Thursday, March 12, 2015

10 Simple Household Cleaner Recipes

Dear Girls,

You've had a front-row seat to watch my journey into making homemade cleaning products.  Hopefully, by the time you're ready to start using your own concoctions, you'll hardly need to reference these recipes and will instead know them by heart.

Just in case, here they are.  The ten recipes we use the most.

Multi-Purpose Cleaner

Fill a 32 oz spray bottle with water, leaving an inch or two to add the other ingredients.
Add about 2 Tbsp castile soap (My favorite scent is almond.)
Add 10-20 drops of tea tree oil

Shake gently and use wherever you would use your commercial multi-purpose cleaner.

*To disinfect a surface afterward, follow up by spraying vinegar on it and allowing it to evaporate.  Vinegar has natural microbial properties.

Soft Scrub
2 tsp vinegar
2 tsp cream of tartar

Combine ingredients and apply to your surface with a rag or cloth.  Allow to sit for about 10 minutes.  Scrub solution off and wash with hot, soapy water.

*Use large amounts of the paste for larger surfaces, just be sure to keep the proportions.
Carpet Powder

1/2 C baking soda
1/2 C Borax
About 20-25 drops of essential oil (I use cinnamon for this recipe.)

Mix ingredients and pour into an empty parmesan cheese shaker.

Sprinkle onto carpets about 20 minutes before vacuuming.  Vacuum as usual.

*Baking soda works just as well for odor elimination.
Fabric Refresher

1 C rubbing alcohol
1 C vinegar
10-20 drops of essential oil (lavender or grapefruit is lovely for this one)

Combine ingredients into a spray bottle and spray directly onto fabrics.

*Worried about the vinegar smell?  Don't!  It will naturally neutralize any odors and the smell disappears as soon as it dries.  The rubbing alcohol is there to simply carry the scent of the essential oil and will evaporate almost immediately.  (Cheap vodka can also be substituted in a pinch.)

*You can also put a couple of tablespoons of your favorite liquid fabric softener into a spray bottle and fill the bottle the rest of the way with water to create this if you're not concerned about using commercial fabric softeners.

Dusting Spray

1 C water
1/4 C vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
10-15 drops of essential oil (Citrus scents like lemon and orange are great for this recipe)

Combine ingredients into a spray bottle.  Shake before each use.  Spray directly onto furniture and buff off with a clean, dry, cloth.

Glass and Window Cleaner

1/4 C rubbing alcohol
1/4 C vinegar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 C hot water

Combine all the ingredients into a spray bottle.  Spray directly onto your surface and wipe with a clean, dry, cloth.  Shake well before each use.

*Cornstarch sounds like a weird ingredient for a glass cleaner, but it serves a great purpose.  Click the title of this recipe to read Crunchy Betty's explanation.
Floor Cleaner

1 gallon hot water
1 C vinegar
1/4 C Borax
10 drops essential oil (I like tea tree or lemon for this one.)

Combine ingredients and mop floors as usual, allowing to dry naturally.

Wood Floor Cleaner

1 gallon hot water
1/2 C olive oil
15 drops lemon essential oil

Combine ingredients and mop floors as usual.
Liquid Laundry Soap

Makes ten gallons.

4 C hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 C washing soda
1/2 C Borax

Grate the soap into the hot water and heat on the stove, stirring continuously, until all the soap is dissolved.  Fill a 5-gallon bucket half full of hot water.  Add the soap mixture and dry ingredients and stir.  Fill the bucket the rest of the way with more hot water.  Cover and allow to sit overnight.  Mixture will thicken.

Fill a clean, used laundry detergent bottle halfway with cleaner and then the rest of the way with water.  Shake well before each use, as mixture will gel.

Use about 5/8 C for each load.

*Homemade laundry soap does not suds like commercial soaps do.  This is ok!  I've learned that a ton of suds does not equal cleaner clothes.  Commercial detergents use too much soap, which is actually the reason why clothes come out stiff, causing you to need fabric softener.
Fabric Softener

2 C hair conditioner
3 C white vinegar
6 C hot water

Combine all ingredients and funnel into a container.  Use as you would your commercial fabric softener.

*Vinegar by itself will soften clothing, but this is a good recipe in case you love the added fragrance aspect.  A few drops of essential oils can be added to this as well.

*Again, a switch to homemade laundry soap should eliminate the need for fabric softener!


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