Making your own cleaning products has gained popularity because of their low cost and a preference for knowing what is in the cleaning product you use in your home.
By using safe and environmentally friendly products, you can reduce toxins and chemicals in your home. With so many commercial products on the shelf, sometimes it is hard to know which product will really do the job. Why not venture out and try some “make-it-yourself” products to save money and promote sustainability?
Cleaning in our homes has become more complicated because of the surfaces and finishes that require special products. With just a few simple, basic products, you can put together some general cleaning products that will clean almost anything and save you money.
The first step to any recipe you make is to find good storage containers for the product that you can clearly mark. Most stores sell spray bottles and other types of containers. It is also acceptable to reuse rinsed out and labeled commercial bottles. As with any cleaning product, it is critical that you label and keep cleaning products out of the reach of children.
Invest in a variety of cleaning brushes. A good brush and a little elbow grease go a long way in cleaning grime and dirt. Find a brush with soft bristles for delicate cleaning, as well as a coarser brush from those really hard-to-clean tasks. Also, stock up on a variety of scrubbing utensils like a nylon scrubber and steel wool so that you have a variety of options based on the cleaning task.
You can also recycle old towels for cleaning rags. Cut towels in a variety of sizes and keep in a basket for quick access. Use a new towel each time you clean. You can throw the dirty ones in the laundry and you save on paper towels.
With that said, try these cleaning product recipes:
Homemade Spray Cleaner
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
Mix in a sprayer bottle.
In the kitchen, use a vinegar-and-water spray to clean countertops, range surfaces and backsplash areas.
In the bathroom, use vinegar spray cleaner to clean countertops, floors and exterior surfaces of the toilet.
Marg’s Homemade Laundry Soap
Â½ bar grated Fels Naptha soap
Â½ cup Borax
Add grated soap to 6 cups of water in a non-reactive pot. Heat until soap is completely melted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in Borax and Washing Soda. Stir well until dissolved. In a large container, add 4 cups hot water and then soap mixture. Stir well. Add 1 gallon plus 6 cups hot water and stir. Allow soap to sit overnight. Soap will “gel.” Stir before using. Add directly to the washer drum. Average loads take Â½ cup. Recipe may be doubled to fit in a 5-gallon bucket. This is a low-sudsing recipe so you won’t see a lot of bubbles.
Everyday Household Cleaner
2 tablespoons of liquid detergent/soap
2 tablespoons of ammonia
1 quart of water
Use for all general cleaning jobs.
3 tablespoons of liquid bleach
1 tablespoon of liquid soap, detergent
1 gallon of water
This is for hard surfaces such as cutting boards, counters, toys, doorknobs, cribs, and trashcans. Wipe the surface and let stand for two minutes. Rinse and air dry.
Join us for the 2017 Eco-Nomic Living Expo on Feb. 11 at Santa Rosa Mall. Several hands-on demonstrations will be offered for the general public, including “Homemade Do it Yourself Cleaners,” at 12:45 p.m. Visit http://economiclivingexpo.com for a full list of workshops. It’s sponsored in part by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Okaloosa County Extension.
Pamela H. Allen is the interim county director and an agent at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension office in Crestview.