Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Saving Money on Household Cleaning Products

Let's face it, cleaning products can be expensive! Over the last couple of years, I have come to realize that I do NOT need to purchase all of these products to have a clean home. I have asthma and allergies, so in addition to being expensive, many of the chemicals in the products bothered and irritated me. Plus, I wanted something safe for my kids to be around. I certainly do not want them being around chemically laden products when I clean! I discovered that I could make my own cleaning products at home that were safe, effective, and cheap. Now, this process can be as simple, or as complex, as you want to make it. Me? With my busy life, I tend to go for the simpler option. Here are a few of the simple recipes I use, if you have any others feel free to post them in the comments section.

Basic Household cleaner
1 part vinegar to 3 parts water
Mix it up in a clean spray bottle. Use this anywhere in the house, it kills germs and deodorizes.

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
1 part baking soda to 1 part Borax
I use this recipe as is, I mix my batch up in an old ice cream container and add 2 teaspoons
to every load. Some people also like to put a little bit of vinegar in the rinse compartment.

Homemade Laundry Detergent
1 cup washing soda, 1 cup borax, 1 bar of soap finely grated
I also mix this up in an old ice cream container, add 2 tablespoons per load, more for larger
or more soiled loads. I still personally use liquid fabric softener, but some people will use
vinegar as a natural fabric softener. If you opt for this, a really easy way to do it is to put it
in a Downy fabric softener ball. This detergent recipe can also be made with baking soda
instead of washing soda, but you may need to use more of the detergent in the wash if you
make it that way. Washing soda can be hard to find, if your local store doesn't carry it, you
can always request that they do. Another option is to order it online, or go to your local
pool supply store and buy soda ash (it is the same thing as washing soda).

Natural Scouring Powder/Toilet bowl cleaner
Baking soda, as much as you need to do the job
Just sprinkle baking soda on the area you are cleaning, the same as you would store bought
scouring powder. Use a damp sponge, scrub, and rinse. I also use plain old baking soda to
clean my toilets. I sprinkle some in the bowl, then use my toilet brush to scrub, then flush.
I have also heard of people pouring in some baking soda, then some vineger; let it set for a
few minutes. Scrub, then flush.

Carpet Deodorizer
Baking soda, as much as you need
Sprinkle baking soda on the carpet the same way you would with the commercial carpet
deodorizers. Vacuum it up.

As you can see, baking soda can be used for lots of things! Not only are these cleaners better on your budget, but they are better for the environment too. Using homemade cleaners reuses containers, you are not buying new packaging either, thus recycling and reducing waste. Plus, using natural products is less harmful to the environment in general, and reduces (if not eliminates) the amount of hazardous chemicals in your household. I don't know about you, but with little ones in my home, I prefer it that way!


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