Monday, November 8, 2010

Amanda's Saving Money the Homemade Way - Homemade Cleaners

Thanks to commercials from modern companies, we have been told that we need multiple cleaners for every different job. We are told that we need window cleaners, toilet cleaners, floor cleaners, wood floor cleaners, dusting spray and disinfectants - of course different ones for the kitchen and bathroom! These can get quite pricey and be a strain on any budget, as well as being full of harmful chemicals. These chemicals can, at the very least, be unpleasant to breath in, or at worst, be possible carcinogens.

Last month I posted about homemade laundry soap. This can be considered a continuation of that. Making my own laundry detergent led me to research homemade cleaners and again, I CAN NOT believe how simple and cheap it is!

Throughout this post, you will see a recurring ingredient:

Vinegar! Did you know that vinegar is a natural disinfectant?? And, it is about as cheap as you can get; this giant bottle was only about $2! Here are some homemade solutions to clean your house.

General All-Purpose Cleaner:
(I have been using this recipe and I love it!)

You will only need the following:

  • 2 TBSP Vinegar
  • 1 tsp borax (which you already have if you do homemade laundry soap...)
  • a few drops dish soap
  • hot water
  • 10 drops essential oil if desired
  • 16 oz spray bottle
Simply fill bottle partially full with hot water. Add vinegar and borax and swish around until the borax is dissolved. Add soap (and essential oil if you choose, I don't use it) and fill the rest of the way with water.

**Also, if you do not making your own laundry detergent and do not want to buy the borax, you can still clean with a mixture of vinegar and water!

Looking for a comet type cleaner?

Simply use baking soda! Sprinkle on your counter tops or in the tub and scrub with water and a sponge. This does great at removing build up and stains!

Dishwasher Detergent:
(I have been using this one!)

  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Washing soda (not baking soda- again, if you make your own laundry detergent, you already have both of these ingredients on hand!)
Mix together and store in an air tight container. Use 2 TBSP per load.

Use Vinegar as a rinse agent - no more Jet Dry!

A few tips here:

  • If your water is hard, you may need to add more washing soda.
  • If you get a slight powdery film on your dishes, try using hotter water in the dishwasher or less of the detergent. I have had some issues with this, but not bad. It rinses right off and using less detergent seems to prevent it.
Not into making your own dishwasher soap? I read that dishwashers today are so efficient that you don't need to fill the whole compartment. You can still save by simply using less soap. Try using only 2 TBSP of dishwasher soap- it will clean great and last forever! I read about a person who buys the big box of cascade at Sam's club and uses only 2 TBSP per load and it lasts a year!

Window Cleaner:

The all purpose cleaner given above works great for windows as well OR:

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 gal warm water
Mix together and put in a spray bottle. Crumpled up newspapers work great, way better than paper towels, at wiping windows clean!

Microfiber towels with only water work great too! See section on dusting below....

Vinyl Type Floors:

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 gallon water-mix together in bucket and mop as usual!
Hardwood Floor Cleaners
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 gal water
Mix together in bucket and use a sponge mop, squeeze out well before mopping, and mop floor. Do not put product directly on the floor, but apply with mop. Wipe up any pools of water or streaks.

You can also use a 1:1 ratio of vegetable oil and vinegar to get tough stains off! I even read about using mineral oil or even tea to clean the floors with! I read about it here.

You can find the cleaning recipes I provided above (as well as some more), on The Family Homestead website. This website has the above cleaning recipes and some more as well:

You can also find tons of recipes and homemade ideas as well simply by googling "Homemade Cleaners".


I have not used dusting spray in probably a couple of years now. We bought some microfiber cloths and we simply use those! These cloths are amazing! You simply get them wet and squeeze out all excess water and then use them to dust and they are great for windows and mirrors as well! Plus, they can be washed and reused, which is for sure better for the environment and our wallets in the long run! These are also great for anyone with chemical sensitivities, you truly use only water and it gets things CLEAN!

So, you can say bye to those hazardous and smelly cleaners! You no longer need that cabinet full of random cleaning supplies and you can save so much money by using these inexpensive and easy recipes. Good luck and enjoy the freedom of no longer needing to spend time or money in the aisle of multi-purpose cleaners!



  1. Tea Tree Essential Oil is a natural antibacterial, so it works well in homemade cleaners (if you want that).

    I've used baking soda on stains in my sink. I just mix it with water to form a paste, then put it on the stain in my sink and let sit for a few hours (typically I do this before going to bed and let it sit over night). I typically scrub the mixture with a brush before washing it away. Less stinky and better for everything than bleach.

    I also agree with you Amanda - Microfiber clothes AMAZING!!

  2. detergent powder making book
    pls my


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