Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Make Your Own Household Cleaners.

Making your own household cleaners is a great way to save some money.  Although I love saving money I also love things that are good for the Earth too.  It is great how often these two go hand in hand!!  I also have an old house with old sinks, bath tubs, toilets etc. that just seem to get dirtier a lot easier.  It is really important for me to have some homemade household clearners that actually work!
Since my goal is to meet both criteria, I chose ingredients that not only clean well, but are as "green" as possible.  You really only need a few to clean almost everything in your house.  It is awesome!  My favorite "base" cleaners are vinegar, baking soda, borax, and fels naptha.  I also use lavender as my essential oil of choice.  Alright enough yakking, lets learn how to make your own household cleaners :)

Make sure to follow all instructions on the boxes of the products below.  Products such as Borax, although a naturally mined resource, are considered toxic and should be kept away from small children.  Read all safety information on the boxes of all of these products.

Windows: I keep a spray bottle with just vinegar that I use for windows and mirrors. I find newspapers or cloth towels work very well. Spray on and wipe until vinegar is completely gone.
Shower: First sprinkle baking soda all over the tub.  Then put white vinegar in a spray bottle and completely cover the baking soda.  Let this sit for a minute to break down any soap scum. Use a scrub brush and scrub like crazy.  Let this sit for 15-20 minutes.  Go back and rinse out the tub.  Scrub the surface one more time (you don't have to go crazy this time) and rinse again.

It can be tricky to clean the sides of the shower.  I just take a bar of Fels Naptha and rub it on the walls of the shower.  I then scrub and rinse off.
Stained coffee cups: Put 1 tsp of baking soda and about 2 Tbsp vinegar in cup. Swish foamy mixture around cup and let sit a few minutes. You can empty the contents into the sink or garbage disposal which will help with odors. Wipe down inside of cup with a towel and rinse. The stains come off very easily. This method is much better for you than harsh bleach.
Stains around drain: Dump a little hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain. Let sit for a minute, then scrub with an old toothbrush. Seriously this stuff starts breaking the gunk up right away.  It is awesome!
Mildew: Never mix vinegar and hyrdogen peroxide. It is a dangerouse combination. You can use EITHER vinegar OR hydrogen peroxide on mildew in your shower. Just spray the contents directly on the mildew and let sit for a few minutes. Scrub with an old toothbrush and rinse spot.
Clean coffee makers: Use 1/4 C vinegar and fill the water resevoir full with water. Run through coffee maker. Run through again with just water. You should be able to easily wipe off any coffee from the coffee pot after you are finished. You can run water through a third time to ensure there is no vinegar left.
Cleaning floors: Mix 1/2 C vinegar with 5 or 6 drops essential oil of your choice and hot water.
Toilet cleaner: Pour about 1/2 C vinegar and shake a little baking soda in the toilet. Let sit for a few minutes and scrub clean. You can mix a few drops of essential oil if you like.
Cleaning the fridge: Empty your fridge, and spray a mixture of 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 hot water. Scrub your fridge and wipe clean with a dry towel. Place a box of baking soda in the back of your fridge to help deodorize.
All purpose cleaner: In a spray bottle but 1/4 C. white vinegar, 1 teaspoon Borax, and about 5 or 6 drops of essential oil.
Check out my post on my homemade laundry detergent recipe and learn how to make your own!

I am continually experimenting so please check back for more additions :)

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