Thursday, February 6, 2014

31 Days to a Cleaner Home-Day 29: DIY Cleaning Solutions

So now that we've talked about the six must haves to clean your home I'm going to give you my favorite DIY cleaning product recipes. Simple, safe, effective, easy to make cleaning solutions for your home that don't use any harsh chemicals. 

One of the biggest reasons I really felt this was important for me to start doing myself was because someone I know ended up in the ER after cleaning with certain chemicals.
Now I feel I must put this disclaimer as well as educate others on this, There are a few things people use for cleaning that should NEVER, let me say that again, NEVER mix.

The Do Not Mix List.
Bleach & Vinegar.
Bleach & Toilet bowl cleaners.
Bleach & Ammonia.
In fact don't mix bleach with anything unless you're a chemist and know what is safe. Most things people typically think to mix with bleach end up causing a toxic vapor that can be deadly and at the very least are toxic and cause lung issues. Just don't do it.
Same product made by two different brands.
Acids and Bases as they can have a violent reaction and could be a splash hazard which could cause a chemical burn.
Disinfectants with 'quaternaty ammonia' listed in it with a detergent. The disinfectant may be neutralized and no longer effective.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way I want you to all know I have actually researched to be completely sure that the combinations in my list are safe to mix. So here are the best cleaning solutions ever that you can make for yourself for mere pennies a bottle. All of the ingredients for the cleaning solutions are items from the six list. And it's always best to use the simplest cleaning solution first.

Window Cleaner.
1/4 cup White Vinegar
1/4 cup Rubbing Alcohol
1 tablespoon Corn Starch (optional but it does make a big difference.)
2 cups Warm Water.
Combine all items in a spray bottle. Shake well to mix. Spray on glass and wipe down as you normally would. Microfiber or black and white newspaper work the best for cleaning windows.

The reason for the cornstarch is because on a microscopic level glass isn't completely smooth.
While it feels smooth to the touch it actually has little peaks and valleys to it. When you spray water onto glass water molecules get caught in the pits. Water also clings to itself so water stuck in glass and water sticking to water creates streaks. The cornstarch disrupts the water bonding (hydrogen bonding) and thus prevents streaks. WOHOO!

Alternately you can use 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap in place of the cornstarch.

This window cleaner can also be used on
Any glass
Stainless steel

Floor Cleaner.
1 cup Water
1 cup White Vinegar
1 cup Rubbing Alcohol
2-3 drops Dish Soap

Add everything to a spray bottle and shake to mix.
Just a reminder to do dry before wet so be sure to sweep first!
Spray on the floor and use a microfiber mop to wipe up.

Mop and Bucket Floor Cleaner.
2 gallons of very warm Water
1 cup White Vinegar
1 cup baking soda
1 tablespoon Dish Soap
Mop as usual.

1 cup Water
1 cup Rubbing Alcohol
Combine in a spray bottle.
This is used on already clean areas to disinfect. Not all cleaners disinfect and not all disinfectants clean. So this would be something to spray and leave to dry on an already clean area. (Think toilet handle, light switches, and other points of contact.)

Mild All-Purpose Cleaner
1 tablespoon Dish Soap
1 spray bottle full of Water.
Safe to use on all surfaces. 
If you find you have a little residue you may need to reduce the amount of dish soap.

Degreaser. Perfect Tub/Tile Cleaner
1 cup White Vinegar
1 cup Dish Soap
Really good at removing soap scum off of tiles, glass, and other greasy areas such as the top of the fridge. Spray on and let it sit for 5 minutes. Clean away. A non-scratch scrubby sponge is great for this.

Stain Remover
2 parts Peroxide
1 part Dish Soap
Spray on stain, rub it in, rinse it out.
You can also pre-treat stains using this.
This also works EXTREMELY well for yellowed underarms of shirts.
Just put it on, you can even add a little baking soda if you want for scrubbing, work it into the stain for a few minutes then let it sit for an hour. Then just was the shirt as usual.
Works great on blood and grease stains.

Hard Water Stain Remover
1/2 spray bottle White Vinegar
1/4 cup Lemon Juice (I know it's not on the six list but it is a great natural cleaner)
Almost fill the remaining spray bottle with Dish Soap
Shake it up, Spray it on and soak the stains. Let the solution sit for 30 minutes.
Scrub the icky grime away and be amazed!

Kitchen utensil hard water spot/dishwasher soap scum remover.
1/4 cup Baking Soda
Add Peroxide till you have a paste
Rub it in and then rinse it off. Works really well to make them look good as new.

The best part is you really only need the mild all purpose cleaner, disinfectant, and window cleaner mixed up for regular cleaning and mix up the other items as needed!
Be sure to ALWAYS mark your spray bottles with the name of the product. I love to include the ingredients and or the recipe on the bottle so I know exactly what I'm cleaning with.
These are my favorite spray bottles. They're aluminum and are just a nice size to use cleaning. You can get them on amazon here.

Remember you can always add some essential oils to make your home smell good and help cover the vinegar or rubbing alcohol smell if they bother you. 10-15 drops should be enough. My favorite scent is lemongrass. You can shop for essential oils here.

Do you make your own cleaning solutions?
Do you make them to save money, use less chemicals, or both?
Do you have a favorite recipe that I don't have listed?
Leave a comment and let me know about it! I read every single comment.

1 comment:

  1. I'm surprised you haven't replaced rubbing alcohol with vodka in your list yet. Rubbing alcohol leaves a residue that's not safe for children as oppose to the ethyl alcohol that vodka leaves, which is safer for human consumption. I guess the window cleaner will be non-toxic once you replace the rubbing alcohol. Of course, that's just my opinion. Hahaha! Anyway, thanks for sharing your favorite recipes, Jessica. All the best!

    Courtney Morris @ Onyx Cleaning