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Like Saving Money? staff writer Lisa James shows us how we can easily make our own household cleaners that will do just that.
Homemade Cleaners
By Lisa James

How much do you spend?   
In a year it can really add up. How safe are the cleaners you use? Are they safe for your children? Your pets? The environment? 
With a few basic ingredients... from your kitchen and a few from the local health food store you can make your own household cleaners for pennies. 
I started making... my own cleaners years ago and have loved the way I can save money, protect my family and control the amount of chemicals that are used in my home.  I can also pick the scents and control their intensity in my own cleaners. 
Below are a few simple recipes that can help you save and clean your home.  

Tub and Sink Cleanser
HOW TOFill a clean plastic parmesan cheese container or a powdered sugar shaker with baking soda. For an extra kick add 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil from the local health food store and you are ready to clean.
THE STORE BRANDComet 21oz =.99 cents
HOMEMADE VERSIONbaking soda 16 oz = .69 cents
YOUR SAVINGSThis cleaner does not show a huge savings, but it is safer and more environmentally friendly.

Window Cleaner
HOW TOFill a clean empty trigger spray bottle with Club Soda that you find at the grocery store. Spray on and wipe off with a crumpled newspaper for a lint free shine. This can be used bubbly or flat. Store the unused portion of Club Soda to refill your bottle with later. 
THE STORE BRANDWindex Glass and Surface 26 oz = $3.49 
HOMEMADE VERSION.89 cents for 67.6 oz
YOUR SAVINGSYou save about $3.14 every time you refill your bottle.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
HOW TOMake a thin paste of Borax and lemon juice. Flush the toilet to wet the bowl and rub the paste unto the toilet bowl ring. Let this sit for two hours. Scrub and then flush to rinse. Make sure the paste is thin but not too runny.
THE STORE BRANDLysol Cling Toilet Bowl Cleaner 22 oz = $2.99
YOUR SAVINGSYou save .30 cents every time you use it.

Spot-free Dishes
HOW TOJust add vinegar to the rinse compartment of the dishwasher. Be careful not to overfill. Wash as usual. This will give your dishes a great shine.
THE STORE BRANDSunlight Dishwashing Rinse Aid 5 oz = $3.19
HOMEMADE VERSION1 gallon of vinegar $1.39.
YOUR SAVINGSYou save $79.51. WOW! 1 gallon of vinegar will give you the same amount as 25.6 bottles of rinse aid.

Floor Cleaner
HOW TOAdd 1/2 cup vinegar to a gallon of water. Add essential oil for scent. Scrub or mop floor with mixture.
THE STORE BRANDMop & Glo 16 oz = $3.79
HOMEMADE VERSIONAbout .08 cents per use.
YOUR SAVINGSYou save $3.37 in four uses of the homemade floor cleaner. 

Furniture Polish
HOW TOMix 1/4 cup olive oil or mineral oil with 4 Tbls. white distilled vinegar and 2 tsp lemon juice. Pour into a squirt or spray bottle and shake well before using. The olive oil will add needed moisture to your wood while the vinegar will clean it. Any unused portion should be stored in the refrigerator as the lemon juice can sour after awhile. In place of the lemon juice you can use 20-30 drops of lemon essential oil without the need to refrigerate. 
THE STORE BRANDPledge Extra Moisturizing Lemon Wood Polish 12.5 oz = $3.99
YOUR SAVINGSYou save about $2.00 by making your own. 
My two favorite cleaners... that I use throughout my home take a little more effort, but the results are worth it. Both of these recipes are found in Karen Logan’s book Clean House, Clean Planet. They do require a trip to the health food store once in awhile. The supplies you buy will last for quite a few refills though. 

All Purpose Household Cleaner
HOW TOThis works wonderfully everywhere. Clean your fridge, your table, the walls and the garbage can.You will need a clean 16 oz trigger spray bottle.
From the health food store you need- Castile soap, this is an all natural soap made from vegetable oils. If you cannot find a Castile soap, a mild dishwashing liquid such as Ivory or Palmolive may be substituted.
In areas with hard water you will need to buy distilled or purified water from the grocery store. The minerals in the hard water will inhibit the soap’s ability to work. Borax, vinegar and an essential oil, if you wish will, round out your shopping list.
In a two cup glass measuring cup mix 2 Tbls of white distilled vinegar and 1 tsp of borax. Add 1 cup of hot water and stir until the borax is dissolved. Let this mixture cool a few minutes and then pour into the spray bottle. Add more water to the bottle leaving
enough room to add 1/4 cup of castile soap OR 1/8 cup of liquid dishwashing detergent. To scent, add 15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil. The scent will not be as pure when mixed with an already scented dishwashing detergent.
Because this cleaner does contain a small amount of borax it is slightly toxic. Be sure to label it accordingly. 
THE STORE BRANDFantastik All Purpose Cleaner 32 oz = $3.19
YOUR SAVINGSYou save $2.88 each time you refill. 

HOW TOMy other favorite cleaner is a disinfectant that uses the antiseptic power of tea tree oil. This can be found at the health food stores with the essential oils.This wonderful cleaner is great on hands, toys, toilets, and even in the laundry. Great on doorknobs and sink handles when the flu hits your home. I keep some in each of my bathrooms.
To make, fill a 16 oz trigger spray bottle almost to the top with water. Again use purified or distilled water for the best results. Add 3 Tbls of castile soap and 20-30 drops of tea tree oil to the water. Shake to mix. 
THE STORE BRANDLysol Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner 22 oz = $2.99
YOUR SAVINGSYou will save $2.04 each time you refill.

1 comment:

  1. You can bet I am going to be trying the vinegar in my dishwasher as soon as it needs refilled. I have never heard of the Club Soda for the windows but my grandma always made me use vinegar and newspapers to clean her windows which never made much sense to me because I would think it would leave black ink on the windows.


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