Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What's your green cleaning routine?

Clean n' GreenI always like to check in with my readers and find out what kind of green cleaning products they use. So, your task for today is to enlighten the rest of us as to what you use:

What is your favorite homemade or green product to clean:

1. bathrooms (replacing something like Comet)
2. countertops (replacing 409)
3. mildew (replacing X-14)
4. soap scum (replacing Comet)
5. windows (replacing Windex)
6. laundry (replacing Tide)
7. dishes (hand - replacing something like Joy)
8. dishes (machine - replacing Electrasol)
9. linoleum
10. wood floors
11. skin
12. hair
13. teeth (replacing Colgate)

Looking at the list of replacements above, it's amazing how toxic mainstream cleaners are. How do your green replacements stack up?

Now get crackin'. I want answers, people!


Crunchy Chicken said...

1. bathrooms: Bon Ami
2. countertops: Seventh Generation
3. mildew: Concrobium
4. soap scum: Bon Ami
5. windows: Seventh Generation
6. laundry: BioKleen
7. dishes: Planet
8. dishes: eCover Dishwasher tablets
9. linoleum: water and vinegar
10. wood floors: wet mop
11. skin: Dr. Bronner's, Ballard Organics
12. hair: John Masters Organic
13. teeth: Tom's of Maine (SLS free)

Lisa said...

1. bathrooms: Baking soda or salt and a wet rag. Sometimes I also use hydrogen peroxide or vinegar
2. countertops: Dr. Bronners and water
3. mildew: Hydrogen peroxide and/or tea tree oil
4. soap scum: vinegar
5. windows: Currently some natural brand, I don't even remember. It's something I got to review. I will use vinegar when I run out.
6. laundry: Soap nuts
7. dishes hand wash: Dr. Bronners
8. dishes: 7th Gen
9. linoleum: Dr. Bronners
10. wood floors: n/a
11. skin: Dr. Bronners
12. hair: Anti-Body Shampoo, Dr. Bronner's conditioner
13. teeth: Toothsoap from a store on

Erica/Northwest Edible Life said...

1. bathrooms - vinegar water in a spray bottle
2. countertops - dilute soapy water in a spray bottle followed by Star-San if microbial contaminates are a concern, as in the kitchen in a meat splash zone.
3. mildew - what is x-14? Um, a toothbrush and a little chlorine bleach if necessary. I'm pretty sure bleach isn't considered green, but I do use it.
4. soap scum - vingar water in spray bottle)
5. windows - dilute soapy water in a spray bottle with a squeegee
6. laundry - The Costco brand eco-laundry soap
7. dishes - the Costco brand eco-dish soap
8. dishes - for a while I tried borax and baking soda. It kinda worked. But just kinda. We broke down and bought a box of Cascade the other day. It does work, I will say. I'm eager to hear if there's a DIY dishwasher cleaner that does the job.
9. linoleum - vinegar water in a spray bottle
10. wood floors - microfiber dust mop; vinegar water in a spray bottle if necessary
11. skin - almond oil. LOVE oil washing.
12. hair - the bulk stuff from pcc.
13. teeth - sonicare and anything from plain water to arm & hammer baking soda toothpaste. And I think we might have some colgate in the drawer, too.

Jasmin Loire said...

1. bathrooms - Water, scrub brush, baking soda + water paste, vinegar
2. countertops - straight white vinegar, sometimes diluted chlorine bleach
3. mildew - vinegar
4. soap scum - I don't have this problem as I live somewhere with soft water.
5. windows - Water and newspaper. Rubbing alcohol if faced with a particularly greasy handprint.
6. laundry - Bar laundry soap (grated with a microplane). At present: Zote. Previously: Ivory, Zote, Fels Naptha.

Since I gather from your question about soap scum that you have hard water, do make sure to do the recipes you find online with washing soda and borax. Those ingredients soften the water.

For those like me with already soft water, 1/2 TSP of grated bar soap is all you need.

7. dishes - Kosher bar soap. Buy it around Passover time and stock up on enough for a whole year.

8. dishes - I only run dishes through the dishwasher when they need to be sterilized with immensely hot water. In that case, I wash by hand and then put vinegar in the rinse cup and away it goes.

9. linoleum - Vinegar and water.

10. wood floors - Microfiber cloth stuck to my Swiffer dry mopping handle thingie I got off of Freecycle. If need be for some liquid: soap and water or vinegar.

11. skin - Ivory soap.

12. hair - Dr. Bronners. JR Ligett's bar shampoo.

13. teeth - Baking soda on a wet toothbrush.

