Eco-friendly Tips To Keep Things Clean Around The House

Recently, we ran a Spring Cleaning Contest and asked Mothering members to share the eco-friendly ways they’ve found to keep things clean. Below you’ll find some of the great ideas our members shared, as well as awesome green cleaning products our community has recommended.


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Photo by Suzettesuzette via Flickr.


Soak orange peels in vinegar“I love cleaning with vinegar, but not the vinegar smell.  So I saw on Pinterest the idea to soak orange peels in vinegar for 2 weeks- now it has a great orange smell.”


Get the sun to help with stains“A great tip I learned was don’t use stain remover on whites….set out in the sun! You can also add lemon to help the sun bleach it.”



Play “I Spy” with your kids“To make cleaning fun for my kids we play I-spy. I spy an object or something the color of, or a book and they rush to pick it up and put it away. The kids have fun and I end up with a clean living room.”


Clean with your kids“Each of my kids has their own bottle of vinegar cleaner and while I clean they clean. I assign them each an area to clean. The 4 year old’s area always has to be redone, but she feels important helping.”
Multitask with lemons“I use lemons (especially partially used halves) to scrub sinks and then I can’t help but put them in the garbage disposal because it makes it smell fresh and lemony, even though they shouldn’t be put in there.” Scrub with baking soda“I use a lot of baking soda all over the house.  I have baking soda in the kitchen for baking with and to scour my sink but I also use it in the bathroom to scrub toilets and showers and I have baking soda in the laundry room to sprinkle on grease spots.”


Use steam mops“Use a steam mop … no chemicals and the pads are washable!”


Microfiber Cloths“I use microfiber cloths for everything around the house – they clean amazingly when just a little wet with no cleaners needed!”


Essential Oils“My tip is utilize essential oils. Freshen up the house with a few drops in your vacuum bag, in your de/humidifier, etc.”


Just a towel“I clean my bathroom mirrors with a slightly damp, warm towel, then wipe with a dry one.  No smudges, chemicals, or streaks.”


Recommended Green Cleaning Products


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Branch Basics

All Purpose Cleaner

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Seventh Generation

All Purpose Cleaner

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Naturally It’s Clean

Carpet Cleaner


Make your own dishwasher detergent“Another tip is making your own dishwasher detergent.  The store bought ones are either too expensive or filled with chemicals.  I found a few recipes out there and so far we like the baking soda, salt and washing soda combination.”


Use wet washcloths on stubborn countertops“When food has dried on the table or counter and is hard to get off, place a wet washcloth over it. In about 30 minutes the dried food will be moist and easy to clean off.” 


Scrub with baking soda“I love seeing how effective a scouring powder baking soda is in my porcelain sink.  It literally bonds to the scum and I can rinse it away.  When I spilled some on the counter and my three-year-old scooped it into his mouth, I was so relieved it wasn’t Comet!”


Wash floors with pine essential oil“I wash the linoleum in the kitchen with white vinegar and water to kill germs, but my husband isn’t crazy about the smell. So I add a couple of drops of pine-scented essential oil, and get a healthier Pine-sol.”
Clean wood with boiling water“Rather than cleaning a wooden cutting board with bleach, as is usually recommended, I pour boiling water over it whenever it comes in contact with something that might harbor bacteria.” Use retired toothbrushes“I use retired toothbrushes for scrubbing around bathroom and kitchen fixtures. I put duct tape around the toothbrush right before I start cleaning with it (to indicate that it is a “poison toothbrush” now).” 


Donate clutter to a thrift store“A great spring cleaning idea is to bag up all of the perfectly good things around the house that you are starting to think of as clutter and donate them to a local thrift store. The things get recycled, the store supports itself and you get a decluttered space!”


Use a squeegee in the shower“My favorite cleaning secret is one I learned as an exchange student in France. I have a squeegee hanging in each shower–if the last person to shower squeegees down the walls, it cuts down on soap scum and mold so much.”


Turn mateless socks into rags“All those mateless socks that end up riding through the laundry?  They become rags at our house.”


Wear old towels as shoes“My kids walk around with old towels on their feet to help dry the vinegar/water mopped floor. It works perfectly and they feel like they are in the Olympics!”


Read more tips here


Recommended Green Cleaning Products

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Better Life

Window & Glass Cleaner


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Bathroom Cleaner


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Meyer’s Liquid

Dish Soap


Find more green cleaning products, check out more eco-cleaning ideas from our community here, ask your green cleaning questions in our Mindful Home forum, or share your own green cleaning tips in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “Eco-friendly Tips To Keep Things Clean Around The House”

  1. Really good, I use soapnut for washing they are a nut which realeases a natural soap into the water which cleans and conditions, I just add essential oils to the load. great for cloth bum mums

  2. and wood polish a small amount of virgin oil in a bottle with lemon juice mix and spray so much better than normal stuff pretty much revived all my wooded furniture -x-

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