Author Topic: Make your own cleaning supplies. Saves money and safer for you and your family  (Read 52348 times)

Offline Cave Dweller

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Quote
Basic Self-Sufficiency #2 - CLEANERS
By: CountryLady
A good way to be self-sufficient, stay prepared, and save money, is to reduce the number of
different products we use. This may seem to be a simplistic perspective, but open your mind a
minute, and take a look at the following information.
What do you use to clean your home? Think of all the different cleaners available today for the
kitchen, bath, laundry, windows, drains, vehicles, leather, pets and small livestock pens. Its easy
to make excellent cleaners with ingredients that are often already on hand for other things, such
as...
Ammonia
Baking Soda
Beeswax or Paraffin
Boiled Linseed Oil
Borax
Chlorine Bleach
Cream of Tartar
Dawn Dishwashing Liquid
Fels Naptha Soap
Glycerin
Hydrogen Peroxide
Ivory Liquid Dish Soap
Ivory Soap, Bar
Neatsfoot Oil
Rubbing Alcohol
Table Salt
Vinegar (distilled white vinegar)
Washing Soda
Witch Hazel
Optional:
Essential Oils,
Lavender is great because it is antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial.
HOMEMADE CLEANER RECIPES
All Purpose Cleaner #1
1/2 cup ammonia
1/2 cup washing soda
7 cups warm water
Combine ammonia, washing soda and ONE CUP warm water in a 1/2 gallon jug.
Cap and shake well to mix. Add remaining water. Label the container.
Makes 1/2 gallon of CONCENTRATE.
To use, mix 1/2 cup of the concentrated cleaner with 1 & 1/2 gallons hot water.
(Be sure to test on delicate surfaces such as wallpaper before using)
----------------------------
All Purpose Cleaner #2
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 baking soda
5 gal bucket water
A great disinfectant type cleaner that's gentle on the nose, surfaces, and even for animal feeders
and waterers.
-----------------------------------
No-Rinse Wall Cleaner
1 cup ammonia
1/2 cup vinegar
1 gallon hot water
1/4 cup baking soda
Mix together and wash your walls. No rinsing is required.
----------------------------
Magic Wall and Appliance Cleaner
2 tablespoons non-sudsy ammonia
1 teaspoon liquid dish soap
1 pint rubbing alcohol
1 gallon water
Store in a spray bottle. This is comparable to the "Fantastic" cleaner.
--------------------------------
All Purpose Spray Cleaner #1
31 ounce Water
1 ounce Ivory Liquid Dish Soap
Mix Water and a squirt of Ivory Liquid thoroughly in a spray bottle
Use Ivory because most other dish soaps leave behind a filmy residue. Ivory is especially safe for
marble, wood counter tops, butcher blocks, brass and gold plated items.
-----------------------------------
All Purpose Spray Cleaner #2
1 pint rubbing alcohol
1 tablespoon dishwashing detergent
1 tablespoon household ammonia
1 tablespoon vinegar
Mix in a gallon jug. Fill jug with warm water and shake. You can put this in a spray bottle and
use as you would Windex. Great for cleaning windows, chrome and bath fixtures.
----------------------------
All Purpose Bleach Cleaner
2 tablespoons liquid chlorine bleach
1 quart cold water
Mix in a bucket. Moisten a rag with the solution and wipe on surface to be cleaned. Let stand for
2 minutes, then rinse well. USE ONLY ON COLORFAST ITEMS.
====================
Bathroom Tile Mold Preventative
1 part water
1 part bleach
Put into a spray bottle.
Spray the tile and bathtub area evenly and wipe off with a damp sponge.
========================
Bathtub Cleaner (for badly stained tub)
Peroxide
Cream of tartar
Make a paste of peroxide and cream of tartar. Scrub vigorously with a small brush. Rinse
thoroughly. If the stains persist, spread the mixture over the stains and apply a drop or two of
household ammonia. Allow to set for two hours before scrubbing.
===============================
Aluminum Pot Cleaner
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 quart water
