Feral Homestead DIY Cleaning Recipes

homemaker cs lewisAs an eco-conscious mama to a newborn, keeping a clean house is of great importance for maintaining health and an esthetically pleasing environment. However, conventional cleaning products are often loaded with unsafe chemicals, like artificial colors and fragrances and harsh cleansing agents like bleach, ammonia and acids (to name a few); many of which may not be listed on the packaging since the formulas are considered trade secrets. They may, on the other hand, display disclaimers warning “do not ingest” – but I have to ask how to distinguish what’s safe when the lil’ hands that touch those freshly “cleaned” surfaces inevitably end up in baby’s mouth? In addition, the combination of chemicals mixing to form these products can often produce poisonous off-gassing fumes and cause indoor air pollution that irritate eyes and lungs.

The solution? Well, you’ll be happy to know that choosing the “green” alternative (such as Seventh Generation and Mrs. Meyers) is not only safer for baby and the planet, but can be cheaper too! You can also make your own green cleaners using non-toxic ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen:


* Baking Soda – cleans, deodorizes, scours, softens water
* White Vinegar – solvent, cuts grease, removes mildew, stains, and odors
* Lemon – food-acids cut through grease, are anti-bacterial and natural fragrance essential oils
* Cornstarch – similar to baking soda, deodorizes and scours


* Castile Soap – a biodegradable vegetable oil-based soap (my fave is Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds, a little goes a long way)
* Borax – (sodium borate) cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, softens water
**Note that although borax is made of natural minerals, is not edible like the other recommended ingredients
* Citrus Solvent – stain remover, degreaser, and multi-purpose cleaner




All-Purpose Cleaner
Recipe #1
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
Optional: Add ½ tsp lemon juice (strain the pulp)
* Combine in a spray bottle

Recipe #2
2 tsp borax
1/2 tsp liquid castile soap
2 cups of hot water
* Combine in a spray bottle and shake well

Glass & Window Cleaner
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
* Combine in a spray bottle

Wooden Furniture Polish
1/4 cup white vinegar (or 1/2 cup lemon juice)
3/4 cup olive oil
* Combine and polish with soft cloth

4 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp liquid castile soap
3 cups hot water
Optional: 20-30 drops tea tree oil or 2 tsp borax
* Combine in a spray bottle

Air Freshener
2 cups hot water
2 tsp baking soda
Optional: 10 drops essential oil of your choice
* Combine in a spray bottle


Dishwashing Liquid
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup liquid castile soap
1 tsp lemon juice
5 drops tea tree oil
1 cup water
* Combine and store in a squeeze bottle. Use 2 tbsp per load in dishwasher.

Dishwashing Rinse
White vinegar
* Pour into the compartment

Non-abrasive Cleaner
Baking soda
* Sprinkle directly onto surface or a damp sponge and scrub
Optional for tougher grime: Add some lemon juice and kosher salt
* Make a paste and use a sponge to clean

Garbage Disposal Freshener
Lemon (or any citrus) peels
* Grind in the disposal


Toilet Bowl Cleaner
1 cup borax or baking soda
¼ cup white vinegar
* Add to toilet bowl and let sit overnight (or approximately 8 hours). In the morning, scrub and flush.

Mold & Mildew Cleaner for Tub & Tile
1 2/3 cups baking soda
1/2 cup liquid castile soap
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp white vinegar
Optional: 10 drops tea tree oil
* Combine in a spray bottle, shake well, spray, and let stand for an hour before wiping

Grout Mold Cleaner
1 cup hydrogen peroxide
2 cups water
* Combine in spray bottle. Spray, let sit for an hour, wipe with a damp sponge

Drain Cleaner
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup baking soda
* Pour down drain and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Flush with boiling water until drain clears.


Laundry Detergent
1/8 cup liquid castile soap
1/4 borax
* Double the recipe for heavy soiled loads

Fabric softener
½ cup white vinegar
* Add to rinse cycle

Stain Remover
* Spray with hydrogen peroxide and/or rub spot with a mixture of dishwashing soap and borax then rinse clean
* Steep linens in a pot of boiling water until the stains lift
* Dampen linens and expose to direct sunlight for a few hours


Floor Cleaner
Recipe #1 – linoleum & no-wax floors
1 tbsp liquid castile soap
6 tbsp baking soda or cornstarch
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 gallons hot water

Recipe #2 – wood floors
1 cup vinegar
1 gallon water
* Mix in a bucket and mop

Carpet Cleaner
Baking soda or cornstarch
* Sprinkle onto carpet and let sit for at least 30 minutes then vacuum

Please feel free to comment with your own recipes or share your results. Hope these green cleaning tips help in making your homestead a sanctuary!

Why the Feral Life?

~ William Ross Wallace


This site is an Ode to Mothers and the families they love! In this fast-paced modern society where “bigger is better” and “all that glitters (is considered) gold”, it is easy to lose track of our daily impact in this epic journey of life on earth. However, it is no secret that there stand today many threats to the continuance of life as we know it. If we permit ourselves to continue on this same path, many of the luxuries we now take for granted will soon be meaningless in the absence of pure air, food, and water.

Like a massive avalanche steadily gaining momentum with its devastating consequences, so are our habits and participation in this consumerist society hurdling us towards untimely demise, with each of us unwittingly serving as cogs and wheels in this monstrous machine of “technological progress” all to the detriment of our unborn progeny.

But, thankfully, there are heroes with the power to save us from such a fate. They are here-now, they are the past, the present, and the future. They are each generation born and raised with love, and the mothers whose guidance and protection enables the immaculate potential they were destined to manifest.

So, it is not the businessman, not the engineer, the architect nor banker whom decides what the future holds. Instead it is the quintessential partnership between mother and child that will determine whether we seed our doom or the birth of heaven on earth.


~ Ancient Indian Proverb