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Do-It-Yourself Non-Toxic Cleaning!

Just because Spring has sprung and Summer is here doesn’t mean we let the laundry pile up and the house collect dust, right? Gone are the days when a “clean” house equates to the smell of bleach. Yes, we are wired to just grab a bottle of bleach or whatever supermarket brand of cleaning product available under the sink but did you know that a lot of these common household products are actually toxic to our health?

The Environmental Protection Agency ranks indoor pollution as one of the top environmental dangers; unsurprisingly, much of it comes from – surprise, surprise! – common cleaning products!! While there is a plethora of green cleaning solutions available on our shelves at NAM, our team members have cleaning solutions that are simple and easy to make at home, money saving, and effective (they swear by it!)!

Making your own products cuts down on packaging waste and reduces the release of household chemicals that can contribute to air and water pollution.

Meet the STARS of the DIY Cleaning Show!


Baking Soda – has virus-killing abilities that also cleans, deodorizes, brightens and cuts through grease and grime.

Castile Soap cuts through grease and cleans.

Vinegar effectively (and gently!) eliminates grease, soap scum, and grime.

Lemon Juice gets rid mildew and mold, cuts through grease, and shines hard surfaces (It also smells awesome.).

Olive Oil also works as a cleaner and polisher!

Essential Oils make great scent additions to homemade cleaning products (particularly if you’re not into the smell of vinegar).


NOTE: Most of these ingredients can be used in combination with each other; however, many sources advise against mixing castile soap with vinegar or lemon juice. Since castile soap is basic (i.e., high on the pH scale) and vinegar and lemons are acidic, the products basically cancel each other out when used in combination (though it’s fine to wash with a base—like castile soap—and rinse with an acid—like vinegar!).

Cleaning Recipes from Your Favorite Newport Avenue Market Staff

Note: Many of these cleaners can be used in multiple places, but we’ve assigned them to particular areas for easy reference.

Alice, our Assistant Pricing Coordinator, uses lemon and ice to clean her garbage disposal.

Lauren, our Pack Leader, swears by an old family recipe that gets rid of “fishy” smell at home with vinegar and common pantry staples like cinnamon or cloves.

Ana, our Loyalty Marketing Director, uses Baking Soda and Vinegar to unclog drains!

While Blue Dawn liquid dishwashing soap may not be eco-friendly, El Jefe, Señor Spike mixes it with vinegar and uses the concoction as an all-purpose cleaner! Our florist, Debra’s version is similar to Spike’s but diluted in water. (1 cup Vinegar, 1 quart Water, and a shot of Blue Dawn).

Here are other DIY Cleaning Solutions found online:

Toilets: Pour ½ cup Baking Soda and about 10 drops of tea tree oil into the toilet. Add ¼ cup vinegar to the bowl and scub while the mixture fizzes.

For daily cleaning, fill a spray bottle with vinegar and a few drops of an essential oil (lemon, tea tree, eucalyptus). Spray on toilet seat, let it sit for a few minutes before wiping the surface clean.

For daily cleaning, fill a small spray bottle with vinegar (about 1 cup) should do it) and a few drops of an essential oil of your choosing (lemon and tea tree both work well). Spray on the toilet seats, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe the surface clean.

Tub and Shower: Beat the toughest grime with the power of vinegar! Get rid of mildew by spraying pure white vinegar, let sit for 30 minutes and then rinse with warm water. Scrub for grime reinforcement! You can also try mixing baking soda with a bit of liquid castile soap; scrub then rinse.

For daily cleaning or to get rid of soap scum, mix 1 part water with 1 part vinegar (and a few drops of essential oils if you’re not into the smell of vinegar) in a spray bottle. Spray, let it sit for at least several minutes, and then wipe away.

Disinfectant: Say goodbye to bleach and make a home-made germ killing machine instead by mixing 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid castile soap, and 20-30 drops of tea tree oil!

of liquid soap, and 20-30 drops of tea tree oil. Voila!

Air Freshener: Get the stink out of the loo by mixing baking soda with your favorite essential oil in an old jar (poke holes on lid), et voila!, homemade

Hand Soap Cleaning house means you get down and dirty! Aftern cleaning, it’s time to make yourself clean (or at least your hands)! Mix together liquid castile soap and water (scent it up with your favorite essential oil) in a foaming soap dispenser. Fill about one fifth of the bottle with soap, and then top it off with water.

Countertops: For a simple, all-purpose cleaner mix together equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. If your countertop is made from marble, granite, or stone, skip the vinegar (its acidity is no good for these surfaces) and use rubbing alcohol or vodka

Cutting Boards: All you need to clean and sanitize your wooden or plastic cutting board is LEMON! Cut in half, run it over the surfaces, let it sit for at least 10 minutes and then rinse! Some coarse salt with help if you wanted to scrub before sanitizing with lemon!

Microwave: Pour some vinegar in a cup and mix a bit of lemon juice. Put the cup in the microwave and let it run for 2 minutes, leave the door closed for a couple minutes more. Simply wipe down your microwave with a warm cloth or sponge.

De-Grease your frying pans by applying salt and scrubbing vigorously!

You can beat Cast-Iron Pans ickiness by combining olive oil with a teaspoon of salt in the pan, scrubbing with a stiff brush, and then rinsing with hot water.

Windows and Mirrors: combine 1 part white vinegar with 4 parts water, add lemon juice if you want for a citrus smell, then use a sponge, rag, or even newspaper to scrub away!

Furniture Polish: polish up your furniture with a mixture of ¼ cup vinegar with ¾ olive oil. Use a soft cloth to polish furniture. As an alternative, when polishing wooden furniture, combine ¼ c lemon juice with ½ cup olive oil.

Wood Cleaner: Clean varnished wood by combining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, and a quart of warm water in a spray bottle. Spray onto wood. Dry with soft cloth. This may not be a good option for wooden floors because olive oil can leave behind some residue.

Note: Aside from the tips and recipes from NAM staff, we cannot vouch for every single one of the solutions presented 100 percent! If you try a recipe provided and if it works well for you (or otherwise), let us know!

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