I’ve been cleaning out my cleaning cabinet and the first thing that I noticed is how many different cleaners were in there! There must have been about 15 different items for cleaning my house. Albeit I don’t use all of them every time, that is just way too many chemicals in my home. I boxed them up and started thinking about what cleaning products I really needed.
This is what I came up with:
- Toilet cleaner
- Glass cleaner
- All -Purpose Cleaner
- Mopping/Floor cleaner
That’s it. Just 4 cleaners to clean the whole house. Then, I began to think outside of floors, counters, windows, and mirrors. I started thinking about what other cleaner/chemicals we use in our home. Here’s what I came up with:
- Laundry detergent
- Dish liquid
- Automatic Dish detergent
- liquid hand soap (this could fall into personal care)
So, I began researching products, trying products, and making products and I think I have a plan now. I’m making my own toilet cleaner, glass cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, mopping liquid, dish liquid, and hand soap. I’m purchasing laundry detergent, I like Charlie’s Soap, and I’m still up in the air on automatic dish detergent. I’m thinking of trying my own recipe and seeing how it words or I might stick with Seventh Generation’s dish washing tablets.
First, I bought two spray bottles for $1 each at the Dollar Tree for my all-purpose cleaner and glass cleaner. I had a squirt bottle that I bought a while back at Walmart for the toilet cleaner, and I re-purposed an old maple syrup bottle (from buying bulk at Earth Fare) for my dish washing liquid. Then, I found these recipes in a book I have about green cleaning:
:: Mopping Liquid
I just use good ‘ol vinegar and water. I know it isn’t the best smelling concoction, but it works. And, when the water evaporates, so does the smell. If you just can’t handle the smell, you can add a few drop of essential oil to make it more pleasant AND essential oils can add to the cleaning properties as well! You could try a few drops of lavender, orange, lemon, eucalyptus, or tea tree oil; all have antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
:: Toilet Cleaner
I mixed castile soap and water in a squirt bottle (25% pure concentrated castile soap, 75% water). You squirt the soap mixture into the toilet around the edge (like you would a gel cleaner). Then, you sprinkle baking soda into the bowl (like you would a powder toilet cleaner, such as Comet). Leave it to sit for a about ten minutes. Then, come back and scrub as you would with any toilet cleaner. I was amazed at the result! I thought so few ingredients couldn’t possibly work, but I felt that it actually worked better than the national brand cleaner I used to buy.
:: All Purpose Cleaner
I mixed1 Tbsp borax, 1/4 cup vinegar, 3 1/2 cups hot water, 1/2 tsp of castile soap, and 10 drops of orange essential oil (you could use a different essential oil such as lemon, lavender, or eucalyptus). This is great for any surface cleaner (bathroom and kitchen).
:: Glass Cleaner
I mixed 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1 Tbsp cornstarch, and 3 1/2 cups warm water.
I haven’t used the glass cleaner or the all purpose cleaner yet, but I can’t wait to see how it works. I’m anxious to see the glass cleaner at work, especially. It says it is a “streak free formula.” We’ll see. I have several more recipes if these don’t work.
After all my concocting was finished I made some cute labels with the names and ingredients to add to my bottles. You can download the PDF: Homemade Cleaners Labels. You will need some regular white mailing labels (10 to a sheet) for printing.
Seventh Generation and Walmart challenged me to take a month and share the things I’m doing to make my home greener. You can see what other Walmart Moms are doing, too. Sheena from Sophistishe, Monica from MommyBrain Reports, Jenn from Frugal Upstate and Jenna of Green Your Decor are also participating. Be sure to come back next week for more!
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Walmart Moms program. Seventh Generation has provided me with products. Walmart has provided me with compensation to blog about attempting a more sustainable household for a month. Participation in this program is voluntary. All opinions are my own.