Sunday, October 20, 2013

Homemade Cleaning Products and Solutions

There are many things that you already have around your home that make excellent cleaning products! They can be as effective as the commercial products that you buy, and can save you quite a bit of money in the long run.

Lemons: These orbs of yellow delight make a great furniture polish when the juice is added to olive oil in a 1:2 ratio.  They can also remove stains from grout, tupperware or other plastic containers. They can clean tarnish from copper pots, they are great for cleaning laminate counters and cutting boards and can even get rust out of elbows. If that's not enough, they are a wonderful addition to flavor your drinking water and can add shine to your hair when you rinse your hair with juice added to water. 

Honey: Honey makes a fantastic cough syrup that can be more effective than off-the-shelf commercial syrups. It's cheaper, we usually have some in the pantry and kids have no problem downing the sweetness!

White Vinegar: Vinegar has to be one of the most versatile, inexpensive and readily available products in our kitchens. Are you using it to it's full potential? It great to have a solution of vinegar & water in a spray bottle for cleanups in the kitchen. When mixed with water it can help relieve heartburn. It softens hair and clothes when added to a rinse. It is great to use for cleaning windows and mirrors, it soothes mosquito bites, and apparently it even kills weeds! Who knew?

Baking Soda: I keep a small dish in my bathroom to dip my toothpaste loaded toothbrush in for an occasional tooth whitening treatment. It also is a great counter scrub, grout cleaner, deodorizer (an open box in the fridge works wonders), a stain remover and great as an exfoliant when mixed into a paste with a little bit of water. Read my previous post about cleaning pan with it!

 Cleaning baking sheets with Baking Soda

Borax: Ok, so maybe I don't have any extra borax lying around, but I hear you can make your own laundry detergent that is way cheaper than the commercial stuff, safe in the newer high efficiency washers and great at cleaning oil stains out of clothing. Here is one person's recipe:
  • 1 bar (or 4.5 ounces) of shaved bar soap (Dr. Bronner’s, Ivory, ZOTE, Fels-Naptha)
  • 1 cup of borax
  • 1 cup of washing soda
Thoroughly stir together for 5 minutes then Use 1 Tbsp per load (or 2-3 Tbsp for large or heavily soiled loads).

You can find most of these products at dollar stores or large chain stores. You will be surprised at how much money you can save.

Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide mixed with Dawn dish-washing soap makes an excellent stain fighter. Mix one part liquid soap to two parts peroxide, rub into stain then rinse to remove stains, wine stains and oil.

As with any new product you try, you should always check it on a inconspicuous area that you are cleaning to make sure that it gives you the results that you are looking for.

Ta ta for money!