Mix; boil in the aluminum pot for 10 minutes. Scour lightly if needed.
=================================
Moist Towelettes
24 squares white Bounty brand paper towels
1 cup witch hazel
1 teaspoon glycerin
Separate and stack each of the paper towel squares from the roll; cut each square in half. Place
the rectangles in front of you vertically, fold each rectangle into thirds as though folding a
business letter. Fold each in half as though closing the cover of a book.
Combine witch hazel and glycerin. Mix well and pour over towelettes. Let stand for a few
minutes to absorb all of the liquid. Stack in a lidded plastic container or zip-lock type bag.
These are also great for melting windshield ice in cold weather!
----------------------------
Car Wash
1/3 cup mild soap flakes
2 gallons warm water
1/4 cup baking soda
Mix soap flakes and baking soda in a large bucket. Add water and stir until soap flakes dissolve.
Start washing from the top down. Wash one section at a time, then rinse. Wash the wheels last.
====================
Pre-Treated Dust Cloth
1 tablespoon mild soap powder (Ivory Snow)
1 tablespoon ammonia
2 tablespoons boiled linseed oil
1 quart warm water
Soak a large piece of flannel in this solution for several minutes.
Wring out and hang to dry.
Store in a covered glass or plastic container. Once washed, treat again.
============================
Concrete Cleaner (heavy-duty)
1 pint liquid chlorine bleach
2 gallons warm water
Mix well in a bucket. Wash concrete; rinse with clear water and allow to dry.
For tough stains, allow the mixture to set for 15 minutes before rinsing.
============================
Shower Head Cleaner
1 pint white vinegar
1 pint hot water
Pour into a pot to cover shower head. Soak for 1 hour.
======================
Copper and Brass Cleaner
1 pint vinegar
3 tablespoons salt
Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and add salt.
Spray solution liberally on copper or brass.
Let set for a while, then simply rub clean.
----------------------------
Saddle Soap
3 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup neat's-foot oil
3/4 cup soap flakes (not detergent)
1/2 cup beeswax or paraffin
Heat water to the boiling point, then lower heat to simmer.
Slowly add soap flakes and stir gently.
Combine neat's-foot oil and beeswax or paraffin in the top of a double boiler.
Heat until melted, then stir.
Turn heat off and slowly add oil and wax mixture to the soap solution.
Stir until thick. Pour into containers and cool.
To use, apply with a damp sponge over leather surface.
Buff dry with a soft cloth.
===================
Spot Remover (use in a well-ventilated area)
(Especially good for removing spots from delicate fabrics.)
3 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide
1 tablespoon ammonia
Mix ingredients and dab on the stained area. Leave on for up to 1 hour, then rinse off.
Reapply if necessary.
CAUTION: Fumes from this cleaner may seem strong, so work in a well-ventilated area.
Do not make this recipe in a larger quantity as it will not keep.
Also the two chemicals generate heat if left together for long.
=====================
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
1 cup bleach
1 to 10 cups water
Pour bleach and water into a clean gallon-size plastic jug.
Label, cap, and keep out of the reach of children.
Pour 1 cup into the toilet. Let sit for 30 minutes with the lid closed and then swirl around and
under the rim with a toilet bowl brush. Flush.
======================
Clogged Drain Remedy
1 cup salt
1 cup baking soda
1 cup vinegar
Mix, then pour down the drain. Let foam.
Follow with 2 quarts boiling water.
=======================
Once you start to use the various homemade cleaners, you'll soon discover which are your
favorites and the choices are reduced even further. Having a clean home and homestead is so
nice, and so is saving money.

