Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cleaning Recipes Collection

I have been making my own cleaning products for about a year now. Some have been wonderful; some have been a total flop. Here are some that work for me.

First laundry soap. I originally used a recipe similar to what the Duggar family uses, but it was a lot of trouble to make. I also had a lot of mess because I had to keep mine in 1 gallon jugs to save on space. I tried a powdered recipe and a can't say how much I love it. It does an amazing job. Example? The hand towel in the kids' bathroom is white. Ethan came in and "washed" his hands. He dried them on the white towel leaving red clay all over the towel. Oh, you've never heard of red clay? Well, consider yourself blessed because it simply does NOT come out of clothes. I tossed in the towel with the whites, a double scoop of the laundry soap and 1 scoop of Oxiclean. No elbow grease, no pretreating. It came out looking brand-new. It's a snap to make.

Laundry soap

  • 2c real soap, grated (I use Kirk's Castile because it smells better than Fels Naptha or Ivory imo)
  • 2c baking soda
  • 2c washing soda
  • 3c Borax
Use 1/8 cup per load. I typically double this recipe when I make it and it yields about 150 loads. I was having trouble finding washing soda. I get it from Ace hardware and ship it site to store, but I was using pH increaser (the pool chemical), and using half as much since it is concentrated. I never had trouble with it.

"Windex"
  • 1c water
  • 1c rubbing alcohol
  • 1tbsp white vinegar
Keep this in a sprayer bottle. I got a huge bag of about 10 bottles at Sam's. I put tape on each bottle with the entire recipe on it. It's safe that way! I'd give this recipe 4 stars out of 5. Avoiding ammonia makes up for the lost star (not to mention the money saved). Sometimes if you just have a yucky mess on your window, you'll need an all purpose cleaner first. It wipes clean and usually streakless. Sometimes I'll see a streak or 2 in bright sunlight.

All purpose cleaner
  • 1 part white vinegar
  • 2 parts water
This cleans ANYTHING.

"Pledge"
  • 1 part white vinegar
  • 3 parts oil
The recipe originally called for olive oil, but required you to keep it in the fridge. That's not an option. So, I tried mineral oil. Yes, I know the mineral oil contains petroleum products which are neither healthy or "green." But I figured that it was better than whatever is in Pledge. It didn't work for us mainly because the oil and vinegar didn't mix, meaning you had to constantly shake it. The spout on the spray bottle would be clogged up too, making a mess. It did, however, leave an amazing shine. Not clumpy or gooey, just a nice pretty shine. And a little went a very, very long way.

Tubs/showers
Magic Eraser was my go-to for the shower. One day I couldn't find one in the house and had to make do. Here's what I came up with: Wet the shower. Spray it over with the all purpose cleaner above, wait 10 minutes, then rinse. Sprinkle in baking soda (1/2 c to start with) and scrub with a handheld scrub brush. Dirt melts off and the vinegar is a natural mold killer!

Toilets
1/2c white vinegar in the bowl, scrub, and let rest for 15 minutes. (or as long as you can since one of the kids will probably need to go before that amount of time. haha) Spray the outside with the all purpose cleaner and (if you want) double sanitize by spraying hydrogen peroxide after the vinegar has dried.

Baby wipes
I can't say how much I wish I would have known about this 8 years ago! My kids sometimes get very bad diaper rash. When I'd wipe them with store wipes, they'd scream so loudly. They never, ever scream with these.

  • 1 roll high quality paper towels, halved so that each half has an intact brown core. (I use Kleenex Viva and they do pretty well)
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 1 tbsp natural baby wash (I use Avalon organics from iHerb. The nearest Publix carries it also)
  • 5 drops tea tree oil
Now, this is modified from what I found online. The original recipe called for 2 cups of water, which seemed to be too much for the Kleenex paper towels. The original recipe also called for 2 tbsp wash. This much left bubbles on Josiah's tushie. It also called for oil (jojoba, e.g.). I leave it out now because it didn't go throughout the entire roll of paper towels. Okay, for the steps:

Boil the water, lid on, for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add baby wash. Gently stir it in since you don't want to create a bubbly mess. Lastly add the essential oil. Pour this into the core of the paper towels. The glue will loosen and you can easily lift out the core. Viola! Centerpull baby wipes.

Notice one very important thing. There are not a lot of different ingredients. I clean everything with the same stuff. It just makes sense and saves the $$... or the €€€€. :-)

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A random picture, because everyone likes pictures.


Someone's getting closer to the terrific twos!

2 edifying expressions:

Sarah said...

Haha I loved the random photograph Elizabeth! Totally caught me off guard as I was leaning quite close to the screen!

Thank you so much for sharing these green cleaner recipes! I really need to get my act together on this one! I dont use a lot of harsh chemicals but neither have I made my own green versions. Thank you again and I will be definately trying out the laundry powder!

Tara said...

These all sound great. I must admit that I haven't made anything myself yet. I loved what you said about the toilet time! Just today as I was letting the toilet soak (one of three in the house, mind you) my four year old comes down the stairs saying, "Why you cleaning the potty, mommy?" To which I replied, "You used the potty didn't you, Silas?" "Yes, ma'am." Oh well, I started over! =)