bar Keepers Friend cleanser. It's pretty close to natural. It uses oxalic acid, which is an ingredient found in spinach and rhubarb. I use it on my stainless steel and my ceramic cooktop, and I've used everywhere else I would use cleanser. It's bleach free and does a great job.

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I have to join in with everyone else and say VINEGAR is the greatest cleaning product around!

Vinegar is inexpensive.
It doesn't t doesn’t cause allergic reactions like some cleansers with fragrance.
Vinegars acid acts as a disinfectant and an odor neutralizer.

I make my own cleaning solution by mixing vinegar with water and adding 10 drops of tea tree oil.

DON'T use vinegar on hardwood floors, stone surfaces (marble and granite) and unsealed grout.

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Baking soda and vinegar! There are few things that they can't clean either together or on their own. They are super cheap and environmentally friendly as well!

Here are just some of the great things I've used vinegar for:

* Degreasing the oven and vents of the oven hood: Just wipe down with a half and half mixture of vinegar and water.
* Erasing crayon from carpet. Dip a toothbrush in the vinegar and scrub. I did notice though, that if the carpet gets too saturated with vinegar, it loses effectiveness. If this happens, like with a really deep solidly colored purple crayon mark, take a break, let it dry, and then start again.
* Get rid of mineral deposits around sink faucets: Apply undiluted vinegar to the deposit and let sit at least 15 minutes, then scrub away with a toothbrush.
* Disinfect countertops and cutting boards: Wipe down countertops at least once a day and cutting boards after each use with undiluted vinegar to kill any nasties that might be trying to set up housekeeping.
* Destickify wood: Whether it be a breadbox or a chair, wiping it down with vinegar can freshen up the surface.
* Prevent mildew in the shower: Who needs one of those fancy (toxic) automatic shower cleaners? Just keep a spray bottle of vinegar in the shower and do a quick spritz around when you get out of the shower.
* Wash windows and mirrors: Some people swear by vinegar on newspaper, but I never have newspapers around, so I have to use a cloth rag, but I still get that streak free shine (at least until the kids start doodling on steamy mirrors again!).
* Dissolving old glue: Whether the kids glued something they shouldn’t or I’m trying to take something apart to fix it, letting some vinegar soak into it can make the job easier.
* Fabric softener: I don’t do this one often (because I don’t pay enough attention to what cycle it is on), but adding ½ cup to the last rinse cycle will soften clothes.
* Weed killer: Kill weeds in the cracks of sidewalks and driveways with a mixture of 1 quart boiling water, 2 tbsp salt, and 5 tbsp vinegar. Pour directly on the weeds while the mixture is still hot.
* Cleaning out icky coolers: I know I’ve forgotten to empty out coolers in a timely fashion after a family outing on more than one occasion. To get rid of the mold or mildew that tends to spring up, wipe down with vinegar.
* Change the pH of something for canning: To make sure my tomatoes and tomato sauce are acidic enough to can safely without a pressure canner, I add some vinegar.
* Demold cheese: If cheese becomes moldy, wipe the mold off with some vinegar on a paper towel. This should also help inhibit future mold growth.
* Stripping cloth diapers: If diapers still smell after washing, there may be a detergent buildup in them. To get rid of this, wash again without any detergent and check for suds in the rinse. If there are still suds, rinse again. Repeat as needed to get rid of any residual detergent buildup. To make sure the smell is really gone, add a cup of vinegar to the final rinse.