« Last Edit: March 29, 2010, 05:57:49 PM by lvschant »

Offline ladieu

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Your current choice for cheap cleaning is toxic chemicals or expensive "eco-friendly" products. How about a 3rd choice that uses reusable packaging such as plastic spray bottles and more often than not costs less than 5% of the commercial equivalent.

I am starting to clean with natural products. This saves money and improves the quality of my homes air and reduces my exposure to toxic chemicals.

Most of my recipes come from "The naturally clean home"

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1603420851?ie=UTF8&tag=freedebtelims-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1603420851

Disclosure: if you end up getting the book on amazon that link will give me affiliate credit

I won't give too many away from the book as that won't be fair to the author, but have included some samples here. The ones I found on free blogs/etc are on there.  
I'd like to say that in the spirit of being frugal you can find many, if not all, recipes online. But if you can spare the $7 I think the book is a good buy.

I'll note which ones came from the book with the prefix *NCH* (Naturally clean home)

The book has tons of recipes for pretty much anything you can image from degreasing to window cleaning.

Other tips I have amassed from blogs or relatives, etc.
---------------------------------------------------


Many of the recipes use essential oils. You can find these at a health food store or online
http://www.soapgoods.com/Essential-Oils-c-22.html
Note: Lime essential oil can be used in place of lemon where noted if you prefer it.

Some of the Essential Oils I use  (you can get these at a health food store or online from Western Botanicals)
http://www.westernbotanicals.com/cfpages/prod_by_type.cfm?english=1&type=2

Lemon
Lime
Lavendar
Grapefruit
Tea Tree
Juniper
cypress  

OTHER THINGS YOU NEED

Soap Flakes:
http://www.soapsgonebuy.com/Grated_Fels_Naptha_p/d1006.htm
http://www.msodistributing.com/shop/orders.html
-both places are about the same price.
Alternatively you could go to the dollar store and buy a cheap cheese grater and grate your own. Please be aware that MOST SOAPS AREN'T ACTUAL SOAP. They are detergent bars and not real soap! So if you grate your own you need to make sure it is natural soap.
If you want a mass produced soap that is as close to an "all natural" premium product as possible then buy plain unscented "ivory" brand soap. Grate it yourself and you can save some money. I would assume you can get this at costco.  I personally plan to grate ivory soap with a dollar store cheese grater.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Washing soda:
http://www.soapgoods.com/Washing-Soda-Soda-Ash-Light-p-716.html

Glycerin: http://www.soapgoods.com/Vegetable-Glycerin-p-560.html


20 mule team borax - target or walmart, etc in the laundry aisle
White vinegar - I get it at costco
baking soda - laundry aisle at target/walmart etc. Arm & Hammer brand.
Alternatively you can get it in bulk here: http://www.soapgoods.com/Baking-Soda-p-587.html
 

==================================
==========All Purpose Cleaners=====
==================================


All purpose cleaner:
---------------------
Use with a plastic spray bottle.

Mix 1/2 white vinegar
1/2 water
Optional: 3 or 4 drops of citrus essential oil such as lemon or grapefruit.
I get my vinegar at Costco and it looks like this: http://graphics.samsclub.com/images/products/0001300000754_LG.jpg
Note: Vinegar is a natural indoor deodorizer and you should not notice any vinegar smell in the air after about 4 minutes.


Alternative all purpose spray cleaner
------------------------------
with plastic spray bottle

1/2 teaspoon washing soda
a "squirt" of dish soap (see dish soap recipe)
2 cups of hot water.

Combine hot water with the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda dissolves.   Shake before each use.



To clear a room of a persistent odor
-------------------------------------
Let a bowl of white vinegar stand open in a room overnight





============WOOD====================

*NCH* Wood Cleaner
------------------------
1/2 teaspoon murphy's oil soap
1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice

Mix in a glass jar. Use a soft rag to wipe onto wood surfaces.


====================================
============DISHES==================
====================================

*NCH* Dish soap
----------
Water and soap flakes into a pan on medium heat. Stir occasionally until it boils and soap dissolves. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes to thoroughly

combine ingredients.  Remove from heat and let liquid partially cool.   Add essential oil and stir. Pour into clean plastic squeeze bottles with a funnel.

2 cups of soap flakes (such as grated ivory)
1 gallon of water
25 drops lavender essential oil (alternatively you can use a citrus oil such as grapefruit or lemon)



Rinsing agent for your dish washer:
---------------------------------------

Fill your rinsing agent reservoir with white vinegar.


*NCH* Basic Dishwasher Powder soap
--------------------
2 cups washing soda
1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda

store in sealed container such as a bucket. 1.5 to 2 tablespoons per dish load.





