Author Topic: Make your own cleaning supplies. Saves money and safer for you and your family  (Read 50083 times)

Offline LvsChant

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Check out this thread about Acid rinses instead of shampoo. I believe there was some discussion about using baking soda as another alternative on the thread...

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=11322

Offline ladieu

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I started last night using treatments of baking soda and apple cider vinegar rinse.

We'll see how it goes

Offline LvsChant

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OK... I posted about TSP (trisodium phosphate) on this thread here: http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=13602.msg299365#msg299365

I've since tried using about 1/2 tsp. per load of dishes in the dishwasher and have to say I am already impressed after only 2 loads. I wasn't expecting to see such an immediate difference, to be truthful. I expected that, over time, the dishes would be cleaner and more free of any residue. Already I am seeing a noticeable improvement. Specifically, I have a set of plastic measuring spoons that I use frequently. Whenever I use them for finely powdered spices, or vegetable oil, it is frequently not as clean as I like and I find myself washing it again by hand. Today... it was completely clean after a normal run through the machine. Also, I noticed a big improvement on the shine on my flatware. I've been complaining for the past couple of years about the poor quality of dishwashers in our last two homes because the silverware is often left with a slightly milky finish after the wash... well it is nearly gone after only two loads.

amazing.

Now, I use about 1 rounded tsp. of my own dishwashing powder (1/2 borax, 1/2 washing soda) and have added only about 1/2 tsp. of TSP to the load.

Laundry trials next :D

Offline ladieu

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LvsChant - your dish washing recipie... your not using any grated soap? Just TSP + washing soda + baking soda?

is washing and baking 1:1 by weight?

thanks

Offline LvsChant

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Dishwasher powder -- no soap in it. I just eyeball about half and half by volume in a small plastic container and stir well. I know some folks use baking powder instead of washing soda for some of the recipes, but I think the washing soda is stronger. I've been able to find it in grocery stores with no problem.

On other sites I have seen recommendations for 1 T. TSP per dishwasher load and 1/4 c. TSP per laundry load... that seemed excessive to me. I'm starting out with smaller amounts since the TSP is so much more expensive than the other washing ingredients to see if I still get satisfactory results. I'll adjust up if needed. I'm going to start with about 1 T. TSP per laundry load and see how it goes with a load of whites (should be able to see if there is any significant difference).

Offline ladieu

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I've got a pretty large stockpile of washing soda so no problems there. Thanks for all the tips

Offline LvsChant

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PS. Just noticed this:
LvsChant - your dish washing recipie... your not using any grated soap? Just TSP + washing soda + baking soda?

is washing and baking 1:1 by weight?

thanks

Not baking soda... borax.  recipe is 1/2 borax and 1/2 washing soda by volume, plus 1/2 tsp. TSP per load. I may end up mixing all three together and then just adding 1 1/2 tsp. of mixture per load.

Offline LvsChant

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OK... first try using TSP (trisodium phosphate) on a load of laundry (whites). I saw a very significant improvement. I have two boys and a husband who like to wander around in their socks without shoes, so the socks have been a pretty consistent dingy color for quite some time. After this load, I noticed a definite improvement.

My recipe:

1 bar grated Fels Naptha soap
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda

Use 1 1/2 Tablespoon per load (front-loading HE machine added to machine underneath clothes -- not in top receptacle). I added 1 Tablespoon TSP (trisodium phosphate) along with the laundry soap mixture.

This is definitely a winner. I don't know that I need to add more TSP. I'll keep watching over time with my laundry and experimenting...

Offline LvsChant

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More ideas:

Instead of: Powdered laundry detergent

Finely grate one 14-ounce bar of Zote soap and one 5-ounce bar of Fels-Naptha laundry soap; mix well with 4 cups borax and 4 cups washing soda. Store in a lidded plastic container.

Instead of: Toilet bowl cleaner

Fill a small empty dish-soap bottle with half water and half bulk dish soap and use it to squirt around the bowl. Scrub and you're done.

Instead of: Hand soap

Wash out an old hand-soap bottle and add about 1 tablespoon of Dr. Bronner's castile soap. Fill the rest of the container with water.

Instead of: Disinfecting surface spray

Mix 1½ teaspoons bleach and 22 ounces water in an empty spray bottle.

