Monday, July 9, 2012

My Fave DIY Cleaning Products

Household cleaners and detergents can get spendy.  That's why I don't buy em.  I still clean (sometimes) and do laundry (all the time) but at a much lower cost, because I make almost all the cleaners that I need.  I've tried out many recipes, and here are the ones I like the best.  Get ready for a no-picture post.  Why?  Because you don't want to see pictures of old o.j. containers filled with laundry detergent and a Lysol spray bottle written over in permanent marker.  Thrifty and green: yes.  Attractive: no.  

1. Liquid Laundry Detergent

4  Cups - hot tap water
1  Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax

- Grate the bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
-Stir and fill a clean container half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

*There are plenty of other recipes out there too.  I have tried the powder recipe also, which is more convenient to store.  It was not nearly as cost effective and a bit more labor intensive.  Plus, HE washers generally don't take powder.

2. General Purpose Cleaner

Fill a jar or other container with vinegar.  Add slices of orange, lemon, or lime.  Let sit for a couple days.  Remove the citrus peels.  Pour a spray bottle half full of vinegar and top off with water.  

This one is great for everyday spills, countertops, bathrooms, etc.

3.  Laminate Floor Cleaner

1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup isopropyl alcohol
few drops natural dish soap

Mix all the ingredients together in a spray bottle.  Spray in a fine mist over floor and leave if for a few minutes.  Rub off using a microfiber or other cloth.  I use my Swiffer sweeper with a microfiber cloth or old cloth diaper attached--works great!

4. Dishwasher Detergent

  • 6 cups Borax
  • 6 cups Washing Soda
  • 3 Cups Kosher salt
  • small container Lemi Shine (can also use lemonade packets)

  • Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.  Fill dishwasher detergent compartment for each load.

    I usually use a rinse aid as well.  You can give vinegar a shot for this.

    Still to try:
    -homemade stain remover
    -homemade fabric softener

    Can you see a trend here?  You can spend a few bucks and get all the supplies together, as most are common among all the recipes.  I am definitely not the expert on these, but have tested all these and continue to use them.  


    1. It's not really homemade fabric softener...but using apple cider vinegar in the softener spot of your washing machine works. Your clothes do not smell like vinegar, but come out softened.

    2. Just a friendly reminder: Don’t use too much vinegar for your laminate floor cleaner because, in the long run, it can ruin the color of the floor. Just add more water to it so that the vinegar is not overpowering. I like all your ideas here. I’d love to try any of these. +Skylar Cox