I must admit, I find something extra fulfilling about making my own cleaners. The fact that most of what I put in them is found in the food aisle at the grocery store and that I get to skip the awful smelling cleaner aisle all together give me a little bit of domestic goddess bliss. Can a superhero(ess) wear a vintage apron and fight grime with her handmade anti-grime devices? I think so.
I'm ever so happy to share my top secret grime fighting recipes with you! (supplies list from last week)
1 spray bottle
2-3 drops of essential oil (optional)
~Pour the club soda in the spray bottle. Add essential oil. Clean with a cotton rag. That's it! And it cleans better than any glass cleaner I've ever used! It works good for stove tops too.
All Purpose Spray:
~For a 32 ounce spray bottle, fill your bottle half way with vinegar, add 1/2 tsp dish soap, top off with water, leaving a bit of room for essential oils. I like to add about 10 drops to this size spray bottle. For a bathroom spray I like to add tea tree oil for it's antibacterial properties. Eucalyptus & mint are also nice for the bathroom. For kitchen spray I like lavender, citrus and pine. For dish soap, I really like Dr Bronner's!
Scrubbing paste & Toilet Scrub:
Jar or repurposed Dish Soap Bottle
Essential Oils (6-10 drops)
I put this in a repurposed dish soap bottle. This way I can squirt it right into the toilet for cleaning, or onto the shower wall. The only downfall is that the baking soda settles, so it's a good idea to shake it up every couple of days. You can also keep it in a wide mouth glass jar if you want to be able to dip your rag into the paste to clean. This works awesome for toilet cleaning and any jobs that need a little grit to scrub them up. Rinse well with clean water after scrubbing to avoid any cloudiness from the baking soda. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to a mixing bowl. Slowly add dish soap and stir until you have a frosting consistency paste. Add essential oils. I love peppermint for this one! To get this into a dish bottle, you may have to thin it a bit more so it will go through a funnel.
A repurposed Dish Soap Bottle
2 parts water
1 part vinegar
1/2 tsp dish soap
6-10 drops of essential oil
Pour all ingredients into a repurposed dish soap bottle. Shake before use. I use a hot bucket (or sink) full of water to rinse my mop and squirt this cleaner right onto the floor for mopping. It leaves no film and makes the floor so clean! I love it. I've read you can use a little baking soda sprinkled onto the floor for extra dirty spots.
Small spray Bottle
Tea Tree Oil
This stuff is potent! It's great for bathroom walls and we've also sprayed it on camping gear. Mix 1 cup of vinegar with 1 cup of water. Add 1 tsp Tea Tree Oil. Shake to mix. Spray and wipe with a rag. For extra stubborn spots, spray and let soak a bit (15 minutes or so), then spray a second time and wipe clean.
This has been a life saver at this house! Living in a warm climate means the pipes are the perfect temperature to grow gunk nearly year round. A weekly application of this combo keeps the water draining properly. Pour 1/4 cup baking soda directly in the drain. Add 1/4 cup of vinegar. Let sit for ten minutes and rinse with a tea kettle full of boiling water.
*One thing I rarely use is borax. Some folks like borax, some don't. You'll see it on some natural cleaning lists. In our home, if the flu bug hits and I really need to disinfect, I make up a small amount of all purpose spray specifically for mama cleaning, keeping it out of reach for my littles. I can scrub the bathroom and dilute it to do the floors. If you choose to add it, 1-2 tsp per 32 ounce bottle should be good. Dissolving it in some hot water helps to mix it in better.*
So there you have it! The basics to clean your whole house. All safe enough for the kids to help with the house cleaning. Though my own far prefer the making of the cleaners than the cleaning with them! Ahem. Now we can fight grime together, there's power in numbers after all. And if your loving this domestic talk you should really pop over to Rachel's place and read about saving the world with carrots.... really!
~~p.s. for future reference, this will be added to the tutorial section, right here.~~