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Natural All Purpose Cleaner Recipes

Recipe 1

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a clean spray bottle. This makes a great all-purpose cleaner for counter tops and quick clean ups all over the house. The acetic acid in the vinegar kills viruses, germs, bacteria, and mold. For stronger clean up jobs, full strength white vinegar can be used. Note: Do not use on marble.

Recipe 2

In a two cup glass measuring cup mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of borax. Add 1 cup of hot water and stir until the borax is dissolved. Let this mixture cool a few minutes and then pour into a 16 ounce spray bottle. Add more water to the bottle leaving enough room to add 1/4 cup of castile soap. To scent, add 15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil.

Recipe 3

Baking soda on a damp sponge or cloth can be used for a mild abrasive cleaner. It cleans and deodorizes all kitchen and bathroom surfaces.

Recipe 4

Mix vinegar and salt together for an abrasive surface cleaner.

Recipe 5

Combine 3 tablespoons of white vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon washing soda, 1/2 teaspoon castile soap, and 2 cups of hot water. This solution can be placed in a spray bottle or bucket to clean surfaces.

 

Natural Air Freshener / Deodorizer Recipes

Recipe 1:

Use baking soda here, there, and everywhere — down the drain, on baby spit-up, in diaper pails, refrigerators, cat litter box and the kitchen sponge. It’s easy and simple.

Recipe 2:

Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar. Spray around the house as needed, on carpets, shoes, trash cans, diaper pails, and other sprayable surfaces. For wipeable surfaces, soak sponge or rag in vinegar and wipe down surfaces, like refrigerators and lunch boxes.

Recipe 3:

Unscented kitty litter placed in bowls will absorb room odors.

Recipe 4:

To freshen bathrooms add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil to the inside of the cardboard toilet paper roll. The fragrance is released in the room when the turn of the roll.

Recipe 5:

Combine a pint of water and 4 drops of essential oil of choice. Pour into a spray bottle and use as a finishing rinse on surfaces after cleaning. Suggested essential oils to use: Eucalyptus, Pine, Lavender, Cypress, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Thyme, Grapefruit, Orange, Wintergreen, Rosemary, and Sage.

 

Natural Cleaning Recipes

  • Air Freshener / Deodorizer
  • All Purpose Cleaner
  • Auto Cleaner Recipes (Car Wash Solution, Window Cleaner, Chrome Cleaner, Tire Cleaner, Carpet and Upholstery Stain Remover, Interior Cleaner, Interior Protectant / Dressing, Windshield Washer Fluid, Car Wax)
  • Bleach Alternatives
  • Brass or copper cleaner
  • Can Opener Cleaner
  • Candle Wax Remover
  • Carpet Cleaners & Deodorizer (Carpet Spot Remover, Carpet Deodorizer/Freshener, Carpet Steam Cleaner Solution, Carpet Cleaner for Pet Accidents, Indoor / Outdoor Carpet Cleaner)
  • Coffee Maker Cleaner
  • Coffee and Teacups Stain Remover
  • Chrome Cleaner
  • Dishwasher Detergent
  • Dishwasher Rinse Agent
  • Dishwasher Cleaner
  • Disinfectants
  • Drain cleaner
  • Fireplace Cleaner
  • Floor Cleaner (For No-wax vinyl, Linoleum or Tile Floors)
  • Furniture polish
  • Fruit and Vegetable Wash
  • Garbage Disposal Cleaner and Deodorizer
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Grease Remover
  • Grout Cleaner
  • Laundry Recipes (Laundry Booster, Laundry Detergent, Fabric Softener)
  • Laundry Stain Removers (Blood Stain Remover, Coffee & Tea Stain, Remover, Crayon Remover, Deodorant Stain Remover, Grass Stain Remover, Grease Remover, Ink Stain Remover, Iron Scorch Mark Remover, Mustard Stain Remover, Rust Remover, Set-In Stain Remover, Sweat Stain Remover, Sugar-Based Stain Remover, Tomato Stain Remover, Vomit Stain Remover, Wine Stain Remover)
  • Label Remover
  • Litter Box Deodorizer
  • Metal Cleanser
  • Marble Cleaner
  • Microwave Oven Cleaner
  • Mineral Deposit Remover (Showerheads and Faucets)
  • Mold & Mildew Remover
  • Oven Cleaner
  • Porcelain Cleaner
  • Rust Remover
  • Scouring Cleanser
  • Scouring Powder
  • Shoe / Athletic Shoe Deodorizer
  • Shower and Tub Cleaner
  • Silver Cleaner
  • Stainless Steel Cleaner
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Wallpaper Remover

 

Frugal & Natural Cleaning

Strong, toxic chemicals and petrochemicals are making their way intoour homes and water supply. Although we can’t completely control what others do, we can make small changes in our lives to reduce these dangerous chemicals in our homes, gardens, and communities. One way to do this is by using homemade cleaners as our ancestors did, even though they at times require a bit more elbow grease. There are many inexpensive and healthier alternatives to the array of commercial cleaners on the market today.