Here are some of my favorite uses for baking soda (yes, I know there is some overlap):

1. Scrubbing crayon off the walls. With very creative small children in the house, this is big around here. Simply make a paste of baking soda and water, dab a rag in the paste, apply to crayon marks and scrub away. I've found this to be easier on wallpapered walls, but it does work on painted walls as well. Someday soon, when I get the chance, I'll be finding out if it works on textured ceilings as well. *sigh* This frequently works for mystery smudges on walls that sometimes appear around kids as well.
2. As a substitute for washing soda in my laundry detergent recipe. If you haven't found a source for washing soda yet, but have borax and the Dr. Bronner's soap for making the laundry detergent I posted, and want to get started making your own, or if you run out of washing soda and haven't got around to going to the store for more yet, you can substitute in baking soda. Just use twice as much baking soda as you would washing soda and be very careful when you pour it into your storage jug because it will foam a lot more.
3. As an alternative to commercial fabric softeners. Add about a 1/2 cup in the rinse cycle.
4. To eliminate clogs from drains. Jam as much baking soda as you can into a clogged or sluggish drain, add vinegar, and cover the drain until it stops making fizzing noises. Rinse with warm water afterwords.
5. Extending dishwasher detergent powder. For a lot of the same reasons I have to make my own laundry detergent, I'm very limited on what dishwasher detergents I can stand. I basically have to use ones from brands like Seventh Generation. I find the prices of that to be (quite a bit) higher than I like, so I make a mixture of 1/3 commercial dishwasher detergent, 1/3 borax, and 1/3 baking soda. I store some premixed in a small container so I can just pour it in when I do my dishes. The same blend should work of liquid dishwasher detergent too, but you'd have to add it separately each time.
6. To clean the oven. Sprinkle the bottom of the oven with about 2-4 cups baking soda and moisten thoroughly with a spray bottle of water. Keep it moist by spraying more water every few hours. Leave overnight and scoop out, along with the grime, in the morning. Rinse well.
7. Getting the kids to clean the toilet...or, in a pinch, do it yourself. The kids love a good harmless chemical reaction, so show them some science and get them to clean the toilet at the same time. Sprinkle some baking soda into the toilet bowl and let it sit for a half hour or so. Then, add a squirt of Dr. Bronner's liquid soap and some vinegar. The kids will have a blast scrubbing with those fun bubbles (at least my kids do, when I let them).
8. Shower/tub scrub. Make a paste of baking soda and liquid soap and scrub away. Rinse with warm water. If you need a little extra scrubbing bubbles or enjoy a nice lemon scent to your bathroom, add some lemon juice to the mix, but you'll probably want to wear gloves to clean if you're going to do that. Tough mildew stains may require a thicker paste with more baking soda.
9. Removing mineral buildup from showerheads. Mix together 1 part baking soda to 2 parts vinegar in a plastic bag (a grocery bag should work okay for this as long as it doesn't have any holes). Submerge the showerhead in the bag and secure the bag to the showerhead with a rubber band. Let it soak for at least an hour then rinse the showerhead by running very hot water through it for a few minutes (don't want any of the vinegar getting in your eyes next shower. OUCH!).
10. Deodorizing trash cans and diaper pails. Sprinkle some baking soda in the trash can or diaper pail for disposable diapers after each time you empty it. For a cloth diaper pail, you can sprinkle some in the pail itself, but if you use a cloth bag for a liner (and throw the whole thing in the wash with the diapers), you can also sprinkle some in the cloth bag to give the laundry extra oomph as well as deodorizing the diaper pail in between washes.
11. To make urine smells disappear from the carpet or upholstered furniture. Whether it be from a kid or a cat, I've had a lot of luck sprinkling some baking soda on tinkled on areas (if it is still wet, dry up as much as you can with a towel first), let it sit for at least fifteen minutes, then vacuum up. If it is in an out of the way place, like behind a couch, the baking soda can just be left there until your next regularly scheduled vacuuming.
12. Fill in nail holes in the wall. A super cheap way to save on your security deposit if you rent is to fill all those nail and tack holes with a paste of baking soda and white glue and let dry.
13. To remove black scuff marks on shoes. Make a paste and scrub away. You can follow up with some polish after you wipe off the paste if you desire.

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I have found a great new company, well not so new but, new to Vermont. It is called Norwex. They are 100% chemical free and use nothing but water with majority of there products. There support cleaning supplies use protein enzymes to help fight dirt and grime. These products are amazing. The Envirocloth can clean anything from your windows to your carpets. Highly recommend checking out this amazing company. My family and I use and have loved everything we've tried. Website is below.

http://www.michaelkiessling.norwex.biz

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Hot water. It's like th golden ticket. cleans and disinfects practically anything!

