2.23.2011

Cleaning Frenzy...

Hiya, Peeps.

Not much to report this week... After a big project like the mural I just finished last week, I like to take a few days to unwind and get caught up on things around the house. I've been doing a little spring cleaning this week, and now, I'm enjoying the sparkling, fresh-smelling, and oh-so-transient luxury of a clean house.

Ahh... it was a beautiful 34 seconds...

...and thus the Second Law of Thermodynamics marches on.

Anyway.

Since my husband has been going back to school (and since I am a starving artist), I have been trying to look for ways to slash our budget within an inch of our lives be frugal. Because I have also developed some crazy allergies to a lot of different chemical fragrances and products over the past few years, cleaning supplies seemed to be a logical place to save some money (and kleenex, and allergy-induced misery). A while back I started doing a little research on making my own cleaning products from basic supplies at home.

I thought I would share a few of the recipes I've found/adapted here in case you'd like to start mixing your own cleaning supplies as well. I've found that they work just as well as (or better than) the more expensive versions at the store, and they are much healthier and safer for you and your family.

So, without further ado, here are a few of my favorites. Some of these I've created myself from recipes I've found online and tweaked. If used as-is, I will add the credit source.

Homemade Glass Cleaner

1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon dish soap (I use Joy brand)

Mix in a spray bottle, shake well, and spray on mirrors and windows - use a glass cloth or newspaper for a streak-&-lint-free shine.




Homemade Furniture Polish

2 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 drops essential oil (I like lemon or sweet orange)

Mix and pour into clean spray bottle. Spray on furniture and wipe with a microfiber cloth.

Homemade Kitchen Spray (I got this recipe from this sweet lady)

2 tsp. Borax
2 Tblsp. white vinegar
2 c. hot water
1/4 tsp. sweet orange essential oil
1/4 tsp. eucalpytus essential oil
1/4 tsp. lavender essential oil
3 drops tea tree essential oil

Mix together and stir until dry ingredients dissolve. Pour into spray bottle. Spray as needed on any surface except glass. Scrub and rinse with a clean, damp cloth. Eucalyptus, lavender, and tea tree oil have antimicrobial properties and the orange oil cuts grease.

Shower Cleaner

2 cups water
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 drops tea tree essential oil

Mix, spray, scrub! If you need a "scouring" product, baking soda works great.... Use the baking soda mixed with water or dish detergent first, rinse, then follow with the above recipe. Be aware that vinegar and baking soda will react when mixed - it will fizz and foam a lot (so do not combine in a bottle - it might explode). If used seperately, the vinegar will help rinse away the baking soda residue.


Homemade "Air Freshener"

I am HIGHLY allergic to plug-ins, candles, and chemical fragrance sprays. However, I do like for my house to smell nice.... especially when having company over. So, to get a clean and festive scent in the air, I simmer a pot of hot water and add in the following:

Orange slices or peels
Whole cloves
Cinnamon sticks

It will give your house a lovely "potpourri" scent, it's all natural, and it will also help add some humidity to the air during the dry winter months.... However, don't forget about it! It doesn't smell too good when all the water evaporates and the oranges start to burn (not that I speak from personal experience or anything, ehem...). Also, be sure to tell your guests that this is NOT hot cider - someone will inevitably want to drink it!

Homemade Carpet Shampoo Recipe

I just discovered this one - you can substitute the pricey store-bought carpet chemicals with white vinegar! Simply mix 1/2 c. white vinegar in with your hot water, then shampoo as usual. It removes odors, gets your carpet clean, and vinegar is also supposed to kill mold. The nice part is, it's great for people with allergies or chemical sensitivities (like me) and it's much safer for you and your kids and pets.

White vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner to keep on hand... there are so many different uses for it. A few random uses are:

Use it to remove mineral deposits and hard-water buildup from your shower tiles. You can also soak shower heads in it to loosen up deposits.
Use it (along with baking soda) to help unclog drains. (Be careful - they will react and fizz a lot!)
Use it to loosen burnt or baked on food from pots and pans - simply pour some white vinegar into the pot (so that it covers the burnt stuff), let soak for a while, and then scrub away.
Use it to de-odorize furniture (spray on, blot, let dry)



So, those are the homemade recipes I've been using so far. I do still purchase a few pre-made products...

I use...

Clorox Wipes- for disinfecting bathroom countertops, fixtures, and toilet seat/exterior
Scrubbing Bubbles' Nature's Source - for cleaning inside toilet bowl (it smells so good, I wish they made a shampoo too!)
Pine Sol - for mopping the wood & tile floors
Swiffer Wet Mop Wipes - for mopping up quick spills

I don't make home-made versions of everything, but I've wound up saving a bundle by mixing some of my own cleaning products at home, and they are much more gentle on the ol' schnoz (and skin & wallet) than many of the harsh chemical versions you'll find at the supermarket.

I hope this post has been helpful! Not exactly my typical kind of post, but I thought some of you might find it interesting.... I'll be back with some more creative projects soon!

Hope you're having a lovely week!
Photobucket

4 comments:

  1. Beth..THESE RECIPES Are Incredible! Thank You So Much For Sharing Them! I Laughed So Much While Reading My Way Through This Post! You Have Such A Joyous Personality! Thank You For Bringing Laughter And Some Fun My Way Today! Have A Glorious Weekend, Terri

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thaks for sharing these recipes! Gonna try the kitchen spray soon.

    I just got my cards I ordered from you in the mail today! Thank you! They are so beautiful. I will be blogging about your art later this week on my blog!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I Love using my Baking soda!!! And vinegar glad to see Im not the only one using genteler products:O)I Love cleaning alot so Im always looking for safer tips and love the scent one I will def try it out:O) Thanx

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for sharing these useful recipes with us. I do my best to use only green cleaning products but it is really hard. You gave me some very good tips. Regards from me. End of Tenancy Cleaning

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment - I love to hear from you.

Nota bene: Comments are moderated and may take a while to appear. You are welcome to disagree with me, but I do ask that you keep this forum friendly and respectful. Comments containing foul or offensive language, personal attacks, or links to other websites will not be published. Thanks.