Elbow Grease

If you have a pet, a baby, a smelly roommate, or a tight budget, you have a reason to switch to DIY cleaning products. With only a few ingredients, many of which you probably already own, you can clean your apartment and skip on the toxins. Here are a few recipes to get you started:

Glass/Multipurpose Cleaner (replaces: Windex, Clorox wipes)

¼ cup distilled white vinegar

2 cups of water

A few drops of essential oil (optional)

Spray lightly on surface. Wipe dry with a folded piece of newspaper to avoid streaks.


Tile Grout/Shower Cleaner (replaces: Tilex, Scrubbing Bubbles)

Spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide


Spray hydrogen peroxide along grout lines. Let sit for 15 minutes. Scrub with toothbrush to remove mold and mildew.


Laundry Detergent (replaces: Tide)

2 gallons of water

1 bar of soap (try an eco-friendly brand like Dr. Bronner’s)

2 cups of baking soda

Grate bar of soap into a saucepan and warm over low heat with a small amount of water until dissolved.  Mix dissolved soap solution with water. Add baking soda. Use ½ cup per load. Store in an airtight container.


Room/Fabric Deodorizer (replaces: Febreze)

1½ cups water

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 tablespoon essential oil of your choice

Mix all ingredients together in a spray bottle. Shake. Spray on fabrics to remove odors.


Toilet Bowl Cleaner (replaces: Lysol, Clorox, Scrubbing Bubbles)

Spray bottle full of pure vinegar

Spray inside of bowl with vinegar. Let stand five minutes. Scrub with toilet brush. For stains, add 1 cup of baking soda to toilet water and let stand overnight. Scrub in the morning.