Besides, not only can you save money creating your own cleaning products, you can make them safe for both your family and the environment.
Here are some common cleaning solutions made with items you may already have on hand.
Yes, as you might already have guessed, white vinegar and baking soda are both included in some of these recipes. And why not? They’re natural, they’re in just about everybody’s pantry, and most importantly, they’re non-toxic.
Here’s a couple of good recipes for a basic, all-purpose cleaner that can be used in your kitchen and bathroom…and basically anywhere you have a hard surface that needs cleaning.
- ⬥ 1/2 c white vinegar
- ⬥ 2 Tbsp baking soda
- ⬥ 10 drops essential oil (e.g. tea tree, lavender, or lemon essential oil) (these oils have disinfecting properties)
Combine the essential oils with the vinegar and a little bit of water into a clean, 12 oz glass spray bottle. Next, add the baking soda and top off the bottle with water.
Shake the mixture gently to combine ingredients.
Use by spraying the surface that you’re cleaning, wipe with a cloth and let dry.
Alternative Multi-Purpose Cleaner
- ⬥ 1 part white vinegar
- ⬥ 1 part water
- ⬥ Lemon rind
- ⬥ Sprigs of rosemary
As above, combine these ingredients in a 12 oz glass spray bottle. Shake it then let it sit for about a week to let the rosemary and lemon be infused into the mixture.
Note: Don’t use any type of acidic cleaner on granite as it will damage the stone.
For items that need more ‘scrubbing’ power, you can make your own “soft-scrub” type of cleaner.:
- ⬥ 1 ½ cups baking soda
- ⬥ ½ cup liquid laundry soap (use one that’s environmentally safe)
- ⬥ 10 drops of essential oil (tea tree, lemon or lavender)
Mix the baking soda in a bowl with the laundry soap vigorously until it turns into a paste. Next, add essential oil and mix it well. Store in an airtight container.
Note: Add a little water if the mixture starts to dry out and mix thoroughly.
Deodorizers and Disinfectants
- ⬥ 4 Tbsp baking soda
- ⬥ 1 qt warm water
Mix together and use to clean and deodorize your refrigerator, countertops, stainless steel sink, appliances, etc.
To knock out smells, use straight baking soda, right out of the box in your drain(s) and/or garbage disposal.
Make a paste from a small amount of baking soda with water to remove spots from stainless steel, gently rubbing in the direction of the metal’s grain.
Next, rinse it well and buff dry.
Heavy Duty Cleaners
Simple but strong
- ⬥ ½ cup sudsy ammonia
Mix in a container with a gallon of water. Use it for cleaning your oven racks, the range hood, and/or your grill. Soak a sponge into the solution and wipe over surfaces. For really tough grime, soak items in the mixture (adding a bit more ammonia if needed).
Lemony and powerful
- ⬥ 1/2 lemon
- ⬥ 1/2 cup Borax powder (you can usually find this in the laundry soap aisle)
If your sinks and/or tubs are porcelain or enamel, use this cleaner.
Dip your lemon wedge into the Borax, and then scrub the area with it. (Note, don’t use on marble or granite).
Rinse well after cleaning. All natural cleaning products are ready to use.
Air and Fabric Fresheners
- ⬥ ½ cup white vinegar
- ⬥ ½ cup water
- ⬥ 12 to 15 drops of essential oil (orange, lemon, grapefruit or lavender)
Combine all ingredients in a 12 oz glass water bottle. To use, shake it well (each time) and spray to freshen up your space.
Note: Adjust the ratios of each ingredient, if necessary, to get the results you want.
- ⬥ ½ cup Borax
- ⬥ ½ cup washing soda (look in the laundry aisle)
- ⬥ ½ cup of Dawn dish soap
- ⬥ 4 cups hot water
Using a funnel, fill a gallon plastic jug with the first three ingredients. Add water until ingredients are dissolved.
Next, fill the jug with cold water to the top.
Before each use, shake the jug well. Use ¼ cup for a standard size load; a bit more for heavily-soiled laundry.
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