Wednesday, August 7, 2013

DIY: Household Cleaners

DIY: Household Cleaners

Here at our house and a couple of my daughter's houses we have all decided to make our own laundry soap and some cleaners, this is something my grandmother actually taught me years ago. She said we didn't need lots of fancy, money stealing cleaners and that good old basics was better, easier and cheaper and why not save money for other things ( like shoes, purses, bling) We make our own homemade cleaning products using natural ingredients! Not only is it much, much healthier, but it is also a lot cheaper (even with using coupons on pre-made cleaners).

We are going to be making 23 cleaning products and your shopping list is below. It will cost around $12 for the ingredients and most all of the ingredients will make several batches for that $12 too!

Here’s what we will be making:

Be sure to check out my blog on uses for Vinegars(it cleans everything all by itself)Recipes to follow

Floor cleaners for different floor types
Anti-bacterial Cleaning Wipes
Mold and Mildew Remover
Vacuum Cleaner Deodorizer
Fruit and Veggie Wash
Glass/Window Cleaner
Antibacterial Cleaner
Bathroom Scrub
Air Deodorizer
Stain Remover
Kitchen/Food Area disinfectant
Drain Cleaners
Toilet Cleaners
Carpet/Car deodorizer
Garbage Disposer Cleaner
Sensitive/Baby Laundry detergent
Regular Laundry detergent
Dishwasher Soap
Dish Soap
All-Purpose Cleaner
Fabric Softener
Dishwasher/Washing Machine Cleaner

Now please note, there are only 9 ingredients plus essential oils (which really are essential for these cleaners and worth every penny in our cheap essential oils post HERE) to make all of the above! We hope your home, family and health will be much improved and appreciate these products!

Also, after the home cleaning, we will be sharing our homemade personal care and also many medicine replacements in the future. It is too much to share here. Let’s get cleaning out of the way first!

Here’s your shopping list that you can just print off and grab quickly at Walmart or other local stores!

Homemade Cleaning Products List

You can use this list of items needed to make your own homemade cleaning products. From this list, you will be able to make 23 natural homemade cleaning products for the cost of less than $12 at Walmart everyday.

We also have a list of other recommended items you may want to have on hand too!

You can also use this list at any other store and as your price point to beat. Many of these items may be found in the dollar store.

Please note, all of the prices listed are based on our local Walmart's prices.

Also, please note that most of these will make several batches of the cleaning product that we will be sharing!

Each bar of Castile Soap - $1.13Castile bar soap 3-pk for $3.38 (found in the hand soap section)

Bar soaps for Laundry as low as - $0.39Bar Soaps Needed for homemade laundry detergents (you pick which one you want!)

Pure Ivory Bar Soap (for baby and more sensitive skin) 10-pk for $3.97 or 3 bars for $1.24 (found in the bar soaps section of Walmart)
Zote Large 14.1 oz for .97 (top shelf next to laundry detergents)
Fels Naptha .97 (found on laundry aisle, but near specialty laundry products)

Borax - $3.38Borax (Found in the laundry section near specialty products) 78 oz. for $3.38

Washing Soda - $3.24Washing Soda (Arm and Hammer located in laundry section near specialty laundry products) 55 oz. for $3.24

Coarse Salt as low as - $1.12Coarse Salt (these will make many, many batches)

Morton Ice Cream Salt and then blended to make it a little finer 4 lbs. in grocery section/spices aisle for $1.12
Morton Coarse Kosher Salt $1.68 for 48 oz. (3 lbs.)

Kool-Aid as low as - $0.12Kool-Aid packets in citrus flavor like orange or lemon (unsweetened) found down aisle with drink mixes near water and soda. One packet makes one batch, so grab a few.

