Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Basics Of Homemade Cleaning Supplies


I've made my own homemade cleaning supplies for many years and have never regretted it. Occasionally, I have slipped back into the convenience of purchasing ready-made laundry detergent, but am never as satisfied with it as I am with my own homemade. Even though I have shared some of these recipes before, I thought I'd share my basic cleaning supply list of homemade formulas with you today...

ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER
 Mix in a sprayer bottle:

1 T. ammonia
1 T. liquid laundry detergent
2 cups of water

This recipe costs virtually nothing to make and, in my opinion, works as well or better than the 409 All-Purpose Cleaner that I used for years at almost $2.50 a bottle! 

HOMEMADE GLASS CLEANER

Mix in a sprayer bottle:

1 cup rubbing alcohol
1 cup water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon ammonia

This is the best glass cleaner I've ever used and it's streak-free!

HOMEMADE CARPET FRESHENER

1/2 cup of borax
1/2 cup of baking soda
1 teaspoon of cloves and/or cinnamon (cloves help keep moths out of the closet too)

Or, if you've got pets, instead of the spices, use about 20-25 drops of sweet orange oil (I use the spices AND the orange oil), which is a natural flea repellent; be sure to mix in the oil into powder mixture thoroughly and never use directly onto your pets.

HOMEMADE LAUNDRY SOAP - LIQUID

1/3 bar Fels Naptha soap
½ cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
½ cup 20 Mule-Team Borax powder  
 
You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size.

Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan.  Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts.  Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket.   Now add your soap mixture and stir.  Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir.  Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel.  You use ½ cup per load. 

(Note: The finished soap will not be a solid gel; it will be more of a watery gel. And the soap is a low sudsing soap. You won't see suds, but that's okay. Suds are not what cleans; it's the ingredients in the soap.) 

HOMEMADE LAUNDRY SOAP - POWDERED

2 cups finely grated Fels Naptha soap
1 cup 20 Mule-Team Borax
1 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda

Mix and store in a coffee can or what have you. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons per load.


HOMEMADE FABRIC SOFTENER

6 cups water
3 cups white vinegar
2 cups hair conditioner (the best I've found so far is Suave Ocean Breeze...Mmmmmm!)

Use as you would any softener (I use mine in my Downy ball). It won't leave a residue on your clothing or towels. 

Well, these are just a few of the homemade products that we use in our home. I find their cleaning ability equal, or superior, to what you would typically purchase at the local retail stores, and only the Lord knows for sure how much money we've saved over the years since switching to these products.

Happy Cleaning!

~Rebecca

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