Instead of: Microfiber cloths on glass surfaces

Try coffee filters. They’re lint-free.

Instead of: Eraser pads

Try whitening toothpaste on a toothbrush to scrub away crayon and scuff marks.

Instead of: Glass cleaner

Try a mixture of equal parts rubbing alcohol and water to clean mirrors. Spray the homemade solution onto a cloth and wipe.

Instead of: Silver cleaner

Try filling a spray bottle with inexpensive vodka. Spritz, let sit for 15 minutes, then rub with a cotton cloth. Buff to a shine.

Offline MaddoginMass

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Time to add to the thread.....

Anyone have a recommendation for a shower/bath cleaner?  This is not for mold/mildew, but regular cleaning to mostly remove soap buildup. 

Offline Morning Sunshine

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I use baking soda.  scrub it on with a tough-scrub sponge, or use elbow grease and a rag to scrub it off.  works well.

Offline archer

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I use baking soda.  scrub it on with a tough-scrub sponge, or use elbow grease and a rag to scrub it off.  works well.
good tip. i'll try that also.

Offline MaddoginMass

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Great thanks.......

Offline jlsellers

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I just made the laundry powder and it works awesome if i add vinegar to the rinse cycle.  My clothes have never smelled cleaner or felt softer. Next, i will try to make orange peel vinegar cleaner. You put a bunch of peels in a jar, sprinkle salt, let sit a few hours, cover with vinegar and let it sit a few weeks, shaking it occasionally. We'll see how it works. Vinegar diluted with water works great cleaning my glass. Good-bye windex! This is fun.

Bonnieblue2A

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Of the recipies listed thus far, or any other someone may care to share, will anyone tell me which of them will work best as a disinfectant on natural stone (granite/marble) in the kitchen and bathroom settings? I am afraid of etching the surface and have been warned to stay away from vinegar by the installer. I've used baking soda to clean stains off everyday dishes and fine china without it scratching; but, will this disinfect countertops from salmonella and/or other nasties?

 Thank you in advance.

Offline FoolishCop

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I recently began using the homemade laundry detergent recipe for washing my clothes (DW isn't quite ready to abandon Arm & Hammer for her clothes yet) and an experiment to create a homemade dishwasher detergent fell a little flat as it left a filmy residue on dishes and glass (I'm going to try adding the TSP now).

But I think I was able to make significant headway with my wife for using homemade household cleaning agents because after a day of really giving the house, bathroom, and kitchen a good cleansing, she was knocked out at the end of the day with a really bad headache due to inhaling the commercial chemical fumes all day long. I explained that we could probably make our own cleaning supplies that would often have far less headache-iunducing chemicals in them. While she would still need to use proper ventilation when cleaning with ammonia- or bleach-based products much of the rest of the items would not be so chemical dependent.

And she was on board!

Perhaps if this experiment is successful I won't have to resort to my Plan B for laundry detergent. I was planning on slowly mixing in my homemade laundry detergent with her A&H until it was all converted over to the homemade. I figure it may take awhile before she begins to wonder why her supply of detergent never ends. :) Adding the TSP might be difficult though since she prefers powdered detergent over the liquid and the smell of the detergent would change over time, but by then she would be used to it, right?!

Thanks for all the great recipes!

Rich

Offline LvsChant

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Good news, foolish... it sounds like she'll be in the right frame of mind to try the homemade cleaners. I truly think they work just as well as the store brands -- without the fumes.


Offline archer

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I recently began using the homemade laundry detergent recipe for washing my clothes (DW isn't quite ready to abandon Arm & Hammer for her clothes yet) and an experiment to create a homemade dishwasher detergent fell a little flat as it left a filmy residue on dishes and glass (I'm going to try adding the TSP now).

I had a problem with filmy residue on my home made dish soap also. I started adding TSP and that made it a little better. but I need to really tweak my recipe.

Offline FoolishCop

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I haven't been able to get rid of the filmy residue either, even after adding the TSP and using vinegar as the rinse agent. I've tried a number of formulations I've found on the Internet -- though they're all variants of the same thing -- and nothing seems to really work. I feel I may have to keep using Cascade.