========================
===========kitchen======
========================


Oven Cleaner
------------------
Spray water generously over bottom of oven and then cover the grime with baking soda so that the surface is totally white.  Then sprinkle more water onto the

top of the baking soda you just put in there.  Let mixture sit overnight.  YOu can use a bit of dish soap on a wet sponge when you clean it the next morning.

 

Don't skimp on the baking soda. Make sure it is completely covered.

Clean wood cutting boards and implement
--------------------------
use the all purpose vinegar/water spray

Microwave
------------------
put 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 cup water in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 5 minutes or long enough to boil it.  Then use all purpose spray and a

sponge to wipe the interior of the oven.



Commet type scrub powders
--------------------
baking soda.. cover with baking soda.. scrub with damp sponge

================================
============BATHROOM============
================================

*NCH* Mold/mildew shower spray
------------------------
Use with plastic spray bottle

2 Cups water
8 to 10 drops of citrus seed extract
2 teaspoons of tea tree essential oil
4 drops of juniper essential oil

*NCH* no-scrub toilet bowl cleaner
-------------------------
Combine all in plastic bowl and then pour into toilet. Allow to sit overnight and then flush in the morning. Immediately swipe with toilet brush and then

flush again.

1 cup borax (I get it at target in the laundry asile. This is the brand http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/415kOqBW67L._SL500_AA280_.jpg)
1 cup white vinegar
10 drops pine or lavendar essential oil
5 drops lemon or lime essential oil



==================================
=========LAUNDRY==================
==================================

*NCH* Your basic Laundry detergent powder.
---------------------------------------
I plant to use an empty kittly litter bucket. Any type of large bucket will do the job. Make enough to fill the bucket. Buy yourself a measuring scoop that

you keep in the bucket or just use the one that came with your other detergent.

1 cup washing soda
1 cup baking soda (I get mine at target in the laundry aisle)
1 cup soap flakes

add 1/2 cup per load



Alternative Powdered Laundry soap (recipe #2)
----------------------------------
2 cups soap flakes
1 cup washing soda
1 cup borax

Add 2 tablespoons per load


To keep colors from running
------------------------
add 1/2 cup white vinegar to the load



In NCH there are good recipes for sports clothing, fabric softener, pre-stain treatment ETC. I recommend this book!


======================================
========AIR FRESHENER SPRAY============
======================================

*NCH* Herbal scented spray
-----------------------
use plastic spray bottle

fill with water. Add 6 to 7 drops of any essential oil


Homemade Fabreeze:
-----------------------
1 cup herbal fabric softener
1 cup white vinegar
2 cups water

Homemade Fabreeze #2
-----------------
3 cups water
3 Tbs herbal fabric softener
3 tbs rubbing alcohol


=================================
============floors===============
=================================

Vinyl or tile: 1 part white vinegar 1 part warm water in the bucket with a mop

Wood: 1/2 part white vinegar 1 1/2 parts warm water in the bucket.  Dip a sponge into the bucket and squeeze as much out as possible (almost dry) wipe the floor. Never put cleaner directly on the floor and clean up any wet areas with a towel

==================================
=============windows==============
==================================
All purpose cleaner should work fine, but if you want something closer to windex

1/2 tbs dish soap
3 tbs vinegar
2 cups water

put in spray bottle and shake it up before using


=============================
==========hands==============
=============================
Quote
For a simple liquid soap that uses bar-soap as a base, grate one full-size bar of ivory soap and add it to 1 cup of boiling water [or herbal tea]. Add this mixture to a blender and whip it until the soap has disintegrated completely. Next add 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of glycerin to the mixture and blend it again thoroughly. Now add enough water to the mixture to bring it up to the six-cup mark and allow the mixture to cool, occasionally mixing it in the blender. When the mixture has cooled and is thoroughly blended, pour it into a bottle with a pump top.
- Glycerin: http://www.soapgoods.com/Vegetable-Glycerin-p-560.html

This recipe I found at http://frugalgranola.blogspot.com/2009/02/homemade-liquid-hand-soap.html    I didn't record the other sources for the other tips/recipes  or I would credit them.







« Last Edit: February 09, 2010, 07:59:44 PM by ladieu »

Offline BerserkerPrime

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+1!  Great post.  Thanks.