Great Value (Walmart brand) .12 each
Kool-Aid brand .20 each

Vinegar Gallon as low as - $1.501 Gallon of Vinegar (found down aisle with Ketchup/Mustard)

Great Value (Walmart brand) for $2.38
Heinz $2.82

*If you have a Sam's Club or Costco membership, you can pick this up for around $1.50 a gallon in a 2-gallon box. Don't pay for a membership just for this though :)

Hydrogen Peroxide as low as - $0.52Hydrogen Peroxide (found in the first-aid/medical section)

16oz. .52
32oz. .88

*We recommend grabbing the 32 oz.

Baking Soda as low as - $0.52Baking Soda (don't buy this in the laundry/cleaning section, but in the grocery section. They jack the price up for the exact same stuff!)

Great Value (Walmart brand) 1lb. box for .52
Arm and Hammer 2 lb. box for $1.24 in the grocery section (vs. $2 in laundry/cleaning section)

Cheap Essential OilsDon't forget the Essential Oils - this is the heart of the cleaners.

Other Recommended ItemsOther recommended items:

Pumice Stone $1.88 (cleaning section at Walmart)
Paper Towels (Walmart brand for .50 - this is not for cleaning, we recommend reusable rags, but to make cleaning wipes)
Microfiber rags or old t-shirts (the dollar store is a good place for this)
Spray Bottles (you can recycle some from your home as long as they did not contain chemical products or harsh ingredients, otherwise, get new ones from Walmart for .97)
Old Toothbrushes - instead of throwing them away, keep a pile for cleaning purposes
You will need essential oils these are recommended but make sure you aren't allergic

Melaleuca (also know as Tea Tree Essential Oil)
Shopping list adapted from

NOW here are the RECIPES

Homemade Floor Cleaner

1 cup water
1 cup vinegar
1 cup alcohol
2-3 drops dish soap (Castile, Dawn, etc.)
5 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops orange essential oil
3 drops peppermint essential oil
Fine-mist spray bottle – 24oz

Add all ingredients to spray bottle and shake to combine.
Sweep/vacuum the floor.
Spray cleaner on the floor.
Wipe up with a microfiber cloth.
As with all cleaners, please do a spot test to make sure this will work on your floors!

NOTE: Some readers have asked for a modified version to use with a mop and bucket. After some research, here’s what I found: For a gallon of water, you could try 1/2 cup of vinegar, and 1/3 cup of alcohol, plus a few drops of dish soap.

Anti-bacterial Cleaning Wipes

Paper Towels of  good quality. I buy the Sam’s club ones, they are about as good as Bounty
1 cup of vinegar
1 cup of water
essential oil
A few drops of dish soap
Container to store the wipes (could use an old wipes container) I picked up this set the last time I was at Ikea. It cost $3.99 and had the perfect container for the wipes.

Make sure your paper towels will fit in the container. A full roll would not fit in any of the containers I had, so I used a partial roll. I used my serrated knife to cut the paper towels. I would cut and then rotate the towels and cut again.
I just add the ingredients right to my container, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vinegar
I added some essential oil to cut back on the vinegar smell, it was pretty strong.
A few drops of dish soap, then gently mix it up.
Remove the cardboard part of the paper towels. I was able to wiggle it around a bit to loosen it then pull it out.
Put the paper towels in and turn the container upside down so all the wipes can get nice and wet. Make sure the lid is on tight, mine wasn't and I had a little leakage.
upside down
Once the wipes are thoroughly wet they are ready to be used

Natural Homemade Mold and Mildew Remover Recipe

A great, cheap and natural alternative to the harsh chemical cleaners that can do those tough mold and mildew removing jobs.
1 TBSP Baking Soda
1 TBSP White Distilled Vinegar
5-6 drops of Tea Tree (Melaleuca) Essential Oil
Put the 1 TBSP of baking soda in a small bowl. Then pour the 1 TBSP of vinegar into the baking soda. A small reaction will happen, just stir it up until mixed.
Then add your 5-6 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil and mix again.
You will then have a thinner/medium thick paste. I apply this directly to the mold/mildew by either scooping with the spoon or apply with an old cleaning toothbrush. Let this sit for a few hours on top of the mold/mildew. Then come back and use the toothbrush to scrub away. You may need to repeat the above steps a couple of times, but it will most likely eventually be cleaned up!

