Did you know 10 pantry staples can create 10 awesome homemade cleaners? Get the recipes for these easy, natural DIY cleaning products.
Hopefully all this de-cluttering is getting you all excited for the deep, deep cleaning that is going to happen soon! I don’t know how it is for you, but with every box of stuff I get rid of I feel like another little load has been lifted off my shoulders. We are still going to take some time in the next week for more weeding and purging, but in the meantime I thought it would be a good idea to also start gathering some of the necessary tools you’ll need to get your space spic & span.
I have always had a bad habit of thinking that more cleaning supplies would result in a cleaner house. At one point we had so many mops and brooms in our broom closet that my husband finally exploded in exasperation: “You do realize that none of them actually clean the floor for you, right?” he snapped.
The thing is, until he said that, I actually thought they might.
As hard as it was to finally accept the sad reality that there are no magic mops, I am happy to report that we are now down to one broom, one dustpan, and one mop in our broom closet, and that is just exactly enough.
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A key component of The Big Spring Clean is to STOP bringing in more things, so I am going to challenge you to use the supplies you have on hand as you complete this challenge. If you–like me–have accumulated mass quantities of cleaning supplies, use those up before you run out and buy something new. Using what you already have is about as green & thrifty as you can get.
For anything you do still need, you might be surprised to discover that you probably already have the right ingredients right in your own kitchen or laundry cabinet. I have been amazed to find that a combination of just a few common household products that can tackle almost every cleaning task. In fact I’ve discovered that just 10 different products–most of which I already have on hand–can be combined in 10 different ways to make 10 different awesome, green, & super thrifty cleaners. 10x10x10….how cool is that?
Here is my magic list of 10 essential green & thrifty cleaning products:
- White Vinegar
- Baking Soda
- Lemons and/or Lemon Juice
- Olive Oil
- Ivory Bar Soap
- Liquid Dish-Washing Soap
- Washing Soda
- Essential Oils (I like lemon, lemongrass, & especially Thieves for it’s anti-bacterial properties)
These tools are also handy to have around
- Clean Rags
- Scrub Brush or Sponge
- Empty Spray Bottles & Lidded Containers
And here is how to use them!
1. Bathroom Cleaner:3/4 c. baking soda juice from 1/2 a lemon (about 1/4 c) 3 tablespoons salt 3 tablespoons liquid dish-washing soap 1/2 cup vinegar 10 drops essential oil (optional)
Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl to make a paste; use scrub brush or sponge to apply to tub, shower walls, & sinks. (Be sure to test a small area to make sure paste does not scuff tub surface; if so, eliminate the salt from the mixture! Rinse well with water and a wet rag, then dry with a clean rag or old towel.
2. Toilet Bowl Cleaner:1 cup baking soda 1 cup vinegar 10 drops essential oil (optional)
Turn off flow valve to toilet & flush 1 or 2 times until water is drained. Pour in baking soda, then slowly pour in vinegar, being sure to get vinegar to cover as much of the bowl surface as possible, then add essential oil. The baking soda will react with the vinegar–this is normal! Use your toilet brush to scrub surface & remove any rings or stains. Turn water back on and flush.
3. Furniture Polish3/4 cup olive oil juice from 1/4 lemon 1 tablespoon vinegar 3-4 drops lemon essential oil (optional)
Dampen rag & squeeze out excess water. Dip damp rag into furniture polish, the wipe on surface of furniture. Buff off with an old dry towel. Can also be used to polish stainless steel!
4. Glass Cleaner1 1/2 cups vinegar 1 1/2 cups water 5-10 drops essential oil (optional)
Mix vinegar, water, & essential oil together in spray bottle. Spray on glass & use squeegee, crumpled newspaper (Tip: use newspapers that are at least 2 weeks old to avoid black fingers!), or a lint-free rag to get a streak-free shine. Also works well to shine chrome and countertops after you’ve disinfected them.
5. All Purpose Cleaning Spray1 tablespoon borax 1 tablespoon washing soda 1 teaspoon dish-washing soap 1 cup vinegar 4 cups hot water 25-30 drops essential oil (optional)
Whisk all ingredients together well in large bowl, then pour into spray bottle. Spray on, then wipe surface clean with a damp cloth. Can be used to clean and disinfect almost any surface!
6. Stainless Steel Cleaner2 tablespoons baking soda 1/2 cup vinegar 2 cups warm water
Mix ingredients in spray bottle. Mixture will foam up; when it stops bubbling, put on cap and spray stainless steel surface, then wipe clean & dry with lint-free rag. To add extra shine, use furniture polish above.
7. Homemade Dishwasher Detergent1 cup baking soda 1 cups borax 1/2 cup salt vinegar (add to rinse compartment!)
Mix first three ingredients well & store in airtight container. To use, add 1 tablespoon to each of the 2 compartments in your dishwasher and 2 tablespoons of vinegar to your rinse compartment.
8. Floor Cleaner1 cup vinegar 1/2 cup baking soda 8-10 cups hot water 1 tablespoon borax 1 tablespoon washing soda 30 drops essential oil (optional)
Mix vinegar & baking soda together in bucket; add hot water, Borax, washing soda, & essential oil and mix until all powder is dissolved. Use mop or sponge to wipe down floor; wipe dry with clean dry towel.
9. Homemade Laundry Detergent1 bar Ivory soap 1 cup borax 1 cup washing powder
This homemade laundry detergent is so cheap and easy to make that you will kick yourself for not trying it until now. Place Ivory soap in a large microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes, until soap turns to foam. Quickly stir foam until it becomes small soap chips, then mix well with borax and washing powder. Allow to cool completely, then store in airtight container. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load. (Tip: This detergent works best in warm or hot water; for cold water washing you may want to first dissolve in 1/4 c. of hot water.)
10. Fabric Softenervinegar essential oil (optional)
Add 1/4-1/2 cup vinegar with several drops of your favorite essential oil to the rinse cycle (or simply place in fabric softener compartment of your front load washer.)
So that’s it….10 ingredients mixed up 10 different ways to create 10 different cleaners. Are you psyched yet?
Miss something? Check out the entire Big Spring Clean series:
- Part 1: Clearing the Clutter
- Part 2: Green & Thrifty Cleaning Products
- Part 3: Cleaning from Top to Bottom
- Part 4: Conquering the Kitchen
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