Mix Your Own Green Cleaning Concoction

People mix their own cleaning concoctions at new "green cleaning parties."

ByABC News via logo
September 6, 2008, 3:12 PM

Sept. 7, 2008 — -- First, you mix and mingle with each other. Then you mix up some killer blue cocktails nicknamed "Windex martinis."

And after a toast to "going green," you mix up the real thing -- glass cleaner, furniture polish and creamy scrubs for kitchen and bathrooms.

That's the idea behind the "green cleaning party," in which attendees take basic ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, borax and castille soap and mix them together in hopes of brewing up the perfect cleaning products.

The get-togethers were the brainchild of a group called Women's Voices for the Earth who says that mixing their own cleaning products is cheaper and safer than buying commercial products.

"These are issues that we as women, as mothers, as professionals, grapple with every day when we think about what we want to buy," Dori Gilels of Women's Voices for the Earth told "Good Morning America."

And now the parties are spreading. Lisa Corvo recently hosted one at her Connecticut home where many of her friends attended.

"People go home with something. They go home with a product, they go home with knowledge," Corvo said.

Women's Voices for the Earth said they do not buy commercial cleaning products because they are not fully regulated and do not usually list ingredients.

"The products that we make, we know what's in them," Gilels said. "And we know generally how those ingredients would affect you if you were to swallow them."

The Soap and Detergent Association pointed out, however, that some natural ingredients can be very dangerous when combined improperly. They can burn skin or even create toxic gases.

"If you're doing this at home and there's no guidelines, no 1-800 number to call, you're on your own. Who are you going to call in that particular time of need?" asked Soap and Detergent Association spokesman Brian Sansoni.

"I don't know how many people have time to make their own cleaning products. The fact is the cleaning products available today are effective and efficient and they save people time. And they're safe when used as directed," he said.

Go to the next page for instructions to make your own green cleaning products.

Suggested uses: hard surfaces like countertops and kitchen floors, windows and mirrors.

Tip: Warming in microwave until barely hot will boost cleaning power for tough jobs. Only microwave in a glass container.

Creamy Soft ScrubSuggested uses: Use this creamy soft scrub on kitchen counters, stoves, bathroom sinks, etc.

Mix together and store in a sealed glass jar, shelf life of 2 years.

Tips: For exceptionally tough jobs spray with vinegar first—full strength or diluted, scented—let sit and follow with scrub.

Dry soft scrubs can be made with baking soda or salt (or combination of both) with 10-15 drops essential oil to scent.