With just a few common household ingredients many general and specialty cleaners can easily and inexpensively be made. Below are some basic ingredients you will need as well as cleaning supplies to create your homemade cleaning kit. Always make sure to label the bottles of your homemade cleaners.

Natural Cleaning Ingredients:

White Vinegar (Acetic Acid):

White distilled vinegar (other vinegars can stain) is one of my favorite cleaning ingredients for it’s versatility. It is highly useful in cleaning most surfaces, removing mineral and soap deposits, cutting grease, removing stains, disinfecting, and also has many laundry and gardening uses.

Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate):

Baking soda is an all purpose, non-toxic cleaner. It’s mild abrasive with many cleaning, stain removal, freshening and deodorizing purposes.

Salt:

Salt is a stronger abrasive helpful in those tough situations. Care should be taken not to scratch delicate surfaces.

Borax (Sodium Borate):

Borax is a natural mineral that kills mold and bacteria. An alternative to bleach, it deodorizes, removes stains and boosts the cleaning power of soap. Borax can be found under the name 20 Mule Team, in the laundry aisle or at Soaps Gone Buy.

Note: label any cleaner made with borax, since it is mildly toxic.

Cornstarch:

Cornstarch can be used to starch clothes, as well as absorbing oils and grease.

Essential Oils:

Essential oils can be used for disinfecting, medicinal, and fragrance. They can easily be found in most health food stores.

Note: Do not confuse with fragrance oils, which are not natural.

Lemon Juice (Citric Acid):

Lemon juice can be used to cut through grease and remove perspiration and other stains from clothing. It is used as a bleach alternative.

Castile soap:

Castile soap can be purchased at a health food store. This is an all natural soap made from vegetable oils (mostly olive oil).

Washing Soda (Sodium Carbonate):

Cleans clothes, softens water, cuts grease and disinfects. It also increases the cleaning power of soap. Washing soda is available at Soaps Gone Buy.

Cleaning Supplies:

  • Sponges
  • Old towels, hand towels, and dish towels
  • Old newspapers (great for cleaning windows)
  • Old toothbrushes

NOTE: Sponges can be easily cleaned and disinfected by soaking in white vinegar overnight (the acetic acid in the vinegar will kill germs), microwaving for 1 minute or my favorite washing in the dishwasher.

 

Working Together

In past generations communities regularly worked together. Chores andgoods were regularly shared with others, and anything extra was given away without a second thought. For instance, my great-grandmother would clean her best friends home and she would make the clothes for our family. When my uncles did well on a hunting or fishing trip, anything out family could not use would be given away. Waste was something not done in that time as it is today. Current generations have a lot they can learn from our ancestors.

  • Go together with others to make purchases at big box stores – Not everyone will have the space to store large quantities of paper products or canned goods. By sharing those large purchases, multiple families can benefit from the large quantity savings.
  • Barter / Trade chores with others– We all have different strengths and weaknesses; things we like and dislike to do, why not make the best out of the situation and trade duties with others in your family or community. This may be something you do for a career, a hobby of yours or just something you don’t mind doing as much as your neighbor does. Some options are:
    • Cutting hair
    • Styling hair or a make over for a special event
    • Sewing or mending
    • Cooking
    • Shopping
    • Painting
    • Auto maintenance
    • Lawn mowing / landscaping
    • Pool work
    • Housekeeping
    • Child care
    • Tutoring
    • Personal trainer
    • Computer work
  • Dinner Sharing – Organize a group of friends that share in cooking dinner on weeknights. Dinners can be made ahead and delivered on or before the desired night. It’s almost a quick to make 1 lasagna as 2, so share one with a friend, and they can return the favor. With some prior planning, 5 families can share the responsibility and only cook 1 night per week. When organizing such an group, detail has to be made to the family’s style of eating and any food allergies. Vegetarians and meat lovers don’t mix well in a group like this. It may take some time to gather the right mix, but well worth the effort in the long run.
  • Childcare Sharing – Most families with small children would love a night out with the adults. Organize a group of parents to share in the responsibility. Gather a few friends that also have children and take turns with the childcare duties each Friday or Saturday night. A group of four families would yield the duty about once a month, and a night out a week the rest of the month without the babysitter fees. It’s also a good idea to balance if the children get along well together and if all have similar parenting styles.
  • Clothing Exchanges – Many times there are items in our closet that we just don’t enjoy wearing for some reason. They are in good repair, but it would be nice to have something new (or at least new to us). Why not have a clothing exchange? Gather up your gently worn items, bring them to the exchange and choose from the items that others have brought. Everyone gets a new look to take home with them. Organizations such as Clothing Swap, Swap-O-Rama-Rama, and Buffalo Exchange set up these exchange events. Or you can host your own exchange. Invite friends, set a minimum number of pieces for each to bring, and enjoy the trading.