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Friday, August 26, 2011

Homemade Cleaning Products

One of the small changes I've made over the last year, and even since Andyroo was born, is trying to use fewer chemicals in our house. I'm no expert and I'm not doing this to be considered more green. I just think that all of those harsh chemicals that we inhale and touch cannot be good us or our little ones. Besides being able to breathe easier, it's also cheaper to use homemade products. Even using coupons, I still save even more money by making my own cleaning products - it's seriously SO cheap!

Some of my favorite cleaning ingredients include vinegar and baking soda (not usually mixed together, though).

Why Vinegar?

I know most people tend to think of vinegar as pretty gross smelling, but it has many purposes and uses. It has anti-bacterial properties, deodorizes (the vinegar smell really doesn't stick around, honest), and leaves a great shine (especially on stainless steel) - just to name a few. It can be used in place of fabric softener sheets/liquid. Just add about 1/2 c to your laundry. As an added bonus, it will help brighten your whites and help rid your washer of any built up residue. Have a stinky washing machine? Run an empty load with some extra vinegar to clean it out and get rid of the smell.

Why Baking Soda?
Baking soda isn't just for baking! It's also a great deodorizer. Think of the commercials advertising the baking soda boxes for your fridge - they help absorb the smell! When you mix it with a little water, it creates a great paste which will remove all sorts of grime, scum, hard water, etc. No need to use harsh scouring clearners.

My favorite all-purpose cleaner is made with very simple, household ingredients. I use this to clean everything - the kitchen counters, stovetop, our tile floors, the bathroom counters and mirrors, and even the walls and anything else that I need to clean. It's non-abrasive, so it isn't going to scratch any delicate surfaces and I don't hesitate to spray it on.

All-Purpose Cleaner
1/2 c white vinegar
1 tsp Dawn dish soap

Add vinegar and Dawn to an empty spray bottle (about 20-26oz) and then fill with water. Gently shake to mix ingredients. You'll probably see some suds at first, but you won't be spraying suds on everything.

If you're looking for a replacement for your basic anti-bacterial spray and don't want to use vinegar, you can also use the following mixture:

Bleach Spray
1/2 c Bleach

Pour bleach into a spray bottle (about 20-26oz) and then fill the bottle with water.

Here are a few other mixtures that I use...

Window/Glass Cleaner
1 c Rubbing Alcohol (the isopropyl stuff)
1 tbsp white vinegar

Mix in a spray bottle and you'll have a streak free shine better than Windex

Furtniture Polish
1 c Olive Oil
1/2 c Lemon Juice (the real stuff, not the extract)

Mix well and apply to a cloth, then rub onto your furniture. Use a dry area of your rag to shine.

There are a lot of recipes for homemade cleaning products out there. What are your favorites? Has anyone tried making their own laundry detergent? It's something I'd like to try but I've been a little hesitant. I'd love to hear about the homemade products you use!!



  1. Vinegar also SAVED our dish washer!!! We have hard water and our dishwasher wasn't washing our dishes anymore. The repair guy said start the washer still using your favorite dish detergent, get some water in the bottom, open it and add 1/4 cup vinegar in the bottom with the water and run the normal cycle. GENIUS! The vinegar clears all the hard water deposits to help your washer run better and our dishes are seriously sparkling clean!!! I don't even have to rinse them off first. I just throw our dirty dishes right in.

  2. @Aleena

    Ooooh, in the dishwasher too! That's a great tip, Aleena! I don't have a dishwasher so I don't usually think of that appliance. Thanks!

  3. Great idea. I love all your ideas! You have so much imagination! I just awarded you the 'versatile blogger' award
    Thanks for the inspiration.


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