Monday, February 25, 2013

7 "Green" Cleaner Recipes


How to Make Easy Homemade Green Household Cleaners!

Green Cleaning also means Saving Money!

As a mother of 5 I am becoming more aware of what products I use and how much I am spending on them. Today-unlike any time before- we have almost complete information at our fingertips about the products we are using in our everyday lives. We know what chemicals are in our window cleaner, haircolor, shampoo, and even whats hiding in our dish soap. For those who are looking to use environmentally safe cleaning supplies we know that they are available and most times...EXPENSIVE. What some of us don't know is that we can make our own cleaning supplies using products found in our pantry that are going to save money and eliminate some of the chemicals and additives found in the ones we are using now. Here is a list of some Green Cleaning Supplies that are easily made and how to make them using the items in the cabinet.

  • Vinegar: It's very acidic, so it not only cuts through grease but also inhibits bacteria and mold.
  • Baking Soda: neutralizes acids and breaks down proteins. It is especially effective for cutting through dried-on grease and for combating stains. Bicarbonate of soda neutralizes acidic scent molecules, which makes it an effective deodorizer. Also has antiseptic and disinfectant properties.
  • Borax (sold commonly as 20 Mule Team Borax in detergent aisle):Borax is a naturally occurring substance that has properties of both a mineral and a salt. It works well in cleaners because it converts water molecules to hydrogen peroxide. It also has properties that enable it to disinfect and kill unwanted pests.
  • Salt: Gentle Scrubber
  • Water
  • Containers
  • Olive Oil
Window Cleaner:
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cups of water
Mix and place in a spray bottle. If you are against the smell of vinegar, just add a few drops of lemon juice. Clean windows with your old newspapers to keep your windows streak free!

Dishwasher Detergent:
  • 2 tbs Borax Soap
  • 1 ½ tbs baking soda
Mix together and place into the same place you would your normal dish washing detergent in your machine. Toss in a few teaspoons of vinegar during the final rinse to leave your glasses sparkling!

Toilet Bowel Cleaner:
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
Rim the inside of your toilet bowl with vinegar. Sprinkle with baking soda over the vinegar and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Use a toilet brush and it will be just as clean as it was with the harsh chemicals!

Furniture Polish:
  • 1/4 cup vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
Mix these ingredients in a squeeze bottle (if you get one that you can recap, it will stay good forever). Squeeze product onto towel and wipe on your wood furniture.

All-Purpose Spray Cleaner:
  • 4 cups hot water
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon borax
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and its done!

Oven Cleaner:
  • 1½ cups baking soda
  • ½ cup salt
  • ½ cup water
  • Squirt of plant-based liquid soap
Wipe down the oven with water. Combine ingredients together. It should be a thick paste. Spread all over the interior of the oven and let the mixture sit overnight. Wipe it down some plant based cleaner.

Floor Cleaner:
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 4 cups hot water
  • A few drops lavender oil or grapefruit seed extract (if you are not keen on the smell of vinegar. This is NOT Necessary)
Mix together and its ready to use!
I hope that you find these green cleaning recipes easy to make and beneficial to you in your home. Not only is this great for the environment and safe for your family, it will also make a difference in your wallet. You will be able to make these cleaners usually for 1/4 the cost of those you buy at the supermarket OR LESS!
Good luck in your Green Cleaning! I plan to go over how to make your own laundry detergent and others in the next blog so if you have questions or have a trusted recipe for any Green Cleaners, please let me know!

How to make Homemade Laundry Detergent

How to Make Homemade "Green" Laundry Detergent!

 Powder and Liquid Recipes

For the majority of my adult life, I have been a management professional and have been in charge of the profit, loss,and operations of multi-million dollar companies. When baby number 5 came along, I realized that it was time to step back. I became a work from home mother and began devoting my time to my family's profit and loss! I quickly realized that we had been spending too much money buying things for convenience! I never would have accepted that from myself while operating other people's businesses so why start now?
I began looking into ways to save money and to get healthy. I began making all of my own noodles, breads, and pastries from scratch. took an extra minute from my work day BUT it was priceless quality time spent with my children and much healthier for us all. That part was easy. So...I had eliminated costs there but what was next.......after my first trip to the grocery for cleaning supplies, I saw the next challenge. I had already began looking into ways to eliminate chemicals from every-day items and trying to use all-natural cleaning supplies but YIKES was that expensive! The all-natural products on the shelf were almost double what I used to by. So...inspiration struck (and my cheapness...I mean frugality) and I was going to make my own cleaning products!

I ddn't jump into green cleaning supplies all at once. I started with one product then worked my way through the cleaning cabinet. One you buy the ingredients, they are able to be used in most of your green cleaning products so it is so easy to keep adding to the list of what you homemake. They are so much better on the pocket (usually 1/4 the cost or less than what you buy at the store) and better for you!
I finally made my way to laundry detergent. To me this was a leap of faith. I have used the same thing for years!! This is the most labor intensive of all of the homemade cleaning supplies which is why it was last. It works fantastically! Don't be scared that it doesn't suds up. The suds aren't what does the cleaning in traditional soaps...most of us think it is though! It is also safe for HE machines!

