ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Save Money By Making Your Own Cleaners

Updated on September 29, 2009

Take just a few minutes to learn the basics of less toxic cleaning, and you'll have a lifetime of cleaner indoor air. Some people like to switch to using natural cleaners all at one time; others stop restocking toxic cleaners as they run out, learning about alternatives as they go along.

Assess what's under your kitchen sink.The federal government requires labels on household products to contain signal words such as danger/poison, warning, caution, extremely flammable/combustible, corrosive or a strong sensitizer.

  • Danger/poison indicates a product that is very toxic, and in some cases just a drop of it could kill you.
  • Warning means a teaspoon or more can be fatal.
  • Caution specifies a product that is less toxic but can still be fatal if more than two tablespoons is ingested.
  • Corrosive products can cause skin damage.
  • Strong sensitizer means it can increase allergies.

You may want to discard any product that has a signal label other than caution. Call your community recycling center to receive a list of products eligible for their household hazardous waste collections.

Five Essential Ingredients for Natural Cleaning

Using the following ingredients, you'll be able to clean everything in the house. If you want to buy ready-made products, choose "green" brands that have become increasingly popular and widely available at many stores.

Baking soda: This mineral, sodium bicarbonate, is slightly alkaline, with a pH of around 8.1. It neutralizes acidic odors and is slightly abrasive.

Washing soda: Sodium carbonate is a chemical neighbor to baking soda but has a pH of around 11. It is available in the laundry section of the supermarket, and is the best substitute for solvents. Wear gloves when using.

Vinegar: An acid, vinegar neutralizes alkaline substances such as baking soda and scale. Use white distilled vinegar for cleaning.

Soap or detergent: Detergents are synthetic materials that are designed for hard (high mineral content) water washing because they don't react with minerals to form soap scum. Soaps are purer, but work best if you have soft water. Choose a brand that is dye- and fragrance-free.

Tea tree oil: This essential oil from the melaleuca tree is available in health-food stores. It is powerfully antifungal and has a strong odor that dissipates after a few days.

Uses For At-Home Cleaning Products

 Some simple formulas:

  • Scouring powder: Use straight baking soda.
  • Soft scrubber: Combine 1/4 cup of baking soda or washing soda with enough liquid detergent to make a texture like frosting. Use with a sponge.
  • Window cleaner: Place 1/4 cup of vinegar, 2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of liquid detergent in a spray bottle.
  • Oven cleaner: Cover the bottom of the oven with about 1/4 inch of baking soda. Sprinkle or spray water over the baking soda to keep it moist, and let it set for six hours or so, or overnight. Scoop the goop out with a sponge, and then rinse well.
  • Furniture cleaner: Place 1/4 cup of vinegar in a bowl, and add a few drops of vegetable oil.
  • Drain cleaner: Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain and follow with 3 cups of boiling water.
  • All-purpose cleaner: Combine 1/2 teaspoon washing soda with 2 cups of hot water in a spray bottle.
  • Antifungal/antibacterial spray: Combine 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle.

Homemade Cleaners Have a Long Shelf Life

Even though the products you mix up yourself will be less toxic than most, make sure to keep them out of the reach of children, and to label all bottles. These homemade products' shelf life is indefinite, so you can easily premix all but the soft scrubber (it will dry out). It will take you no more time to grab a bottle of your homemade, less-toxic formula than it would a commercial cleaner.

Disclaimer: The information on this Hub page does not constitute medical, legal, commercial, product, and/or service advice or endorsement of any vendor, supplier and/or brand, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the author. Listing of an entity or service on this Hub page is not a warranty of the quality or efficacy of the products or services furnished by any entity. The author is not directly compensated by any entity other than the advertising placement services shown on this page.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)