Eco-friendly cleaning products

As renters, you never know what you’re going to find when you move in. The best part of the military move is cleaning other people’s houses–the one you’re leaving and the one you’re moving into. (My husband said, “People are going to think you’re serious.” Hmmm…. That would be sarcasm.) Sometimes, the ovens are so disgusting, we have to break down and use Oven Cleaner. There is no other way to get that crusty, black, burnt meal off from five months back that dripped to the bottom of the oven and stayed there—FOREVER. (Forever should be said in a Darth Vader voice.)

We decided once we finished the Easy-Off cleaner, we wouldn’t buy anymore because we’re trying to get away from the chemicals and there’s no way to recycle any of that mess. We’d try making our own cleaning products instead. As I finished wiping out the oven and stood up to clean the silver drip trays, the oven cleaner sputtered and spewed.

Uh-oh. This was it.

Here we go…..we soaked them in soapy water to no avail.
I added white vinegar.
I scrubbed them with Brillo pads made of steel wool and soap, which are completely biodegradable, and deserving of their own post.

We ended up soaking them in pure white vinegar for two days, and then scrubbed them some more with Brillo Pads and Magic Erasers. Since then I have found Magic Erasers are full of chemicals and won’t buy anymore of those. What a shame. They were so easy to clean with. 😦

The Brillo pads worked better on this task anyway.

What natural products have you used that work? And what have you been able to stop purchasing because of it?

Well, look at that! It worked! I couldn’t believe it.

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Other green cleaning products:
Green Irene Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products Review  (
Organic and Green Savings: “Green” Household Cleaners  (
Green Cleaning Supplies  (
Benefits of Green Cleaning (
Green Cleaning Products  (
Body Care and Cleaning Ingredients to Avoid (
Natural Cleaning Products and Green Cleaning tips (


30 responses to “Eco-friendly cleaning products

  1. well done Jennifer..I use bees-wax for polishing instead of spray cans.. does that count?

    • Absolutely that counts! You use it on your furniture? I think the spray cans are such a waste. Good for you for being creative and figuring out a better idea! I’ll keep that one in my back pocket.

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  4. I’m impressed! So….did you simply get them this shiney with the brillo?? What can I use inside my oven ? It takes a lot of electricity to use that self cleaning method that todays ovens have.

    • The brillo pads cleaned off all the gunk, but the finish on the two big ones had already been stripped and we couldn’t do anything about that. I should have showed one. It wasn’t shiny and silver. But it was clean.I don’t know if the Brillo pad would scratch your oven. It might. Let me see what I can find out….

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  13. I am sold on a product called Shak-lee. Their natural or organic formulas are designed to clean multiple surfaces, which eliminates a cluttered shelf and cluttered landfills! I use just one bottle for the bathroom, counters, glass/mirrors, and dusting! Not only do I feel like I am doing my part by eliminating how many bottles end up in the landfill but they avoid those harmful chemicals. I will always tell the story of how I was cleaning the shower one day and some of the chemicals got on my shirt, the next day the chemical that I used ATE RIGHT THROUGH MY SHIRT! Never again!

    I will say though, I did break down and buy a bottle of soft scrub for my oven for that black gunk. It’s nice to know that there really is a natural alternative and it does work!

    • I can’t believe it ate through your shirt. That’s horrible. Imagine what it does to your lungs! Shak-lee. I’ve never heard of that. I like that you can use it for everything. Right now I’m hooked on Borax. It’s a multi-purpose cleaner too. Even keeps ants out of my garden. It’s phosphate and chlorine free, comes in a box I can recycle, and is powder. (Which is supposed to be better than liquid because it takes less water to make it.) My grandma used to use it for everything. Grandmas are so knowing.
      I’ll check out your Shak-lee. Where do you find yours?

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  15. Yeah, it literally ate holes through my shirt, I think it was Tilex or something! After that I realized, if it can do this what is it doing to my skin, lungs, and the environment! I’ve never heard of Borax, I’ll have to check that out too. The only problem with Shak-lee is it’s set up like a “Mary Kay” or “Avon”, you find someone that is selling it in your area. Here is a link to the bottle I use, it’s a concentrated formula. I got it for our wedding 2 years ago and it’s still 3/4 full!

  16. 2 years ago! That’s a long-lasting product! I’ll take a look. Thanks for sharing info! 🙂

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  22. borax, baking soda and white vinegar are my main cleaning staff..soaking, spraying and scrubbing, my principal techniques—add elbow grease and crunched up newspaper or old t-shirt rags and the cleanin’ is easy!
    as for the “luxury time to pick-up after kid’s toys and mess” as a previous comment stated—that’s a no-no–if kids are tall enough to drop toys, they are short enough to pick them up and return to base camp of toy box…whatever gestures made the mess apply in reverse and click ‘undo’ add generous hugs when done, of course..self included.

  23. jennifer, i also highly recommend the Shacklee products, it took me over 6 years to use up the concentrate original bottle…i mixed it with distilled water in a spray bottle and used it everywhere in sparse amounts…and rinsed after soaking 10-20 minutes if hard core
    … can steer you to where to obtain some, her blog is online.

  24. Thanks Nadinesellers! Folks seem to really like this product. I’m trying to use up what we have before I start making my own, but I’m impatient. It’s taking FOR-ever. I usually only use it when we move in and move out, and the rest of the year, I end up reverting to the vinegar and Borax. I bought a HUGE container of baking soda, ready for the “switch over.” I can’t believe it took you 6 years to use all of that! Wow! What a product!

  25. I have a smooth top range, and after all the Soft Scrub was gone, I tried baking soda, works great, super inexpensive, multi-use, and non toxic. Oh, BTW, as a kid, when we visited grandma’s house and had forgotten our Crest toothpaste, we use Grandma’s baking soda for toothpaste. Good ‘ol Granny.

    • Joy, granny knew exactly what she was doing. Somehow things shifted. And now here we are, the grandchildren who are now mothers trying to go back to what their grandmothers did. Baking soda is great for so many things! I think there are even books on all the things you can do with it! Amazing.

  26. Nice tips…Vinegar is one of the non toxic cleaning product which scratch grease, eliminate mildew, spots, odors, some stains and wax upsurge. It is very effective and useful Eco friendly cleaning product which is use for all cleaning purpose..

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