Thursday, April 8, 2010

Homemade Cleaning Supplies

If you're looking for an experiment in frugality I'd highly recommend trying some homemade cleaning supplies! When we first got married, I received a Martha Stewart Homemaking Book which I've enjoyed as a reference for all sorts of things. She recommended some homemade cleaning supplies, so I thought I'd give it a try. She was onto another one of her "good things" in my opinion. So for about two years now I've been cleaning everything with the following...

"heavy duty" bathroom cleaning (toilets, bathtub, counters sometimes)
Soapy Ammonia
1 c ammonia
1 c water
2 TBSP liquid Ivory soap

glass windows (also mirrors and dusting)
Glass Cleaner
1 c ammonia
1 c water

soap scum remover (as a daily shower spray and also while cleaning)
1 c water
1 c white vinegar

counter-top kitchen cleaner (also could be for dusting)
1 c water
2 TBSP liquid Ivory soap

I bought plain spray bottles that I found at the grocery store and labeled. Super cheap and easy to remember what's in each one. While there are some "start up" costs to buying these items, they've lasted me a long time through many batches and refills so it's very, very economical over the long run. The most expensive item to buy was the liquid Ivory soap, but even that is used in such small portions it will last a really long time! As a side note, make sure you'd never use bleach around any of the ammonia-based cleaners. The combination is one that causes really dangerous fumes, don't do it!

Now, as a new experiment I'm trying Grace's Laundry Soap. I'm sure she'd tell us it's not "her" idea, but I got it from her, so to me it is :) I just made it last night for the first time and haven't used it yet, but I figure if it can thoroughly clean Grace's laundry with cloth diapers, a little kid stains, it will do the same for ours! So here it is:

Laundry Soap
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar, grated finely
1 c washing soda
1 c Borax
Mix all together. I plan to sort of "pre-mix" it before I use it, in the following way: use 1-2 TBSP per load, mix with water in a Mason jar right before use and then pour into washing machine as you would use liquid soap normally.

The more amazing thing is the amount of money saved... you can read the detailed breakdown here, but the final cost is 1 cent per load! Seriously, it's true and amazing I think :)

I hope you enjoy the blessings of some frugal finds if you get a chance to try these out. It certainly has been a blessing to us!

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