Homemade Laundry Detergent:
The larger batch cost:
  • 1 box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Powder – $3.15
  • 4lb box of Baking Soda – $2.12
  • 1 box Borax – $3.39
  • 3 bars Fels-Naptha – $2.91
Total for large batch $11.57. It lasts for about 180 loads, that will be $0.06 per load!
If your family isn't as big as mine, you can make a smaller batch (about 30 loads)
  • 6-8 oz. Fels Naptha or other soap
  • 1 Cup baking soda
  • 1 Cup Borax
  • 1 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
grate the soap and place in blender or food processor. Once it is to a smaller texture...mix it with the other ingredients in a large bucket. Make sure you mix it well and some will suggest that you wear gloves. You will use 2 tablespoons per load.
If you prefer liquid detergent-

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

1/2 bar of Fels-Naptha (if you use Ivory soap usea whole bar)
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
2 gallons of water, divided
Also need:
a grater
a large saucepan (8 cups or larger)
large bucket or container with lid
liquid storage containers for finished product
If you like fragrance---you can add some essential oil! Use whatever you like, lavender, orange, etc
1. Grate 1/2 a bar of Fels-Naptha into a saucepan.
2. Cover shavings with 4 cups of water and heat on low and continue stirring often until the soap is melted. Usually about 10 minutes
3. Remove from heat. Add the borax and washing soda (and essential oils if you choose)and stir in another 4 cups of water. Mixture may look like pudding!
4. Pour mixture into a bucket or other container with a lid., add another 24 cups (or 1 gallon + 8 cups) and stir well.This may be a bit tricky but some people use a whisk or immersion blender.
5. Let mixture set overnight.
6. The next day, the congealed soap will have settled to the top. Stir it back in and pour into storage containers.You can use old laundry bottles or any container with a lid. I like to use a square container.
Use 1 cup per load!

Good luck in your efforts to reduce the chemicals used in your home and to use green cleaners in your everyday life! If you have tips or recipes....Please share! Also check out my blog with 7 other homemade cleaning supplies

Healthy Homemade Fabric Refresher (Febreze)

Homemade Fabric Refresher

Hello, My name is HEATHER..... and I am an addict. You can insert your own - "hello Heather" response if you wish. I am more embarrassed to tell you what I am addicted to then I am to admit it to myself....I am addicted to making my own cleaning supplies. I have never been to an addicts meeting, but fear that I am getting very close to attending. My addiction to making my own cleaning products started with a little water and vinegar and now has come its fruition. I make my own laundry detergent, my own dishwashing detergent, window cleaner, floor cleaner, and now even my own homemade "Febreze". This all started as a way to save money and has now spiraled out of control. My husband was extremely annoyed at first and begged me to just purchase the ready made items but as more and more of these all natural concoctions worked....he began asking for the recipes. He won't admit he was wrong but he will ask for a refill of the bottle and that is enough for me. I don't only do it to save money and to reduce the amount of chemicals my family is exposed to...I do it to feed my addiction for being active in both.
As I began my quest for the perfect recipe for homemade febreze, I came across many that suggested that I use fabric softener. I will include this recipe for you BUT if you are truly looking to take the Green Cleaning path to reduce the chemicals in your home, you may want to try the TRULY GREEN recipe. Rest assured-both will save you money!

•16 ounce empty spray bottle
•vodka, rubbing alcohol or witch hazel
•4-6 drops essential oil ( select your favorite scent!)

Add ½ cup of your choice of vodka, rubbing alcohol, or witch hazel to a 16 ounce spray bottle.
Add ½ teaspoon essential oil of choice (or a mixture of oils). This is your fragrance and entirely up to you! Choose whatever you like!!!
Fill the remainder of the bottle with distilled water. Shake and spray!!
Now, I am not one to promote wasting vodka so I go with either witch hazel or rubbing alcohol. The rubbing alcohol will leave a bit of a scent for a few seconds before it dissipates and leaves behind the scent you selected.

  • 1/8 Cup of fabric softener (any brand)
  • 2 tablespoons Baking Soda
  • Hot tap water
  • Spray bottle
Mix the softener, baking soda, and hot water together and pour it into a spray bottle! This entire bottle will cost you under $.20 cents!!!!!!

Quick Tip: Use a travel size spray bottle to keep in the car or gym bag!

Good luck on your quest to save money and to get a little "green" but be warned, it can be fun and oddly addictive. If you are ready to take the plunge into green cleaning, check out my other blogs on how to make many other healthy alternatives to those cleaners with chemicals---

You only need about 5 items to make a natural cleaning supply closet! With less than a dozen inexpensive -healthy products you can replace your entire cleaning cabinet 10x over for the same price!
Please share if you have any green cleaning recipes to feed my addiction!
This was posted at small footprint family!