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All of these can be made for a fraction of the cost of "store bought" cleaners, and as an added benefit do not contain the toxic chemicals found in their store bought counterparts.
Makes 10 gallons for about $2 (That much Tide would cost $192) 4 Cups - hot tap water 1 Fels-Naptha soap bar or Kirks Castille soap bar 1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda* ½ Cup Borax • • Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted. Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken. Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel) Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil, (which is also a great natural disinfectant). Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons for about $2 Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads) Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)
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*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - is not often carried in stores, but can be ordered direct from the company at this address: http://www.thelaundrybasket.com/Our_Products/Our_Products_Super_Washing_Soda/our_products_s uper_washing_sod.html P.S.: Baking Soda will not work, nor will regular Arm & Hammer laundry detergent. Only Arm & Hammer’s Super Washing Soda aka sodium carbonate! Sodium Carbonate can also be purchased at pool supply stores. P.P.S. Fels-Naptha bar soap is an excellent spot remover as well. Keep an extra bar handy to use instead of "Spray & Wash". Just dampen the spot and rub with bar of soap.
About $3 (Cascade would cost $7)
2c Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 2c Borax 1 c Kosher Salt 1 c Citric Acid, (Fruit Fresh works fine) Mix ingredients thoroughly and store in air tight container. Use 1 tbsp per load. If spotting is a problem, add 1 tbsp vinegar to rinse cycle. In addition to preventing spotting, the vinegar will also act as a disinfectant.
Cost = About 25cents (Windex = $2.50) ½ c White Vinegar 2 c Water 1 squirt liquid castile soap, (liquid dish soap works well also) ¼ to ½ c Lemon Juice, (drops of concentrated lemon essential oils works well also) Mix thoroughly and store in spray bottle.
KITCHEN CLEANER SPRAY
Cost = About 25 cents (409 = $2.50) 2 c Water 3 Tbsp Liquid Castille or dish soap 20 drops Tea Tree Oil (a natural disinfectant) Mix thoroughly and store in spray bottle.
WOOD FURNITURE OIL/CLEANER
Cost = About 25 cents (Scott’s Liquid Gold - $5) 1 part fresh lemon juice 2 parts olive oil Mix thoroughly and store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. (Old jelly jars work great). Note – a little goes a very long way.
Cost = About 50 cents (Weiman Leather Cleaner - $5) ¼ c vinegar ½ c Olive Oil Spray this mixture on the leather and wipe it with a soft cotton cloth. For very dry leather, allow mixture to soak most of the way into the leather before buffing with the cloth. Works well on furniture as well as clothing, purses, shoes, etc.
General Purpose Floor Cleaners
If you want to make a basic floor cleaner that can be used in your bare floor cleaning machine, mix 1/3 cup of Borax with one gallon of warm water. Add one teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent and a tablespoon of ammonia. This solution makes a fine floor cleaning product that will not only remove tough stains, but will disinfect your kitchen and bathroom floors. To clean your wood floors, go to the pantry and mix ½ cup of white vinegar and 1/2 cup of vegetable oil. This natural solution will make your wood floors shine like new. The vinegar acts to remove stains and the oil helps to maintain the luster of the wood. If you have Pergo floors, you can mix 1/3 cup of white vinegar, 1/3 cup rubbing alcohol, 1/3 cup water and three drop of dishwashing liquid to make a fantastic floor cleaner. This solution can also be used in your bare floor cleaner, or with a mop. To clean a linoleum floor, mix one tablespoon of liquid soap, a quarter cup of baking soda to two gallons of hot water. Add ¼ cup of white vinegar to the mix and you have an excellent linoleum floor cleaner. This solution also works very well on tile floors.
Scented Floor Cleaners
To make a nicely scented, homemade floor cleaner, mix 1/3 cup of white vinegar to two gallons of hot water and add drops of orange essential oil or lemon essential oil to the mix. Essential oils can be found in craft shops where candle supplies are found. Even if you do not have the oils, the vinegar and water makes a great cleaner and costs a fraction of what a store bought floor cleaner costs.
Disinfectant Floor Cleaners
To disinfect a floor, use 1/2 cup of borax to two gallons of hot water. Borax can be found in your supermarket next to the laundry detergents and is a powder. A large box of Borax can go a long way in developing many different cleaning products. The Borax solution does not have to be rinsed after applied. It will disinfect any floor, even the bathroom.
Toothpaste, for example, makes a great chrome cleaner, as does crumpled up aluminum foil. White vinegar is, by itself, one of the best glass cleaners available.
You can also use re-used dryer sheets in place of magnetic cloths, such as "Swiffer" cloths. Dryer sheets are also great for dusting, particularly television screens.
A Warning About Bleach and Ammonia
If you are mixing your own floor cleaners, never mix ammonia and bleach, as the fumes are toxic. Once you have made a homemade floor cleaner, you will probably want to try to make other cleaning products. You may even enjoy using some every day products in ways to clean your home.
A WORD ABOUT INGREDIENTS:
Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" (Manufactured by Church & Dwight) - is not often carried in stores, but can be ordered direct from the company at this address: http://www.thelaundrybasket.com/Our_Products/Our_Products_Super_Washing_Soda/our_products_s uper_washing_sod.html. If you live near a Publix Grocery, they should have it. P.S.: Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Powdered Laundry soap. Washing soda that contains "sodium carbonate" must be used. Cost $3.79 Borax, (Manufactured by Dial Corp) can be found in nearly any grocery store with the powdered laundry detergents. Walmart almost always has it in stock. Cost $3.25 Castile Bar Soaps for laundry can be difficult to find. Publix generally carries Fels-Naptha, (Manufactured by Dial Corp), for $0.99 per bar. They can also be found on the Internet. In addition, I often find Octagon, (manufactured by Colgate), at stores that cater to immigrants. When I do find them, I usually buy a bunch to ensure I have them on hand. Cost $0.99 Liquid Castile Soap can generally be found at health food stores. Dr. Bronner's makes a wonderful product in a variety of scents, (peppermint, lavender, hemp, as well as a mild baby formula). Many people also dilute Dr. Bronner's liquid soap for body wash and shampoo. Cost $3.99 Ascorbic Acid is typically used for preserving fruits. Fruit Fresh is the most common brand, and it can be found in any grocery store near the canning, freezing & pickling supplies. Cost $3.50 Tea Tree Oil & essential oils for scenting soaps - Use only high quality "ESSENTIAL OILS". These are highly concentrated oils direct from the plant and without added fillers or chemicals. These can be found at any health food store. These will probably be your most expensive investment, but since you only use drops at a time, they will last a very long time. Cost $8.00
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