Author Topic: Cleaning supplies  (Read 6751 times)

Offline mangyhyena

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Cleaning supplies
« on: August 09, 2010, 09:01:37 PM »
Ladies, this question will likely make you groan, but please explain it to me anyway.  When my wife and I go shopping, she seems to purchase a multitude of laundry products.  Box of laundry detergent, fabric softener, color safe bleach, dryer sheets, and stain remover.  It seems like we're buying something for laundry almost every week. ???

Is all this really necessary?  Call me a knuckle-dragging neanderthal, but in my bachelor days I bought laundry detergent and that was all I used.  I even liked Amway laundry detergent because it went farther.  Am I just being a clueless guy with this question, an insensitive pig?

And, is there some other do-all or do-most product I can purchase in bulk so I can save money and not have to buy all that laundry stuff every other trip to the store or so?  Better still, is there a laundry product that is not made with chemicals and would save me money in the long run?  Real, traditional soap that does as good a job on laundry as Tide, perhaps?  And while we're at it, are there products that are concentrated and do more than just one job, like something that will clean counters and windows and everything in the bathroom?

Please understand, I love my wife dearly and I'm not saying she spends too much money and I'm looking to cut her back.  Quite the opposite.  She rarely buys clothes, shoes, makeup, nail polish, ect...  I have to push her at times to get her to purchase something new for herself, so I'm pretty lucky in that regard. 

If I'm being naive, just tell me to suck it up and keep buying whatever cleaning supplies she wants.

Offline Aelah

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Re: Cleaning supplies
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2010, 09:30:40 PM »
I've just started making my own cleaning supplies, including laundry detergent, so I don't claim to be an expert. But I will say this, I was (am) much like your wife when it comes to ANY cleaning supplies. I love a clean home, and I love cleaning supplies. I recently made my first attempt at laundry detergent this summer; I purchased a starter kit at
http://www.lehmans.com/store/Home_Goods___Laundry___Washing___Homemade_Laundry_Soap_Starter_Set___1125325?Args=. I absolutely LOVE it! It was super simple and easy to make, and it seems to get clothes (including the kids' grubbies and the whites) cleaner that what I normally used, without all the extras. I also like that I can scent the wash with essential oils to family preferences (and it is a good excuse with DH for me to get more oils). Best part is, I can purchase the basic supplies at the local ACE hardware now that I know how. MUCH cheaper and better than store bought, though I still add some bleach to the whites. As for a fabric softener/static cling, I have a few suggestions that results in my family not missing the commercial fabric softeners and dryer sheets: (1) Use either tennis balls or dryer balls in the dryer to soften clothes and linens (2)Add a ball of aluminum foil (yes, the kitchen stuff) to the dryer to eliminate static and (3) For fresh smelling clothes from the dryer, toss a lavender flower or two in with the tennis balls and aluminum foil. I will now no longer buy all the laundry stuff in lieu of the homemade detergent, aluminum foil, and yummy scents. The only extras are starch (ironing DH's work clothes) and bleach (for the whites).

Here's another great resource that I've been having fun playing with this summer http://www.lehmans.com/store/Home_Goods___Cleaning___Books___The_Naturally_Clean_Home_Book___1106410?Args=.

Have fun washing and cleaning!  

Edited to add: The home-made laundry detergent is  low-sudsing, which means it can also be used for HE washers. I estimated that it will cost our family of five less than 5 cents per load to wash and dry with these supplies rather than store-bought.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 09:38:52 PM by Aelah »

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Cleaning supplies
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2010, 10:02:10 AM »
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=13602.0

Check out that thread on the money board for all sorts of recipes for homemade cleaning supplies. I have greatly reduced my costs and the number of items I need to purchase to cover all the cleaning needs around here. However, this is something I like to do. I have many family members who think I am completely nuts to do this when it is so much easier to just buy the products in the store. Some people will never willingly do this unless they would "have to" due to lack of availability of the other products or complete lack of money to buy them.

My advice would be to be patient with your wife. If you would like her to try out the other products, it would help a great deal if you do the preparation for them (it takes a little while to grate up the bars of soap for the dry laundry soap and a bit more time for preparation of the liquid type). I find that it is a very small amount of time now that I have my routine down... ymmv. I prefer the simpler stuff, but if she just doesn't, I'd recommend letting this one be and just looking for coupons, bargain buys, etc. to stock up on the stuff she likes. 

Offline OKGranny

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Re: Cleaning supplies
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2010, 11:38:37 PM »
I quit buying Tide a long time ago, I didn't like all those phosphates going into my septic system and then my soil and the home made soap is easy and does a great job. However I do still buy bleach and I use it to clean my toilets with as well as doing white loads. I never buy color safe bleach or stain removers as we don't seem to need them. I would have to say though that if she really likes that stuff for her laundry it might not be worth trying to change her mind.