Manda said...

1. bathrooms: Vinegar, water, essential oil, baking soda combo
2. countertops: As above
3. mildew: As above
4. soap scum: As above
5. windows: White vinegar
6. laundry: Next Generation
7. dishes hand wash: Next Generation
8. dishes: Next Generation (NZ made)
9. linoleum: Vinegar, water essential oil combo
10. wood floors: n/a
11. skin: Lush Soap, when I'm rich
12. hair: Using up the last of my commercial brand, but it last so long when you use little not often!
13. teeth: Still can't escape the normal colgates toothpaste

Yeah, I use vinegar for everything! But admit to using regular stuff if that's what the flatmates buy/want.

Robj98168 said...

1. bathrooms Bom Ami
2. countertops Vinegar and Water
3. mildew Ok I admit to a light mix of bleach and water in a sprayer
4. soap scum Bon Ami
5. windows Vinegar
6. laundry Trader Joe's Laundry soap
7. dishes Hand: Dr. Bronners
8. dishes: Trader Joe's Dishwashing Soap
9. linoleum: Water and Vinegar
10. wood floors Murphy's oil soap
11. skin Dr. Bonners
12. hair Dr. Bonners
13. teeth Tom's of Maine

The Lawson Family said...

Comet = baking soda - works on soap scum wonderfully. A little baking soda and some vinegar spray is all I use. I also use a squeegee on the shower stall every time we finish and have NEVER had to get scum off the shower door.

Windex = 50% vinegar/50% water

Counters - we have granite and cannot use vinegar spray so I use plain hot water and soap

Laundry = Method

Dishwasher or hand washing = Method (I love their dishwasher tabs and I only use 1/2 of a tablet for a load)

Hair = Organix shampoo

Wood floors = Method Wood Floor cleaner or simply hot water

Teeth = sorry, I still use Colgate. Tried Tom's and none of us liked it.

Skin = Avalon organics

if you need serious disinfecting, put some isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle and use that like you would your normal disinfectant spray.

Segwyne said...

1. bathrooms: baking soda and a scrub brush
2. countertops: I just wipe it down with the dishcloth every time I wash dishes.
3. mildew: vinegar
4. soap scum: nothing
5. windows: homemade: vinegar, castile soap and water
6. laundry: homemade: Dr. Bronner's bar soap, borax, washing soda
7. dishes: Planet or 7th Generation
8. dishes: don't have a dishwasher
9. linoleum: water, vinegar if it needs more
10. wood floors: don't have
11. skin: Dr. Bronner's
12. hair: Jason
13. teeth: Jason

Kate said...

I'm going to be watching these comments for good tips. I am just now taking baby steps in the green cleaning department. So far I'm using baking soda and what's left of a lemon after juicing in the bathroom sinks and the tub. Limited success in the tub, where the soap scum is built up. Our water is quite hard. I've used Murphy's for our wood floors, but I'm fully prepared to hear that stuff is toxic. If so, I'd love a better option for wood.

Also, I just got several large bottles of Doc Bronner's castille soap and diluted it per the directions for kitchen cleanup. I put it in a liter bottle with a brand new spray pump. It works very well, and I'm not worried about using where I prepare my food.

terraphany said...

1. replacing comet = baking soda
2. replacing 409 = vinegar or rubbing alcohol/vodka
3. replacing X-14 = uh, dryness and/or sunshine, then vinegar or alcohol or hydrogen peroxide
5. replacing windex = alcohol
6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13. washing laundry, dishes, skin, hair, teeth = Dr Bronner's
9. linoleum = vinegar, or diluted Dr. Bronner's and then vinegar
10. wood floors = I've never had to do wood floors, but I understand that vinegar works as long as it's dried right away. Olive oil is supposed work well as polish/sealant/wood protectant. I have no first hand experience with this, however.

Lisa said...

Adding to what has already been said: For many, many places around the house I use microfiber cloths (from Norwex) because they work like the dickens. For teeth, I also use tooth chips (from Rose of Sharon Acres) though that's sometimes like washing my mouth out with soap (deservedly, I'll admit...).

Bootzey said...

1. bathrooms: Bon Ami when I can find it, baking soda and vinegar when I can't
2. counter tops: above, or ammonia
3. mildew: I don't have mildew
4. soap scum: see #1
5. windows: straight ammonia
6. laundry: Nothing beats Tide! NOTHING!!!!!!
7. dishes: Castile soap from the co-op
8. dishes: co-op powder
9. linoleum: Castile soap, pine juice (long story)
10. wood floors: I don't have these
11. skin: vegetable oil
12. hair: co-wash
13. teeth: I use whatever we are using in the office (I am a dentist)

Jenny said...

