141. DIY cleaning products

First, a bit of randomness.

  • This morning, I enlisted my husband to help me put on a bed bug barrier thingie on my son’s mattress.  Somehow, that evolved into a nearly three hour cleaning project.
  • Our weekly grocery trip to Trader Joe’s has somehow become something my children really look forward to.  Free samples, stickers, mini carts and yummy food, what’s not to love?
  • While at Trader Joe’s, the cashier asked my five year old son what his favorite food was.  His response: tofu, mushrooms, and popcorn.
  • For an afternoon snack, my kids opted for popcorn, all natural gummy bears and wasabi flavored seaweed chips.
  • I let my nearly two year old daughter pick out the color of polish for her toes.  She picked turquoise and glitter.  Then she insisted I paint my toes the same.  Oh, my.

So after my post about making my own laundry soap, which I like more and more as I use it, a friend of mine asked for my various recipes of cleaning products.  This is for you, Kristina!

To start, I started making my own cleaning products a few months ago.  I’ve used “natural” cleansers for years and was quite pleased with what I used.  However, my daughter started getting horrendous diaper rashes.  Like open sore kind of rashes, and I couldn’t pin point the culprit.  I kept a food diary for her in case it was allergy related, temporarily switch to paper diapers, did some major cloth diaper stripping, and somewhere along the line, I started wondering if my cleansers were leaving some kind of residual in the tub.  That stirred up all kinds of thinking about the cleaning products I was using, which is what originally got me into seriously looking into homemade products.  If you google making your own, vinegar is one of the top ingredients.  I use vinegar to cook with, so I figured if it can be eaten, it’s pretty safe.

Now, I’m obsessed with vinegar.

Multi purpose cleanser:  I use this on my sinks, kitchen counter, kitchen table, stove top, showers and bathtubs, the outside of the toilet (everything but the bowl), even my mirrors and windows in a pinch.  Initially I was a little hesitant about using vinegar.  For one, I don’t care for the smell, and two, I didn’t think diluted vinegar would be an effective cleanser.  I’ve used this for about two months now, and I can honestly say that my house doesn’t smell like sauerkraut and that it is in fact is very clean.  The vinegar does a great job at cutting through grease, crusted on food, etc., and it’s a natural antibacterial agent and mold killer.

  • One part distilled white vinegar
  • One part water
  • An empty spray bottle
Soap scum remover:  While diluted vinegar is great for cleaning showers and tubs, it didn’t quite cut through soap scum.  I played around with increasing the vinegar ratio then went back to google.  This is what I found.
  • One part vinegar, heated in the microwave for one minute
  • One part dish soap
  • An empty spray bottle
After heating your vinegar, add the dish soap and mix up in the spray bottle.  Shake quite vigorously.  You only have to heat the vinegar for the initial batch.  I’ve used this for the last month or so, and my 100+ year old claw foot tub is by no means soap scummy anymore.  I usually wipe down with my multi purpose cleanser afterward.
Dish soap:  So easy.  I found this recipe via Pinterest.  This, aside from the laundry soap, was the most recent addition to my handmade cleaning product arsenal.
  • 1 ½ cup of hot water
  • -½ cup liquid castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s)
  • -1 tablespoon of white vinegar
  • -1 tablespoon of Arm&Hammer’s Super Washing Soda (used to thicken the soap)
Mix the castile soap, vinegar and washing soda, then whisk in the hot water.  Stir until thoroughly blended.  Allow it to completely cool, stirring occasionally.  Store in an empty dish washing soap bottle or olive oil dispenser.
For the floors:  I have hardwood floors throughout my house, except in two very small rooms which have cheap peel and stick tiles (I can’t wait to get rid of those).  I mostly use my steam mop now, but my pre steam mop days involved a bucket of hot water and about a cup of distilled vinegar.
Carpet deodorizers:  We have two large rugs in our house.  Between small children and pets, they occasionally get a little funk to them.  Solution: sprinkle baking soda and leave on the carpet over night.  Vacuum in the morning.
Air fresheners:   Also new to my cleaning arsenal is this recipe for a DIY air freshener, another Pinterest find.
  • 1/4 cup Baking Soda
  • 4 cups Water
  • Essential oil (I did lemon juice for my first batch because I love citrus and it’s dirt cheap)
  • Spray bottle
Mix well and spray.  I use this most in our bathrooms which, in our old home, have the worst air circulation and get a funk if the doors aren’t kept open.

I still use a commercial toilet bowl cleanser, but I’ve been looking into recipes for that.

And that’s how I keep my home clean.  Cheap, chemical free products that I can honestly say are effective cleaners.

Check out this link for all the fabulous things you can do with vinegar to keep a clean home!  http://www.vinegartips.com/scripts/pageViewSec.asp?id=7


2 thoughts on “141. DIY cleaning products

  1. I love making my own cleaning products! I use vinegar and water for just about everything! Looking for a recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent. Currently, we are using a mix of Borax, washing soda, kosher salt, and citric acid. It doesn’t clean as well as store bought stuff and leaves a film on our dishes. Do you have any recipes you like to use for the dishwasher? I am definitely going to try your dish soap recipe when ours runs out. I already have some Dr. Bronner’s waiting for it.

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