BP

Offline ladieu

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Good article explaining why using toxic chemicals to clean is a bad thing (which you should intuitively know)

http://www.charityguide.org/volunteer/fifteen/natural-cleaning-products.htm

Offline Spamity Calamity

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Alternatively you could go to the dollar store and buy a cheap cheese grater and grate your own. Please be aware that MOST SOAPS AREN'T ACTUAL SOAP. They are detergent bars and not real soap! So if you grate your own you need to make sure it is natural soap.


Whats the difference?

Offline ladieu

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Whats the difference?
This pages does a pretty good explanation... bottom line is one is a petroleum and chemical based product and the other is not.

http://www.clearwatersoapworks.com/site/1501105/page/588981

Offline Spamity Calamity

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This pages does a pretty good explanation... bottom line is one is a petroleum and chemical based product and the other is not.

http://www.clearwatersoapworks.com/site/1501105/page/588981

Ah thank you very much. It makes more sense now.

Offline Dawgus

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We've been making and using our own soaps and cleaning supplies for several years and have zero complaints. Our biggest used by far is vinegar. We use it diluted for cleaning glass, countertops, stains, and in the rinse water for laundry to soften clothes. (the smell disappears when dry) We make furniture polish from lemon juice and olive or vegetable oil. It works GREAT, but we sometimes have a problem with the dogs wanting to lick things after we're done polishing, lol.
 My wife makes one giant batch of soap a year, all from lye, though she adds oils for scents. Last years batch was two kinds, chocolate and tangerine oak moss. She makes enough at once to last us more than a year, and have pleny to give away. She also makes our deodorant, with the main ingredient being coconut oil in a solid form. We have friends and family collect empty push-up sytle empty sticks, and fill them with our mix. The only problem with it is it tends to get soft when it's hot. (we don't have a/c) Like some other's we've tried, we never have to reapply this during the day.
 We've also been making our own laundry detergent for about 4 years, using washing soda, Borax, Zoat, and Fels Naptha bar soaps. We mix the soaps half and half, just because Fels cleans great but has an odd "hospital" smell, Zoat has a better scent. Using the recipe we have, we make 2 gallons of detergent at a time for roughly $6. It takes only a tablespoon of this to do what you would need a half cup of with store bought. We used it and the vinegar rinse in regular machines then, and now still use both in the wringer washer that I restored. (clothes go thru the wringer and fall into vinegar rinse water to be run through the wringer  a second time)
 We make all of this for several reasons. 1-we save money. 2-we're putting less trash in the landfill. 3-we're dumping less toxic chemicals into our septic system and ultimately the water supply. 4-we store all the ingredients to make everything, so we never have to worry about needing anything, and 4-we're putting less chemicals on our body. I was never happy about rubbing aluminum and antifreeze under my arm, so this eliminates that totally.
 My wife is in bed with a migrane or I would ask where her little recipe book is. When I get it, I can post those that we use if anyone is interested.

Offline archer

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My wife is in bed with a migraine or I would ask where her little recipe book is. When I get it, I can post those that we use if anyone is interested.
Please please please! I can host it if needed.

Offline Spamity Calamity

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This is relevant to my interests.

Offline Dawgus

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Homemade Deodorant-we use this every day:

 1/4 cup baking soda
 1/4 cup corn starch
 5 tablespoons coconut oil (solid)

 Mix soda and starch together, then add in 4 t of the coconut oil. You want it to mix to the consistancy of play-dough. (Add the other t of oil if necessary) You can add 10 drops of any scented oil you like, we use patchouli. Mash into clean pushup containers and use the same as store-bought.
 As I said origionally, if you live in an area that gets hot, this stuff WILL soften when it gets warm. The kids think it's nasty, but we keep it in the fridge when it starts to get soft.


