If there’s one place in your household spending that you can really cut the cost, it’s household cleaners. The cost of most home cleaning products is getting outrageous. While I don’t advocate throwing out what you may have accumulated, I do recommend that in the future you consider making your own cleaning products from ingredients that are downright cheap.
While I have many recipes, tricks and strategies, today these are my top five favorites!
TUB AND SHOWER CLEANER. Pour one cup blue Dawn into a 32-ounce spray bottle (1/2 cup Dawn if you are using a 16-ounce bottle; 1/3 cup for a 12-ounce bottle). Fill the bottle the rest of the way with plain white vinegar. Apply sprayer top; shake gently to mix. Label bottle. To use: Spray liberally on the areas to be cleaned—tub or shower walls, doors, floor, fixtures. Allow to sit from 30 minutes up to overnight, depending on the amount of soap and scum build-up. All of the offensive gunk and grime will break down and become soft and gooey. Simply rinse it away. For especially challenging situations (or if this is the initial treatment) use a sponge or brush to gently scrub the surfaces before rinsing. To maintain: Spray down the walls and floor of the tub/shower once a week. Rinse. Admire.
TOILET CLEANER: 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup white vinegar. To use: First remove the water from the toilet bowl by reaching down behind the toilet and turning off the water input valve. This is easy. Just turn the handle clockwise until it will no longer turn. Now flush the toilet once or twice or until all of the water disappears. (Because you turned the input off, no water will fill the tank.) Sprinkle the baking soda all around the inside of the toilet bowl. Next pour or spray the plain white distilled vinegar into the bowl. You’ll get a little bubbling show and even a popping sound. Great! That’s the reaction you want. Using a good toilet brush, scrub it down including under the rim. Last, turn the inlet valve back on by turning it counterclockwise until it stops turning. The toilet tank will fill. Flush to rinse. Repeat as necessary. You’ve just cleaned, scoured, deodorized that toilet and also removed mildew and odors.
GRANITE CLEANER: Pour 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol (vodka, or gin are good substitutes) into a 16-oz. spray bottle. Add 3 drops blue Dawn dishwashing liquid and 5 drops essential oil (optional, but makes it smell great). Add 2 cups water to fill the bottle. Label and keep out of reach of children. Shake to mix. Label the bottle. From now on, use this cleaner to keep your granite countertops beautifully clean and shiny without wrecking the sealant or causing any harm to the granite. Note: Any size spray bottle will work. Simply adjust the proportions to accommodate.
BATHROOM CLEANER. This is heavy-duty and will sanitize as well as clean bathroom counters, floors, sink, glass and mirrors. Get a clean spray bottle. Fill it halfway with rubbing alcohol; the rest of the way to the top with white vinegar. Label the bottle. The ratio is 50/50 rubbing alcohol to white vinegar no matter the size of the container. The great thing about this cleaner—no rinsing required. Simply spray, scrub with a sponge or cloth and wipe clean.
WOOD AND LAMINATE FLOOR CLEANER. One part alcohol (rubbing alcohol is cheap and available in any supermarket or dug store) to four parts distilled water plus a few drops blue Dawn dishwashing liquid. Mix this up in a spray bottle each time you clean the floors. Or if you make it up ahead, be sure to label it well and keep it out of the reach of children. To use: Sweep or vacuum the floor, spray the cleaner in a small area, scrub well with a cloth or sponge and immediately wipe the area dry with a microfiber cloth. The secret is to spray, scrub and wipe dry immediately. If you do not want to do this on your hands and knees, I recommend this Hardwood Floor Spray Mop for both wood and laminate floors. It sprays the cleaner from its removable bottle that lets you make your own cleaner; a large surface mop with even bigger detachable microfiber cleaning pad that swivels for really easy handling. This mop makes scrubbing wood and laminate floors a breeze.