I have never been afraid of bleach or cleaning products in general. In fact, for the longest time my belief was that if the cleaning product was potent then it must be doing a good job. They might have been doing a good job cleaning my house but now that I have three children and am on a budget I find that our health is more important and saving money when we can is a huge bonus. I looked all over for ways to make my own cleaning products and discovered the price to make them is lower than buying cleaners at the store. They’re actually better for the environment, too.
My two favorite things to use for cleaning are vinegar and baking soda. Most people shy away from vinegar due to the smell, but as it evaporates the smell does leave. In fact, I’ve let some of my husband’s tupperware he’s used for lunches soak in vinegar just to get the old food smell out. Baking soda also helps remove odors, and not just in your fridge. Pour some down your sink drain, add some vinegar, and let it sit until it stops fizzing. This will freshen up the smell of your drains. If the drain happens to be slow or clogged you can try pouring boiling water down the drain after the baking soda and vinegar stop fizzing. This should get the water moving again. You can also try dish soap and boiling water if you think it’s grease clogging up the drain. You can also wipe down counters with vinegar to prevent ants from taking over if you have an ant problem.
The possibilities are almost endless. To save you the time I’ve picked out my favorites.
All Purpose Cleaner- Combine 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda to a 1/2 gallon of water.
Window Cleaner- 1/2 cup vinegar combined with one gallon water
Bathroom Grout Mold Cleaner- 1 part hydrogen peroxide combined with 2 parts water. Apply to tiles and let sit for one hour before rinsing.
Toilet Cleaner- Sprinkle baking soda and lemon juice in bowl. Let sit for one hour if possible before scrubbing.
Upholstery Spot Remover- Just use club soda!
Air Freshener- There’s a couple of things you can do. My favorite is to make a little bowl out of aluminum foil and sprinkle cinnamon in it. Stick it in the oven and turn it on to the lowest setting. Leave the oven door open just a crack until you can smell the cinnamon. A more long-term idea is to boil orange or lemon peels in water.
Laundry Booster- Throw in a little baking soda with your detergent. It will both increase the cleaning power and help soften your clothes.
As you can tell, all of the above ingredients cost very little and aren’t harsh like most cleaners. Using the above ideas will not only help your environment but they’re safe to use around children and animals AND will save you a few bucks. What’s not to like?