Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Spring Cleaning

You may think that it is a little early to talk about spring cleaning.  It is still winter you may exclaim.  Nothing makes me feel better than having a squeaky clean house to start the New Year off right though!  This isn't about how to clean your house, rather than what to clean your house with.

It seems that every time you turn around they are coming out with some new and improved product to clean with.  I know I have spent a fortune trying to find products that I liked and actually worked.  Plus, it always seemed like a large cleaning project was always proceeded by a trip to the store for supplies.  What a pain!  With a little bit of investment and time, you can make your own cleaning products for a lot less.  IMO, they do a better job of cleaning also.

The internet is a great source for finding "recipes" for cleaning products, or anything else for that matter.  These I have found online and use them in my own home.

Laundry Detergent

LOVE this stuff!  My clothes come out clean without a whole lot of pretreating.  It takes a few minutes to make a bucket of, which last a long time.
*Tip - if you ask at your local bakery they are more than willing to give you a bucket and lid for free.  Just takes a bit of washing out before use.  They also are only 4 gallons, but it is okay.

4 cups + 5 gallons hot water
1 bar Fels Naptha soap
1 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax

In a pot, heat the water to almost boiling over medium heat.  Grate the Fels Naptha soap and slowly add to the water, stirring until melted.

Fill a 5 gallon bucket with hot tap water.  Add washing soda and borax and stir til dissolved.  Add the melted Fels Naptha soap.

  Stir.  Place lid on bucket and let sit overnight to thicken up.

You will use this diluted with water.  It is easier to save a few milk cartons to fill.  Fill container half with warm water and half with soap.  Before using, always give the container a good shake!
Cost for 10 gallons of laundry detergent = $3.00 approximately

Now, don't stop there!  An inexpensive fabric softener that really works, maybe too well, is suprisingly white vinegar!  Plain, old white vinegar.  The problem with it is, it takes ALL smell out of your laundry.  The strangest thing is pulling out your laundry and there is NO smell at ALL!  A gallon jug of white distilled vinegar is just pennies compared to fabric softener.  You can dab some essential oils on a bit of cloth and throw in the dryer if you miss a smell.  Lavender smells wonderful.

Dishwasher Detergent

This stuff is awesome!  I won't ever go back to using store bought again.  My dishes come out looking and feeling clean, which is a challenge for white dishes.  I also do not have to buy all the other additives that I used with store bought products.

16 cups of hot water
1-1/2 cups Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
1/2 cup Dr Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap

Bring half of the water to a boil.  Add soda, borax and soap.  Stir til dissolved.  Add remaining water and let cool.  When cool, pour into a clean, 1 gallon milk jug.  Allow to set overnight to gel up.

When using, you only need 1 tablespoon of this soap.  You can, of course, alter this according to your needs.  Once again, white distilled vinegar makes a great rinse agent in your dishwasher.  I have tried a variety of powdered detergents for dishwashers and did not care for them.  I find, if you don't place them in an airtight container they tend to clump into a hard rock.  I also use white vinegar as a rinse agent in the dishwasher.  Works just as well as the store products at a bigger saving!
Cost for 1 gallon of dishwasher detergent = $3.50

Bleach Alternative

This one is super easy to make!  Works too without the gagging bleach smell.  I have used it on my kids clothes when they were babies.  My son also has eczema and this doesn't seem to bother him.  I also use this around the house for cleaning since I hate the smell of bleach.

12 cups water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup Hydrogen Peroxide

Mix together.  Use 2 cups per load of wash.

Multi-Purpose Cleaner

Once you try this stuff, you will be hooked!  So easy to mix up also!

1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
1/2-2/3 cup rubbing alcohol (Use the larger amount for use on windows)
Essential Oils

In a spray bottle, add the vinegar and alcohol.  If you like a "nice" smell, add a few drops of essential oils.  You can add a few drops of Tea Tree Oil to make a great anti-bacterial cleaner.  Fill the bottle up with water and shake well.
Cost for sprayer bottle of cleaner = $.50

Furniture Polish

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and lemon juice in a bottle.  Pour a bit on a clean cloth and rub onto furniture.  Buff with another clean cloth.

There ya go!  Some simple cleaning products that are safe around kids without harmful chemicals.  There are lots more out there that can be found in a simple search.  You would be surprised at how many you can find.  It may take awhile to find the ones that you like, but it is well worth the effort.  I will be posting more in the future.  Some I am not so thrilled with and looking for better ones.  These are the ones that I have had lots of success with so far.

Here's to Spring Cleaning!

1 comment:

  1. Is this laundry soap good to use in HE washing machines. Mine is a new machine and I dont want to ruin it but I am paying big $$ for HE soaps.