Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Homemade Cleaners

General Purpose Cleaner

1 teaspoon borax
1/2 teaspoon washing soda
2 teaspoons vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dish washing liquid
2 cups hot water

Combine all the ingredients. If you don't have washing soda (generally found in the laundry section of supermarkets), use 1 teaspoon baking soda instead. For a more pleasant smell, use lemon juice instead of vinegar. Be sure to label the bottle accordingly.


Oven Cleaner

2 tablespoons dish washing liquid
2 teaspoons borax
1/4 cup ammonia
1-1/2 cups warm water

Mix the ingredients together, apply to oven spills, and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Scrub with an abrasive nylon-backed sponge and rinse well.

WARNING: Never mix cleaning products containing bleach and ammonia as dangerous fumes will result.


Microwave cleaner

1 cup water
1 quart warm water
1/4 cup baking soda

To loosen dried-on food, put 1 cup water in a microwavable cup and heat in the microwave until it boils; turn off the microwave and let the water sit for 1 minute. Dissolve baking soda in 1 quart warm water and, using a sponge or cloth, wash the interior of the microwave with this solution to clean and deodorize it.


Down and Dirty Spring Cleaning

Lemon – 20 drops
Eucalyptus  – 10 drops
Juniper berry – 10 drops
Pine needle – 10 drops
Rosemary – 5 drop
Emulsifier – 1 teaspoonful (borax)
All Purpose Cleaner - 8 ounces
Pet Bottle with Spray Top

Blend essential oils well in Glass Beaker then add a teaspoon emulsifier. Mix thoroughly. Then add to the All Purpose Cleaner and shake well. Spray around the room, let sit for a bit then wipe clean. OR you can add the essential oil/emulsifier blend to a bucket of soapy water and use to do your spring cleaning everywhere!!


Disinfectant Spray Cleaner

Kills mold and bacteria

1 teaspoon of borax
2 tablespoons of white vinegar
2 cups of hot water
1/4 teaspoon lavender oil
3 drops white cedar oil
3 drops tea tree oil

Mix all ingredients together and stir until all dry ingredients
dissolve. Pour into spray bottle and use on surface as needed except
for glass.


Lemon-Mint Window Cleaner

Cleans your windows and your sinuses while discouraging those pesky
flies from perching on your window sill.

2 cups of water or club soda
1/2 teaspoon peppermint oil
Juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of cornstarch

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a plastic spray bottle.
Shake before each use.


Blue window cleaner (I know it is tradition)

3 tablespoons ammonia
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 drops blue food coloring

Put into a clean spray bottle


All purpose/Window Cleaner
1/2 cup ammonia
2 cups rubbing alcohol
1 tsp. dish washing liquid

In a one-gallon container, mix ammonia and rubbing alcohol. Fill almost to the top with water. Add dish washing liquid and mix. Top off with water. Rated by Consumer Reports Magazine to work much better (and much cheaper) than most commercial window and kitchen sprays. Alcohol is the secret ingredient - it's what commercial window washers use.
*Safe on most, but not all, household surfaces.

I use this to clean almost everything from the bathroom to the window. This the main cleaner I use in my house.


Heavy duty cleaner

1/4 cup powdered laundry detergent
1 tablespoon borax
3/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup pine oil, or pine-based cleaner  Or add 1/4 cup water and 2 tsp pine essential oil

Slowly stir the detergent and borax into the water to dissolve. Add the pine oil (available at hardware stores and supermarkets) and mix well. For bathroom cleaning, use the mixture full strength. In the kitchen, dilute it with water.


Ready Mop Cleaner Refill

1 gallon water
1 cup ammonia
1/2 cup vinegar

Mix ingredients and pour use in your mops instead of buying commercial cleaner.

Tip: Use a piece of scrap fleece, scrap flannel or micro-fiber towels (purchased at automotive stores) to replace your SwiferTM or Clorox Ready MopTM disposable pads. Cut several to size to have on hand. When soiled throw in the wash and launder as usual. Note: Don't use ammonia on wood floors. Just use vinegar and water or water and Murphy's oil soap.