However, the laundry detergent and the all-purpose cleaner I made works great! I did add vodka(!) to the cleaner as it was a recommendation I found as an added disinfectant and it seems it's truly all-purpose! I cleaned counters, stainless steel, windows, and laminate floors with it and everything came out really clean looking and no streaks!

I'm slowly building up the stock of cleaners I have on hand, and I'll keep looking for (and trying) a dishwasher recipe that works.

Rich

Offline archer

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I haven't been able to get rid of the filmy residue either, even after adding the TSP and using vinegar as the rinse agent. I've tried a number of formulations I've found on the Internet -- though they're all variants of the same thing -- and nothing seems to really work. I feel I may have to keep using Cascade.

However, the laundry detergent and the all-purpose cleaner I made works great! I did add vodka(!) to the cleaner as it was a recommendation I found as an added disinfectant and it seems it's truly all-purpose! I cleaned counters, stainless steel, windows, and laminate floors with it and everything came out really clean looking and no streaks!

I'm slowly building up the stock of cleaners I have on hand, and I'll keep looking for (and trying) a dishwasher recipe that works.
vodka eh? hmm... gotta try that. or make my own like Steve Harris recommends.

Offline FoolishCop

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For the umpteenth time -- even before I started trying out new dishwasher recipes -- I had to listen to my wife nag about the need to get the dishwasher serviced or repaired or to get a new dishwasher altogether because of film and spots on the glassware. While the DIY remedies seemed to exacerbate the situation, after hearing it again last night even after using Cascade I decided to do some digging.

And what I found out is that it's not you or your dishwasher. As with most things, it was caused by the government.

Seems a couple of years ago in an effort  to "protect the environment," the government banned the use of phosphates. Detergent manufacturers began eliminating it ahead of time until now there's no detergent on the market that includes phosphates in its formulation. But that has led to the spotting/filming problems we've probably all experienced, DIY recipes or not. It's probably created more environmental damage too since people use more water to pre-rinse glasses, then wash them, then clean them again afterwards. The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bjmctaBEzw

I found thought that if you add a product called LemiShine to the dishwasher detergent it helps reduce the spots and film (interestingly, it's also phosphate free!). But after trying it out -- and getting better but not great results -- I was concerned that it might be more of a chemical formulation than something natural, yet when I went looking for the ingredients I couldn't find them. Not on the container and not on the website. Not even the product's MSDS lists them -- they're a "trade secret."

A search of the company site found one forum where the only assurance it was an all-natural product came from an employee posting there swearing it was all-natural. Not exactly confidence building. Others on that thread though suspect it's really just citric acid, which can be bought for the same price -- or less than -- LemiShine.

That seems to conform to a lot of other DIY dishwasher detergent recipes I've found that call for adding citric acid to the mix. Because of my initial enthusiasm for finding a solution for the spotting and filming, I bought a couple of containers of LemiShine so I'll use them up first, but then I plan on trying to replace it with citric acid and comparing the two.

As I said my first attempt with LemiShine was so-so, but that's because I tend to do first then read second. I had loaded up the dishwasher with plates and glasses and then when I read the instructions it said to run LemiShine alone through an empty dishwasher first to clean out the system and then use it with your regular detergent each load thereafter. So I'll be doing that next.

Also, because I had my wife looking over my shoulder at the time, I used Cascade rather than the DIY recipe, but I'm going to try out the latter -- with the TSP -- with the next load I do.

FWIW, the trisodium phosphate (TSP) that was recommended above should replace the phosphates that were removed after the government edict. My experience though was the film was worse, but perhaps with the addition of the LemiShine/citric acid we may get a combination that truly gets the glasses clean and spot-film free! I'll post my results as they occur.

Rich

Offline archer

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Thanks for the research  FoolishCop! Let us know how your lemishine tests go

Offline FoolishCop

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Phase 2 Testing:

I used the homemade dishwasher detergent and the LemiShine last night and I'll say there was a marked improvement. I'd put it on par with the Cascade detergent used by itself. There were still spots and stuff, but definitely not the heavy film I had before.

According to the LemiShine directions you put your detergent in the pre-wash tray and LemiShine in the main wash tray, which is what I did. The only thing is I used a rather full tablespoon full of detergent instead of the recommended 1/2 tbsp (hey, I said I like to do first then read!). I did add the TSP, but since I filled up the pre-wash tray with the detergent I put the TSP into the main wash tray first and then added the LemiShine to fill up the balance.

