Environmental Health
Healthy Home Environment
Household Hazardous Materials
  green cleaning recipes  
  Drain Cleaner  l  Oven Cleaner  l  All-Purpose Cleaner  l

Scouring Powder  l  Mirror and Window Cleaner

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Cleaning your house with low-toxic cleaners is a great way to have a healthy home. They are easy to make, effective, smell good, cost less than commercial products, and don't pollute indoor air. These recipes are best made fresh each time in small batches, but if you do store a quantity, label your container with all ingredients. Do not mix these recipes with other cleaners.

Drain Cleaner

Graphic of clogged pipe1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup vinegar
boiling water

Pour baking soda down the drain first, then vinegar. Let it fizz for a few minutes, then pour down a teakettle full of boiling water. Repeat if needed. Loosens minor clogs and helps prevent future clogs. do not use after using a commercial drain cleaner! If clog is stubborn, use a plunger or mechanical snake.

Oven Cleaner

Graphic of an oven1/4 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons salt
hot water

Remove charred spills with a non-metallic bristle brush. Mix baking soda, salt, and enough hot water to make a paste. Apply to oven surfaces, and let stand a few minutes or overnight. Scrub off with non-metallic scouring pad and water. Keep paste off oven wires and heating elements. Do not use on self-cleaning ovens. To prevent future stains, line oven bottom with aluminum foil.

All-Purpose Cleaner

Graphic of hand scrubbing wall1 2/3 cups baking soda
1/2 cup liquid castile soap*
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons vinegar
16-oz bottle with flip-top cap

Mix baking soda and liquid soap with fork in bowl. Add water. Add vinegar last. Pour into squeeze bottle; if too thick, add more water. Shake well. Squirt in tub, sink, toilet, counter, etc. Scrub and rinse.

Scouring Powder

Graphic of powder poured into sinkbaking soda
liquid castile soap*

You can use baking soda in place of your scouring powder. First, wet the area you want to clean. Then sprinkle baking soda on and rub with a wet rag. Add a little soap to the rag for more cleaning power. Rinse well. For toilets, sprinkle baking soda into bowl, add a few drops of castile soap, then scrub.

Mirror and Window Cleaner

Graphic of windowclub soda
spray bottle

Put club soda into spray bottle. Spray on surface. Rub with lint-free cloth (such as a cloth diaper) or squeegee.

*Liquid castile soap can be found with the other soaps in most supermarkets and drugstores. Or purchase in bulk at a food co-op.


 Keep out of reach of children.
 These products are not intended for ingestion.
 Contact physician if accidentally swallowed, or if products come in contact with eyes and cause irritation.


Graphics used with permission from the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program of King County.

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This page last updated: 01/28/22