There are lots of reasons why you may want to make your own home cleaning products. Maybe you are working hard to get your household off the grid, or maybe you are just trying your best to weather the recession. If you are experiencing “underemployment” (a lack of full-time work) or even unemployment, you are probably willing to consider anything to save a few dollars, and homemade cleaning products do just that. There are many easy ways to do this at home by swapping some everyday items with homemade or alternative versions of them.
If you are weary of chemicals in all of the household products that you use, this is for you. Years ago, my mom switched her toothpaste for regular old baking soda and she has had no significant scolding from her dentist. Baking soda is a great natural product that has many uses beyond whitening your teeth. While toothpaste is not normally a huge expense for most of us, if you are uncomfortable with the laundry list of ingredients that is in your typical drug store brand, an alternative such as baking soda is certainly worth a try. Yes, you consume everything that you put in your mouth and toothpaste is no exception. Have you ever stopped to ask what is in it?
Laundry detergent can be very costly and laden with harmful chemicals that we breathe in when we wear the clothes that we wash in it. You can save quite a bit of money (not to mention your lungs) by making your own at home. This is especially great for delicate fabrics! Make your own laundry detergent by simply mixing a bar of grated soap (Ivory or something very pure), a cup of washing soda or borax, and about two and a half gallons of hot water. Just mix it all together until it’s blended and let it cool before using it. The best part is that you only need half a cup per load of wash. The borax or washing soda will take the odors out of gym clothes and leave your laundry smelling fresh.
Every Day Household Cleaner
Why spend over $5 per bottle of all-purpose cleaner? You can make your own at home with an ingredient that you probably have in your cupboard. Simple white vinegar is a fantastic cleaner and grease cutter that is used in many natural products. Mix ½ cup each of vinegar, lemon juice, castile soap, and borax. Mix them together and refill your old spray bottle. These ingredients have grease-fighting properties and absolutely nothing that will harm your pets or family!
Fabric softener contains some deadly toxins that leach from your clothing and into your body (benzyl acetate, chloroform, and ethyl acetate to name only a few). Not only that, fabric softener is expensive to buy! You can make your own fabric softener and still have wonderfully fresh-smelling and soft clothing! Some people simply add a half-cup of baking soda to the wash tub of the machine after it fills with water but before the clothes are added. If static is a huge problem, some people actually crunch up a ball of aluminum foil and throw it in the dryer with their clothes. This is very effective and very cheap. You can also find fabric softener alternatives at health food stores. I found a small bag of lavender at a health food store that I threw in with my clothes while they were drying. It lasted about thirty or so loads and made my clothing smell AMAZING. If you have lavender growing on your property, adding it will only sweeten the pot!
Bathroom and Toilet Cleaner
Instead of using extremely harsh and unsafe chemicals in your toilet, consider making your own simple concoction. Tea tree oil has long been touted as a natural disinfectant and can be used for household cleaning and even on your skin to fight infection. Mix two cups of water with ten to fifteen drops of tea tree oil and a couple of drops of natural soap and add them to a spray bottle for an all-natural disinfectant. This simple solution works on countertops and in the bathroom. For a more pleasant scent, add some lavender oil to the mix.
Another popular way of cleaning a toilet naturally is to spray a bit of vinegar around the toilet and follow up with a sprinkling of baking soda. Wipe off after it has sat for ten minutes, and your toilet will sparkle and smell fresh.
Do you ever ask yourself why you need to wear gloves and avoid inhaling oven cleaners? It’s because the chemicals are toxic and harmful to you! What could be easier than sprinkling a little bit of salt on the spill while the oven is still hot? When it finally cools, you should be able to wipe the stain right up. Better still, you won’t subject your family to toxic chemicals.
Many people use a mixture of vinegar and water to clean their windows naturally. However, vinegar has a bit of a harsh smell, so I suggest using lemon instead (which, by the way, smells much better than the chemical alternative). Spraying a bit of lemon on a cloth will take the grease and prints off of your windows and leave your home smelling amazing. Apologize to your felines ahead of time – they will hate the smell!
Natural products are beneficial for many reasons. For one, you save money in a painful economy by using cheap household products as an alternative to costly store bought cleaning products. Moreover, these natural products are not polluting our environment (and eventually us, as the chemicals leach into our water). You will also be saving you and your family from the little-known effects of dozens of carcinogenic and toxic chemicals. Finally, you will be making your family and home much more self-sufficient.
Chemicals found within our typical household products have been linked to all sorts of horrific ailments including various cancers. These chemicals get into our bodies via our clothing, eating off of our dishes and even by breathing the air in our home. It’s simply not worth the risk. You can save money on homemade products and keep your family safe at the same time by making your own natural cleaning products.
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