Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Making Your Own Cleaning Products

How many of you have ventured into making your own cleaning products?  If you haven’t tried it yet, I challenge you to do so.  They are not only more economical to use, cleaners you make yourself do not have the toxic smell or leave behind a residue.  They actually clean better than the expensive cleaning products you buy too!

I have been making my own cleaning products, with the exception of laundry soap, for several years. I have contemplated making my own laundry soap for awhile now, but haven’t taken the leap.  I hope to make some later this week after I locate all of the ingredients.  My niece gave me a recipe I hope to share after I have been able to make and test on my own laundry.

I first started making my own cleaners because my husband kept complaining of the fumes from the cleaners I was using. He felt they were creating more problems for us allergy wise by simply breathing the fumes from them. I had to agree. I was almost to the point of wearing a mask each time I used them.

Since I started making my own cleaners, I now realize how much money I was spending on various products in the past. I don’t have to worry about trying to find a coupon to get a product cheaper, or buying several products because they are only used for a specific job.  The products I buy are inexpensive, last a long time, and are versatile.  

You can do a variety of cleaning tasks with basic items on hand.
The main items I use and keep on hand are:
Baking Soda
Tea Tree Oil
Liquid Peppermint Castile Soap
Rubbing Alcohol (90%)

Vinegar is a main staple in my home. I purchase it by the gallon getting several at a time when I shop at Sam’s Club.  I use vinegar for many things around my home. 

*I add it to my rinse cycle as a fabric softener.  It also helps cut any soap residue that may be in the rinse cycle. 

*You can add it to your dishwasher in the rinse cycle to eliminate water spots in addition to cleaning your dishwasher. 

*I make a solution of vinegar with rubbing alcohol (90%) to sanitize electric toothbrushes, clean mirrors or glasses.

*I also use it to clean any lime residue off of faucets.

*I pour vinegar with baking soda down my drains to clean them of the gunk that can accumulate in the pipes.  I sprinkle about ½ a cup of baking soda into the sink and pour vinegar down the drain.  It’s also like a science experiment the kids will love to watch!  The combination of baking soda and vinegar will create a mini volcano.  It’s a great way to entice children into helping clean. ;)

Baking soda can be used in place of soft scrub to clean your sinks and shower.  To scour and sanitize my kitchen sink I sprinkle it with baking soda and spray a mixture of bleach diluted with water and scrub.  This takes the place of soft scrub with bleach.  For my shower I omit the bleach and just use baking soda and water. 

Borax can be added to your laundry as a booster.  You can also soak clothes in borax to remove stains.  I add borax to my toilet bowl and let it sit for several hours before scrubbing.  It helps remove stains as well as hard water deposits that may be left behind.  I also use borax in my all purpose cleaner.

Tea Tree Oil has many uses. I found a great list of the uses from this site:

20 Great Ways to Use Tea Tree Oil
For Health
1. Use a dab to treat acne.
2. An anti-fungal for treating Athlete’s Foot, eczema, various yeast infections, etc.
3. An antiseptic to be used on cuts and burns.
4. An anti-viral: it may lessen the symptoms of colds and flu. Try using a few drops in the bath.
5. Add to a vaporizer to loosen chest congestion.
6. Add a small amount to shampoo to 
destroy head lice.
7. A small amount added to your bath can help with persistent body odor.
Treating sinus infection.
For dandruff and dry scalp.
10. In the form of 
aromatherapy, tea tree oil is used to treat colds, persistent coughs, acne, toothaches, and sunburn.
For Cleaning
11. To create an all-purpose cleaner, combine 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil in 2 cups of water in a spray bottle.
Another version would be 14 ounces of water with 1 ounce of Murphy’s oil soap and 10 drops of tea tree oil.
13. Mix the above solution with kosher salt to scrub bathtub and bathroom tiles.
14. Add a few drops to dishwasher dispenser, then fill with a 
green dishwashing soap.
15. A few drops added to each load of laundry leave your clothes smelling cleaner.
16. Control mold with a tea tree oil/water spray.
Remove mustiness with that same tea tree oil/water spray.
18. To keep germs at bay, spray it on high chairs, car seats, and other high traffic spots.
19. 15 drops in a quart of water can be an effective insect repellent.
20. Be sure to take some with you when 
hiking and camping to put directly on insect bites or blisters.
Liquid Castile Soap
My two favorite uses for liquid castile soap are cleaning hardwood floors and as an insect repellant for garden vegetables. 

For my hard wood floors I use an old windex spray bottle with ¼ cup liquid castile soap and fill the remainder of the spray bottle with hot water.  I use a dampened microfiber cleaning rag to wipe the floors after I have lightly sprayed them with the solution.  I also place a dampened microfiber cleaning rag onto my swifer and use it in the same way for larger areas.

To keep insects off of cabbage, lettuce and tomatoes I use the same formula but in a two gallon sprayer versus the smaller one.  It’s much easier when spraying several plants rather than tiring my hand out from using the windex spray bottle. 

Rubbing alcohol can be used to sanitize metal instruments such as tweezers and nail clippers.  It can be used to clean mirrors and glass.
You can use it to wipe down your telephone to remove germs.
Rubbing alcohol will also remove sticky adhesive residue left behind when you remove labels or tags.

Bleach is used to whiten clothes, kill germs, disinfect, and sanitize water.  If you have a septic tank, do not use bleach as it will kill the helpful bacteria in the system.  

     The recipe I use for an all purpose cleaner is a combination of other recipes I have found. This is my   favorite all purpose cleaning recipe.There are only four ingredients needed to make it.  You can find them easily, or may already have them in your home.

I use this cleaner on my floors, counter tops, shower, sinks and toilets.  Basically everywhere except for my hard wood floors.  It really cuts through hair spray, grease and grime, as well as leaving your bathroom fixtures sparkling.  I mix a gallon at a time so I don’t have to make it as often.

The following recipe will make one gallon
8 teaspoons borax
1 1/2 cups vinegar
40 drops tea tree oil
16 cups hot water

You can also make a smaller batch that will fit into a spray bottle
1 teaspoon borax
3 Tablespoons vinegar
5 drops tea tree oil
2 cups hot water 

No comments:

Post a Comment