1. bathrooms: baking soda and vinegar
2. countertops: vinegar, water, tiny squirt of dish soap, and 10 or so lavender or tea tree oil in a squirt bottle. Sometimes that is followed up with hydrogen peroxide in a squirt bottle and allowed to dry on its own in a raw meat zone
3. mildew: baking soda and vinegar or Charlie's soap all purpose cleaner
4. soap scum: baking soda and vinegar
5. windows: same vinegar mixture as kitchen
6. laundry: felsnaptha/borax/washing soda usually, but currently purex
7. dishes in sink: 7th Generation
8. dishes in machine: 7th Generation
9. linoleum: Vinegar and water
10. wood floors: Murphy's--I would love tips on this that won't leave my floors dull looking!
11. skin: Dr Bronners (burt's bees for the kids)
12. hair: Combo of Vinegar and baking soda and garnier (burt's bees for the kids)
13. teeth: Still using Colgate
(Jason and Tom's for the kids)

Anna @ Blue Dirt said...

1. bathrooms: Baking soda, salt and rose petals blended
2. countertops: Scented (eo) Vinegar & water
3. mildew: You tell me!
4. soap scum: See #1, add my husband's muscle.
5. windows: Norwex cloths, or vinegar water mix
6. laundry: Bar soap, washing soda, and borax, w/eo's
7. dishes: Ecover liquid dish soap
8. dishes: EnviroRite Clearly Clean Auto Dishwashing Powder, not sure if this is as clen & pure as they claim, but BOY does it WORK!
9. linoleum: Norwex mop
10. wood floors: Murphey's Oil soap
11. skin: water, norwex cloth
12. hair: innersence Pure Essential Hair Bath
13. teeth: Jason Sea Fresh gel with CoQ10

Panamamama said...

1. bathrooms: I make my own (recipe on my blog)
2. countertops: mix of water, vinegar and a little rubbing alcohol
3. mildew: vinegar and baking soda
4. soap scum: same recipe as #1
5. windows: make own
6. laundry: Make my own (so easy!)
7. dishes -hand: Dr. Bronner's
8. dishes- machine: Dollar General's brand has no phosphates or bleach and is cheap!
9. linoleum: vinegar and water
10. wood floors: microfiber cloth and sometimes I use Method wood floor cleaner or some Murphy's oil soap (but not often)
11. skin: Alba body wash
12. hair: Giovanni
13. teeth: Tom's of Maine

Here are some of my recipes(

Cathy said...

1. Baking soda
2. Hot water. Sometimes vinegar
5. Seventh Generation
6. Homemade bar soap, borax, washing soda
7. Seventh generation
8. Palmolive eco dishwasher detergent
9. Vinegar and water
11. Homemade soap
12. Whatever in bulk from co-op
13. Tom's

Michelle said...

1. bathrooms - I just scrub the toilets with a toilet brush - no cleanser
2. countertops - damp sponge, sometimes with vinegar
3. mildew - I don't suffer from that, thank God. I'd use bleach, though.
4. soap scum - I use shampoo on a sponge
5. windows - one cleans windows? *grins* My Mom used to make her own with a quart of water and a couple of tablespoons each of ammonia and vinegar. I'm told one can also use water and isopropyl alcohol.
6. laundry - Norwex, though I've also used Charlie's soap
7. dishes - Um. Fail. I use Ajax or whatever I can get at the dollar store
8. dishes - Electrosol, baby. I want bleach in my dishwashing detergent
9. linoleum - I have tile, not lino, but I use a steam cleaner with washable cotton pads. Works great
10. wood floors - I use the steamer on wood floors, too
11. skin - I'm a Mary Kay gal. Not organic, but really effective
12. hair - Aussie.
13. teeth - Oxyfresh

Erik said...

1. bathrooms: ammonia and water
2. countertops: I have granite everywhere so I just wash with a soapy sponge and then sprinkle baking soda and scrub then buff with a towel
3. mildew: spray bleach and water
4. soap scum: ammonia
5. windows: spray vinegar and water
6. laundry: I make laundry soap, dissolve soap, borax and washing soda in water
7. dishes: I use regular dawn-like stuff, the main ingredient in even the green stuff is SLS so there's no getting away from it
8. dishes: generic store brand. Just has washing soda, amylase and protease
9. linoleum: water and vinegar
10. wood floors: murphy's oil soap, not sure how green it is, but it's vegetable soap...
11. skin: make my own soap
12. hair: make my own shampoo bars, vinegar rinse
13. teeth: use crest but only brush once a week :O

Unknown said...

