Make your own cleaning products and save money!
The holidays have come and gone and here we are at the start of 2013. For most, the festivities have slowed down quite a bit and life resumes its typical pace. This is the time of year when we start thinking about how we indulged too much, ate too much, spent too much and how this year, it will be different! Soon those holiday bills will be rolling in and some of you will be looking to make a positive change in how you spend your money.
I often talk about how making your own green cleaning products is good for the environment as well as the health of you and your family but that’s not all it is good for. If you are looking to give your household budget a makeover I have some good news. Learning how to make your own green cleaning products will save you money.
Low on price without the sacrifice
Making your own cleaning products is much cheaper than buying individual pre-made products. Baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, cornstarch, isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are effective, inexpensive key ingredients found in many homemade cleaners. These items are readily available in local stores and are commonly found in our kitchens and bathrooms. Since you have these items in your home already, it will instantly save you money, time, and storage space.
Multiple uses = more green in you pocket
Since most homemade cleaners have the same base ingredients, they can be used in different ways and amounts to tackle specific areas of the house. Buying these items in bulk will save you even more money.
- Baking soda can be used as a fabric softener, deodorizer, metal polisher, drain cleaner, non-abrasive scrub, toilet cleaner as well as other countless uses (this list doesn’t even cover its health and beauty uses)
- Vinegar can be used to clean multiple surfaces, deodorize, remove mildew and as a fabric softener.
- Lemon juice and lemons can be used as glass cleaner, deodorizer and stain remover while cornstarch can clean windows, carpets, and polish furniture.
Don’t throw your money in the garbage
Consider switching to microfiber cloths instead of using paper towels. These amazing little cloths lift off dirt, grease and dust while dry or with plain water because they penetrate and trap dirt. Since a good quality cloth is only a few dollars and can last for several years, a small investment now can save you hundreds of dollars over time. If you are using a Swiffer-type mop, pick up a refillable mop that uses your own solution and washable microfiber pads. You will never have to pay for toxic, expensive chemicals or expensive, disposable pads again.
Recipes for Success!
Have I convinced you to try something new but you are not sure where to start? No problem! Below you will find some basic recipes to get you started (feel free to poke around our site to find even more!) If you feeling particularly productive, check out how you can create your very own non-toxic cleaning kit designed to help you clean your entire home without a single, expensive chemical.
Besides cleaning, this mixture can be used to disinfect surface areas in your home. Hydrogen peroxide eventually turns to water, so make sure to add more each time you use the solution.
Spot Wipes (Clorox wipes alternative)
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup club soda
8 drops of essential oil (for scent)
Combine ingredients and soak 20 heavy-duty paper towels in the mixture. Squeeze out the excess and store in a plastic sandwich bag. Use to clean spots and spills as needed.
Dual-Spray System (Clorox Bleach alternative)
3% Hydrogen Peroxide
Clear spray bottle
Dark spray bottle OR a spray nozzle to fit over Hydrogen Peroxide bottle
Fill clear spray bottle with straight vinegar. Fill dark brown spray bottle with Hydrogen Peroxide or apply spray nozzle directly to Hydrogen Peroxide bottle. To disinfect any hard surface, spray vinegar then hydrogen peroxide or vise versa. Spraying order does not affect effectivness. This solution can also be used to safely clean and disinfect produce. Spray both solutions, then rinse throughly.
Non-Abrasive Cleaner (Soft Scrub Alternative)
Pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough liquid detergent to make a texture like frosting. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and wash the surface. This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn’t leave grit. Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to the mixture and store in a sealed glass jar. This will keep the product moist. If you cannot find the glycerin, they can make the mixture as needed.
Mold and Mildew Spray
2 teaspoons tea tree oil
2 cups water
Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse. The strong odor will dissipate over time. This recipe makes two cups. The tea tree oil is costly but works really well and will last a long time.
1/4-1/2 teaspoon liquid detergent
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups water
Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use as you would a commercial brand. The soap in this recipe is important. It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.
Toilet Bowl Cleaners
I have listed three different recipes here because I like choices and I think if you make something that will work best for you, chances are you will use it more. The first recipe is a great method to clean a non-stained toilet and keep it clean. The 2nd and 3rd recipes are good for toilets that need a deeper cleaning.
- Vinegar and Baking Soda
1 cup vinegar
1/2 cup baking soda
Pour the vinegar into the toilet bowl and let it sit for at least 30 minute. When complete, dip your brush in the toilet and sprinkle some baking soda onto the brush. Scour the inside of the toilet with the brush until the all baking soda is gone. Repeat as necessary.
- Borax and Lemon Juice
1 cup of Borax
1/2 cup of lemon juic
Pour 1 cup of Borax into a small bowl then add 1/2 cup of lemon juice over the Borax and gently stir with a spoon into a paste. Flush the toilet to wet the sides, then rub the paste onto the toilet with a sponge (you might want to wear rubber gloves just to stay clean). Let it sit for 2 hours before scrubbing thoroughly. This is great for removing a stubborn stain, like a toilet bowl ring.
- Borax and Vinegar
1 cup of Borax
1/2 cup of vinegar
Flush the toilet to wet the sides of the bowl then sprinkle a cup of Borax around the rim and sides of toilet. Spray 1/2 cup of vinegar over the Borax and allow to sit for several hours or overnight. Scrub thoroughly with a toilet brush until the bowl gleams.Sometimes, hard water just leaves a stubborn ring that no amount of scrubbing or rubbing can eliminate. Use the pumice stone at this point and rub lightly on the stain.
Do you make your own green cleaners at home? We’d love to hear about them. Here’s to a clean, green 2013!