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The best cleaning product out there is vinegar. For tougher stains or cleaning jobs add some baking soda into the vinegar.

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This isn't a cleaning product, but I heard this tip recently and thought I would pass it on..

A use for the "useless" balls of lint pulled from you clothes drier? Put them in ziplock baggies and use them as kindling for your fireplace. :)

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I have used Malaleuca products for years. They have a lot of good stuff that won't harm our children.

www.melaleuca.com/

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I use an essential oil based cleaner called Theives. It is truly all-natural, environmentally safe, non-toxic and has amazing immunity boosting components...

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I have found a product that is not only environmentally better, it is non caustic, no chlorine, no formaldehyde, no safety caps required, yet it works better than any other products I have tried. They have over 350 great products using the power of nature for healing, cleaning and nutrition. Not only that but they pay me to use them and they will pay you too! Just by referring 8 people to shop for healthier products you will receive about 435 dollars and an additional 168 dollars every month there after. Ask me how you can start earning extra income every month. cballek@msn.com

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Way to advertise....

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My favourite cleaner - lemons.

So many uses and they smell gorgeous. My favourite tips, cut an old lemon in half, pop half of the lemon in a small bowl of water and microwave for a minute. The lemon-scented steam loosens any food residue, making the microwave easy to clean and smelling gorgeous.

After you've used the lemon for this, you can then sprinkle a little coarse sea salt on the lemon pulp and use it as an abrasive cleaner - again it smells gorgeous and you won't have any nasty chemical residue left on your surfaces.

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the best idea is something a child can use as a tool to learn how to clean. This teaches him responsibility and rewards him. Check this mom's invention, vote pls tell me if you would buy this for your kid. http://www.quirky.com/ideations/138063 hoops laundry!

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Along with a lot of the other answers, I like vinegar as a base for my cleaning products. It can kill 82% of mold species as well as remove dirt, soap scum, you name it. I also love baking soda for natural scrubbing power, and I always turn to Lemon essential oil. It is a fabulous degreaser (I have seen it remove tomato sauce from white carpet!), dusting agent and addition to wood cleaning. It is also antibacterial and a great air freshener. I really love using products that leave my home clean and me feeling good!

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I always have vinegar, baking soda, salt, castile soap (bar and liquid), washing soda, coconut oil, and borax on hand at home. These products cover almost all of my house cleaning and laundry needs. Baking soda, coconut oil and castile soap are great self-care products as well. I spend under $50.00/ year combined on laundry detergent, dish washer detergent, dish soap, cleaning solutions, baby shampoo/ bath wash, and deodorant. Low cost and earth friendly.

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I love therapeutic grade essential oils-lemon is terrific for removing sticky stuff. Add some olive oil with the lemon essential oil and you've got a great wood cleaner/polish.

Organic castile soap, VT Soap Company in particular, is my fave. Great for cleaning your body, also does laundry for chemically sensitive folks, and can do floors, toilets, etc. The added essential oil fragrances are awesome.

Yes, baking soda and vinegar are tops. Grapefruit Seed Extract is also a terrific disinfectant. Mix with water. Just a few drops will do it.

There are so many great natural cleaning alternatives. Sadly, the Method brand really isn't very natural (look on the label for the hard to pronounce chemical ingredients). Mrs. Meyers brand also seems to contain some synthetics. So many companies trying to get on the green bandwagon...

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Vinegar! I didn't believe vinegar could clean and disfect but I tried it as a pet safe alternative to my floor cleaner - it worked! Now I use vinegar to make my own cleaners.