Offline CBP

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Re: Cleaning supplies
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2010, 11:27:00 AM »
I use as many homemade cleaners as I can.  Vinegar in the toilet and spritzed with water on the shower.  Baking soda to scrub the sinks.  I do keep some commercial cleaners and bleach around and use very sparingly.  I tangled with a bathroom cleaner one day and thought I was having an asthma attack (which I don't have otherwise). 

I almost exclusively use homemade powdered laundry soap made with Fels Naptha.  Wonderful scent and the high efficiency washer doesn't seem to mind either.  In fact I'm grating soap right now.

Give your wife some time (and lots of essential oil choices!).  THere are years of marketing in force here.

Offline swoods

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Re: Cleaning supplies
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2010, 11:56:55 AM »
I make my own laundry detergent and it works great, costs practically nothing. The only thing I use in addition is bleach for dish towels once in awhile. I prefer to use natural cleaners if possible. Just my 2 cents.

Offline mangyhyena

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Re: Cleaning supplies
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2010, 03:15:33 AM »
Thank you all very, very much.  I really thought I would get a lot of replies telling me to quit griping and just buy her the commercial stuff because she's a wonderful wife.

I will look into making our own laundry soap.  And I'll give the tinfoil and tennis balls a shot.  Looks like there's no way around the bleach, but I picked up quite a few alternatives from these replies, so we'll call it a win.

We'll give these suggestions a try one at a time, let her decide on each one.

Again, thank you.

Offline Aelah

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Re: Cleaning supplies
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2010, 09:14:38 PM »
Being a bit of a clean-freak myself, just make sure it smells good. Invest in some enjoyable essential oils... perhaps her favorite scents.

Offline zackandjen2004

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Re: Cleaning supplies
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2010, 03:40:36 AM »
I was told that liquid fabric softener can be hard on laundry appliances and on a septic system.  Personally, I use All "free" detergent and Oxyclean.  I tried making my own detergent once, and I did not like how my clothes felt afterwards.  And I don't use any fabric softener at all - no liquid, no sheets.

Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: Cleaning supplies
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2010, 07:51:45 AM »
I was told that liquid fabric softener can be hard on laundry appliances and on a septic system.  Personally, I use All "free" detergent and Oxyclean.  I tried making my own detergent once, and I did not like how my clothes felt afterwards.  And I don't use any fabric softener at all - no liquid, no sheets.

As someone who struggles with health issues I have to add that when you put all those chemicals in your clothes your body absorbs some.  Fabric softeners are the worst offenders.  I've gotten were I can't even walk down the laundry detergent aisles at the store as it makes me sick.  I started using the "dryer balls" years ago when I use my dryer- I dry a lot of stuff on my clothesline.  The more I get away from using this stuff the worse it bothers me - don't know whether that's good or bad.  :D

And Jen - I too had that trouble when I first started making my own laundry soap and what I learned is a little goes a long way (1 tbsp. of detergent is enough) and also that it takes a while for the old detergents to get out of your clothes and after that they seem clean and soft but I agree that it does make them feel kinda of sticky and stiff at first.

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Re: Cleaning supplies
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2010, 01:55:24 PM »
I use castile soap. Works like a charm, and it's soooooo cheap when you buy in bulk! I also use white vinegar with the diapers.

Offline mamabear

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Re: Cleaning supplies
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2010, 04:51:19 PM »
Mangy, I have not yet ventured into the realm of making my own laundry detergent, but only because I am just now on the last bottle of free laundry detergent that I have purchased thanks to coupons. I am following my mom (swoods) and sister's lead and going to make my own detergent when this bottle is almost gone. I have not used dryer sheets in ages. I read somewhere that they were really bad for the clothes and the dryer so I stopped using them. I actually just don't use anything and I rarely have an issue with static. As far as the softener, a half cup of vinegar in the last rinse cylce will do the same thing. The spot removers, I do have a stain stick type that I use only when the detergent doesn't take the stain out with some pretreating if needed. I just treat it and wash it again, but this requires paying close attention and not just throwing the clothes straight into the dryer. Hope this helps some along with all the other ideas.

Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: Cleaning supplies
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2010, 06:41:14 PM »
Yipee - MamaBear's back - you've been missed! So glad you're here.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Cleaning supplies
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2010, 06:07:24 AM »
Yipee - MamaBear's back - you've been missed! So glad you're here.

x2!

Offline mamabear

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Re: Cleaning supplies
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2010, 05:38:11 PM »
Thanks. I've been lurking, but now have more time for me on the computer. Be prepared for an influx of me! lol

Offline vulture774

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Re: Cleaning supplies
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2010, 07:53:07 PM »
B O R A X !     Get some, The uses are astounding!

Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: Cleaning supplies
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2010, 08:16:50 PM »
B O R A X !     Get some, The uses are astounding!

Yep Vulture - I agree.  I use a mix of borax, arm and hammer washing soda and a grated bar of Fels Naptha soap as my laundry detergent.  I also use extra borax as laundry booster on my DH's work clothes. It also makes a great cleaning solution for general cleaning.