Stocking your home with chemical-heavy cleaning supplies can be a costly endeavor, both financially and in terms of risk. Cleaning products can eat a significant chunk of your budget over time, and if you share your home with young children, their very presence is a considerable health hazard.
If your aim is to save money, keep your home free from potentially harmful products, reduce your impact on the environment or some combination of all three, then you may want to consider using these homemade cleaning products in lieu of store-bought items.
Essential-oil cleanser all-purpose cleaner
RealSimple.com suggests mixing 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 5 – 10 drops of whatever essential oil you prefer and a shot of natural dish soap. All ingredients can be put into a 16-ounce spray bottle and shaken well, creating an all-purpose cleaner that can be used in any non-glass surface in your home.
To get your windows and mirrors clean without sinking money into harmful blue chemicals, GoodHousekeeping.com recommends a natural glass cleaner that is made up of 2 cups water, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol and 1 – 2 drops of essential oil. For additional cleaning capability, other recipes recommend adding in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
Shower cleaner/mold and mildew remover
Ridding your shower tiles of soap and water film and getting rid of gunk on the grout typically requires pungent and noxious chemical cleaners. Instead, RealSimple.com recommends a formula that is no less pungent—or effective. Mix 1/4 cup white vinegar with 1 cup water in a microwave-safe bowl, heat for up to 60 seconds and pour into a large spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto your shower surfaces, let stand for 3 – 5 minutes and wipe away with a cloth. Should you have stronger stains to contend with, consider upping the vinegar quotient, going as high as 1 part vinegar and 1 part water.
If your shower shows signs of mold or mildew, consider mixing 2 cups water and 2 teaspoons tea-tree oil in a large spray bottle, shaking well and spraying onto the affected area. Let stand for 24 hours. Take 1/4 cup baking soda in a small bowl and spray it with the mixture until it forms a sort of paste. Apply to the previously-sprayed area and scrub with a toothbrush.
Clothing stain remover/Laundry soap
If you have an article of clothing that seems to be irreparably stained, do not fret. Per GoodHousekeeping.com, mix 1 gallon of hot water with 1 cup powdered dishwasher detergent and 1 cup liquid chlorine bleach in a stainless steel or plastic bowl. Soak the affected garment for 15 – 20 minutes, or longer if the stain still remains past that. Wash the clothing item as normal.
If you want to reduce your reliance on store-bought laundry detergent, consider this recipe from Today.com. Mix 2 cups soap flakes, 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup borax powder and 1 cup washing soda. For top-loading washing machines, use between 1/2 – 2 cups based on the size of load and degree to which clothing is soiled. For front-loading machines, use only 2 tablespoons.
There are several recipes for homemade cleaning products that can be used on a regular basis as a means to save money and cut out chemicals. Chances are pretty good that if you have a cleaning need, there is a DIY solution that covers it.