Would you like to find an easy, safer alternative to cleaning your home than using harsh chemicals that are in the products you see on shelves in the grocery store. Using just a few simple ingredients you can make anything from glass cleaner to laundry soap to air fresheners. Not only will you know exactly what is in your cleaning products but it will cost a lot less in the long run!
1. Wintergreen Air Freshener: Very simple, take a few cotton balls and some oil of wintergreen, soak the cotton balls and place somewhere in the house where air will circulate, next to an open window, a fan, etc.. and the smell will travel throughout the house. I have not tried it but see no reason why this would not work with other scents to, peppermint oil, lavender oil, etc.
2. No streak Glass cleaner: Very easy again and the secret ingredient for no streak is adding a little cornstarch to your mix. Take 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1 quart warm water and about a teaspoon of cornstarch. I will pour the solution into a spray bottle or just pour directly onto a sponge and wipe on any surface I want to clean, then wipe as you normally would. Newspaper works great and leaves no lint, also phone book pages work great! just rip out a page at a time as needed.
3. All purpose cleaner: 1 gallon warm water and about 1/4 cup baking soda. I put this in a spray bottle and spray counters, pour directly onto the floor and it work great. Baking soda is a natural odor neutralizer so it works to get rid of smells, also for added cleaning power you can add about 1/4 cup soap flakes ( I have a hard time finding soap flakes, I have seen a box for sale in one small specialty store, so I make my own using the purest soap I can find, which for me is Ivory soap but I am sure there are many organic soap now that are good to, a good vegetable based soap is best, take the bar and simply grate it using a cheese grater).
4. Carpet Stain Remover: 2 simple ingredients club soda and dish soap, put the two together, pour it directly on a towel or sponge and cover the stain using a little pressure.
5. Daily shower cleaner spray: using a regular spray bottle, fill about 1/4 way with vinegar, a couple squirts of Dawn dish soap and water and voila! A daily cleaner for your shower walls. Some people also use bleach rather than vinegar but the smell is to strong for me, the bleach does work better to keep your shower clean but apparently if you substitute the dish soap with something other than original Dawn it can make the smells even worse, so be careful if you do try the bleach instead and make sure your room is well ventilated.
6. Lavender Dish Soap: 1 gallon water, 2 cups soap flakes. Mix the soap flakes into boiling water until melted, simmer for a few minutes and let cool, then you can add about 20 drops or whatever strength smell you like of lavender oil, and again ,like the air freshener you can probably add different oils for a smell you like.
7. Alternatives to bleach in the washer: as I said in my shower cleaner post, I am not fond of the strong smell of bleach, even when washing clothes, these tips may not get your clothes completely white if you started with a big stain but will make a noticeable difference as opposed to regular laundry soap. If you can, use the sun, hang your clothes on a line to dry! It is natures bleach and works great and your clothes will smell fresh. A solution of 1/2 cup or so of hydrogen peroxide in the rinse cycle also works well. Some people have tried 1/2 cup lemon juice in the rinse cycle, I have not tried it so not sure how good it works or if it does anything to the texture/quality of the clothes.
8. Mold Killer: 1/4 cup of vinegar mixed with a 1/4 cup of water in a spray bottle will kill off mold. Spray some on, wait a little bit and then wipe away the mold. If you have major mold problems this does not work, but for the little mold you may occasionally get in your bathroom in the shower this works great.