Sunday, October 5, 2008

Save Money With Homemade Cleaning Products!


Don't you feel like you're always cleaning your kitchen? I do! Clean up after the dog who likes to take a few kernels of food out of his bowl and put them on the floor (he saves them for later!), cleaning up after cooking, after kids, after "people" who spill stuff on the floor/counter/fridge and don't clean it up right away....the list goes on. Then there's just the daily maintenance cleaning of dishes, wiping down the countertops, handles etc. Just think how much money you spend on cleaning supplies in a year just for this one year, not to mention your whole house!

I spend very little on cleaning supplies. You really don't need to buy window cleaner, floor cleaner, all purpose cleaner or room deodorizers. Just having the following simple ingredients on hand will help you squeeze a few more pennies out of the budget. Really! Price a big jug of vinegar or plain ammonia against any commercial cleaner!

  1. White vinegar (apple cider vinegar can stain)-kills germs, mold & bacteria

  2. Dishwashing liquid

  3. Baking Soda

  4. Lemon Juice (a mild acid that has mild bleaching properties)

  5. Ammonia (I don't use bleach but I'm sure you all know not to mix these two)

  6. Essential oils (a few drops -optional) - Lavender and Tea Tree oil have been shown to have antifungal and antibacterial properties - plus the nice smell makes cleaning just teensy bit more enjoyable.

First, I'd like to recommend that you stop using sponges! Clean rags are much more economical because you can reuse old worn out items you already have. I have two sets of rags. Ones that are in good condition and that you wash again and again; the other is the kind you use for really messy jobs and then throw away (holey underwear for instance). Also, be sure you label your spray bottles!

Some Recipes

Greasy Cabinets - 1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid to 1 gallon of hot water

Fridge Cleaner - 1 qt. warm water & 1 dash of liquid soap or 2 tablespoons of baking soda & 1 qt. of warm water

Microwave Cleaner - a drop of lemon juice or white vinegar in a cup of water - boil in the micro and the let it sit for a while. The steam will softened any spills. Wipe the inside with a rag, rinse with a clean rag.

Floor Cleaner - 50/50 solution of vinegar and water for vinyl and laminate floors. I have Pergo floors - just be sure you don't get laminate flooring sopping wet.

Glass Cleaner - plain vinegar works great on mirrors. Try putting a little dishwashing soap in the vinegar spray first to get the chemicals and wax from your old cleaner off the glass otherwise you might have streaks the first time.

All Purpose Cleaner - Ammonia diluted according to directions on the bottle or mix one part vinegar to one part water (do not use on marble)

Toilet Cleaner - Flush the toilet, sprinkle sides with baking soda, add 1/2 cup white vinegar, let it sit for a while (it'll foam a bit) and then scrub

Sinks & Tubs - Some dishwashing liquid mixed with a bit of vinegar or sprinkle with baking soda and then spray with vinegar and scrub

Homemade Soft Scrub - mix a small amount of baking soda with a liquid detergent until you have a smooth paste. For stains that need a bit of bleaching, I put some baking soda on a half of lemon and rub that on the area

Carpet Cleaner/deodorizer - when we shampoo our carpets we just use vinegar mixed with hot water in our carpet cleaner. The vinegar smell dissipates. You can also sprinkle baking soda over the carpet and let it sit for about 20 minutes and then vacuum.

Room Freshener - open the windows and let the fresh air in if you can! A few drops of vanilla on a cotton ball placed strategically in a room works also.

These are just a few recipes that I use to get you started. There are loads of books out now that have homemade cleaning recipes, mostly the "Green Living" kind. You can even make your own dishwasher detergent! I've found that I sometimes need to let the cleaner sit for a bit or use a bit more elbow grease than I would with a commercial cleaner. But I think it's worth it!

Not only can you save money, but you can control the amount of chemicals that are used in your home!


Anonymous said...

Please give the amount of vinigar as aposed to the water for cleaning carpets with your carpet cleaner machine. Should the water be hot? Does this get out the greasy marks and such on carpets or only work when the carpet is pretty clean anyway? This is one area I have not tried home made cleners and I want to try it. Thank ou so much for the information. Jody

ROXY said...

I can't wait to try the toilet bowl "recipe". I've been trying to get away from using all those harsh cleaners and why waste money if you have all these things in your pantry! thanks for the great ideas!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Good suggestions and buying some microfiber cloths in the automotive section is a very good thing, too.

Manuela said...

We fill the reservoir that is intended for commercial rug cleaner with vinegar. I estimate that it's about 1/4 of a cup and yes we heat water to boiling and fill the rest of the reservoir with that. As to greasy marks, I don't know, I don't have any greasy marks to get out but our carpet gets pretty dirty as we have a dog and he tracks mud etc in all the time. Some people also mix a bit of Tide detergent in if the rug is very dirty. I'm sure you could do an internet search for this subject and test various recipes untill you find one that works for you.


Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

HI Manuela, I thought you might like this blog. She also has recipes for cleaning products:

Someone left a comment on my blog that a good way to get yellow stains out of vintage pillowcases is to soak them in straight vinegar. She said the yellowing is usually from body oils and the vinegar breaks that down.

Rhonda in OK said...