Soooo, next test will be trying everything the correct way: 1/2 tbsp detergent and 1/2 tbsp TSP in pre-wash tray; fill main wash tray with LemiShine. To be honest I'm not so hopeful for the outcome as I don't think it should matter all that much on the extra 1/2 tbsp or where the TSP is placed, but then again, what do I know? But what I'm planning on trying after that experiment (and after using Cascade and LemiShine alone) will be making the detergent into a liquid form. Right now I've been using the powdered version of the detergent and I'm wondering if that has more to do with it than anything else. We'll see, stay tuned! Science is fun!

Rich

Offline FoolishCop

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Okay, after 5 days of doing dishes I have results!

I've done several loads of dishes using Cascade and and the LemiShine and was not overly impressed. They seemed a bit cleaner, but not so much better than before. So in the last load I decided to use the proper proportions of the DIY detergent (1/2 tsp) and 1/2 tsp TSP in the prewash port and used LemiShine in the main wash port, filling it up.

I just completed the cycle and have to say this is the cleanest I've seen my glassware in ages! Spots were very minimal.

I'll do the next load the same way to ensure this wasn't just some fluke, and perhaps it takes a few cycles of running LemiShine through the dishwasher to help clean it out. But if this repeats itself with the next load I think it will be a winner.

Rich

Offline LvsChant

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Great job, Foolish... btw, I have also had similar results on the quantity used... more is not necessarily better.

Offline FoolishCop

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LvsChant,

Thanks, and as a final update, the next load of dishes came out just as clean as the last so I'll be using the homemade detergent from now on, along with the TSP, and can put these science experiments to rest. I may provide one more update in the future though when I finally run out of all the LemiShine I bought and pick up citric acid to try in its place.

But because I've been so focused on this dish detergent issue I have explored many of the other cleaning agents so on to bigger and better (and cleaner!)  things!

Rich

Offline archer

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excellent thanks for the update! time to go get some supplies!

Offline rikkrack

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 :popcorn:

On my skills list. Already making own toothpaste, deodorant, this is next. Watching for updates.

Offline FoolishCop

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I figured it would be only right to let y'all know I've been backsliding and have returned to store-bought detergents. It was not actually my doing, but my wife's as she has been leery of all my behind-the-scenes machinations of homemade detergents. The thing is, while not as environmentally friendly, the glasses and plates are even cleaner than what I was able to achieve myself, and I was pretty happy with how things were turning out.

In the end, she switched detergent from Cascade (which was recommended by the dishwasher manufacturer) to a fairly cheap brand found in Walmart called Sun. The secret to the cleanliness achieved, however, is the rinse cycle. Our dishwasher has a "Rinse Only" cycle and after loading the machine she ran it once using that cycle. She then did a "Normal Wash" cycle and then when that was completed, a "Rinse Only" cycle again. We also have the option of "Added Heat" during drying, but we don't use that as I think it may bake on whatever film there might be. As I said, this procedure -- admittedly more wasteful and energy inefficient -- has the dishes and glasses literally sparkling (we've also substituted vinegar in the cycle for Jet Dry; it does create a slight odor but it dissipates over time). I hate to have to admit it -- particularly because of her smug, self-satisfied look every time a load comes out LOL -- but her procedure did make the glasses and plates look and feel even cleaner.

Of course, I can't keep well enough alone, so I did try to use the homemade detergent with the process but the dishes really didn't look as good and didn't have that same sparkle as my wife's procedure. Worse, since I did it surreptitiously but my wife was the one who emptied the dishwasher when the cycles were done, I caught an earful as it really was immediately apparent that I hadn't followed her procedure. However, at the time I hadn't know about the second Rinse Only cycle, only doing it beforehand, so I may have to try it again doing it afterwards as well. I'll just make sure I'm there to unload the dishwasher when it's complete!

Also, since I'm not keen on wasting so much water, I plan on trying to use the Rinse Only cycle after the Normal Wash cycle is complete.

Who'd have ever thought trying to get clean dishes would become such an obsession?

Rich

Offline LvsChant

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Interesting information, Rich. Once I have an actual kitchen again (complete with dishwasher), I'll have to try these extra rinse cycles.