Sustainable Dharma

Finding Dharma in a Sustainable Lifestyle

Homemade Cleaners: Oxygen Laundry Booster and Carpet Fresh

Something I have learned is that with vinegar or baking soda you can pretty much clean anything.

As you know from my last Homemade Cleaners: Cleaning Wipes  I am working towards making all of my household cleaners. I love my cleaning wipes too! I have made these two cleaners for a while now, and originally posted the recipes on my old blog (7/10/2014). I am work on moving all of the information from that blog to this one.

These are both baking soda based recipes. I tend to buy baking soda about 3 boxes at a time. 2 boxes get turned into cleaning products and the other box is for baking. Baking soda absorbs smells and flavors so I keep mine in an old plastic container with a lid, to keep that out. If I need something deodorized, I keep that separate from any that I might bake with.

H2O2 Cleaner

(AKA Oxiclean)

This is a great laundry booster, but you can use it for anything you would use baking soda to clean. It just gives it an extra kick. You know that whole cleaning power of oxygen thing.

  • 2 Cups Baking Soda or Washing Powder (In this case, they work the same.)
  • 1/4 Cup Hydrogen Peroxide

Total Costs: Less than 50 cents. I pay 50 cents for a box of baking soda, I use about half of it, and a full bottle of peroxide costs $1. A 1/4 of a cup seems like it would be a lot, but it is really not.

Mix the two together with a fork or rubber spatula until it is is a nice gritty powder. Store in a sealed container. Sometimes I cut this recipe in half and make less. The full batch fits nicely in two old frosting containers.

Carpet/Cat Box Fresh

It is a well known trick to add baking soda to your cat’s litter, but I find this mix works better! We layer the bottom and the top with a thin layer of this powder. Baking soda absorbs and scents, but coffee neutralizes scents and flavors. That thought in mind I wondered what would these two things be able to take care of together?

  • 1 cup baking soda (I have not tried washing soda, but I don’t think it would be as good)
  • 1/3 c dried used coffee grounds


  • 10 drops essential oil


  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract (This is my preference)

To Use:

Sprinkle on the carpets. I use an old spice shaker. Let it sit in for 10-15 mins undisturbed, then vacuum! This is not harmful to pets, and it gets rid of the odors that children and pets leave behind.

Side note: From doing this, I have learned my cats now love coffee. They will dig in the trash to eat them and try to steal drinks of my coffee if I am not looking. A cat with a coffee rush is a disturbing thing to witness. They go crazier than anything I have ever seen. They love it, but me or my furniture can not handle it.

Total Costs: About 13 cents before adding an sects. You use about 1/4 of a box of baking soda that cost around 50 cents and some coffee grounds you were going to throw away. If you add essential oils or vanilla that raises the price depending on what you use. I buy bulk Mexican Vanilla for about $15 for a large bottle. I never bothered to figure what a table spoon costs, but I doubt much. Essential oils cost more, but very in price. Ether way this is a awesome way to freshen your home cheep.

Tips for drying used coffee grounds:

We drink a lot of coffee in my house, and we save most of the coffee grounds for cleaning mixes, or the garden. After the coffee is brewed I pour the used grounds into a large casserole pan and spread it out. Careful if you JUST brewed to coffee because the grounds can be hot. Sometimes I leave these out to air dry for the day as I add to it. Coffee grounds mold easy so don’t leave them too long.

Bake the grounds at a low temp until they are completely dry. I usually do about 250 degrees. The time depends on how dry they are and how thick the layer is. I store these in an old coffee container until needed. Be sure to mark or label them because they look like the new unused grounds when you are half asleep.


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