Great tips!
I have been cleaning our tubs, shower and sinks with a small squirt of dishwashing liquid and a scrubber made of a few layers of tulle/netting sewn together.
It cleans great for me with no toxic smells.
We are on city water that is not very hard so I don't know how well it would work for some one with hard well water though.

About your essential oils - where do you buy them? I have seen them in the craft dept. at Wal-mart but not sure if they are the same quality.

mishebe said...

Thanks for the cleaning recipes, I will try em.... mishelle

Christina said...

Thanks for all of these cleaning recipes. I have loved cleaning w/baking soda and white vinegar for awhile, but love to hear all of the ideas.

I too have a dog who leaves kernels out for later. Drives me batty.

Sarah said...

I love the jar too.

glorv1 said...

Manuela I really love these hints. I am going to save them and utilize them when needed. Thank you and have a great Sunday.

salmagundi said...

A lot of good information here!! I don't usually buy ammonia, but must so I can try some of these concoctions. My mother always used ammonia to clean her diamond rings. Sally

Mona said...

Manuela, I have laminate floors also, and even when they're newly cleaned, they seemed streaked and not clean. You said you use vinegar and water. What mop do you use? Do you rinse? Ever use soap and does the vinegar and water get it clean? How do your floors look when you're done? Please help! I'm sick of mopping and coming up with bad results. Thank you! Mona

Manuela said...

Mona I don't see a email for you so I'll answer you here.

I use a sponge mop. There's a cleaner you can buy that's formulated for laminate floors but, when we installed our Pergo, we were told that vinegar and water was just fine and that's what I always use. I've never used any type of soap on my floors. No I don't rinse. For really shiny floors you have to dry the floor! So I just put some towels down and "skate" around. Usually I'm just fine with how it looks without the towel drying though. But maybe that would help with your streaky issue. Hope that helps!


Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity said...

Great hints!! I love your blog!

CookinsForMe said...

I make a cleaning solution from the homemade Fels Naptha/Washing Soda laundry soap. It works like a charm on just about everything, even carpets. I like that I only need one cleaning solution rather than several. :)

Suzanne said...

Thanks for all the cleaning recipes. I use some, but will save these to "mix" when we run out!
Too funny about Maxie and the dog food! Our Roscoe does the same thing! Takes a few pieces of his dog food to the opposite side of the room (where the rug is) and drops them and eats them there...strewing a few along the way!

Kathleen Grace said...

Yes, cleaning the kitchen does seem like a never ending job! Great cleaning tips. I am interested in the toilet cleaner, I'll have to try that!

Lady Katherine said...

Wonderful post tips. I use most but the toliet, is one I will try.
Thanks so much.

Marianna said...

The vinegar/water combo works on wood floors too. Many people say it is too harsh, but only if you let it sit on the floor. We just moved and the previous owners used a cleaning service. I nearly fainted when I walked in and she was wiping EVERYTHING down with bleach! The smell was overwhelming. My real point though is that she used OrangeGlo on the floors and now there is a horrible build up. Slowly, but surely, the vinegar is getting it off.

As for streaks, Mona. Sounds like your mop is probably too wet. And like Manuela says it's best if you dry afterwords.

Sarah C. said...

Hi Manuela! You're invited to "My Favorite Things Monday" inspired by the Sound of Music! You sharing a picture and story of your current 'favorite thing' that cheered you up when life got you down, would be a blessing! I hope you can come! Thank you for the great post! I'm going to link it to my blog so I can remember where....Have a great day!

Angie said...

Thanks for the great cleaner recipes! I am going to write them down and try them.

AJ said...

I love homemeade cleaners. I'm going to try some of your recipes that I haven't seen before:)

Constance said...

Good Morning and thanks for stopping by and visiting me on Friday's S&T! My Hub has had the computer tied up all wekend processing his photos from our recent vacation so I have been unable to "visit"!

I love your S&T offering on your dining room! I enjoy seeing other people's creativity and their ideas that they come up with! I LOVED the curtains, those turned out great!

Have a fabulous Monday!

mrsjones6 said...

Good ideas! I am so glad you posted this today as I am overwhelmed with a Monday mess!
I use common household products for a lot of my cleaning. These give me even more to add. I have noticed that equal vinegar/water mixture makes a great all-purpose cleaner. It is also really good to break-up grease and sticky on your stove top (found that out when my jelly boiled over a couple of weeks ago!). Thank you for adding the mixture for your carpet machine. The detergent for it is so expensive.
Have a fabulous week,

Michelle said...

Thanks for all the great tips & cleaning recipes!

Happy Monday to you!

Blessings :)

Paula said...

Dear Manuela,

Thank you for sharing those recipes. I have used natural homemade cleaners for years and I love them. There is nothing better to clean with than baking soda, white vinegar, and I love lavender essential oil. I use towels that are somewhat worn out to clean with. Just as you said you will save money and can keep those nasty chemicals out of your home.

I do not like sponges so I knit dishcloths to use. I am still learning to knit but they have held up well.

Thank you for sharing this!

Mrs. Rabe said...

I use a 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and water for my windows, faucets, stainless steel kitchen sink....I also use it on my appliances!

It is easy and cheap to make and doesn't streak!

Storybook Woods said...

Oh great recipes, thank you. Clarice