When I was growing up my father hated strong smelling cleaners or beauty products. I mean HATED. If the product had any artificial scent, at all, he wanted to keep it out of the house. That was NOT easy in the ‘80s. Everything was made out of chemicals and there was no such thing as “green cleaning.” What most of us didn’t know back then was almost everything that was needed to clean naturally was already in our cabinets. And guess what? They WORK.

Here’s my list of a few healthier swaps that are effective and without the smell of any harsh chemicals.

1. Hardwood Floor Cleaner. This is actually the first green cleaning swap I ever tried. I didn’t like any of the hardwood floor cleaners I tried and the most popular one was the worst. I tried this mixture below and have never looked back.

½ c. vinegar + 2-3 drops pure lemon oil + 1 c. warm water

2. Fabric Refresher. Pour all the ingredients in a spray bottle and combine. This is fresh, light and all natural.

1 c. distilled water + 1 c. witch hazel + 1 T. baking soda + 10 drops pure tea tree oil +
20 drops each of pure lavender and lemongrass oil

3. Multi-Purpose Cleaner. Combine in a spray bottle and shake well.

1 tablespoon liquid castile soap + ½ c. white vinegar + 1 ½ c. water

4. Window Cleaner. There are two versions of this. One with rubbing alcohol or one with cheap vodka but I prefer the vodka as it’s almost odorless. Obviously the cheaper one would be with the rubbing alcohol but whichever one you choose, mix it up in a spray bottle. For best results, use old newspapers last for lint free windows.

¼ c. cheap vodka + ¼ c. white vinegar + 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 2 c. of hot water

5. Dryer Balls. They say these cut down on your drying time by up to 20 percent but you can buy wool dryer balls (5-6 for larger loads and 3-4 for smaller loads), add a few of these drops and throw them in the dryer. Shake well before each use and add four drops to each ball before placing in the dryer.

40 drops lavender oil + 45 drops lemon oil + 5 mL amber glass bottle

Try these other combinations: Tea Tree & Orange, Eucalyptus & Lavender, Tea Tree & Lemon, Lemongrass & Lavender
6. Carpet Deodorizer. I haven’t had regular carpet in years but I use this on my area rugs with great results. Mix this up thoroughly and put in a shaker jar from the dollar store. Sprinkle lightly on carpet and let sit for 5-8 minutes then vacuum.

1 ½ c. baking soda + 10 drops of your favorite essential oil mix

I’ve found the more I swap out for natural cleaners, the more I dislike artificial scents. My father couldn’t be more pleased.