1. bathrooms: vinegar and baking soda with a lot of elbow grease
2. countertops: homemade spray of lavendar, vinegar, water and a bit of dish soap
3. mildew: baking soda and a toothbrush
4. soap scum: countertop spray
5. windows: Vinegar, water adn old newspaper
6. laundry: Nellie's
7. dishes: Method (lavendar)
8. dishwasher: Ecover tablets
9. linoleum: Murphy's
10. wood floors: Murphy's
11. skin: Thann
12. hair: Aubrey
13. teeth: Sorry, but I can't give up my crest and I can't seem to find a deodorant that isn't laden with chemicals :(

Luisa said...

1. bathrooms: shaklee H2O, borax and baking soday
2. Counter tops: clean with shaklee H2O and to disinfect spray bottle with water tea tree & lavender
4. soap scum: baking soda sometimes borax
5. windows shaklee H2O for windows
6. laundray: homemade mixture fels naptha, washing soda & borax
7. dishes: dawn
8. dishwasher: homemade mixture borax, baking soday & essential oil. For rinse cycle white vinegar.
10. wood floors: water & white vinegar
11. Face wash Kirks castille soap
12. Trader Joe organic shampoo
13. colgate :(
Hey looking at this list compared to a couple of years I've come a long way.

Darci said...

1. All-purpose scrub AND automatic dish soap: Borax, citric acid and lemon kool-aid, lemon oil
2. Countertops, hand dishes, wood floors, linoleum: Dr. Bronners
3. Laundry: Costco ecobrand
4. Windows: vinegar, water and newspaper
5. Skin: Lush “Happy Hippy” and Dr. Bronner’s
6. Hair: Suave
7. Teeth: Tom’s of Maine

Adrienne said...

1. bathrooms : baking soda and vinegar.
2. countertops : Mrs Meyers all-purpose spray. I bought a big concentrated bottle and dilute it in a smaller bottle as needed, the big bottle lasts *forever*.
3. mildew : hydrogen peroxide
4. soap scum : baking soda. I admit to using magic erasers sometimes which are not green at all, but at least do not give off horrible fumes.
5. windows : actually still have a bottle of windex I'm using up, will use vinegar when it's gone.
6. laundry : 7th gen if it's on sale.
7. dishes : 7th gen, Method.
8. dishes : this is one place I am totally ungreen. I have tried many of the "green" dishwasher soaps and none of them actually get my dishes clean. So I still use Electrosol. Sorry.
9. linoleum : Mrs Meyers all-purpose
10. wood floors : don't have
11. skin : usually locally made yummy-smelling soaps.
12. hair : sometimes bar shampoo, sometimes a brand of "natural" bottled shampoo called BWC.
13. teeth : have to use Crest sensitivity or I will be in all kinds of pain. (if anyone knows natural remedies for tooth sensitivity I'm open!)

Mrs Mallard said...

1. bathrooms -Baking soda, wet rag, and muscles for the tub. Castille soap, vinegar, and water mix for the counters. Vinegar in the toilet.
2. countertops-soapy rag after washing the dishes.
3. mildew-try to catch it early with vinegar. If not, just vinegar and muscles.
4. soap scum-baking soda and vinegar, though it's not a huge problem thanks to the soap we use.
5. windows-vinegar and water
6. laundry-Ecos (found a giant bottle at Costco), but will be replacing it with Country Save from the bulk bin when we finally run out of the monster Costco bottle. Vinegar as a fabric softener when needed.
7. dishes-by hand-Bio-Kleen purchased in bulk from the co-op
8. dishes-dishwasher-Bio-Kleen purchased in bulk from the co-op with vinegar in the rinse thingy.
9. linoleum-Vinegar and water
10. wood floors-Vinegar and water
11. skin-Oregon Soap Company bars cut from the bulk slab at the co-op for the shower. Oregon Soap Company foaming hand soap in bulk next to the sinks. Weekly deep clean for my face using a tablespoon of baking soda and a little water works wonders, along with an occasional yogurt mask.
12. hair-April Showers Rosemary Shampoo Bar (check etsy, but we get it at our co-op) with Earth Science conditioner and Aubrey Organics styling products. Deep condition with plain yogurt when needed.
13. teeth-Tom's for the wee one, Arm & Hammer toothpaste for us...our last remaining struggle.

