Homemade/ Organic/ All-Natural/ Eco-Friendly Cleaning Supplies

Monday, March 15, 2010

Picture it: A new bride, comes home from honeymoon with a newly 'acquired' male of her choosing and attempts to 'please' him by becoming his mother domestic-goddess/ wife. She runs to the grocery store, month after month, purchasing the latest and greatest in home cleaning products as suggested by multi-million-dollar advertisements from the glowing boob-tube/ idiot-box only to find that the cost of such extravagance is putting a major dent in their lovely 'nest-egg'. Their nightly fight over finances spirals out of control, flinging them into deep-seeded anger, resentment, debt and finally divorce. All over the love for all things clean and the lack of education regarding alternative-cleaning-solutions with their advanced (not to mention inexpensive) capabilities. Sound familiar? OK, so I'm a recovering drama-queen, with a penchant for such overly-dramatic, off-the-wall scenarios. But you get where I'm going with this.

For years I was a slave to grocery-store cleaners. The ones with the bald-guy holding a mop and that loud lady on TV spouting off about how the 'clean smell of pine' is superb! And please, don't get me wrong, I think there are wonderful items out there (helllllooooo "Magic Eraser", where ya been all my life??!), but I'm ecstatic with this new-found simplicity of preparing and utilizing homemade cleaning supplies, especially the lack of having to shell out a small fortune for 1 bottle of glass cleaner!

I had a few acquaintances 'snub' their noses at me, saying "Well, I am VERY picky with my cleaning supplies and don't wish to part with them, thank you very much", but I too was a 'cleaning product snob' until I decided to broaden my mind, expand my cleaning-solutions horizon and take a stab at being more 'eco-freindly' with my choices in cleaning my home. The part that REALLY influenced me, was the fact that that 'sanitizing' spray that I used on the kitchen counter-top could NOT be even slightly healthy when sprayed within the vicinity of my family's prepared food or the fruit bowl!

I made a drastic change and all it took was by replacing this $5.99 bottle of kitchen-counter spray with the first 'all-natural' homemade cleaner on my list. I think you'll find that instead of finding that these are cheaper, more eco-friendly alternatives for cleaning your abode, they also boast a rather pleasant 'side-effect', which is: "THEY SIMPLY WORK BETTER"!!!

Try, experiment, tell me what else I missed and enjoy all that money you saved by taking the family out to the movies once a month!

 All-purpose spray/ sanitizer/ deodorizer: 1 part fresh-squeezed lemon juice (filter out all pulp), 5 parts white vinegar and 10 parts water. Mix. Add to spray bottle and use to clean kitchen counters, sink and wooden cutting boards.

Glass Cleaner: 1 tablespoon white vinegar, 1 cup rubbing alcohol (isopropyl), 1 cup water. Add to spray bottle and clean glass with newspaper.

Grime Scrub: Sprinkle baking soda onto a damp cloth and/ or sponge to scour icky bathtub rings, bathroom sinks, or to thoroughly clean the kitchen sink.

For really tough grime, make a paste of baking soda and water, apply to the tub or sink, and allow to stand for 10 to 20 minutes. This helps to soften dirt and soap scum making them easier to remove.

Slow-running drains: Keep bathroom drains running freely by pouring 1/2 to 3/4 cup baking soda into the drain, and dribbling just enough hot water to wash the solution down. Let stand for 2 hours to overnight, then flush thoroughly with hot water. This also deodorizes the drains!

Clogged drains: Pour 3/4 cup baking soda into the drain, add 1 cup of vinegar and cover solidly to force the explosive affect of the concoction down the drain (instead of back up and into your face!) :-P
Furniture Polish (waxed/ finished wood surfaces): 1 cup olive oil, 1 cup lemon juice. Shake well and apply a small amount to a flannel rag or cloth. Spread evenly over furniture surface. Turn cloth to a dry side and polish dry.

Stain remover (homemade "OxyClean"): 1 cup water, 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup baking soda. Mix together and soak laundry in it for 20 minutes to overnight and then wash as usual. Or you can just skip the water and pour the peroxide and baking soda directly into the wash with your laundry soap and wash as usual. Do not attempt to add to a spray bottle, as the baking soda will clog the spray nozzle (not that I would know...er...just saying.....).

Fabric Softener: 3 cups vinegar, 2 cups Hair Conditioner, 6 cups water (distilled is a good choice to eliminate possible stains from deposits in 'dirty' tap water). Mix and use as normal. Personally, I like the convenience of using the "Downy Ball"). You can also keep a jar filled with this mixture in the laundry room, with several rags inside. You would just pull out a rag and squeeze off the excess liquid and toss into the dryer with the wet laundry. Also, throw in an aluminium foil ball for static. Easy, cheep and affective! (NOTE: Vinegar is great for cutting the 'detergent grime' that accumulates on your clothes, which causes fabric fiber breakdown, attracts dirt and oil, causing possible allergic reactions, etc. Also, the vinegar 'odor' dissipates, leaving your laundry fresh and clean, while the hair conditioner can be used to create a lovely scent, if desired.).

I KNOW there are more than what I listed here, so, please, feel free to email or comment with additional information, recipes, suggestions, etc.

And, no, I am not available to clean your house, give your cat a flea-bath or to teach your husband how to put down the toilet seat. We're still working on the 'clothing-on-the-floor-what's-a-hamper-for?' thing....

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