Friday, August 20, 2010

Cleaning Recipes

If I would have known that I would write a blog post about cleaning recipes even a month ago I would have laughed and said, "No, way!" Here's proof that anybody can change!

I love the idea of being more self-reliant with the things in my home.  I've always thought that having home made cleaners would be great.  Most ingredients would store well (baking soda, vinegar, etc) and so I'd always have the basics in my storage.  I have friends that have made and make on a regular basis their laundry soaps and other soaps.  When I hear what they go through to get it done I am discouraged however! I don't want to boil stuff on the stove and strain things. It's too time consuming! I wants some simplicity! I thought there surely must be another way. 

I found these very simple, Deanna simple, recipes in the book Green Clean: The Environmentally Sound Guide to Cleaning Your Home by Linda Mason Hunter and Mikki Halpin. 

All-Purpose Cleaners

Borax Cleaner
1/2 C Borax
1 Gallon Hot Water
Mix ingredients until borax is dissolved. Reduce recipe and put in a spray bottle if desired.
Shelf life: Indefinite in a spray bottle.

Castile Cleaner
1 tsp washing soda
2 tsp borax
1/2 tsp castile soap
2 c hot water
10 drops essential oil of your choice
spray bottle
Mix in the spray bottle. Washing soda may be added to whiten stains.
Shelf life: Indefinite

Scented Soap and Water
2 c hot water
1 to 2 ounces castile soap
5 to 10 drops essential oil of your choice
spray bottle
Mix in spray bottle. Spray on surfaces that need cleaning.
Shelf life: Indefinite

Club Soda Spray
2 c club soda
spray bottle
Shelf life: Indefinite

Scented Vinegar Spray
1 tsp borax
1 T castile soap
1/8 c distilled white vinegar
2 c hot water
5 to 10 drops essential oil
spray bottle
Mix in spray bottle.  Good for drawing out dirt and general cleaning.
Shelf life: Indefinite

Dishwashing Soap
1 part borax
1 part washing soda
Mix in a container and use in place of commercial detergent. If you have residue (from hard-water) add more soda if you have film residue.
Shelf life: Indefinite

Liquid Dish Washing Soap
Castille Soap
Distilled white vinegar
Grate soap and add to dishwater. Add vinegar to rinse water to give glasses extra shine.

Furniture Polish

Furniture Polish
3 parts olive oil
1 part distilled vinegar
Mix and use. 
Shelf life: Discard after use


Basic Laundry Detergent
1 part borax
1 part washing soda
Mix in a container use in place of commercial detergent. Add more soda if you have hard-water.
Shelf life: Indefinite

1 T cornstarch
1 pint cold water
Dissolve cornstarch and place in a spray bottle.
Shelf life: Indefinite

Natural Bleach
1/4 c washing soda or borax
Add to each laundry load with the wash cycle to whiten whites and brighten colors.

Natural Whitener
1 c fresh lemon juice
half-filled bucket of water
Add lemon juice to water and soak clothes overnight.

All-Purpose Stain Remover
(Good on blood, chocolate, mildew, mud and urine).
1/4 c borax
2 c cold water
Mix the borax and cold water together and soak stained clothing. Wash as usual.


buzy bee said...

Thanks for these recipe's I'm always looking for new ones to try out!

Christy said...

Where do you get the "castile soap"? I have never heard of it.

Thanks for all these great recipes. Isn't it funny how we think we need all of these products, but simple age-old things like vinegar and baking soda a re really all we need.
Life can really be so simple.

crazy4boys said...

Printing these up. Trying to figure out where to buy the ingredients in the middle of Nowhere Texas. I've tried some homemade laundry soaps that we haven't liked, but we'll give these a whirl.

Being A Mother Who Knows said...

There are a couple of brands of Castille Soap listed in the book. They are called:

Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap
Kirk's Castile Bar Soap
Kirk's Castile Liquid
Vermont Liquid Castile Soap

It looks like a brand is available in health food stores, bed and bath stores, GNC, Rite Aide
and on-line.

It seems to be becoming very popular with the 'go green' movement. I live far a way from civilation and so I have not had a chance to go and buy it yet.

Crazy if you live in Nowhere, Texas then I live in A Galaxy Far, Far Away, Idaho. : )

Cherie said...

No, Crazy is right... it is the middle of nowhere :-). Anyway, I bought Castile soap at the health/natural foods store on Sherwood... I don't remember the name, it's by the Sylvan learning center. Washing soda we found only at one store, can't remember which! And whatever store that was we had to get Borax somewhere else. Good thing you only have 3 stores to trial and error with (and I want to say the commissary didn't have it)!

The bar soap, if you use to use Fels Naptha or Zote, as opposed to Ivory, we had to order online when we lived in nowhere TX that didn't have it in the laundry aisle, and was FABULOUS! You might also get good rates on Castile soap through amazon or going through Dr. Bronner's website too. It can be pricey, but is well worth it when you start learning about the benefits! Happy soaping :-D

Cherie said...

Mountain rose herbs has a generic castille soap that I've heard good things about.
On the dish washer, detergent - if you get a film, two things to try; lower the amount (I use one Tablespoon in the main soap compartment only), and put vinegar in for the rinse agent ( I haven't actually needed to use any, but I hear this is really helpful.)