We buy everything we can in bulk and have worked diligently to eliminate as many products as possible. I don't miss them at all. In fact, our house seems cleaner without the chemical residue and overbearing scents. Baking soda and vinegar put all the so-called eco cleaners to shame and it costs next to nothing to clean the whole house. AND I can clean with a toddler by my side and not fret about what she's inhaling or touching. She even helps me clean her tub.

@adventuresindinner--my husband recently switched to the Crystal deodorant and he loves it. I swore by Tom's of Maine until he tried the Crystal, but I'll be switching, too, once the Tom's is gone.

Fonda LaShay said...

Bathroom, counters, floors - vinegar with baking soda and dr. broners

Windows, mold, and mildew - vinegar (w/ tea tree essential oil for mold)

Laundry - soapnuts (

Dishes - dr. broners, soapnuts (plus still working down a huge bottle of some general soap - zalo)

Skin - dr bronners

Hair - NOTHING, but 2x a month. Then i wash with baking soda and rinse with ACV (

Teeth - non-glycerin bar soap

Fonda LaShay

Farmer Pinky said...

1. bathrooms: Vinegar, Baking Soda. Sometimes hydrogen peroxide.
2. countertops: Vinegar, Baking Soda
3. mildew: vinegar, elbow grease.
4. soap scum: vinegar, elbow grease
5. windows: vinegar, newspaper pulled from neighbor's recycle bin
6. laundry: Soap nuts
7. dishes hand wash: Dr. Bronners
8. dishwasher: n/a
9. linoleum: water & vinegar
10. wood floors: n/a
11. skin: soap made by a friend locally
12. hair:JR Ligett's bar shampoo
13. teeth: Tom's

Anonymous said...

1.bathrooms-malaluca concentrate and vinegar in toilet.
3.mildew-bleach but will try vinegar and tea tree oil
4.soap scum-bon ami or malaluca potent awful stuff hubby brought home from work
7.dishes-7th generation
8.dishwasher-palmolive eco
9.linoleum/tiles-vinegar, dr bronner, hot water
10.wood floor-wet rag up bath and body work I got for xmas but usually dr bronner valley shampoo bar
13.teeth-tom's of Maine, but will make my own when this runs out

Mary said...

1.vinegar, Bon Ami
4.Bon Ami
6.Charlie's or homade w/ Kirk's castille + borax + washing soda
7.Planet, baking soda
10.vinegar or Dr. Bronner
11.locally-made castille soaps or Dr. Bronner
12.Terrapin Beer shampoo bar w/vinegar rinse
13.baking soda

Anonymous said...

Large good quality squeegy for shower walls. Squeegy after EVERY shower, followed up by wiping down the walls and tub with a dry ragand you'll find you hardly ever have to clean your shower. This also prevents mold/mildew from forming and it really takes almost no timeat all.

Carolina said...

I do not have immuno-compromised people in my household, so my over-arching cleaning philosophy is not to care about anything being too clean or sterile. ;)

1. bathrooms: hot water, baking soda, Dr. Bronner's
2. countertops: soap + water, clean cloth (re-purposed prefold diaper)
3. mildew: not an issue
4. soap scum: don't care enough to worry about what will clean it
5. windows: usually don't care enough to worry about what will clean them; occasionally in high-traffic spots (i.e. the front glass door) I will use water and a microfiber cloth
6. laundry: Country Save
7. dish liquid (we don't have a dishwasher): usually Seventh Generation but sometimes due to budget I get Dawn
8. n/a
9. linoleum: water and scrub brush
10. wood floors: broom, vacuum
11. skin: Ivory soap or Dr. Bronner's
12. hair: Kinky Curly
13. teeth: usually Tom's but sometimes due to budget I get Colgate; the kids always have Tom's

Amy said...

I am super excited to read everyone else's!

1. bathrooms: Vinegar & water/baking soda
2. countertops: 7th generation/vinegar & water
3. mildew: vinegar (this is the answer for a lot of stuff)
4. soap scum: a wet rag & elbow grease
5. windows: vinegar & newspapers
6. laundry: I make my own w/ washing soda, lavender essential oils, soap shavings, borax & water
7. dishes: Planet
8. dishes: 7th generation
9. linoleum: vinegar/water
10. wood floors: murphy's oil
11. skin: philosophy face wash; bare minerals make-up; tom's of maine deodorant
12. hair: I currently use bed head, but am in the process of making my own shampoo
13. teeth: Tom's of Maine

Sarah said...

1) homeade surface spray:

2) homemade scrub (similar to comet or soft scrub):

3) homemad laundry detergent:

For dishes, I use the Kirkland (Costco brand) eco dish soap. I use 7th gen powder dishwasher detergent. Fred Meyer has a wicked stock up sale twice a year.

