Monday, September 15, 2008

Money Monday . . . Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies

Today I have invited my cousin, who makes her own cleaning supplies, to do a guest post for today's Money Monday. She is a wife and stay-at-home mom to two adorable girls.

She also has her own blog called
KlutzyMama. You can find it here. Check it out!

Thank you, Gretchen, for inviting me as a guest on your blog. I want to say first that I am not an expert in any way on the subject of homemade cleaners, but this is just what I do and it works very well for our family.

I've been making my own cleaning supplies for a few years and just recently added laundry detergent to the list. I used Gretchen's formula for the laundry detergent and have been very satisfied with it.

I started making my own cleaning supplies kind of reluctantly. I didn't really want to do it, but kind of had to. We were on a VERY tight budget and I had to cut some expenses somewhere, so I decided to give homemade cleaners a try.

I enjoy doing it now and I will never go back to buying expensive cleaners from the stores. There is just no need for it. Our house is clean and it costs very little to make these cleaners and is very easy to do. So if any of you are thinking you might like to try this, but think it wil be complicated, let me assure you that it is very simple.

I don't do complicated. I am not fond of things that require lots of time consuming steps. I buy baking soda and vinegar in bulk at Sam's Club, but I have heard that you can get baking soda cheaply from a grain elevator. I haven't tried that yet, but I will be making a call to our local grain elevator before I buy my next bag of baking soda.

These are the formulas I use, however, you can find many different "recipes" online for cleaning supplies.

All-Purpose Cleaner
4 T. vinegar
2 T. Borax
3 or 4 drops of dish detergent
In 32 oz. spray bottle, pour in vinegar and borax and fill bottle half way with hot water. Shake until borax is dissolved then add dish detergent and fill rest of bottle with water.

In a 32 oz. spray bottle - 1 T. Vinegar, 3 T. ammonia, fill rest with water

Tub Cleaner
I keep a spray bottle filled with straight vinegar. I spray the tub down thoroughly with this. Then I sprinkle baking soda on it. (I keep the baking soda in one of those parmesan cheese bottles with the holes in the top - great for sprinkling!) Then I just scrub it down with my sponge and rinse. This is great at removing those tough tub rings. Yes, the vinegar does stink, but it dissipates in a few minutes after rinsing.

Toilet Cleaner - I use the Flylady ( system to clean my house. This calls for swishing out your toilet bowl every day, so I just keep some of the All-Purpose cleaner listed above in the toilet brush holder. My toilet stays clean (as I am swishing it every morning) and I just replace the cleaner about once a week.

Furniture Polish
I'm not real fond of this concoction, but I haven't taken the time to find a new one yet. It does work. I just don't like the oily residue from the olive oil.
3 parts vinegar and 1 part olive oil in spray bottle. You can add a few drops of lemon oil to help knock out the vinegar smell.

Fabric Softener
1/2 Cup of vinegar in your fabric softener dispenser. Your clothes are softened and they do not smell like vinegar at all, just fresh and clean.

To remove sweat stains from Whites: (This works best if you pre-treat the area as soon as you notice it and before washing) I keep this in a spray bottle with my other laundry supplies - 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar in a spray bottle.

I do still use a Swiffer to mop my floors. I haven't tried any kind of homemade floor cleaner...YET.
I take a permanent marker and write the formula for the cleaner on the outside of the bottle. That way when I run out, I can see exactly what I need to do to make a new batch and do it right away instead of putting it off until I can find time to look up the formula.

That's about it. I don't have a million different types of cleaners. You know, like "kitchen cleaner" and "bath cleaner", etc. I pretty much use the all-purpose cleaner for everything - cleaning sinks, counters, the dining room table, etc. I keep a roll of paper towels and a spray bottle of the all-purpose cleaner under the sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Making my own cleaners has worked out very well for me and has saved me a bundle. I hope it will be helpful to you as well!

1 comment:

Kristi Smith said...

Wow, I am impressed, I had no clue you could make all of those cleaners!!! I do use baking soda and vinegar for things other than cooking, but I didn't know you could do so much with it!!!