Vacuum Cleaner Deodorizer

First, drip several drops of lavender or cinnamon essential oil onto a cotton ball, cotton square or even a bit of tissue! Whatever you have on hand already! About 10-15 drops is probably what you are looking to get onto your cotton ball.
Then just stick this piece of cotton into your vacuum bag. I do this for each vacuum bag change! If you have the bagless vacuum, then I place mine right in with my filters, I use 2 cotton balls. You will notice a nice and pleasant scent, while at the same time deodorizing while smelling good!

DIY Fruit and Vegetable Wash

Did you know that most chemicals used on produce won't be washed off with a simple rinsing under water? The acid in vinegar kills bacteria and helps to dissolve the wax and pesticide residues found on the skins of many fruits and vegetables. As an added bonus, this will help some fruits last longer in addition to making them a healthier option to eat.

While it would be ideal to only purchase organically grown produce, or to grow your own, that isn't always an option. This solution is a frugal alternative when 100% organic foods are not available. I still use this solution on the organic foods I buy, as it does a much better job of washing than water alone.

I KNOW that this works, because the water is dirty after the produce has soaked and the apples and grapes have a slight white sheen on them from where the shiny wax had been.

The first way is
**Wash vegetables and fruits with hydrogen peroxide to remove dirt and pesticides. Add 1/4 cup of H2O2 to a sink of cold water. After washing, rinse thoroughly with cool water.

DIY Fruit and Vegetable Wash

Step 1: Make sure your kitchen sink is clean or place a large mixing bowl in the sink.
Step 2: Add the produce to the sink and cover with cold water. (Don't overcrowd the sink.)
Step 3: Add 1-2 cups of plain white vinegar and soak for 10-15 minutes.
Step 4: Rinse well.

I've used this method for just about every fruit and vegetable we eat. As long as you rinse well, there isn't a bit of a vinegary taste on the produce. If some of the fruits bob to the top (like the apples) just swirl them around in the water and rub gently with your fingertips for a few moments.

For washing LETTUCES and other GREENS: I only soak greens for a minute or two and then I rinse very well. Be careful to rinse them thoroughly and then spin them or pat them dry. Do not put the lettuces away wet or they won't last long. I store them in airtight containers lined with paper towels or in ziploc bags with paper towels, with all of the air pressed out.

For washing BERRIES (which tend to be more delicate): I place them in a large mixing bowl and then cover with cold water plus 1 cup of vinegar. I swirl them around a bit with my hands (because they tend to float to the top), letting them soak for 5 minutes or so. Drain the water off of them and rinse well. The vinegar and water solution helps destroy bacteria and mold spores, helping the berries last longer. When they are thoroughly rinsed, spread them out on a clean towel or papertowels and gently pat dry.

If I am washing raspberries or blackberries, I prefer to let them air dry. I'd rather have them slightly wet going into the refrigerator versus mushed from too much pressure attempting to dry them. (You can also spin them in a salad spinner with a few paper towels.) When they are mostly dry, place them in a paper-towel lined airtight container in the refrigerator. My berries tend to last anywhere from one to two weeks on average.

You can also make your own spray solution by combining 3 parts water with one part vinegar. Spray the fruits, let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse well before storing.

Glass/Window Cleaner

For a good glass cleaner combine a quart of water 
with 1/4 to 1/2 c. of white vinegar, 1 to 2 T. of lemon 
juice or 1 to 2 T. rubbing alcohol.

Antibacterial Cleaner

Antibacterial/antifungal Multipurpose Cleaner
Fill an empty spray bottle almost to the top with equal parts vinegar and 
water leaving enough room for 4 tbsps of lemon juice and 1 tbsp of tea tree 
Works better than chemical cleaners and it's non-toxic!