Tricia said...

1. bathrooms : Bon Ami
2. countertops : 7th Gen, vinegar and baking soda, or dr bonners, then followed by vinegar.
3. mildew: magic sponge, vinegar, baking soda
4. soap scum : baking soda/ bon ami
5. windows: soapy water, a splash of vinegar, a sponge and squeege (faster and cleaner), or 7th gen
6. laundry homemade or Ecos
7. dishes 7th generation of dr bonners
8. dishes homemade or 7th gen
10. wood floors: steam or a natural brand (can't remember). We use lemon oil on all wood
11. skin: glycerin based soaps
12. hair:goats milk handmade shampoo bar and various natural conditioners
13. teeth Burts Bees.

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

1. bathrooms: Seventh Generation, Method, Green Irene (1 cleaner in each bathroom)
2. countertops: Vinegar
3. mildew: replaced bathroom exhaust fan w/ more powerful model. Only need regular bathroom cleaner now.
4. soap scum: vinegar
5. windows: vinegar
6. laundry: homemade HE powdered detergent
7. dishes: Martha Stewart
8. dishes: Seventh Generation 9. linoleum: Steam floor cleaner
10. wood floors: N/A
11. skin: handmade herbal soap
12. hair: handmade shampoo bar or Trader Joe's
13. teeth: Tom's or Maine

Amy in Tacoma said...

Bathrooms, soap scum: vinegar and baking soda, and scrub brushes.

Laundry and dishes: whatever green cleaner is the cheapest. I've used and enjoyed Ecover, Costco's Kirkland Environmentally Friendly Products, Planet, Seventh Generation.

Countertops: Seventh Gen, or vinegar and water.

Windows: when have I last cleaned a window? Hmmm...

Floors: wet mop, using a Swiffer mop and reusable covers I purchased from Etsy.

Skin (body): Alaffia's Everyday Shea body lotion.

Skin (face--I have very dry, sensitive skin): cleanse with a mixture of powdered milk and water, or with a puree of equal parts slivered almonds and white grapes.

Exfoliate with baking soda and water.

Moisturize in the morning with a mixture of equal parts shea butter and olive oil (melt the shea butter and mix with the oil; when it firms up again, it's like a cream). Moisturize at night with a mixture of 3 parts pure aloe vera and 1 part vegetable glycerin.

Hair (I have very dry, very curly hair): wash with apple cider vinegar and water; condition with 2 T. olive oil, 1 T. vodka mixed in 8 oz. of warm water.

Deep condition every few months with a mixture of mayo and olive oil.

Teeth: not very green with this. I use whatever toothpaste is on sale.

Tanya said...

Vinegar and baking soda cover a lot of cleaning. Windows especially dilute vinegar with water in a spray bottle. For teeth fluoride-free Toms of Maine. NatureClean (not sure if it is just in Canada or not) for hair, hand dishes, sometimes laundry. Skin buy unpackaged tea tree oil soap.

Anonymous said...

1. bathrooms: baking soda and vinegar; h202 for mildew
2. countertops: vinegar and h202
3. mildew: h202
4. soap scum: baking soda and vinegar; sometimes damp wood ash. (also good for cleaning inside the oven)
5. windows: vinegar
6. laundry: 7th gen or citrasuds
7. dishes: citradish
8. dishes: citradish (why twice?)
9. linoleum: (stone floors) -- damp mop with soapy water
10. wood floors: ditto
11. skin: water
12. hair: homemade soap
13. teeth: water, sometimes homemade soap

utahlawyer said...

1. bathrooms - baking soda
2. countertops - homemade all purpose cleaner: 1/3 cup Dr. Bronner's and 3 cups water, lemon and peppermint essential oils
3. mildew baking soda- has anti-fungal properties
4. soap scum - baking soda
5. windows - vinegar in a spray bottle. I use straight vinegar because a vinegar/water mix leaves streaks
6. laundry - Kirkham's eco friendly liquid detergent
7. dishes - Seventh Generation
8. dishes - only do dishes by hand
9. linoleum - Dr. Bronner's and water
10. wood floors - Dr. Bronner's and water
11. skin - eco friendly soap, homemade sugar scrub, homemade lotion, coconut oil, and baking soda
12. hair - no poo. Baking Soda to wash. Vinegar rinse and Burt's Bees conditioner to condition
13. teeth - haven't figured this one out yet. I was using baking soda, but my teeth got really sensitive.

Anonymous said...

