|This is really all you need to clean your house.|
I came across the book Clean House Clean Planet (by Karen Logan) in the public library in 1999 and I've been making a lot of my own cleaners ever since. I'm just going to give you the three basic recipes I use most but the book has dozens of different recipes and tips if you have more specific needs. I really don't get stoked about cleaning house so I just keep it simple! Logan also gives each recipe an effectiveness rating and a price comparison with the commercial brand.
1) Alice's Wonder Spray
This is an all-purpose household cleaner spray. Logan's version calls for a teaspoonful of borax, which is a mildly toxic white powder with antiseptic properties. I've found that the spray works just as well without the borax and, if I leave the borax out, my kids can use it safely. Logan also likes to add essential oil for fragrance but the Dr. Bronner's soap already has fragrance so I omit the essential oils. Here is my modified recipe:
Ingredients: liquid soap (Dr. Bronner's brand- you pick your favorite scent), white distilled vinegar, and purified water
Container: a clean 16-oz or larger spray bottle (I really like the 32oz industrial ones from Home Depot)
How to Make: Add 2 Tbsp vinegar so spray bottle. Then add 16 ounces filtered water. Shake gently to mix. Then add 1/4 cup liquid soap and shake gently.
My Notes: My favorite Dr. Bronner's soap for this recipe is the peppermint. I recently bought the new citrus orange scent and I find it a little irritating to my nose. The peppermint just smells clean and fresh. For the spray bottle I really like the industrial type ones found at Home Depot. They last a lot longer than the cheapies you find in the beauty section at the supermarket or Target and they don't clog as easily. (Plus, they are only 96 cents!)
|Go for the big sprayer in the middle.|
2) Earth Scrub Tub and Tile Cleaner
This is a thick, mildly abrasive cleaner that works great on bathtubs, toilets, floors, and any other surface that needs a good scrubbing. I once used it on the linoleum floor in my ancient first apartment and found that the linoleum was (surprise!) white and not brown.
Ingredients: baking soda, liquid soap (Dr. Bronner's), white distilled vinegar, and water
Container: a 16oz or larger squeeze container (an old shampoo bottle would work fine)
|A good squeezy container for the Earth Scrub.|
|Baking soda and liquid soap mixture|
3) Club Clean Glass Cleaner
A completely harmless, effective glass cleaner.
Ingredients: club soda
Container: spray bottle, any size
How to Make: Fill your spray bottle with club soda.
How to Use: Spray and wipe. The reason club soda works is because it contains sodium citrate, which softens the water and helps to clean. Make sure you wipe with a lint-free rag if that matters to you.
My Notes: This stuff works well, costs pennies, and is awesome for toddlers and kids who want to help clean windows. My kids have spent hours with a rag and a spray bottle of this stuff cleaning windows (and walls and tables and the floor and the cat....)
So there you go- my workhorse cleaner recipes. If you have to clean house you can at least not poison yourself in the process, right?