Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cleaning Products Make-Over

Call it what you will- Going Green, simplifying, re-purposing, etc. But I know many families shifting their way of thinking when it comes to the way we use our resources. In the name of frugality, my husband and I have started taking a very close look at the things we purchase and use on a daily basis that can be made at home in a matter of minutes and for a cost that’s literally pennies on the dollar.

So for the next few weeks I will be posting many ideas, recipes, and tutorials focused on home-made versions of items that one would normally not think twice about purchasing on a routine grocery shopping trip. You probably would be shocked (I was) to learn some of the things you can find “recipes” for online! What are some examples? I’m glad you asked! Just to name a few: lotion, egg nog, taco seasoning, hand sanitizer, air freshener…. The list literally goes ON, and ON, and ON. No joke. SO I’ll leave my rant for now to focus on the topic of today’s post- CLEANING PRODUCTS!

Here is a before and after look at my cleaning supply cabinet. This photo shows the products I started with. These are the cleaning products I use most often and desired to replace with less harsh, cheaper, and more “green” options. Here are the results of my little experiment:

· Total cost- about $14-$16
· Contains harmful toxins found by the EPA to be linked to cancers, birth defects, and asthma
· Pollute rivers and oceans and are quickly killing off marine life in what marine biologists are calling wide-scale epidemic destruction of ocean ecology and wildlife.
· Leaves harsh chemical smell and residue not safe for children & pets

· Total cost- about $2-$3
· Made from all-natural ingredients (most of which you probably already have on hand).
· Use essential oil to create your own unique fragrances
· No danger to little ones or pets
· And by the way, they all worked just as well (or better) as the originals!

All you need- baking soda, water, vinegar, lemons (or juice), borax, olive oil, essential oils.

Creamy Soft Scrubber
3 cups baking soda
1 cup water
¼ cup lemon juice

Mix all ingredients well and pour into container. Shake well before you use. Squirt a small amount onto a sponge or scrub brush. This works great for cleaning your bathtub, toilet, sinks, etc.

Disinfectant Spray
½ cup borax
3 cups water
¼ cup white distilled vinegar
3-4 drops essential oil (whichever scent you desire)

Mix ingredients and pour into spray bottle. This works great in the kitchen & bathroom.

Glass Cleaner
3 cups water
½ cup vinegar
¼ cup lemon juice

Mix ingredients and pour into spray bottle. This cleans glass surfaces very well with no streaks!

Furniture Polish
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup olive oil

Mix ingredients and shake well before using. Dab a bit on an old cloth or rag and use for wood furniture to polish and shine. This will leave a bit of oil behind, so use another dry cloth to rub it in completely.

Overall, I spent NO MONEY ( I was lucky enough to have everything on hand), and it took only about an hour to make it all! I added the new labels with scapbook paper, my label maker, and contact paper. I hoped the cute packaging might motivate me to clean!

I can't wait to hear what you think! Try these out and let me know how these wok for you!


  1. Love how you decorated your bottles. My homemade cleaners are sharpie labeled. My new love for housekeeping on a budget is thjs book, you could of written it ;) :

  2. I make my own laundry detergent and it saves tons of moola. It doesn't take too much time. I use the recipe on the Duggars website.