1. bathrooms: baking soda, vinegar
2. countertops: soap/water, baking soda, vinegar
3. mildew: vinegar/tea tree, H2O2, borax
4. soap scum: vinegar, baking soda, elbow grease
5. windows: vinegar
6. laundry: homemade borax/washing soda/Dr Bronner's
7. dishes: still using up Dawn, then Dr Bronner liquid
8. dishes (machine: 7th generation
9. linoleum: water/vinegar
10. wood floors: water/mop
11. skin: Kiss My face Olive oil soap bar
12. hair: Giovanni or Burts Bees shampoo, vinegar/water, coconut oil
13. teeth: homemade tooth powder with baking soda, cornstarch, cinnamon, and xylitol

Designer hippie mom said...

I am SHOCKED that I am the only person who uses SHAKLEE!! They have the most economical cleaners out there and one of Oprah's favorite things.

1. For comet replacement- Shaklee's Scour Off™ Heavy Duty Paste
2. countertops (replacing 409)- Shaklee's basic H
3. mildew (replacing X-14)- shaklee's Basic G
4. soap scum (replacing Comet)- scour off
5. windows (replacing Windex)- basic H
6. laundry (replacing Tide)- shaklee's get clean laundry
7. dishes (hand - replacing something like Joy) - shaklee's dish soap
8. dishes (machine - replacing Electrasol)- shaklee's get clean dishwasher powder.
13. teeth (replacing Colgate)- jasons

you can't buy in stores. you have to buy it online from a distributor.

Jen said...

1. bathrooms: Baking Soda and Vinegar
2. countertops: Vinegar
3. mildew: Vinegar/Hydrogen peroxide
4. soap scum: Baking Soda and Vinegar
5. windows: Still using windex I've had for ages
6. laundry: Soapnuts (best purchase ever!
7. dishes: free and clear dawn (at least it says it's biodegradable and has no dyes)
8. dishes:BioKleen powder
9. linoleum: Vinegar
10. wood floors: N/A
11. skin: Whole Foods 365 Organic Triple Milled soap
12. hair: Nature's Gate
13. teeth: Tom's of Maine

Melissa said...

1. bathrooms: I give the toilet a swish with the brush every day or two. When it gets too cruddy, I shut off the water, flush it, and scrub the bowl with baking soda. Then I spray straight vinegar on and scrub again once the fizzing subsides. Turn the water back on, flush, and it's clean.

2. countertops: Homemade all-purpose spray cleaner (vinegar, water, and a wee bit of castile soap). If I need a bit of grit or to cut grease, I use baking soda and Castile soap.

3. mildew: Direct sunlight, if possible. Otherwise, bleach (assuming the mildewy item can take it). I only ever use bleach except to kill mildew; I hate the stuff and use it sparingly. The half-gallon jug I bought over 10 years ago is still more than half full.

4. soap scum: As a preventative, I use automotive paste wax on the shower stall walls (NEVER the floor) and give the walls a quick rinse just before I turn off the water. No, it's not the greenest option, but it does keep the gunk at bay (at least in my one-person household) for a long time. If soap scum does build up, I use Dawn dishwashing detergent (which I still have a Costco-huge bottle of). I slather the shower stall walls with a paste of Dawn and baking soda, go away for a while, and when I come back it scrubs right off.

5. windows: My homemade spray cleaner and microfiber towels. (BTW, vinegar is great for shining chrome, too.)

6. laundry: Right now, Ecos laundry detergent bought at Costco, with Borax as a booster in my biweekly Superfilth (gardening/animal care) load. I also use white vinegar in ball intended for fabric softener when I'm washing towels so they don't dry crunchy.

7. dishes: Castile soap. I like citrus Dr Bronner's, but I want to try making it myself this summer to see if it's worth the effort.

8. dishes (machine): I don't have a dishwasher.

9. linoleum: Mop up the worst dirt with warm water and Castile soap. Then go back and do a quick second mopping with vinegar and water.

10. wood floors: Mine are polyurethane-sealed, so I use homemade spray cleaner to spot-clean stuff like cat barf, coffee sloshes, and muddy kitty footprints. When they get too grungy looking I mop them with the same spray cleaner, then dry them right away.

11. skin: Sesame or almond oil, homemade sugar scrub, loofah.

12. hair: Baking soda. When the grays get too obvious, I color it with henna.

13. teeth: Mild, non-glycerine bar soap. Sounds awful, right? But it works really well and, depending on the soap, the taste doesn't bother me.

Hazel said...

