Thursday, January 31, 2008

Recipes for House Cleaners

This is a very easy way to save money and rid your home of some unwanted toxins at the same time!!!! I refuse to pay $5 for any bottle of cleanser, and love knowing what ingredients are spread around my house.

Chime in if you have information or tips of your own:

Natural Cleaners

Baking Soda - Baking soda is a great all-purpose, non-toxic cleaner. It cleans, deodorizes, scours, polishes and removes stains.

Borax - It deodorizes, removes stains and boosts the cleaning power of soap. It also prevents mold and odors. Great alternative for those who do not want to use bleach.

Cornstarch - cleans and deodorizes carpets and rugs, and can be used in place of baby powder.

Ketchup -cleans copper.

Lemon juice - great for whitening items and removing grease and stains on aluminum and porcelain.

Pure Soap - cleans almost anything and is mild.

Salt - regular table salt makes an abrasive, but gentle, scouring powder.

White Vinegar -great for whitening, cleaning hard surfaces and windows, and shining metal surfaces. Also removes mildew, stains, grease and wax buildup.

Forumlas and Solutions

Air Freshener
- Leave opened box of baking soda in room.
- Add cloves & cinnamon to boiling water and let simmer.
- Use fresh flowers and herbs. I personally like Lavender. It leaves my crazy house with 3 kids feeling calm.

Carpet Cleaners
- For deoderizing: sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on carpet, using about 1 cup per medium sized room. Vacuum after 30 minutes.
- For deoderizing: mix two parts cornmeal with one part borax; sprinkle liberally, leave for one hour, then vacuum.
- To soak up big spills: dump cornmeal on the spill; after 5-15 minutes, sweep into a dustpan, then vacuum.
- Put 1/4 cup liquid soap or detergent in the blender with 1/3 cup water. Blend until foamy. Use this to clean spots on the carpet, then rinse with vinegar.

Copper Cleaner
- Pour vinegar and salt over copper and rub.
- Take a half of a lemon, dip in salt, and rub on the bottom of the pot/pan

- 2 cups water, 3 tablespoons liquid soap, 20-30 drops Tea Tree Oil; Mix well in (a spray bottle will work well) and squirt on everything from baby's bottom to the cutting board.

Drain Opener
- Prevent clogging by using drain strainer.
- Pour 1/2 cup washing soda into drain followed by 2 cups boiling water.
- Flush drain weekly with boiling water for prevention.
- Pour 1/4 cup baking soda down the drain. Follow with 1/2 cup vinegar and cover drain tightly until finished fizzing. Flush with one gallon boiling water.

Furniture Polish
- Mix 3 parts olive oil with 1 part vinegar. Use a soft cloth.
- Mix 2 parts olive oil to 1 part lemon juice. Use a soft cloth.

General Cleaners (Porcelain, counter tops, etc.)
- Mix baking soda with a small amount of water.
- For stained areas, use paste of baking soda & water, let set a while, then scrub off.

Glass and Window Cleaner
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 cup white vinegar, 1 gallon warm water

Laundry Detergent
- Use washing soda or soap in place of detergent.
- Mix detergent half & half with baking soda (use 1/2 the recommended amount of detergent).
- Make a paste of washing soda and water for dirty spots.
- POWDER DETERGENT- basic recipe- 5 cups soap flakes, 7 cups of Borax; you can store this in an old laundry detergent box or a plastic container, and to wash, use only 1/2 cup at a time- make sure to shake it to mix up the soda and borax with the flakes. (for hard water, add 3.5 cups of washing soda to mixture)
- GEL LAUNDRY DETERGENT- 1/2 bar grated soap (Fels Naptha, Ivory or castille bar soap), 2 cups borax, 1 gallon rubbermaid or other plastic container with pour spout; fill the gallon container 1/4 full with water. add grated soap and soak over night (to speed up this process, you may melt grated soap in water by cooking on low heat); add washing soda and borax, add water to fill container; shake well before using; use only 3/4 cup per load; a gallon of this detergent can cost as little as 75 cents! (for hard water, add 1/2 cup of washing soda to borax mixture)

