I've never mentioned it here, but I'm a little "crunchy." I'll go out of my way for things that are eco-friendly and healthy, but my favorite green options are the ones that check all my boxes: easy, cheap, awesome, and green. So I put together a list of some swaps I use and love. They're so good, I don't miss their chemically alternatives at all!
3T Borax + 3T Washing Soda + 2T Blue Dawn Soap + 4C Hot Water
(adapted from this recipe)
There are lots of more complicated recipes, but easy works for me: just mix the ingredients up and you're done. I use the same amount per load as I would conventional laundry detergent, but this stuff doesn't get sudsy. It's good for everyday laundry, but I still use stain removers for the difficult stuff. Our clothes smell like absolutely nothing, which I love.
ALL-PURPOSE CLEANING SPRAY
.5t Liquid Castille Soap + 3T White Vinegar + .5t Washing Soda + 2C Hot Water
I use this as my daily kitchen/bathroom cleaner. I think it's better at dissolving crusty/sticky stuff than what I used to use (Method brand). And when I clean the bathroom, I don't feel like I'm gassing myself to death.
Baking Soda + Vinegar
Sprinkle the baking soda around (more on the dirtiest parts) and spray vinegar over top. Let it sit for a few minutes and wipe clean! This was the first green cleaner I tried, on what was probably years-old buildup on our nasty grad school apartment oven. Worked like a charm!
1 Part Vinegar + 1 Part Hot Water + a few drops of Dawn
I use that solution with these washable pads for Swiffer mops. I can't vouch for it on stone or wood, but it's great on linoleum.
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap claims 18 uses, from toothpaste to laundry. I have the rose scent, and so far, I've used it for face and body wash and to clean my bathtub. I've used it daily for two months and the bottle barely looks used. Literally, a few drops do the job (it doesn't get super sudsy, FYI).
You know the dad in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" who thinks Windex solves everything? That's me with coconut oil. I use it daily as a face and body moisturizer and makeup remover, but I've also used it to treat leather, remove adhesive goo, and cook. This post claims 101 uses! It's amazing. I use this kind, I bought it 8 months ago and it's only half gone.
File this under: Duh. I have a big stack of cleaning towels (old dish towels and a bunch of these cheap ones from IKEA), and I go through a few every day. I toss them in the washing machine to go with my next load, to keep them from stinking up the house. I use cloth whenever possible, and I go through maybe one roll of paper towels every few months.
OLIVE OIL SPRAYER
(substitutes for cooking spray, like Pam)
After I figured out you have to pump the top a lot to give the sprayer enough pressure, I love this thing! And I feel pretty good about not having nasty propellants from conventional sprays in my food.