Welcome to my first post in the series on Natural Living on A Budget. I am learning so much in the process of thinking of creative frugality ideas in the home. Since this week, I have been pursuing making my home a haven and doing lots of cleaning around the house, I thought it might be fun to address housecleaning ideas on a budget. The cost of commercial, chemical-based cleaning products can be very high. Plus they promote a separate cleaning product for every project you have. One product to solve your floor stains, another to wash your windows with, and of course another than really does the disinfecting job well. In addition to this, these toxic cleaners can affect the long term health of you family and the environment is being polluted in the process of manufacturing these items.
The average American uses about 40 pounds of toxic household cleaning products each year. These cleaning products contain dangerous ingredients, including neurotoxins, carcinogens, allergens, central nervous system depressants, heavy metals, and other agents that cause or contribute to cancer, respiratory problems, reproductive abnormalities, allergic reactions, and behavioral problems, among other issues.
How can we solve these problems?
Make your own cleaning solutions!
Save on your housecleaning projects by making your own solutions and also protect your health and be a good steward of our environment at the same time!
WHAT YOU NEED:
A few spray bottles - these are available anywhere! I bought mine at Wal-Mart.Old t-shirts – no need for buying special cleaning rags. Grab an old t-shirt and cut it into separate rags. These work the best for deep cleaning, washing windows, and anything else. The thin fabric of t-shirts allows you to clean deep and in the crevasses really well.
Old toothbrush – so useful for getting in the groves around your sink or toilet
All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep. Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc. Can we used to clean stovetop, countertops, appliances, and the floor.
Carpet stains: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray directly on stain, let sit for several minutes, and clean with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water.For a heavy duty carpet cleaner, mix 1/4 cup each of salt, borax and vinegar. Rub paste into carpet and leave for a few hours. Vacuum.
Disinfectant: Mix 4 tablespoons vinegar and 3 cups hot water. For stronger cleaning power add 1/4 teaspoon liquid castile soap.
Window Cleaner: Mix 2 teaspoons of white vinegar with 1 liter (qt) warm water. Use crumpled newspaper or cotton cloth to clean. Don’t clean windows if the sun is on them, or if they are warm, or streaks will show on drying. The All-Purpose Cleaner (above) also works well on windows.
Hardwood furniture: Mix 1 cup of olive oil with 1/2 cup lemon juice and you have a polish for your hardwood furniture.
A few final tips for the harder jobs
Use pure vinegar in the toilet bowl to get rid of rings. Flush the toilet to allow the water level to go down. Pour the undiluted vinegar around the inside of the rim. Scrub down the bowl.
Vinegar can be used as a natural fabric softener. This can be especially helpful for families with sensitive skin. Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle in place of store bought fabric softener.Baking soda is great as a deodorizer. Place a box in the refrigerator and freezer to absorb odors. Put it anywhere you need deodorizing action.Lemon juice can be used to dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits.Put a whole lemon peel through the garbage disposal. It freshens the drain and the kitchen. Orange peels can be used for the same results.