Daily Shower Cleaner

1/4 cup concentrated cleaner (Lysol is a good brand)
1/2 cup isopropyl alcohol

Pour cleaner and alcohol into quart spray bottle. Add enough water to fill. Thoroughly clean shower before using. Spray on shower daily. Use daily to prevent water deposits and soap scum.

Homemade Cleaning Wipes

1 round baby wipe container*
1 roll of paper towels**
2-4 cups cleaning solution (homemade is fine)

Recycle a used round baby wipe container. Cut a roll of paper towel in half, (an electric or serrated knife works best for this.) Remove the center cardboard. Place 1/2 of the paper towels in the baby wipe container. Pour cleaning solution into the container. (The amount will depend of the absorbency of your paper towels.) This can be used for window cleaner, all purpose cleaner, or disinfectant cleaner. Pull the first paper towel out of the center of the roll, through the hole in the container lid. If the paper towels dry out before they are all used add more solution or some water.

*If you don't have a baby wipe container, you can use a round plastic container and just drill or punch a large hole in the center of the lid.
**It is best to use expensive, thick paper towels. The cheap ones won't hold up to scrubbing.

Face/Hand Wipes

2 tablespoons liquid baby bath
2 cups water

Bathroom Wipes

1/2 -1 teaspoon lavender or pine essential oil
2 1/2 cups water


Window Wipes

1 cup glass cleaner
1 1/2 cups water

Recipe #2

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
30 drops lemon essential oil

Cut a roll of paper towels in half and put into two qt widemouth mason jars Pour 1/2 of mixture over each roll, screw shut and shake up and down to cover the paper towels.


Outdoor Window Washer

3 Tbsp. liquid dishwashing soap
1 Tbsp. anti-spotting agent (Jet DryTM)

Put soap and anti-spotting agent into a spray bottle attachment for your garden hose. Spray upper windows and let them dry. This is for cleaning the higher windows on your house that you can't reach except with a ladder.

Tough Hand Cleaner

1/4 cup Fels Naptha*, grated
2 Tbsp. mason’s sand or pumice
1 cup water
2 cup plastic container (16 oz. cottage cheese container works great)

Place soap and water in a saucepan. Place over low heat; stir until soap is melted. After mixture cools, add mason's sand or pumice. Store in a cottage cheese container or margarine tub. Dip fingers into soap mixture and lather hands. Rinse well. *Any grated bar of soap will work but Fels Naptha removes the stains better.


Citrus floor cleaner

1 gallon hot water
2 tablespoons Dawn liquid soap
15 drops orange essential oil
10 drops lemon essential oil or 1/4 cup lemon juice

Blend Together & Mop as usual


Glass cleaner

2 tablespoons ammonia
1/2 cup alcohol
1/4 teaspoon dish washing liquid
a few drops blue food coloring

Combine the ammonia, alcohol, dish washing liquid, and food coloring, then add enough water to make 1 quart. If you prefer a non-ammoniated cleaner, substitute 3 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice for the ammonia.


Toilet Cleaner

1 cup borax
1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice

Combine the ingredients to make a paste. Apply it to the inside of the toilet bowl, let sit for 1 to 2 hours, and scrub

Rug cleaner

1/4 teaspoon dish washing liquid
1 cup lukewarm water

Combine the ingredients. Use a spray bottle to apply the solution over a large area, or use the solution to spot-clean non-greasy stains. (Don't use laundry detergent or dishwasher detergent in place of dish
washing liquid, as they may contain additives that can affect the rug's color.)


Copper and Brass cleaner

Use these easy instructions to combine common household ingredients to make your own copper, brass, and bronze cleaner.

1/2 c flour
1/2 c salt
1/2 c powdered detergent
3/4 c white vinegar
1/4 c lemon juice
1/2 c very warm water
quart jar with lid

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Stir in the liquid ingredients. Mix well.
Transfer the cleaning mixture to a glass jar. Close the jar tightly and label it.
To use the cleaner, shake a small amount onto a cloth and rub it into the surface of the copper, brass, or bronze object. Use a toothbrush for hard-to-reach areas. Rinse with water and rub dry with a clean cloth

Easy Scrub

3/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup borax
dish washing liquid

Combine the baking soda and borax. Mix in enough dish washing liquid to make a smooth paste. If you prefer a pleasant smell, add 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice to the paste.


