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Tips to making your own natural, eco-friendly cleaning products

“You can get effectiveness by using eco-friendly, natural cleaning products as long as you know what you’re using and how to use them."

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — We’re going green as we take on dirt and grime inside the home. Lots of us have a cupboard full of cleaning products that may be very effective but are full of harsh ingredients.

“When we clean with harsher chemicals it takes a toll on our bodies, it takes a toll on our health and not only that, it takes a toll on the environment," Lucinda Edwards, owner of A Home Maid Clean says. Edwards and her team service homes across the Tampa Bay area, offering non-toxic products, including some that she creates on her own. 

“You can get effectiveness by using eco-friendly, natural cleaning products, as long as you know what you’re using and how to use them,” Edwards says. 

She uses a disinfectant that she makes on her own — including water, vinegar, alcohol and essential oils. That rubbing alcohol is key because unlike vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, which take several minutes to disinfect, alcohol does it immediately. You can choose an essential oil that you enjoy to create a signature scent for your spray.

When it comes to tools, Edwards says she’s a fan of micro-fiber cloths and ayate washcloths. Edwards explains, “When I was visiting Mexico, my grandmother had these ayate washcloths in her kitchen, they’re made from fibers of the agave plant, the leaf.” She uses pumice stone on glass and porcelain surfaces. “The pumice stone is all natural. It derives from the volcano, so it’s lava and it doesn’t scratch glass surfaces.” 

How to make your own natural, all-purpose disinfecting spray, according to Sandia Green Clean, a cleaning service in New Mexico: 

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar,
  • 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol (at least 70% for best disinfecting power)
  • Your choice of essential oils (between 20-40 drops recommended)
  • Before each use, be sure to shake the bottle and let the spray sit for at least 1 minute before wiping up

Have pets? Make sure you check out what essential oils are safe for your furry friends! You can find a list of toxic essential oils that you should avoid using here. If you're worried about what you can use, it's best to ask your veterinarian. 

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