Thursday, July 6, 2017

Clean Without Cleaning Out Your Wallet

Manufactured cleaning products are expensive.  And, it seems you need a special one for every cleaning task.  The dollars quickly add up.

Also, upon reflection, you may not like that idea of using so many potentially harmful chemicals with names you can't pronounce in your home.  I know I don't.

I also was not fond of all the packaging that I kept sending to the landfill.

So, I did some research and started making my own.  The homemade versions work well for me.  I know exactly what is in them.  I reduce the packaging I need to dispose of.  And, I save some money to be used for something more fun than cleaning.

Below are some ideas for making your own cleaning products.  I would say enjoy but somehow that doesn't sound right when talking about cleaning.  :)

All Purpose Cleaner:  Mix 2T of Dawn with 2 cups water and put it into a recycled spray bottle.  This cleans kitchen and bathroom counters, stove tops, woodwork, fridge surfaces, kitchen tables and more.

Glass and Mirror Cleaner:  Mix equal parts of white household vinegar and water and keep in a recycled spray bottle.  Also good for stainless steel and metal kitchen sinks.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner:  Sprinkle baking soda on the surface of the water.  Pour in some household vinegar and let it fizz. Scrub with your toilet brush and then flush.  The vinegar will help kill germs.  And, if you have  pets that insists on using this big water bowl, you no longer have to worry about what dangerous chemicals they are all drinking.

Scouring powder:  Baking soda is a very gentle scouring powder.  Use salt if you need something stronger.

Rug deodorizer:  Fill an old parmesan container with baking soda.  Sprinkle on your carpet and let sit for a few minutes then vacuum.  Baking soda is a good deodorizer for lots of things.  Try it with funky smelling plastic containers, litter boxes, trash cans, smelly sneakers and more.

Counters:  To sanitize spray with vinegar, let sit for a minute, wipe.

Shower surfaces:  To help prevent mold and mildew spray with vinegar and let dry.

 To clean floors:  Use a solution of vinegar and water.  No soapy residue that seems to attract dirt.

Faucets and shower heads:  Soak with vinegar to remove calcium and lime deposits.

Softener in your wash:  Just a quarter cup of vinegar will soften the entire load.

Laundry detergent:  There are several versions.  You can make a liquid by dissolving soap and adding borax and soda;  you can make a dry version by grinding up the bars of soap;  or you can be lazy and just add Dawn to the dry ingredients and mixing well.  When I first started I made the liquid but it took a long time and needed a lot of storage space.  Then I figured out how to make a powdered version.  Faster and easier to store.  Then one day I needed detergent and was out of soap so I figured out how to make a super easy and fast version with Dawn.  I now use both powdered versions depending on how lazy I feel.  (Just keeping it real.)  Below are the actual recipes.  Wal-Mart stocks the needed ingredients.

Liquid: half a cup each of washing soda and borax, one third bar of Fels Naptha soap and 6 cups of water heated until everything dissolves.  In a LARGE container add the mixture to 5 quarts water and stir.  Let sit overnight to gel.  Use one half cup per load

Powder:  grate 8 oz of Fels Naptha, mix with 1 cup each of washing soda, baking soda and borax.  Mix well.  Use 2Tbs per load.  I use my food processor to grate the soap and mix everything together.

Powder Version Two:  one half cup each of borax, washing soda, baking soda and Dawn mixed together well.  Use 2Tbs per load.  Again, I use my food processor to make sure everything mixes well.

Dishwasher Detergent:  1 cup each of borax and washing soda mixed with one half cup kosher salt and one half cup unsweetened lemonade mix ( I use two packets of unsweetened lemonade Koolaid and it works fine).  Use 1Tbs per load.  Use vinegar in the rinse aid dispenser for fewer spots on your dishes.

So, go out and buy a LARGE box of baking soda, a box of washing soda, a box of borax, a jug of household vinegar, a bar of Fels Naptha, a bottle of Dawn and some unsweetened lemonade Koolaid and you are set.

Wish I could honestly say enjoy.  :)

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