Jewery Cleaner

1/4 cup ammonia
1/4 cup dishwashing liquid
3/4 cup water

Mix all the ingredients well, then soak your jewelry in the solution for a few minutes. Clean around the stones and designs with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Buff dry. (Caution: Don't use this with gold-plated jewelry; with soft stones such as pearls, opals, or jade; or with costume jewelry, because it could ruin the plastics or loosen the glue.)

Jewelry cleaner #2

Colgate tooth paste  works well when you simply scrub with a tooth brush, rince well and dry.


Skunk Smell Remover

1 qt. hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda
1 tsp. dish detergent

Sponge on and let dry. Safe for use on cats and dogs.


Orange cleaner

Steep the vinegar in orange peels, a simple, clever, and inexpensive way to turn ordinary vinegar into a boutique-type cleaner (which could probably fetch ten times it’s value!). But would the orange essence or the vinegar smell dominate? Mind you, the vinegar smell never bothered me, but I do love that fresh, sweet smell of an orange being peeled!
After two weeks of steeping in the vinegar, the essence of the orange peels did, in fact, permeate the liquid and the result was a sweet smelling success! While I used the following amounts, you could choose any size jar with a tight-fitting lid, stuff it with peels, and fill with vinegar. Although it would require more fruit, lemons, limes, and clementines would be excellent options!

Orange Vinegar:
1 16-ounce canning jar
2 large oranges, peels only (eat the insides!)
vinegar to cover

Curl the peels around the inside of the jar. I used two large oranges and would not have been able to fit another peel. If your oranges are small and you could fit another peel, feel free to add one more. Pour vinegar into the jar to cover the peels and close tightly. Store in the cupboard for two weeks, then transfer the vinegar to a spray bottle and use for all your cleaning purposes!


Other Ideas
Buy 1 gallon of bubble bath and use instead of liquid hand soap. It is much cheaper and smells better than regular hand soap.

Read the labels on any cleaning product you buy, even on common products that you, your mom and grandmother have used for years. For example for generations women have used ammonia to disinfect their kitchens, but ammonia is not a disinfectant, it is a de-greaser. It works great for that greasy grimy build-up on floors, but it isn't actually disinfecting anything.

Mark your cleaning pail with fingernail polish to indicate the levels of water you usually use for your jobs (i.e. 1/2 gal., 1 gal.) That way you don't waste water.

When using cleansers, tear the tab back only part way. Then you only get half as much cleanser so that you don't wash as much unused cleanser down the drain.

Save on spray cleaners. Spray the solution on a rag and then wipe. This way the extra spray cleaner is not wasted and you save time by not having to rinse off the over spray.

Use fabric softener sheets to dust furniture and television screens. The sheets make your furniture smell good, but more importantly, eliminate static so dust won't be attracted to these surfaces.

when using Essential oils a little goes a long way; add 1 teaspoon essential oil per 2 cups of
other ingredients.

Lime oil has a light citrus scent that performs as a degreaser and general cleaner. A few drops of this oil mixed with 2 tablespoons of baking soda make an effective kitchen cleaner.

Lemon, orange and grapefruit oils are tough degreasers that also alleviate depression and fatigue.

Lavender oil is a disinfectant and a calming scent to ease tension, depression and anxiety.

Tea tree oil has a strong scent and eases congestion. Most effective when bacteria, fungi and bronchial problems are apparent in the home.
Peppermint oil is another soothing scent that eases congestion.

White cedar oil disinfects and provides an outdoorsy scent. Meanwhile, a good choice for those whom are sick.

Pine oil is a degreaser and disinfectant. Its clean with an outdoor scent that stimulates alertness.

Lemon, lime and grapefruit juices do more than smell great, they are acidic and used for an antibacterial.

Baking soda is a mild abrasive that neutralizes both acids and alkali formulas. Used with many oils for numerous results including neutralizing pet odors and stains.

Borax is a water soluble salt that loosens dirt and stains while removing odors. You can find Borax in your local supermarket.

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