Clean and Green

(originally posted @ My Day Job)

I finally took the step to start making some of my own household cleaners.  After much consideration and plenty of googling to find recipes that seem simple enough and have ingredients I can actually find at my local stores. 

I have three pretty good reasons to start producing my own cleaners:
1) I have 2 cats and a dog that are into everything.  It would be nice not to get stressed out each time I clean the toilet that one of them is going to decide that they need to sneak in and try out that huge water bowl while some sort of highly toxic cleaner is still inside.
2) There is a grand baby who will be running about before we know it. 
3)  A gallon of vinegar and some baking soda is WAY less expensive than commercial household cleaners!

I'm sure there are so many more reasons for going with natural, home made cleaners, but those are the ones I had on the top of my head. 


To start I have compounded my own fabric softener, mildew remover, and tub/shower cleaner.

Mildew Remover: 

1/2 White Vinegar

1/2 Water

10 drops Tea Tree Oil

Mix ingredients in spray bottle.  Spray mildew and let sit.
(alternate use: soak a cloth or sponge in solution, wipe down any area with mildew growth)

I tried this in the kid's bathroom last weekend.  Verdict is still out.  The exhaust fan had not been working in there for a couple of weeks which led to some mildew/mold growth.  This seems to have help eliminate some of the mildew, but not all.


Tub and Shower Cleaner:

12 ounces White Vinegar

12 ounces Dawn Dish Detergent (original blue)

Heat vinegar in microwave until hot and pour into squirt bottle.  Add the Dawn soap. Put the lid on and shake to incorporate.  Spray onto shower/tub surfaces, scrub, and rinse. For tough soap scum: spray the mixture on and allow it to sit as long as overnight. Scrub and rinse.

This may be the best bathroom cleaner I have ever used!  Seriously!  Soap scum and grime just melted away!  There was no "scrubbing" for me!  If this can cut through what my almost 14 year old male offspring can do to a bathroom, I feel confident it can handle almost anything!  And despite the vinegar, it had a pleasant scent and left the bathroom smelling fresh and clean!


Fabric Softener:

2 cups Scented, Inexpensive Hair Conditioner (and there are lots of yummy scents in those super cheap brands!)

3 cups White Vinegar

3 cups HOT Water

Heat water.  Mix conditioner and water in large pitcher with lid until dissolved.  Add vinegar and mix well.
Use in Downy Ball or add 2 Tablespoons to rinse cycle

Works great!  I admit that in the bottle, the smell is a little funky with the blend of the hair conditioner scent and the vinegar.  But I don't notice it on any of the laundry.  And I've had not problems with static using this.


Sources:
http://frugalliving.about.com/od/householdsavings/qt/Mildew_Remover.htm

http://www.food.com/recipe/tub-and-shower-magic-434275

http://sweettea.typepad.com/sweet-tea-by-lori-frank/2012/04/homemade-cleaning-product-recipes.html
 

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