Prior to 2009, I hardly gave any thought to what we used to clean our home. I had effectively narrowed it down to Windex, Lysol, Bleach and Pledge and I was happy. My house not only smelled clean but it was clean. In fact, if any of these companies were to create air fresheners of their respective scents, I would subconsciously assume “it’s clean”. Then of course, the economy crashed and we all began looking for ways to cut back. I no longer purchased pre-mixed spray bottles of my favorite products. I began to buy the value sized bottles and diluted them. 1 bottle of Lysol could easily make 10 bottles of properly diluted Lysol. By “properly diluted” I mean to manufacturer’s standards.
I was pleased with myself. I had beaten the system. Then one day, we ran out laundry detergent and I desperately needed to wash linens. A child with allergies pretty much insurers regular sheet rotation. In an effort to not go to the store, I began to research homemade cleaners. It struck me how many ingredients they all seem to have in common. Theoretically if you had borax, washing soda, baking soda, vinegar and dish soap on hand you were set. I was also taken by how inexpensive these ingredients were to begin with. I did have to go to the store but this time, I bought Borax, Fels Naptha and washing soda instead.
This homemade liquid laundry soap recipe came from icanteachmychild. I used this recipe for roughly 3 months. It really does work and I’m willing to go so far as to say it works as good as most store bought brands. You will still need to treat your stains before throwing them into the wash but over all I was pleased. Unfortunately, my husband developed an allergy to this recipe and we have gone back to using name brand stuff. I would like to mention that most of us use way too much detergent. You only need about 1/4 of the cup provided to get your clothes clean. Also peroxide makes an excellent stain remover. I have stopped using my beloved Resolve Spray n’ Wash in lieu of it.
The disinfectant recipe came from Heart MD Institute. I use it everywhere that I would normally use Lysol. My kitchen counters, my bathroom, the doors. It really does a great job. The floor recipe comes from The Vinegar Institute. I have seen similar recipes using the addition of alcohol and they work just as well. I’m not sure how the formulas differ in regards to disinfectant potency but the alcohol seems to nix that vinegar smell. While we are on the subject of smell, I can tell you the vinegar in each of these recipes dissipates after 30 minutes or so. I usually light a scented candle and it’s fine. The glass cleaner recipe came from Care2 and it is hands down the best. I use it on glass, faucets and my stove top; anywhere I need a streak-free shine. It’s really that good.
I have been using these recipes for about 8 months now and I am completely hooked. I love that I only need a few simple ingredients to restock my cleaning arsenal and they really do last. I just finished off the giant bottle of vinegar I bought 5 months ago and that box of Borax we bought in the beginning of this little experiment is still going strong. Yes, I do love a bargain but I really appreciate the fact that these recipes are such an easy way to go green. Perhaps, when our kids grow up, they will smell vinegar and think “Yep, it’s clean”. Well, here’s hoping.