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Cleaner Greener Cleaning

May 30, 2012

The childcare regulations demand good hygiene practices as do the environmental health officers, parents
and the children in our service.

So we have provided some simple recipes and tips you can use in your childcare service to make you greener and cleaner than ever before, while also saving you money!


Key Ingredients

There are a number of key ingredients that you need to create your own green cleaning products. (Most you will already have in your service- others will involve a trip to the supermarket)


Baking Soda The gem of the natural cleaning world. Baking soda is effective at removing stains and should be used as an all purpose non toxic cleaner. 
Citrus Solvent This can be used to clean the children’s paint brushes, oil or grease.
Lemon Juice Can be used to clean glass, as a stain remover or room freshener/deodorizer. Have you ever walked into a room and got an instant hint of freshness- the result is most likely lemon.
Olive Oil A fantastic furniture polish as well as moisturiser.
Salt Has an abrasive texture which makes it a very popular green cleaning agent. Add to salt other natural ingredients to get a great cleaning paste and bleaching agent.
Vinegar The best stain remover you will find in your cupboards. Its natural acidic make up mean it removes stains, cuts through grease and can act as a water softener.
Corn Starch Makes an excellent window cleaner, furniture polish and can be used to shampoo carpet or rugs.
Lime Juice Can be used similar to lemon juice as a non toxic cleaning agent.
Tea Tree Oil Kills most germs on contact as it contains natural anti-bacterial agents. It kills mildew and mould as it is a natural fungicide and germicide.
White Vinegar Can be used for disinfecting most surfaces including pots, pans and countertops.


  • Remember to clearly label cleaners and keep out of the children reach as you would with commercial cleaners.

  • Do not reuse containers of commercial products- its likely they will still contain residues from the product and mixed with natural ingredients could prove dangerous.

  • Use recycled squirt bottles of various sizes, coffee jars with lids, glass jars with lids to store your natural cleaning agents.





Air Fresheners

Fill a jar with 2 cups of hot water and dissolve baking soda into and add lemon juice.
Pour the mixture into a spray bottle  and use as an air freshener.


All purpose cleaners

The simplest surface cleaner is made by mixing vinegar and salt together.

For a general cleaner dissolve 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 2.5 litres of warm water.

For a stronger all purpose cleaner with more stain removal power:

2 cups of hot water
3 tablespoons of vinegar
Half tsp washing soda
Half tsp vegetable oil based liquid soap
This mixture can be used in spray form or in a bucket for floor cleaning


Jar of gel fragrance

1 cup of water
Drop of rubbing alcohol or vodka
1 packet gelatine
Half tsp of essential oil or fragrance oil

  1. Boil half of the water and dissolve the gelatine in it.
  2. Add the other half cup of water (cold) and stir until blended.
  3. Add the essential oil and alcohol until blended and pour into jars.


Do not place on a warm surface as this will dilute the mixture and it will lose its fragrance more quickly.
Store out of reach of children


Tea tree oil spray cleaner

This one is simple:

Add 2 tsp of tea tree oil to 2 cups of water and place in a spray bottle.
To blend just shake the bottle.


Multi-purpose bathroom cleaner

2 cups of baking soda
2 tbsp of vinegar
Half cup of water
Half cup of liquid soap
4 drops of tea tree essential oil

  1. Mix the liquid soap and baking soda adding water, vinegar and oil one at a time.
  2. Store in a spray bottle and just shake before each use.


Dishwashing liquid

2 cups of hot water
Half tsp of lemon essential oil
Quarter of cup of glycerine
Quarter of cup of soap flakes

  1. Stir soap flakes and water until soap is fully dissolved.
  2. Leave the mixture to cool until it is luke warm to touch.
  3. Stir in the essential oil and the glycerine- leaving to cool.
  4. You will be left with a loose gel type substance.
  5. Stir the gel and pour into a bottle.
  6. 3 tsp of the gel in hot warm water will leave your dishes sparkling.


Dishwasher liquid

Half cup of water
Quarter cup of white vinegar
1 tsp of fresh lemon juice
Half cup of liquid castile soap
4 drops of tea tree oil
1 cup of Baking soda

  1. Mix together the water, tea tree oil, lemon juice soap and white vinegar.
  2. Add the mixture to a container (with lid) of any type.
  3. To use add 2 tbsp of the mixture to the dishwasher- 1 to the dispenser unit and 1 to the dishwasher unit itself.
  4. A good tip is to add a sprinkling of baking soda to the dirtiest dishes and on the floor of the dishwasher for added stain removal power and odour absorption.


Non streak glass cleaner

2 pints warm water
Quarter cup of white vinegar
1 tbsp of cornstarch

  1. Mix the ingredients together and place in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the mixture onto the glass or mirror and wipe with newspaper.


Elbow grease essential for that extra shine!


Microwave cleaner

2 cups of water
Half cup of vinegar

  1. Add the water and vinegar to a microwave safe bowl and put microwave on full power for approx 5 minutes (or until water boils).
  2. Leave to stand for 3 minutes.


This will loosen all the grease/grime and a simple wipe clean will ensure a spotlessly clean microwave.


So you see it can be done! Cleaner, greener cleaning is achievable with a bit of help from Mother Nature. So save yourself some money and stop buying commercial cleaners and try these natural cleaners instead. What have you got to lose?

Benefits include-

  • Saving money

  • Protecting the clean air in your service

  • Being a more environmentally friendly business

  • Protecting the children in your service from harmful chemicals

  • Less bottles in your cleaning cupboards


Sources: The Green Light (NCNA 2010) Green Clean- eco friendly cleaning for the home, 2007, L&K Designs, PR Books Limited, UK

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