To be used for cleaning your house only/preferrably:

All-Purpose Cleaner

Window Cleaner

  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 gallon warm water

Silver Polish

Cockroach/Ant Controller

There are many reasons to make your own cleaning products. Some people are sensitive to the ingredients in commercial cleaners. Others dislike having these toxic chemicals around the house, or want to use cleaners that are more ecologically sound. Economy is another good reason to use homemade cleaners. At any rate, if you do decide to make your own household cleaners, there are a few basics you need to buy at the grocery store:

NOTE: IF YOU USE BLEACH TO CLEAN YOUR HOUSE, NEVER EVER MIX BLEACH WITH VINEGAR, AMMONIA, OR TOILET BOWL CLEANER. IN FACT, THESE CHEMICALS SHOULD NEVER BE USED IN THE SAME ROOM, AS THE FUMES CAN MIX TO FORM A TOXIC GAS. SEROIUS ILLNESS OR DEATH CAN RESULT.

All-Purpose Cleaner
In a 16-oz spray bottle, mix 1 teaspoon Borax with 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar. Fill most of the way (saving room for liquid soap) with very hot water and shake to dissolve borax. Add 1/4 cup of liquid soap. You can add 10 drops of essential oil to scent; I like tea tree oil because of its antibacterial properties.

Window Cleaner
Mix a 1-to-1 ratio of vinegar and water in a squirt bottle, OR use club soda in a squirt bottle.

Laundry Soap Grate half a bar of pure-castile soap. Put the shavings in a pan and add enough water to cover. Melt over low heat. Fill a gallon bucket with hot water and mix in 1 cup washing soda (baking soda will do, but it won't turn into a gel.) Add soap, stir, and let sit overnight. It turns to a gel by morning. You can scent it either by using scented soap or by adding essential oil.

Disinfectant
Good, old-fashioned soap will kill most bacteria. Borax is a great disinfectant; mix 1/2 cup Borax with 1 gallon water and clean with this solution. Or spray isopropyl alcohol and let dry; wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area.

Scouring Powder
Apply either salt or baking soda to a sponge, scrub, and rinse well.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Sprinkle baking soda into the bowl and add a little white vinegar. Scrub with a toilet bowl brush. OR For a stubborn toilet bowl ring, make a paste using Borax and lemon juice. Scrub the paste onto the ring and let it sit for two hours before scrubbing again and rinsing.

Floor Cleaner
Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Soap is good for tile, linoleum, and even wood floors. Mix 1.5 teaspoons per gallon of hot water.

Or mix 1 cup white vinegar per 1 gallon of hot water for a beautiful sparkling finish. I add essential oils to this mix because I don't like the smell of vinegar.

Wood Furniture Polish
Mix 2 parts olive oil to 1 part lemon juice. Use sparingly and polish well with a soft cloth.

Wood Furniture Wash
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon liquid soap
a few drops of olive oil
a couple drops of essential oil, optional
Mix in a small bowl. Use a sponge to wash the wood, and another sponge to rinse with water. The oil in this wash adds a nice luster to your wood.

Air and Fabric Freshener
Fill a squirt bottle with water and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Shake before you spray to keep the oil and water from separating. I use this when I iron clothes to give them a nice, fresh scent.

Carpet Freshener
Sprinkle baking soda onto the carpet, let sit, and vacuum. You can mix a couple of drops of essential oil in with the baking soda in a bowl for a pleasant scent.

These are just the basics. You can make just about everything you need to get your house spic and span on your own, from chrome polish to lime remover. Two books I recommend for further exploration:

Clean & green : the complete guide to nontoxic and environmentally safe housekeeping by Annie Berthold-Bond

Clean house, clean planet : clean your house for pennies a day, the safe, nontoxic way by Karen Logan

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