 Our liquid laundry detergent:
 1/2 bar Fels Naptha or Zoat laundry soap bar grated fine ( we use 50/50 each because Fels tends to clean better but Zoat has a better scent)
 1/2 cup 20 mule team Borax
 1/2 cup washing soda (Arm and Hammer) 
 8 qts HOT water

 Grate bar soap as fine as you can. I know some people use a food processor just for this, but we use a plain old square grater. Put grated soap, Borax, ans soda in a bucket and add the hot water. Let it sit for s short time till all the soap dissolves, mix thouroghly, and put in containers. We only use a tablespoon of this for regular loads, but add more for heavily soiled clothes.  This stuff will tend to clump up a bit when sitting, but just shake your bottle or container before use to re-mix it.
 Somtimes finding all these ingredients can be a challenge, and we've yet to find one place that carries them all, unless we head towards the Amish areas south of us. We just do the same as any prep item, and get 4 at a time when we are low. We generally make a double batch, and fill empty detergent containers that the kids and family save for us.

Offline rmg7

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Homemade Deodorant-we use this every day:

 1/4 cup baking soda
 1/4 cup corn starch
 5 tablespoons coconut oil (solid)


Thanks for the recipes. Any links, blogs or books that you've found useful, are more than welcome. I'm trying to save a bit of time on the research, web-navigation given I'm a newbie with this. Thanks again to all for the useful info.

Offline ladieu

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Offline LvsChant

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I had to make this sticky... I spent too much time looking for it this morning! Hope it is helpful to others as well.

LvsChant

Offline jlsellers

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I love all the useful information ya'll have posted! Thank you! I am very interested in making my own cleaning supplies to save money and have fewer chemicals in my home.

I just have a question about borax. How toxic is it? For example, if my toddler happened to get into it, how bad would it be?

Thanks!

Offline ladieu

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Offline jlsellers

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Good to know, thank you!

Offline lavendereagle

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Wow thanks for the information!

Offline LvsChant

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I often refer back to this thread... so much good information.

Offline mamabear

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I realize that it's been a while since anyone posted in this thread, so I'm resurrecting it for a moment.

As far as natural cleaners go, that's what I use. I did have a problem with getting the soap scum and hard water stains off the glass shower walls. I needed something "rough" to scrub them clean without scrubbing for hours to get it all off. I mixed baking soda and salt, then added just a bit of water to make a thick paste. The salt scrubbed it right off and the baking soda cleaned it. Minimal scrubbing. I just rubbed it on the glass walls and the hard water stains came right off the the mix rinsed off quite easily.

Offline ladieu

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I've got an update. Having made my own laundry detergent now I find that the recipes being by volume in the book makes it hard to make a lot at the time. It is much easier to do it by weight. Having measured out everything here is my revised recipe for laundry detergent.

1 -  3.75 or 4 pound box of washing soda
1 -  4 pound box of baking soda
7 - grated bars of ivory soap
60 drops of essential oil

use 1/2 cup per load


Also to get washing soda http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3549579

If you have it shipped to the store you get free shipping

Offline technicalanarchy

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Great help! Thanks for the info.

Only thing I could add is the microfiber cleaning cloths they are incredible. At the cheapy stores they are cheap now.

I can clean the car with just a bottle or water and two microfiber rags if it's not thick dirt or mud. and it will look super. Just wet one rag and wipe it down dry with the other.

Also on windows inside and out, use water (dip it then wring it, not much water) on one microfiber cleaning cloth and then dry with the other. It will strip dirt and grime off like you have never seen.

Even works on microwave insides and fridge insides, even when it's gross. If it's super bad grease you might need some help from a cleaning agent of your chosing.

And you can reuse the microfiber just wash them in the washing machine but DO NOT use fabric softener or it will ruin them.

With microfiber I can get some stuff very clean with no chemicals at all but water.

Offline LvsChant

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http://mises.org/daily/5267/Why-Everything-Is-Dirtier

I'm wondering, after reading Jeffrey Tucker's article, if the addition of TSP (trisodium phosphate) to the home mix would increase cleaning power... anyone tried it? I'm going to pick up a 5 lb box of it on my next trip to Home Depot to try on my homemade dishwashing powder and my laundry soap.

