Thursday, February 16, 2012


I have always liked the idea of homemade cleaners to use around the house. I hate the smell of chemicals, I always feel like I need to wear a gas mask to clean the bathtub if I'm using comet or something just as strong. Apart from the half a grapefuit/salt thing, I haven't really tried much else. I even have a few of the recipes for different things pinned onto a pinboard on pinterest that is reserved for all-natural, homemade cleaning. I would have tried all of this in our California home, but we were moving out soon & I wouldn't have been able to pack anything I had made, I'd have had to throw it all out as we were leaving the country. So now that we're here, we've been assigned a house, and we officially move in on Monday, I've decided I'm going to do the all-natural, homemade cleaning! To be honest, I was a little on the fence about it until Sandra posted this on her blog & after reading her praises of it, I knew I just had to do it 100%.

So I'm making my own laundry detergent, carpet deodorizer, shower head cleaner, laundry detergent, bath tub scrub, spider killer/repellent, glass/mirror spray, dish soap, dishwasher detergent, as well as a solution to clean counters & tile/hardwood floors.

The recipes are easy peasy, and I've found similar ones all over the blogosphere. 

For Laundry Detergent:

  • one bar of soap (I'll be using Dove)
  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 2 one-gallon containers (if you use gallon sized milk, just save & clean out the jugs & use those)
First you need to grate the bar of soap into a pan large enough to hold 2 gallons. Once it's all grated add one gallon of water & cook it on the stove until the soap dissolves. At that point you need to add the borax & baking soda. Bring the mixture to a boil, remove from heat & add one gallon of cold water & stir well. The mixture should thicken overnight, so I wouldn't use it right away. I've seen some blog mention that they only used half a bar of soap, and it worked much better for them. 
When it's ready to be used just add 1/2 cup per load!

For Bathtub Scrub:
  • 1 teaspoon liquid soap
  • a few drops of anti-bacterial essential oils (tea tree or eucalyptus)
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • just enough water to make a paste (add small amounts slowly!)
Use with brush to scrub surface, rinse well.

Spider Killer/Repellant:
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup pepper powder
  • a teaspoon each of oil & liquid soap
Put all ingredients into spray bottle & spray around doors/windows outside (not in the house!)
Spray again after rain.

Glass/Mirror Cleaner:
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 15-20 drops essential oil
Mix in spray bottle, shake well before each use. If you don't have or want to use essential oils you can use the citrus-peel infused vinegar I will mention soon. Spray liberally on area you wish to clean & wipe off.

Dish Soap:
(I'm actually still not 100% sure that I will use this, as I've found an all-natural store bought dish soap that I love & I've read this one isn't as great at cutting heavy grease & you have to really scrub hard with this one, but I'm posting it anyway!)
  • 2 cups Castile soap
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
Mix well before each use, add to sink full of hot water, scrub dishes, rinse well.

Dishwasher Detergent:
  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 citric acid (turns out it's pretty hard to find so you can substitute "fresh fruit" produce protector or 15 packs of unsweetened lemon flavoured Kool Aid)
Use 1 Tablespoon per load. & it is VERY important to add a little white vinegar to the rinse aid compartment.

To Clean Kitchen Surfaces:

You can just use pure white vinegar, or if you'd like it to smell nice infuse it with citrus peels! Lemon, orange, or grapefruit seem to be the most popular & they add a little kick to help clean! So put your peels inside a large jar & poor your white vinegar in until it's full. Close up the container & let it sit. You can use it after just a few hours, or if you prefer a strong scent let it sit overnight before using it. I'll be keeping a large jar that will always be full in my kitchen to use everyday.

To Mop Kitchen/Bathroom/Hardwood Floors:
  • 2 Cups infused vinegar
  • 2 Gallons hot water
Mop floors, then dry well with a clean towel. If you would prefer a different scent than citrus when doing this use vinegar that has not been infused & then add a few drops of your favourite essential oils.
I've seen that it is recommended to use slightly less vinegar on hardwood floors, so test out different mixtures & see what works best for you.

& there you have it!
All you need to make your own cleaning supplies. 
I also recommend using towels instead of paper towel to reduce the amount of waste you produce. 
I am very excited to start using these for my everyday cleaning & can't wait to get started. I'll be making all of my solutions this weekend & getting the house clean & ready for the movers who arrive with all of our stuff on Monday! I really cannot wait to finally be home!! Seriously, almost half a year living in temporary housing in 3 different places; we moved out of our house October 21, I stayed with my parents until November 21, then met up with Jer in Nebraska until January 21, & now we're finally moving into our house on February 20.
I think moving into a new home & having zero cleaning supplies on hand will make the transition from store-bought, harsh cleaners to all-natural, homemade cleaners so much easier & I'm really excited about this. I'll let you know how it goes!!

P.S. I mention a half-grapefuit/salt thing in the beginning of this post, & it's so simple! Cut a grapefruit in half & sprinkle some salt on it. Wet down the area you'll be cleaning & sprinkle salt liberally over area. Then use the half a grapefruit to scrub down tub surface & fixtures. If you don't want to eat the other half of the grapefruit you can squeeze out all of the juice over the area you're cleaning. So easy, and it works so well!!

I hope you've enjoyed this blog post! It took hours of online research to finally find the recipes that would work for me. I hope these sound great for you, and if there is one that doesn't seem to work for you, there are plenty of others out there & different variations of the ones that I've posted!

Happy cleaning!!

x Jen

My lemon-infused vinegar ready to be used.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to try these - thanks for sharing!