Make your own housecleaning products
Whether you're out of your normal cleaner or you want to reduce the chemicals you use around the house, these tricks should work.
Mon, Aug 02 2010 at 2:56 PM
Making your own cleaning products is a good way to save money and control the use of chemicals in your home. Most of the following recipes are made from non-toxic ingredients, but there are some chemicals as well. If you store any of these, be sure to label them so you know what is in the container —and keep these and any household cleaners out of the reach of children and pets!
Here are some simple recipes for the most common household chores.
• Spray bottle with club soda
• 2 teaspoons white vinegar in a quart of warm water.
Put in a spray bottle
Consumer Reports' tried-and-true window cleaner:
• 1/2 cup soapy ammonia
• 1 pint rubbing alcohol
Mix well, put in spray bottles and label
• White vinegar
• 3 tablespoons castile soap
• 20-30 drops of tea tree extract
Mix in a 16-oz. sprayer and top with water
• Club soda
• 1 part white vinegar
• 1 part water
Mix in a spray bottle
Shake baking soda on surface or damp sponge and scrub
1 part baking soda
1 part lemon juice
Make a paste and use a sponge to clean
Toilet bowl cleaner
Flush the toilet, sprinkle in the baking soda, spray with vinegar and scrub
Bath tile mold prevention
1 part water
1 part bleach
Spray and wipe off with a warm, damp sponge
Grout mold cleaner
1 part hydrogen peroxide
2 parts water
Combine in spray bottle. Spray, let sit for an hour, wipe with a damp sponge
Drain cleaner (not for full clogs)
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup of baking soda
Pour baking soda then vinegar down drain. Let sit for 10 minutes and flush with boiling water followed by warm tap water until drain clears.
Use a plunger
Partially fill sink/tub with water. Plunge for 20 seconds and pull the plunger quickly from the drain
1/4 cup white vinegar (or 1/2 cup lemon juice)
3/4 cup olive oil
Mix and polish with soft cloth
2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons baking soda (add an essential oil or cologne for fragrance if you want)
Mix in spray bottle
Sprinkle carpet with baking soda. Let it sit for a half-hour and vacuum
All-Purpose Floor Cleaner
1/2 cup vinegar
1 gallon water
Mix and mop (Note: Vinegar should not be used on grout or marble)
Wood Floor Cleaner
Few drops of dish soap
1 gallon of warm water
Mix and damp mop
1/2 cup liquid castile soap
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 drops tea tree extract
1/4 cup white vinegar
Stir water and soap together. Add rest of ingredients and stir until blended. Put in squeeze bottle. Use 2 tablespoons per load.
(From "Natural Cleaning for Your Home: 95 Pure and Simple Recipes," by Casey Keller)
Pour vinegar into the compartment
Garbage disposal freshener
Grind orange and lemon peels in the disposal.
1 bar of shaved bar soap (Ivory, Fels-Naptha or Zote)
1/2 cup of washing soda
Stir together until combined well and store in an airtight container. Use 1 tablespoon per load (2 for heavy soils). This is low-suds and should work well for front-loading laundry machines.
Add 1/2 cup white vinegar to rinse cycle
These ideas should save you money and put your mind at ease about using too many chemicals. Please feel free to comment with your own recipes or share the results if you've tried any of these.
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