- Floor cleaner - vinegar, water, and a sploosh of dishwashing detergent (for muddy paw prints)
- Counter and bathroom cleaner - straight up vinegar in a repurposed spray bottle
- Daily shower cleaner - vinegar, water, and a sploosh of shampoo
- Dishwasher rinse aid - put vinegar in the Jet Dry container
- Fabric softener - use in the fabric softner dispenser in my washer to remove static cling

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I love vinegar and baking soda too. Can't live without them. However, a mixture of Grapefruit Seed Extract and water punches the daylights out of mold. 10 drops to 1 cup will do it. You can leave it in the bottle forever and it doesn't have a smell like Tea Tree Oil.

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Aside from just using vinegar and baking soda, I love the whole line of BabyGanics cleaners (created by two dads who didn't want any harsh cleaners near their babies) and Shaklee cleaning products.

Mrs. Meyer's countertop spray in Geranium makes the whole house smell divine.

For laundry, I love soap nuts - for so many reasons. I just bought enough for a whole year of loads - for about $20. My husband was impressed :) There is no need for harsh, toxic laundry detergent.

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I love to use castile soap, because it effectively cleans just about everything. By simply diluting a couple squirts of castile soap with water, I'm able to clean counters and toilets, or I use the mixture when I mop my floors. (I like to use the peppermint soap ... it leaves my bathrooms smelling minty fresh.)

My favorite aspect of castile soap is that it's safe. Now my 3-year-old loves to help me clean bathrooms and I don't have to worry about exposing him to dangerous chemicals.

When I'm not using castile soap to clean my home, I can use it as hand soap, bath soap ... and even as shampoo or toothpaste if I want to be really resourceful.

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Besides the natural and cheap stuff called vinegar and baking soda…I prefer these brands of cleaners that are green and powerful:

Shaklee Basic H2 because I can use the bottle for an entire year! 2 drops of it into my water bottle is all I need for my window cleaner! Love it!

ecoStore USA make a fabulous dish soap that has a million purposes and it does the job when I have greasy dishes!

Method dishwashing detergent rocks my world. I love the grapefruit.

For my bathroom I’m all about the Shaklee scouring paste. It also rocks to get out tough counter or stain scuffs that came from who knows where.

When it is time for cold and flu season I get out the Method Antibac cleaners (love the smell) and the Shaklee Basic G wipes for door knobs and toys. No flu for us {here is hoping}!
I skip the dryer sheets and just use vinegar in my washer’s rinse cycle and then there’s no need for dyer sheets!

Lemons, water and ice make my garbage disposal like brand new!
Digging hydrogen peroxide for blood or coffee stains on white surfaces, ditch the bleach all together!

With so many products on the market and so much greenwashing it can be touch to know what is really green or safe to spray in your home. Err on the side of caution and when in doubt don’t buy it and check into the product or brand first if you’re concerned.

Come on, how many cleaning products do we really need to clean our home? Wait, how often do you clean your home? Ha! Ha!

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Baking soda and vinegar are the staples in our home. Vinegar is safe for most surfaces, and when you need a little scrubbing action, the baking soda is perfect - especially to clean sinks. For disinfecting, we use Thieves Household Cleaner by Young Living Essential Oils.

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I use Green Irene Enzyme cleaners. I have been using them for over a year now and I love them. They have a unique refill packet system so that you use the same bottle over and over again creating less waste. The enzymes do a really good job breaking down dirt and grime. My favorite is the Glass and Stainless Cleaner.

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I have quite a few favorites, but I absolutely love Bruce Hardwood cleaner. It comes in a spray bottle and I just squirt a little & use a microfiber cloth on my mop to wipe it up. It leaves the hardwood shiny with no residue, and it's easy to mop every day (with two kids, I need it!) It also works well for spot cleaning on my vinyl floors!

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Vinegar! It cleans and disinfects everything naturally. It is an all purpose cleaner, floor cleaner, laminate floor cleaner, window and glass cleaner, and I use it as a follow up to baking soda in tubs, sinks, toilets, and showers. We even use it on our hair in the shower. Love it!

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I clean almost everything in my house with a mixture of white vinegar, water, and a few drops of lavender essential oil!

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