Monday, August 1, 2011

Natural Cleaning Around The House

Let's hit the ground running and start: I am continuing my series to help green your home. This week, we'll be looking into all purpose cleaners to use around the house!

First off, I want to say that minus homemade cleaners, I am a proud consumer of Green Works. It is made by Clorox, but they offer great, natural, and safe products that are sold in most big name stores. The cleaning wipes are compostable, and they list all of their ingredients to each product. I personally love their dish soap, cleaning wipes, multi-purpose cleaner & glass cleaner.
All of the Green Works products
Now, I know some people swear by Seventh Generation for their cleaning, but the last time (and its been awhile) that I looked at a Seventh Generation bottle of cleaner, it didn't list the ingredients. I was not a fan of that, and chose the Green Works which did and I've been happy ever since! Looking now, Seventh Generation does offer a full ingredient list on their website.

So with that being said, I thought I would try out my own homemade household cleaner! It was not as difficult as I thought. I found a great recipe thanks to this website
Cleaner Ingrediants: Spray Bottle, White Vinegar, Borax, Dish Soap, Essential Oil & Some Rags!
So I basically filled up my spray bottle (from the Dollar Tree) to about 16 mL with hot tap water. Then added the 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar (also Dollar Tree), 1 teaspoon of Borax & a few drops of my Essential Lavender Oil into the mix. I later realized I forgot to add the dish soap to the mixture, but it worked just as well. After you add everything thing, shake the bottle so everything is mixed, then get to work!

So here's the part where I admit how dirty my house gets. This our bathroom sink after a week of abuse.
Hair (including Husband's facial) everywhere, soap stains, hard water stains: icky!
So... not the most pleasing. But I was able to clear everything off, spray everything down & got to work wiping down the sink. You will be spraying a lot to get that satisfying "wet" feel when wiping & scrubbing the surface. I also noticed that with tough stains, you need to let this solution set on the stain for awhile before you can scrub it off the surface. I also went with using old rags instead of paper towels- a few extra rags in the wash is not the end of the world.

So the result? Ta daaaaaa!
It's a bit exaggerated since the sink it still cleared & the lighting is somehow different.
You get the idea, though
I know the lighting is a bit different, but you can see the cleaner still got the job done. I was very happy with the results. And the ingredients are very simple compared to buying expensive products.

As for cost, I already had all these ingredients at home. The Borax is left over from the laundry detergent, the white vinegar was $1 a bottle, the spray bottle was $1, and the essential oil came from my garden so it's pretty cheap.

As a side note, I think I'm going to try to make my own dish soap to add to the cleaner. There is something about adding a company dish soap to my "homemade" cleaner that I don't like. But dish soap will help tackle down grease stains.

I also plan to make essential orange oil soon to add to the cleaner. The essential lavender oil did take over the strong vinegar smell while cleaning, but it's not what you would expect as a "clean" fragrance. Oh, and for those worried about the vinegar smell, there was no left over odor from this cleaner. Just cleanliness!

I think I'll keep up on my making my cleaner, even if it means giving up the Green Works.  

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