Bathroom Scrub

Make your own “Soft Scrub”: Create a paste of baking soda and water, then add a bit of salt to  baking soda paste. Add a drop of lemon essential oil, and scrub the counter tops and sinks until they shine. The salt won’t scratch surfaces since it’s gentle, and the lemon will make everything smell fresh.

Homemade Room and Fabric Deodorizer Recipes

I have been trying to save money on cleaning products including making my own laundry detergent, and other great ideas that I have found the last few months for cleaners. I'm wondering if you know of a way to make a room and/or fabric deodorizer similar to Febreeze. I know there must be something that would work to obtain the same type of effect as this product has, but not quite sure what to use at this time. I have five dogs and sure do a lot of cleaning.
Donna G.

Easy Deodorizer

The best deodorizer that I make is plain tap water with several drops of essential oil in it. I normally use lavender. About 15 drops for a 32-ounce spray bottle. When needed, I simply mist the air. I use lavender because it's so relaxing!
Good Use for Vodka

I own a business which styles and sells wigs, falls, and other synthetic hairpieces, and the best trick I've learned for getting smells out of those fibers works just as well on other fibers and fabrics. Just mix water and vodka in a 1:1 ratio and spritz it right on. Works as well as commercial products like Febreeze. It evaporates quickly, leaving no alcohol-scent behind.
Less Expensive Substitute

Sam's club has a product called OdoBan. It comes in a gallon jug as a concentrate. You may make the scent as light or strong as you wish by adding water to a very small amount in a spray bottle. The scent isn't as flowery as Febreeze but pleasant, very effective, and very affordable. I have had my gallon for over a year and it's still almost a gallon.

My daughter uses this product at her pet grooming shops. The scent of wet dog isn't so noticeable. I have also read you may add fabric softener diluted with water as a spray, but would worry about furniture because product stains clothes if not used right.
The Fake Febreeze Recipe
2 C. Fabric Softener

2 C. Baking Soda

4 C. warm water

Mix and place in a spritzing bottle. Use just like you would the expensive Febreeze from the store. If you want, you can use the unscented fabric softener and then add a few drops of essential oil to make it a scent that you prefer. I just use Snuggle.
Works for Hunters

I have the perfect de-scenter. We moved into a house where the former renter had lots and lots of cats. The place really smelled like a cat box!

I used something I found at Wal-Mart called Sport-Wash by Sno-seal. It is a laundry detergent that hunters use to wash their clothes in that masks their scent so as not to alert the game. It works great. Just follow instructions and put some into a spray bottle and spray on carpets and furniture. It takes away the scent totally and because it was originally designed to be used in the wash it is safe on fabrics. You can find it in the sporting goods department at Wal-Mart. It is very cheap. A bottle that does 18 wash loads costs about $4.00. Also it leaves no perfumed after smell so you do not get that air freshener cover up smell.
Old Faithfuls - Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar in a spray bottle. Dogs don't like the smell either and will avoid most areas it is sprayed. Ditto for cats. Vinegar in an open dish will also improve the smell in a room.

Sprinkle your carpets with baking soda and let it sit for a while before vacuuming. This will rid carpets of a lot of odors. Try it on your upholstered furniture. Make sure you have a good vacuum cleaner first. It won't hurt the fabric but who wants a residue of white stuff on their clothes.

Stain Remover

the stain remover mixture as consisting of 
one part Dawn dishwashing liquid mixed with two parts HYDROGEN PEROXIDE 

extra stubborn stains:
I used the above “recipe” PLUS added some baking soda (of course!) for the extra scrubbing element…and I used a small laundry brush to work the whole concoction into the stain for a few minutes.  After that I walked away and let the whole thing sit there for an hour or so and then laundered as usual.
armpit stains etc

As you can see….no ill effects (ie. fading/bleaching of the color!) The mixture I scrubbed on with the brush above was 
1 tsp. Dawn dishwashing detergent, 
3-4 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide, 
and a couple tablespoons of baking soda.
More to come

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