Here are some tips on making your own cleaning products from easily available household products.
All PURPOSE LIQUID CLEANER
This formula is ideal for washing floors, cars, and any other large jobs for which you would want to make a large batch in a bucket.
1 gal. hot water‐‐‐‐‐1 tbsp. baking soda‐‐‐‐‐‐2 tbsps. Liquid soap or detergent
Fill a bucket with hot water, and then add baking soda and soap. (adding soap last prevents it from foaming too much) add 1 tablespoon of washing soda if you’ve got heavy grease to remove, or 1 tablespoon of borax if you also want to disinfect or kill mildew.
ALL SURFACE SPRAY
This spray is effective on everyday dirt and grime, wipes up without leaving any residue, and is safe to use on most surfaces. Use it to clean counters, walls, spills, and more. Note that in many situations, warm water and microfiber cloth is all you really need to add a little more ”oomph” to your cleaning, try the following recipe:
1 16‐oz. spray bottle‐‐‐‐2tsps. Borax‐‐‐‐Hot water‐‐‐‐¼ tsp. liquid castile soap
Put the borax in the spray bottle, fill the bottle with hot water, shake until the borax is dissolved, and then add soap. Spray on surfaces, let it sit a minute or two, and wipe off with a sponge or microfiber cloth.
Use 1 cup distilled white vinegar‐‐‐1 cup water‐‐‐‐½ tsp. liquid dish soap (optional)‐‐‐‐ 3‐8 drops essential oil (optional)
Fill the spray bottle with vinegar and water, and shake gently. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, add essential oil. Soap is needed to dissolve the waxy buildup left behind by conventional cleaners. Once the buildup is gone, you can leave out the soap. Make sure you vacuum the window screens using a soft dust brush or wipe the window screens with a wet clean cloth before starting to clean the windows. Use a squeegee to get the job done faster.
BAKING SODA SCRUB
This great all‐purpose mild cleanser scrubs and lifts dirt at the same time. It’s effective for cleaning grout, stovetops, sink, and just about anything else.
2 tbsps. Baking soda‐‐‐‐‐liquid dish soap or castile soap
Put baking soda in a wide mouthed container and mix in the liquid soap a little bit at a time until you have a nice foamy paste. Work onto the surface you wish to clean using a rag, sponge, or brush (depending on how much abrasion you need). Let it sit 1 to 15 minutes (longer for heavy – duty jobs, shorter for light cleaning). If you are working with a surface that is sensitive to acid (such as tile), rinse off the vinegar immediately with water.
WASHING SODA (SODIUM CARBONATE)
This mineral is highest on the ph scale and therefore has the most cleaning power, but it is also the most caustic. It is an effective abrasive cleaner and can boost the power of laundry detergents. Avoid using it on fiberglass, aluminum, no‐wax floors, and delicate fabrics. It can irritate the skin, so use gloves when cleaning with it. Like borax, washing soda can also be found in the laundry section. Arm & hammer super washing soda is a popular brand.
Powdered oxygen bleach is a great alternative to chlorine bleach and is friendlier to you and the environment because it is usually sodium per carbonate (a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and washing soda). It is especially useful for whitening laundry, removing stains from fabric, and cleaning grout. For maximum cleaning power, look for a content of 75 percent sodium per carbonate. And avoid those that have added artificial fragrance or dye.
This beverage contains the mineral sodium citrate, which helps it loosen dirt and soften water so that it dries without water spots. It is great for cleaning glass and appliances and removing stains from fabrics. Avoid types marked low sodium because they may have a lower mineral content, which would make them less effective.