I may sound like a hippie when I say this, but with the current “green movement” I think it’s appropriate: I haven’t used normal household cleaning products in over a year. “Her house is probably gross!” you say? It’s not – I just use store-bought ingredients to make my own. It’s not much more time consuming than having to shop the store, and is usually much cheaper. (Plus, many of the ingredients can be used in other ways, like in edible recipes!) All you need to keep your home clean is Borax, washing soda, baking soda, white vinegar, lemons or lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, olive oil, some essentail oils if you like, and bar or liquid castille soap.
Combine 1 cup grated castille bar soap (use a cheese grater and a measuring cup, turn on your favorite show or music and it’ll be over in no time), 1/2 cup washing soda (find it on the same aisle you’d find other detergents), and 1/2 cup Borax.
Use 1-2 tablespoons, depending on the size of the load. Of course, you can double the ingredients to last longer, but just a small amount goes a long way! We store ours in a labeled tupperware container with a measuring spoon right above the washer.
In a labeled plastic spray bottle, comine a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, add a little essential oil (peppermint works well.) Shake, spray directly onto glass, and wipe with a clean dry cloth. Use a piece of crumpled newspaper to remove any streaks.
Frost-Free Windshield Solution
Vinegar and water also work to keep your vehicle’s windsheild frost-free. Mix 3 parts vinegar and 1 part water, and clean your windshield the same way you would use the glass cleaner. Pour the remaining liquid into your windshield wiper fluid container under the hood, and use it like any other wiper fluid.
Bathroom Mold Cleaner
Instead of using harsh chemicals like bleach, all you need is a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water. Spray it on, then wait at least 30 minutes before rinsing.
Instead of masking smells, get rid of them by sprinkling baking soda or borax in the bottom of garbage cans, and sprinkling baking soda on the carpet before you vacuum. Grind lemon rinds, or add a little lemon juice and baking soda to your garbage disposal and run it. Swab a couple of drops of essential oil, like peppermint, tea tree, or lavender, onto your light bulbs a couple of times a month.
All Purpose Cleaner
Mix 1/8 cup of Borax to 1 quart of hot water (1/2 cup to 1 gallon.) Mix and let Borax dissolve completely. Spray on surfaces to clean and disinfect, then wipe with a clean, dry cloth.
Other Surface Cleaners
Use baking soda and lemon juice or vinegar to clean your sinks and tubs. Sprinkle baking soda, borax, and vinegar or lemon juice in toilet bowls; let sit about 10 minutes, then use the brush to clean. Polish wood with some olive oil and a clean, dry cloth (an unwanted sock works well!)
There are tons of other uses for these products, but that covers the basics you’ll need to keep your stuff clean. What are some of your favorite DIY cleaning tips?
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