Offline Dawgus

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The mix we use is
1/4 cup washing soda
1/4 cup borax
 1/2 bar (grated) Fels Naptha soap
 !/2 bar (grated) Zoat bar soap
 8 qts hot water (initial mix works better with hot)

 Use 1/4 cup per load
 This will develop "clumps" on the top as it sits between use, but just shake the container to mix before you use it.

Offline LvsChant

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Dawgus, that sounds like a manageable amount. I've not wanted to mix up the larger quantities of liquid at one time that I've seen quoted in other recipes. I'll have to give that one a try. I am thinking I won't try mixing a liquid with the TSP, since I don't know how the chemicals might react. I'll stick to adding it as a powder, unless I hear that someone else can give information about it.

Offline Fyrsprite

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For scrubbing things like bathtubs, stovetops, etc.  I use a mix of equal parts baking soda, borax, and salt.  I add just enough water to make a thick paste, and use a slice of loofah as a scrubber.   They make great scouring pads, and when they're past their prime I compost them.

Couple of my favorite all purpose spray cleaner recipes:
#1
1 quart distilled water
1 teaspoon liquid castile soap
1 teaspoon borax
1/4 cup white vinegar
Mix and store in a spray bottle.  This will clean walls, floors,countertops, upholstery, and carpet.

#2
5 drops each lavender, lemon, and pine essential oils.  Put into a spray bottle along with a squirt of liquid Dr. Bronners soap, then fill the rest of the way with distilled water.
Cleans general stuff, and smells nice.

Homemade carpet freshener:
Use a clean quart mason jar with lid.  Fill about half with baking soda, and about half with borax.  Make sure to leave about an inch of room at the top so you have room to shake and mix.
Add 20 drops lavender essential oil, 20 drops lemon essential oil, and 10 drops rosemary essential oil.  Close jar and shake well to distribute EOs.  Sprinkle onto carpet, and let sit for 15 minutes to an hour.  Vacuum up.

Drawer sachets:
Mix half and half cedar shavings and dried lavender.  (I just use a handful of each)  Stuff into a drawstring pouch or sew into a small pillow.  Toss into drawers and closets.  Keeps bugs out, and smells nice.

A note on essential oils - make sure you're buying true EOs and not synthetics or blends which can start to smell off.  I buy my EOs from Mountain Rose herbs, good stuff!

Offline LvsChant

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OK... all set to try out the addition of TSP to my next load of dishes... I already mix my own dishwashing powder (1/2 borax and 1/2 washing soda). I currently use about 1 tsp. per load. I'm going to try 1/2 tsp of TSP in addition to see what the effect is. I'm going to do a similar experiment on my next load of laundry... adding about 1 tsp (I currently use about 1 T. powdered mix similar to dry laundry soap recipe above).

I found TSP in the paint section at Lowe's, back by the turpentine and cleaners. 4 lbs cost about $11.00.

Offline ladieu

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Dawgus,  curious... why use two types of soap? Thanks man

The mix we use is
1/4 cup washing soda
1/4 cup borax
 1/2 bar (grated) Fels Naptha soap
 !/2 bar (grated) Zoat bar soap
 8 qts hot water (initial mix works better with hot)

 Use 1/4 cup per load
 This will develop "clumps" on the top as it sits between use, but just shake the container to mix before you use it.

Offline Dawgus

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 A lot of mixes I have seen use Fels and a brand name bath soap. Since we don't buy bath soap (wife makes ours), and I refuse to use it with laundry, we mix Fels and Zoat. Both clean clothes very well, but Fels has a distinctive odor. Zoat is a little more pleasant, but not at all overbearing. Sometimes we also do a 50/50 with Fels and Clarks Castile soap bars,only because Zoat is harder to find in our area.
 Reminds me, I have to make another batch today or tomorrow  ;D

Offline ladieu

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Thanks for the reply.

I am a suffer of bad adult acne. I was talking to someone the other day that suggested that the sulfates in modern shampoos etc can irritate the skin. She switched over to cleaning her hair with baking soda exclusively and claims to have beat a much worse case of adult acne than I have currently.

Anyone have any experience with this? She said initially her hair was very greasy as her body got rid of the chemical build up. That process lasted about 2 week.  Now claims that the hair dresses compliment and gush over how soft and luxurious her hair is.