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When you shop for household cleaners, do you get depressed about how expensive they all are? Cleaners you may only use for one or two items in your house can, sadly, cost a lot of money. You may decide to do without than pay a crazy price for something you rarely use.
Or maybe you feel like many of the store-bought cleaners aren’t very safe. They often release dangerous fumes into the air or are toxic for your skin. Why not use something that’s safer and better for the environment? If you make your own household cleaners, then you can control both the cost and the contents!
There are all sorts of things you can use to make safe, effective cleaning solutions. These homemade cleaners are very safe to make and won’t require a degree in chemistry. These are things I use around my own house when I want to be more green and save money.
Homemade Cleaners #1 The All-Purpose Cleaner
There are tons of different homemade cleaners you can make, but let’s start with the one that you will use the most. This is an all-purpose cleaner, which means it can be used for most surfaces. It’s better for hard, smooth, opaque surfaces, such as marble, plastic, faux wood, metal, and tile. It isn’t good for real wood, glass or any rough surfaces, like concrete.
You simply take a spray bottle (whatever size you are comfortable with) and fill it with a formula that is half a cup of white vinegar, two tablespoons of baking soda and about 10 drops of a disinfecting essential oil.
You can use lemon, lavender or tea tree oils. Any disinfectant oil will work, but these are my favorites. I love the way they smell and how effective they are at cleaning surfaces.
The mixture of vinegar and baking soda is a particularly effective one. It pulls up most kinds of dirt and stains and makes your countertops, floors and other surfaces spotless. It also doesn’t leave behind any harmful fumes or a residue for you to clean up later.
Homemade Cleaners #2 Disinfecting Wipes
You might not know that you can make your own disinfecting wet wipes, but you can!
I take cloth squares from old shirts, just plain fabric rolls, or cloths from the store cleaning aisle and use them. I cut them into about the same size as standard wet wipes, which is about six inches by 10 inches. You can make them whatever size you want.
Then I mix together a solution of one-quarter cup of vinegar, a cup of water, a few drops of eucalyptus oil, a few drops of lemon oil and a few drops of tea tree oil. Just soak the cloth in this solution and wring them out slightly. Then place them into an empty plastic container. You can use an empty wipes container if you have one lying around.
Make sure the container is sealable and airtight. That way, the moisture in the cloth will be preserved, and you can use these the same way you would use conventional baby wipes or wet wipes. These use natural ingredients, so they tend to be very soft and gentle on anyone’s skin.
Homemade Cleaners #3 Dishwashing Detergent
If you want your dishes to be sparkling clean and free from grime and encrusted gunk, then try using this easy recipe. This makes a powdery detergent that is great for automatic dishwashers.
Just combine two cups of borax, two cups of baking soda, a cup of salt and a cup of a natural detergent booster, such as Lemon Shine. These are all safe for your dishes, and they will be gentle on every kind of material you put in the dishwasher. You can store this powdered detergent in a plastic airtight container. It should last for a very long time.
Homemade Cleaners #4 Dishwashing Liquid
Some other homemade cleaners you can make are dishwashing liquids. This dish soap is made using half a cup of warm water, half a cup of white vinegar, a dash of lemon juice (about a teaspoon), a few drops of lemon essential oil for a nicer scent, two teaspoons of kosher salt, and half a cup of a biodegradable all-purpose cleaner.
You just mix these together in a bottle that you can squeeze or pour the liquid out of and you are good to go. The lemon helps to disinfect your dishes and provide a nice scent, but it is optional. The final product is a grime-removing dishwashing liquid that smells nice and is safe and gentle on your hands. It shouldn’t cause damage over time to your skin as many commercial dishwashing liquids do.
I’m very much a homemade cleaners kind of person, but every now and then, I want a break. I like to use professional cleaning services sometimes, and when I do, I always make sure they are using safe and environmentally friendly cleaners too. If you have those kinds of high standards for the things you use yourself, then you should require them of any cleaning service you use. That’s just something to keep in mind when you get tired of not just making your own homemade cleaners, but also doing all the cleaning on your own.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.