I am, by far, NOT an environmentalist! I try as hard as I can (some of the time) to recycle, use less, and trade in toxic things for natural things. I don't always do well, but I am aware of it. My favorite items to clean with are normally Pine sol (I LOVE the smell!), bleach (I know its clean if I bleached it), and Scrubbing Bubbles (it does the work so I don't have to). I used Tide for laundry detergent before I started making my own 3 years ago.In fact, I have stopped buying all of these products in exchange for making my own. There are many many advantages of making your own cleaning products! Of course the fact that they are mostly natural and safe to have around your kids is the most important one to me, but there are many others:
*Non-toxic to the environment
*CHEAP AS DIRT!
*The ingredients are usually something sold in a much larger package than you need so you always have extra. If you run out or if you come across another recipe for a different cleaning product, you will have everything you need to make it already!
There are MANY things you can make at home, but for now, I will share with you the things I make:
All purpose Cleaner (bathroom and kitchen)
If I bought all of these products at a discount store without coupons, I am going to say it would cost me about $25. $3 for Windex, $4 for Febreeze, $3 for a small bottle of Pinesol, $4 for a small bottle of scrubbing bubbles, and $12 for Tide. ok...so $26 give or take.
These supplies will usually last me about a month to two months with the exception of the Tide. (There are 5 of us.) So I will double the detergent cost to $24 a month making my grand total $50 a month for 4 of the cleaning supplies I use.
In order to make all of these products at home, your shopping list will look like this:
1 gallon of Vinegar $3
1 bottle of alcohol $1
1 box of Borax (in the detergent aisle) $3
1 box of Arm & Hammer WASHING soda (detergent aisle) $4
1 bar of Fels Naptha washing soap (detergent aisle) $1
1 box of BAKING soda $3
1 small bottle of Downy (or your favorite fabric softener) $5
You will need a 5 gallon bucket $5
If you don't have any empty or almost empty spray bottles, start saving them now, or purchase a few for $1 each. $5
(of course these are estimates but I overestimated to the nearest $ so it should be pretty accurate)
Here are you recipes:
Window Cleaner (this stuff is AMAZING!)
1 cup of rubbing alcohol
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
All purpose Cleaner
1 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon of dish detergent
1 cup water
1/8 cup of fabric softener
2 tablespoons of baking soda
mix in a spray bottle and fill to the top with water
1 cup Borax
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1 bar Fels Naptha
Directions: Shave bar of Fels Naptha into a big pot of water and heat it on medium heat until it dissolves (takes about 10 minutes total). Pour all ingredients into a 5 gallon bucket and fill the rest of the bucket with water. Use 1- tablespoons per load. This is very effective in HE washers because it rinses clean! It should last you a year!
So for $30, you got enough supplies to make a year's worth of detergent and various other cleaning supplies. I estimate that I save over $500 a year by making just these four things! You will absolutely be able to make various other household cleaners with the leftover supplies you have on hand! I will post more recipes soon!
Happy green cleaning and saving!!!!