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DIY green cleaners are not recommended for disinfecting against the SARS-CoV-2 virus,
the virus that causes COVID-19 infection.
Find EPA-approved disinfectants here.
Homemade cleaners are a great alternative to store-bought chemicals. They are less
likely to cause harm or irritation, they are environmentally friendly, easy to make,
and you know what is in them! You can also control the strength of the cleaners as
you control the ingredients. Though can find "green" cleaning products in the store,
they may still contain harsh irritants. Making your own cleaners at home eliminates
this risk. Below you will find some information about cleaners and some simple and
affordable green cleaning recipes that work!
See below for more recipes!
Ammonia and bleach are inexpensive and effective at cleaning and disinfecting. They
can be used sparingly and diluted as a last resort in household recipes. However,
NEVER mix ammonia and bleach together! (i.e., spraying shower with bleach and glass cleaner
(ammonia) on mirror) Mixing these chemicals together can produce highly toxic fumes.
A few more safety tips:
Tip: Newspapers leaves a streak-free shine!
We would like to acknowledge and thank Sharon Gibson and Dr. Pamela Turner from the
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension for providing many of the following recipes.*
A mild alkali scouring powder that can be used for almost all household cleaning purposes.
Also absorbs odors and works great at removing baked-on food from pans and oven. Can
remove stains from fruit juices and other mild acids, as well as from glass, tile,
and china. Use this for cleaning refrigerators. You can also leave a small box of
baking soda in the refrigerator to absorb odors or sprinkle on carpet before vacuuming.
Buy in baking section of grocery store.
Similar in use to baking soda but stronger. Good for sanitizing, freshening laundry
and deodorizing. Buy in laundry section of grocery store.
Strongest alternative to baking soda and borax. Can be used with washing detergents.
Use gloves when using this ingredient as it may irritate skin. Buy in laundry section
of grocery store.
a mild high-quality soap made from vegetable oils such as olive, and others. Can be
used for all general purpose cleaning. Can be purchased in whole food stores or organic/natural
sections of grocery store.
Good for killing germs and deodorizing, can remove some stains from carpets. Good
for cleaning coffeepots, chrome, cookware and counter tops. It is an acid so be careful
using it on fabrics containing acetate, such as tablecloths.
Can deodorize, lighten stains and cut grease. It can also kill bacteria remove tarnish
from brass, copper, bronze and aluminum but should NOT be used on silver. You can
add lemon juice to cleaners to bring out a lemony scent.
A mild alternative to bleach. Used for stain removal, killing germs, mold, or mild
Natural disinfectants. Others include cedarwood, lemon, and spearmint.
Essential oils can deodorize and naturally provide fragrance. They can be mixed with
cleaners, but do your research in advance. Some oils can be sensitizers or have warnings
for people with certain chronic conditions. Unless if you know what you are doing,
lemon or lime juice are good alternatives.
Dried fruit of the Chinese Soapberry. They are natural surfactants (which act like
detergents) and have been used for hundreds of years in Eastern countries. You can
find them in natural foods stores and online. Oftentimes used for laundry, they release
their soapy substance better in warm water than cool and are reusable.