Metal polish
- 1 tablespoon flour, 1 tablespoon salt, I tablespoon white vinegar; Combine salt and flour in small bowl and stir until blended. Add the vinegar and mix into paste. Smear on the paste with a damp sponge or cloth and rub gently. Let the polish dry for about an hour. Rinse well with warm water, buff dry with a soft cloth. (for brass, bronze, copper and pewter; DO NOT use on silver, silver plate or jewelry)

Microwave Cleaner
- Heat 1 c. vinegar in a microwavable bowl for 1-2 minutes (should steam and loosen food inside of the microwave). Wipe out with a washcloth and warm soapy water.

Mosquito Repellant
- Oil of citronella can be burned in candles outdoors. It has a scent pleasing to people but not to mosquitos!
- Plant sweet basil around the patio and house to repel mosquitoes.

Multipurpose Cleaner (Tile and linoleum floors, formica counter-tops, appliances, etc.)
- 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 cup white vinegar, 1 gallon warm water; Mix ingredients and store in tightly-capped container.

Oven Cleaner
- Sprinkle salt on spills when they are warm and scrub.
- Mix 3 TBSP washing soda with one quart warm water.
- Use oven liners (trays) to catch spills and prevent a messy oven.
- Rub gently with steel wool.

Silver Polish
- Rub article with toothpaste and soft cloth. Rinse with warm water & dry.
- Place cut-up aluminum foil in jar with water, add about 1 TBSP salt, mix. Place article in solution for 5-15 minutes. Remove and rub with soft cloth.

Sink Cleaner
- Combine baking soda and salt to scrub stainless steel.

Shoe Polish
- Polish leather with the inside of a banana peel, then buff.

Spot Remover
- Remove spots as soon as they happen.
- Blood stain - gently sponge with cold water, dry with towel. Repeat until stain is gone.
- Red wine - on rugs, dab out moisture with absorbant cloth. Cover stain with salt. Let sit for several hours. Vacuum when dry.
- Ink stains - soak in cold water, then wash as usual. If stain is on white fabric, wet fabric with cold water & apply a paste of cream of tartar & lemon juice, let sit for 1 hour. Wash as usual.
- Perspiration stains - sponge stain with weak solution of white vinegar & water or lemon juice & water.

Upholstery & Rug Cleaner
- Clean stains immediately with club soda.

Wall cleaner
- 2 ounces borax, 2 quarts water; Dissolve the borax in a big bucketful of water. Scrub a really dirty wall from the bottom up. if you scrub from the top down, the dirty water will run down over the dry, soiled wall leaving hard-to-remove streaks.

Window Cleaner
- 1/2 cup white vinegar to one gallon warm water. Just mix and scrub.
- Use straight lemon juice, dry with soft cloth.
- Use plain Club Soda and scrub with old newspaper.

Wood Floor Wax / Cleaner
- Equal portions of oil & vinegar. Apply in thin coat and rub in well.
- Painted wooden floors can be washed with 1 TSP washing soda per gallon hot water.
- Rinse with clear water.

Making / Recycling your own cleaning tools

* Socks - good for cleaning walls, especially textured ones (sponges break off little pieces when you try to scrub textured walls).
* Scrubbers - cut up pieces of mesh potato bags and tie into a small ball - works great for scouring dishes!
* Sponges - throw your dirty sponge in the dishwasher or boil it with a bit of baking soda on the stove to make it look like new again.
* Towels - cut up old towels instead of throwing them away and use them for dish clothes or in the garage.
* Toothbrushes - save that old toothbrush! You can use it to scrub floors, stains on clothing, and more!
* Mop - to make a new mop head, try cutting up strips of old towels, shirts or socks. Rubberband or tie the top ends of the strips together, then secure to the mop stick.
* Window Cleaner - newspaper works well to clean windows. No lint!!

Happy, and cheap cleaning!!!!!

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