Friday, February 10, 2012

Homemade natural cleaners...

...I've been sharing about making these on my personal Facebook page over the past few months.  When I first started making them I was a little unsure about how well they would work, but I knew I wanted to use natural cleaners and buying them at the store was breaking the bank.  After using them for a few months, I've grown to love them.  It's also helpful that you can make so many different cleaners with only a few ingredients!

What you'll need:

  • Borax
  • Arm & Hammer washing soda
  • bar soap of your choice
  • white vinegar
  • rubbing alcohol
  • filtered or distilled water
  • essential oil of you choice, citrus scents work well (optional)
from left to right, top to bottom: water, borax, washing soda,
rubbing alcohol, vinegar, bar soap, all natural essential oil

What you can make with these few ingredients:

  • dishwasher detergent
  • dishwasher rinse aid
  • general cleaner
  • glass cleaner
  • laundry detergent
  • fabric softener
  • mop water
from left to right: vinegar, fabric softener, laundry detergent,
glass cleaner, general cleaner

You *will* get a lot for you money!  I promise! let's get on with how to make them...

Dishwasher Detergent
Mix equal parts borax and washing soda.  Make sure you mix them well and get out all of the lumps of washing soda - I do this in a zipper freezer bag.  Use about 1 Tbsp per load.

Dishwasher Rinse Aid
Fill the rinse aid thingie in your dishwasher with vinegar.  It's like magic.

General (Almost) All-purpose Cleaner
Fill a spray bottle with half vinegar and half purified water.  Give it a shake to mix it all up.  The vinegar disinfects and the smell goes away quickly.

Glass Cleaner
Fill a spray bottle halfway with rubbing alcohol, add one Tbsp. vinegar and fill it up the rest of the way with purified water.  Shake it up.  

Laundry Detergent
Mix one cup borax and one cup washing soda.  Using a fine cheese grater, grate a bar of soap into the mixture.  Use about 1/8 c. for each load of laundry...  do it like this:  Start your washer with HOT water (you can change it to the temp you want in a minute).  Add your detergent directly under the water while it's starting to fill.  Give it a couple of seconds so the detergent will dissolve a little bit.  Change the water temp if you like.  Proceed as usual.
NOTE: When you grate your soap, do it *slowly* and *carefully*  ...I cannot stress enough that you need to pay attention while you're doing this.  I grated off part of a knuckle the first time I did this.  It was a lot easier the second time, since I knew I had to take it slowly.  

Fabric Softener
Mix equal parts water and vinegar.  Add a few drops of essential oil, if you like - only enough so that you can just barely smell it through the vinegar.  The amount that you add will depend on the scent that you choose.  Now, you can either add it during the rinse cycle, or you can keep in in a tub and leave some cotton fabric squares soaking in it.  When you need a fabric softener sheet, just wring out a sheet and toss it in the dryer with your wet clothes.  The vinegar helps to break down any leftover detergent residue and deodorizes as well.  

Mop Water
You can add a splash of vinegar to hot water when mopping most types of flooring.  This is actually how most flooring companies recommend that you clean hardwood floors.

...I have gotten all of my ingredients at stores like Walmart or the dollar store.  I also picked up all of my spray bottles, tubs, measuring cups and the cheese grater at the dollar store.  You can expect to spend around $15-20 on everything the first time you make it all.  After that, it'll only be a few dollars at a time to keep individual ingredients stocked.

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