On Our Journey Toward Natural Cleaning Products

Almost once a day, I have to remind myself that our Edible Schoolyard project in downtown Greensboro is still in the toddler years – not yet 3 years old – and that discovery, trial and error, and boundary pushing are a part of our world right now.  One particular thorn for us is that we are not using all natural cleaning products.  In the ESY kitchen today, we have some Seventh Generation products, some conventional products, and no homemade cleaners.  

Store bought products, although effective, can fall outside our nonprofit budget. (If you are interested in helping us with any of these items, please see the GIVE tab at the top of the page).

This post is a starting point for our efforts to find things we can make in the kitchen from items we may already have.  I have a blogsite called Crunchy Betty to thank for the inspiration for my first attempt at homemade cleaners.




Recipe from Crunchy Betty:

3 tbsp ground citrus peel

3 tbsp borax

5 tbsp baking soda

That’s it!


  1. Peel a citrus fruit and put the pieces out to dry.  Crunchy Betty and I used a grapefruit, but I have to imagine that an orange or lemon would be just as nice.  It took less than a week for the peel to dry completely on my desk at work.
  2. Grind the peel in a food processor to a fine grit. SN: Our little food processor didn’t make it, but the coffee grinder came to the rescue.  I found breaking the peel into smaller parts made the process go more smoothly.
  3. Combine ground citrus, borax, and baking soda.
  4. Use in your kitchen and bathroom to clean the tough stuff.

ESY’s Results:

The smell is so lovely!  It worked well in the sinks and I’m looking forward to using it on the counters after a cooking class.


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