Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Life Can Be Grimy.

In my last post, I told you about the homemade dishwasher detergent powder that blew my mind. Now that I've done a few loads of dishes, I love the stuff even more. Part of me expected the subsequent loads to have residue or clean less efficiently, but it didn't! The stuff works great - two thumbs way up!

I also mentioned in that post that I've been cleaning with homemade cleaners for a while now. Because of my husband's profession, talk of toxic additives and chemicals sometimes comes up. After the little baby dude arrived last year, I really got to thinking about the products we use around here. Do cleaning products really need all that crap in them to do their jobs properly? As it turns out, no. Not at all. So I've whittled down my cleaning arsenal to these homemade "products":
  • one bottle of all-purpose cleaner
  • one bottle of glass/window/stainless steel cleaner
  • one tub of dishwasher detergent
  • one tub of laundry detergent
And, as it turns out, they have common and *relatively harmless ingredients: Borax, white vinegar, baking soda, washing soda, soap flakes, lemon juice, peppermint essential oil. By buying this stuff in large containers, you can save quite a bit of coin!

*There has been debate over calling Borax a "non-toxic" cleaning ingredient. Though it is a natural cleaner, it can irritate skin and certainly should not be ingested. (You can drink the vinegar and lemon juice if you want, but that's not recommended either.)

So, here's the breakdown of my kitchen favourites if you want to try it out ...

All-Purpose Cleaner - I put the following into a spray bottle (the Dollar Store carries some cute ones): 1 tbsp. Borax, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, squirt of lemon juice, one or two drops of peppermint oil (you can use whatever you want - orange is nice, too). Fill the rest of the bottle up with hot water and shake to dissolve the powders. Of course, the amount of individual ingredients you use will depend on the size of your bottle. Mine is about 16 oz. or so.

Glass/Window/Stainless Steel Cleaner - This might make you laugh. I always bought commercial glass cleaner and really had a forehead slapping moment when I learned how to make it myself. Put 1/4 cup white vinegar in bottle and add hot water. Done! It works so well, it's ridiculous. Smells like vinegar, but the smell dissipates fairly quickly.

The team, looking tough.

After the pandemonium that was the holidays, my house really needed a little polishing! As with most "recipes" I'm going to post, feel free to play around with amounts. My only suggestion is to go easy on the powders. You'll know you added too much if your homemade cleaners are leaving a residue behind. And can I just say ... I absolutely LOVE peppermint essential oil.

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