Make Your Own Cleaners Using Baking Soda and Vinegar
Do you make your own cleaners?
Make your own cleaning products!
Over the years, I have acquired quite a few recipes for cleaning products. Some come from www.eartheasy.com, others have come from friends, and still others I made up myself.
What was the motivation?
First, years ago, we found out that the graywater from our house didn't filter out very well and goes into the stream in front of our house. We were quite alarmed and until we could afford to fix that, we wanted to be as benign to the stream as possible.
Then, I kept reading about how chemicals in commercial cleaning products were contributing to health hazards such as asthma and allergies, and that the inside of the typical home was more toxic than going out and breathing the air outside.
Often, the solution was to make the cleaning products ourselves.
Third, I liked the idea that making my own products was safer for the environment, for the planet and for my family in general.
The only downside? The time required to make some of these products myself. Realistically, it probably takes about ten minutes to make something that will last several months. Other times I make a product on the spot and use it, such as furniture polish.
These recipes use some very common ingredients: white vinegar, baking soda, water, lemon and its juice, and olive oil.
Recipe for All-Purpose Cleaner
1/2 cup white distilled vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon essential oil (tea tree, lavender, or lemon)
Mix these three ingredients first. After the fizzing has stopped, fill a 1/2 gallon container. It's a good idea to label the container so that you know what's really in it. Store in cool, dark place.
My favorite essential oil to use is tea tree. It is naturally anti-fungal and fights bacteria. I use lavender when I want a more subtle scent.
Remember, though: a little bit of essential oil goes a long way - less is often more. If you like a lemon scent and don't have oil, you can try putting in 1/4 tsp. of powdered lemon rind.
Below are some of my favorite and most common recipes that I use:
For glass, mirrors, faucets, and metal sinks, I like to use a solution of 1 part white distilled vinegar to 1 part water. Spray on and wipe off. It will smell like vinegar while drying, but once dried, it leaves no smell at all - just a freshly clean surface.
Furniture polish/Leather cleaner
I get a cloth and dampen it just a bit. Then I take a dab of lemon juice and a dab of olive oil and put on the cloth. Then I start dusting. I also use this same method to clean my leather couches, refreshing the rag when I've used up the lemon juice and oil.
You may want to test a small spot before cleaning the leather with this solution, but I've used it on my leather couches and leather jacket. When I'm finished (either with the furniture or the leather) I wipe up any excess oil with a clean rag and that helps to really polish things up. :)
I live in a pretty moist part of the country (in the Appalachian mountains) and regularly battle mold. My husband is allergic to it, so I try to get at it pretty quickly as soon as I see it.
I have two methods for attacking mold:
1. I make a solution of 2 tsp tea tree oil - remember, it's got antifungal properties - and 2 cups of water and put in a spray bottle. I spray directly on moldy spots and do not rinse. The scent of the tea tree is so soothing and mint-y.
2. I use distilled white vinegar straight from the bottle. I spray the area and do not rinse. The smell dissipates in a few hours (I like it, though - it makes everything seem really clean).
Toilet bowl cleaner
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup baking soda
Dump vinegar into commode and swish with toilet brush. Then dump in baking soda and swish with brush. It will start fizzing. Let sit for 15 minutes and flush.
These are my favorite remedies that I use at home. I feel so clean using them and "green" at the same time. I hope they are useful for you.
© 2011 Cynthia Calhoun