1. bathrooms- vinegar/water/soap mix plus few drops essential oil

2. countertops- water and/or washing up liquid (dish soap)

3. mildew- toothbrush and elbow grease plus vinegar/lemon juice/washing soda- whatever's easiest

4. soap scum- more soap plus vinegar to rinse.

5. windows- neat vinegar or same mix as bathroom. Microfibre cloths and/or newspaper to polish. Can't say I do them that often though...

6. laundry-soapnuts- I agree with Jen- great purchase! Shipped from India is the downside(though total miles probably no worse than combined milage of even 'green' detergent when you take into account ingredients and packaging),but fair trade, reusable and compostable. Works as well as a non-bio in my experience. Borax/washing soda/oxy bleach for DD's school shirts when needed.

7. dishes- Ecover, Clear Spring or Bio D (all UK Eco-conscious brands).I try to use Clear Spring or Bio D as Ecover is owned by a group with fairly dodgy connections (or was, anyway. Haven't checked recently)but the Ecover is usually easier to get refills for. So it varies.

8. dishes (machine)- A mixture of Ecover tablets and supermarket powder. The Ecover only comes as individually wrapped tablets (Some difference in the formula- I asked) whereas I can recycle the plastic bottle the powder comes in. I tend to go for the powder and just use as little as possible. If I use the tablets I use half at time.

9. linoleum- my bathroom cleaner

10. wood floors- water and vinegar

11. skin- face; honey, body; shower gel from health food shop (Jason, Weleda, Faith in Nature etc). Coconut oil to moisturise at present. Will make beeswax based cream next.

12. hair- Lush solid shampoo bar or Faith in Nature shampoo at present.

13. teeth- Toms of Maine (I like the apricot one at the moment), Organic People- health food brands except the fennel flavoured ones- Ugh! I try to go for metal rather than plastic tubes from a recycling perspective and drive DH mad by always cutting the empty tubes in half to get the last bit out.

Jennifer at Fast, Cheap, and Good said...

For a lot of cleaning: concentrated pine cleaner

I know I write a lot about Lehman's products, but I'm not compensated by them. I just love that place.

Suzanne Holt said...

1. bathrooms: Norwex Descaler
2. countertops: Norwex antibac microfiber cloth
3. mildew:
4. soap scum: Norwex Descaler
5. windows: Norwex antibac microfiber cloth
6. laundry: Ultra Power Plus Laundry Detergent
7. dishes: Norwex Dishwashing liquid
8. dishes: Super Jet Dishwasher Soap
9. linoleum: Antibac microfiber cloths
10. wood floors: Norwex Superior Dry Mop Pad
11. skin: Norwex Organic Shea Butter
12. hair: Norwex Hair Care Pack
13. teeth: Silver Care Toothbrush

Kristin said...

1. - 5., 10 Don't really know how "green" this is, because it uses electricity, but my steam cleaner.
6. laundry SA8
7. - 8., 11-13 Not there yet

Erika said...

1. bathrooms - Baking soda and elbow grease
2. countertops - vinegar/water, a bit of biokleen if needed
3. mildew- vinegar, tea tree oil, we also have an enzyme cleaner specifically for mildew
4. soap scum - Lemon juice and elbow grease
5. windows- water or vinegar/water
6. laundry- grated home-made soap and washing soda w/essential oil (liquid)
7. dishes (hand) Castile soap
8. dishes (machine) 7th generation tablet-doodads - found on sale, otherwise Trader Joe's environ.friendly
9. linoleum - castile soap in water, followed by water rinse, or ecover's lenolium cleaner...
10. wood floors - don't have 'em, growing up, we used to just use water for spot cleaning on a rag...
11. skin - castile soap (diluted), home-made lotion
12. hair - castile soap (diluted) w a few added drops of grapefruit seed extract
13. teeth Tom's of Maine SLS/fluoride free.

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

1-5, I make my own cleaning solution with peroxide, vinegar, castille soap, and some essential oils.
6. laundry- baking soda mostly
7. dishes- Seventh generation
Murphy's oil soap for all floors
Dr. Bronner's soap for skin, organic coconut oil as a moisturizer
Trader Joe's Tee tree tingle for the one day a month I wash my super curly hair.
Tom's of Maine toothpaste.

Anonymous said...

vinegar and water for floors, counters, stinky loads of laundry. (i have 3 pet rats that use baby blankets that a good soak in A LOT of vinegar and hot water)

soap nuts for laundry. more vinegar.
ammonia and water for windows and mirrors)
sal's suds for dishes
hot water and baking soda for crud.
peroxide for mildew.
baking soda mix for teeth.
dr bronners, natures gate conditioner, and a comb for hair.