The Green Life

Mean Green Cleaning

As promised, following are my tried and true Mean Green Clean “recipes”.  I have found a “green” substitute for everything but my dishes – I have not yet figured out or found a good “recipe” for dish washing liquid or dishwasher detergent.  Everything I have tried leaves some sort of residue on my dishes; but when I DO find something that works, I will definitely share.

8319d-0011Everything you need for a Mean Green Clean.


· 32 oz water
· ½ cup alcohol
· ½ cup vinegar
Mix ingredients in a trigger spray bottle and shake.
Shake before each use.
Use me to:
< Clean and disinfect ANYthing.
< Wipe down tub, tile, sink (bath and kitchen).
< Clean glass and mirrors.
< Remove stains on clothing, carpet, upholstery. (Always test in an inconspicuous area first.)
Granite (the vinegar isn’t good for it)
Wood (the alcohol isn’t good for it)


· 16 oz water
· ¼ cup alcohol
· 3 drops castile soap
Mix ingredients in a trigger spray bottle and shake.
Shake before each use to incorporate ingredients.
Use me to:
What else…….clean granite!
Technically this could also be used to clean other things like the All-Purpose cleaner; it just would not be as fast or effective.


· Baking soda OR
· Borax OR
· Washing Soda
Just sprinkle it on a sponge or directly on surface and wipe away.
Use me to:
Do any heavy duty cleaning such as:
< Scrubbing tubs
< Scrubbing tile
< Scrubbing pots and pans


· 1 cup baking soda
· 1/4 cup liquid castile soap
· 2 tablespoons vegetable glycerin
· 2-3 drops of anti-bacterial essential oil, such as lavender, tea tree or rosemary
Mix together and store in a sealed glass jar (or an old soft scrub container that has been cleaned out well).
Use me to:
Do any heavy duty cleaning such as:
< Scrubbing tubs
< Scrubbing tile
< Oven cleaner (when the self-cleaning feature just doesn’t get it all)
Use anyplace you would use the TOXIC Soft Scrub (plus some places you wouldn’t dare!).



· 1 cup soap flakes
· 1/2 cup washing soda
· 1/2 cup baking soda
· 1-2 tbsp. oxygen bleach (optional for extra whitening power)
Make soap flakes by grating your fave pure vegetable soap (or Zote or Fels Naptha) with a cheese grater.
Mix ingredients together and store in a glass container.
Use 1 tablespoon per load (2 for heavily soiled laundry), wash in warm or cold water
Use me to:
Do laundry!


· 1/2 cup Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap
· 1/4 cup washing soda
· 1/4 cup baking soda OR Borax
· Essential oils of your choice (optional)
· (recycled) 1 gallon container
1. Pour the baking soda and super washing soda into the bottom of the container.
2. Cover with warm to hot tap water and shake it up to dissolve. (This is also great exercise.)
3. Once dissolved, fill the container almost to the top with water.
4. Add the castile soap at the end (so it won’t bubble up on you).
5. Shake it up, shake it up, shake it up, shake it.*  (a little bubbling will occur but not too much)
6. Add the essential oils if you want.  I don’t use EO’s since I use lavender or citrus castile soap.
*There is also the “stir it in a bucket” method if all that shaking is just too much “exercise” for your taste.  😉
I also shake mine a little every time I use it.  I use no more than a ½ cup per load for a large load).
Use me to:
Do laundry!


· 1/2 cup of vinegar
· 8 drops tea tree, lavender, citrus, or other essential oil
· Old cotton t-shirt or towels
· Sealable container to store the sheets
1. Cut t-shirt or towels into small sections that fit into container
2. Mix together the vinegar and essential oil in a small bowl.
3. Pour the mixture over the cloths until they are dampened but not soaked. Keep in a securely closed container.
4. To use, simply remove a sheet from the container, squeezing any excess liquid back into the jar, and toss into the dryer.
5. When clothes are dry, simply place the sheet back in the jar for use later.
Use me to:
Soften and scent clothes.


· Vinegar
Add it to the rinse cycle or fabric softener dispenser of your washer.
Use me to:
Soften, disinfect, and deodorize clothes.


· Hydrogen peroxide (3%)
Apply undiluted hydrogen peroxide to the stain and agitate (use a carpet brush, toothbrush, or soft cloth – depending on application; rub fabric together for laundry stains)
Use me to:
Remove stains when the all-purpose cleaner doesn’t work.
Tip:  replace the cap on the peroxide bottle with a spray nozzle. DO NOT remove the peroxide from its original container – it needs to stay in a dark container to maintain it’s potency.
Safe for clothing, carpets, upholstery…. Everything.  As always, test in an inconspicuous area first.


· 16 oz water
· 1/2 TBSP of vinegar
· a few drops of essential oil (optional)
· Spray bottle or refillable spray mop
Combine all ingredients in spray bottle and shake to combine.  Shake before each use.Tip:  I use a Libman Spray mop and keep the container filled with this solution.  I use this on all my hard floors (hardwood and tile).  Honestly, if my tile cannot be cleaned with this, I need to have a discussion with some folks in my household!  😉

Internal References:
Trial and error
External References: … and the back/side of the Borax box and the back of my HUGE bag of baking soda – I have used this stuff for EVERYTHING at some point

Want more from the 4th House?
Get the Newsletter 

Sign up for tips & updates on all things home and let me know what you'd like to see more of.

Invalid email address

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More in The Green Life
You only thought I was all natural…