Thursday, January 19, 2012

Natural Cleaning Solutions for the Home

Most cleaners sold in the store are full of toxic chemicals. Anything we breathe or touch enters our body, our bloodstream and eventually makes it's way to our brain. Some people get migraines from breathing these chemicals, some even feel loopy, frustrated or depressed when exposed to these chemicals. And, an array of autoimmune diseases and cancers have been linked to exposure to toxins like these as well. Lighten your family's toxic load by making homemade cleaners from just a few simple ingredients.

If you have more than one bathroom in the house, I suggest making these in double or triple batches and filling one bottle for every sink in the house. If you have one under the kitchen sink and one in each bathroom, how much easier will it be to clean. And you will have to mix up your cleaners less often. I know it feels like an extra chore to mix the cleaners up, but it really doesn't take long and will save you money and a potential headache (or worse health problem) from using the smelly, toxic namebrand cleaners. I have an old printout from Mothers for Clean Air that I can't find online anymore. These recipes have been so helpful to me, so I thought I'd share them.

*Tip: Empty your spray bottles and wash them well so you can reuse them, or buy new, empty ones at the store. The gardening section usually has nice, sturdy ones. Put a label on the bottle so you remember what cleaner it is and include the recipe to make it on the bottle. That way when you need to mix up a new batch you don't have to go searching for the recipe. And, a funnel is super helpful for filling the bottles with your fresh batch of cleaning solution!

All Purpose Cleaner
4 cups warm water
2 tsp borax
4 Tbsp white vinegar
a couple drops of essential oil if you want it to smell nice

Homemade Soft Scrub
1 2/3 cups baking soda 
1/2 cup liquid soap (I used a Feingold approved peppermint oil soap)

2 tablespoons vinegar 
1/2 cup water 

few drops of essential oil if your soap doesn't have it already (lemon is nice)
Mix soda and soap. Add water, then add vinegar and mix with a wire whisk until well blended. Store in a squirt-top bottle and shake before using. Rinse thoroughly to avoid leaving a residue.

Steam Vac Solution
1 gallon warm water
4 drops dish detergent
1/8 cup borax
4 Tbsp white vinegar

1 gallon warm water + 1/2 cup borax. 
If you don't rinse this solution off, it should inhibit mold & mildew from growing.

Floor cleaner
1/2 cup vinegar or 1/4 cup borax in 1 gallon water

Countertop stains: rub with moist baking soda

Metal cleaners & polishes
Brass & Copper - paste of lemon juice & salt
Chrome - wipe with vinegar, rinse with water then dry
Silver - Soak silver about 5 minutes in a quart of warm water containing a tablespoon of baking soda, a tablespoon of salt and a piece of aluminum foil.
Stainless steel - Paste of baking soda and water. 

Window & Glass Cleaner
1 quart warm water+1/2-1 cup vinegar

Decal removal
Soak in hot water, use vinegar or coat with peanut butter and let set overnight.

Drain cleaner
Use plunger or drain snake to remove any obstructions. Then pour 1/2 cup baking soda followed by 1/2 cup vinegar. Wait a few minutes and pour in 1 quart of boiling water. Repeat if needed. 

Garbage Disposal Smell
Grind lemon rinds in disposal or pour baking soda in disposal.

Mold & Mildew
-Make a concentrated solution of borax & water to clean affected areas. 
-Scrub mildew spots with baking soda or borax, sponge with white vinegar.
-Mix 2 parts baking soda to 1 part borax. Sprinkle on surfaces, dampen and allow to sit for a time to absorb odors. Scrub & rinse.

Fabric Softener
-1/4-1/2 cup baking soda in rinse water
-Add 1 cup vinegar or 1/4 cup baking soda during final rinse
-use 1/2 cup borax & half the amount of detergent usually used per load

Laundry bleach
Use 1/2 cup white vinegar in rinse water to brighten dark clothing
Substitute 1/2 cup borax per wash load to whiten whites and brighten colors and to remove spots. 

Stain Pretreatment
Make a paste of baking soda and water and spread on stain. Wet with vinegar. Soak in soapy water. 

Spray Starch
For regular fabrics, dissolve 2 Tbsp cornstarch in a pint of cold water; store in a spray bottle.

1 comment:

  1. Love your cleaning solutions list. I'm printing it out and will try some the next time I get around to cleaning.