28 November 2013

Do It Yourself Household Cleaning Solutions

As I was whizzing through the checkout at my local supermarket recently I was astounded to hear the fellow on the checkout telling the lady in front of me that she must have the cleanest house around because she had so many different cleaning products in her trolley.

She had a multi-purpose spray, window cleaner, a gel cleaner, another gel bathroom cleaner, a bleach, a box of washing powder, a spray bottle of ironing aid, a spray can of furniture polish, a shower cleaner and two bottles of toilet cleaners. Brother what a load of money she was about to pour down the drain! I couldn't help myself and joined the conversation when it became a "but I have to have them or I just can't keep the house clean" talk.  I politely pointed out that a bottle of vinegar, a box of bicarb, a jar of borax, a bar of soap and perhaps a little elbow grease would do the same job as all these cleaners for a fraction of the price and damage to the environment.

I was very excited when she decided I was right and she didn't want all those cleaners. I did feel a little sorry for the people behind us as she had them taken off her bill, but I was so proud of her, especially when she said she already had everything she needed to clean the Cheapskates way in her cleaning cupboard.

This experience had me thinking: just how many of us have never tried to clean using cheaper alternatives because we didn't know there were any or we weren't sure how to use them? You can make your own household cleaners easily and best of all cheaply using these tried and true recipes. As well as saving you money, these cleaners will save you time and effort and rid your home of some nasty chemicals too.

If you were to make all the recipes below you would have a cleaning solution for just about every household cleaning problem for the grand total of $6.72! If you were to add the equivalent of these products to your shopping trolley you would add another $44.50 to your grocery bill. By making them yourself you are saving around $37.80!  What an incredible saving!

By keeping some very inexpensive and basic supplies in your cleaning cupboard you can clean your whole house for just a few cents rather than hundreds of dollars.

Bi-carbonate Soda (bi-carb or baking soda) – is a powerful cleaning agent on its own, even more powerful when combined with other materials.

Borax - found in the cleaning aisle, usually next to the Drano. I use Harpers, in a white tub with a red lid. It's usually on the bottom  shelf.

Vinegar – is made from fermented apples, grapes, sugar cane, malt or wine. It is an acid and a mild

Washing Soda – buy it in the supermarket under the brand name Lectric Soda. It is a good water softener.

Eucalyptus Oil –can be bought at supermarkets, chemists, health food and hardware stores. Use eucalyptus oil to remove sticky residue, as an inhalant and a disinfectant or a cleaner. It is toxic, so keep it away from children and pets. It will also damage plants, so beware when using it in the garden.

Window Cleaner

Cost: $0.10 for 250ml extra strong window cleaner

1/2 tsp washing up detergent
3 tbsp vinegar
2 cups water
1 drop blue food colouring (optional)

Blend well and store in spray bottle.

Scouring Powder

Cost: $1.89 for 600g scouring powder

1 cup bi-carb soda
1 cup borax
1 cup salt

Blend and store in container.

Furniture Polish

This is so easy to make, and it works!
Cost: $1.13 for 375ml furniture polish

1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup lemon juice

Pour oil and lemon juice into a squirt bottle or jar. Stir to combine. To use, dip dust cloth or rag into oil, blot the oil by folding the cloth together, and then dust your furniture. Leaves a beautiful finish!

Washing Powder

Cost: $1.88 for 90 washes

1 bar laundry soap
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax.

Grate soap. Add washing soda and borax. Use 3 teaspoons per load for top loading machine, 2 teaspoons per load for front loader.

Super Effective Weed Spray

Cost: $0.40 for 4 litres weed spray

4 litres white vinegar
1 cup salt
1 tbsp washing up detergent.

Mix well. Spray on weeds to kill them. This is a very effective weed spray so only spray it on the things you want to kill. It is excellent for weeding paths and pavers and along the edges of garden beds.

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  1. Does the furniture polish store well with the lemon juice included...and is there a preferred type of vegetable oil ?

  2. For this use the cheapest vegetable oil you can get - don't use your good EVOO.

    I've kept it for two weeks, but I have a lot of timber to polish and it gets polished every week. If you're not sure halve the quantities.


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