I read that the average family in America spends somewhere between $40-$50 per month on cleaning supplies. That number seemed really high to me, at least until I started thinking back to what I used to spend on laundry detergent alone!
What I used to spend. I say that because I haven’t bought laundry detergent, except while traveling or in a few emergency circumstances, in at least 5 years.
I won’t even try to calculate how much money that has saved me.
But it’s not just laundry detergent. These days there are actually very few cleaning products I actually purchase. I started making laundry detergent several years ago as a money-saving measure, but soon it turned into something I did more for fun. Now I enjoy making products that cost next to nothing to make and work just as well or better than those things I can buy at the store.
So have you thought about trying to make some of your own cleaners? Maybe you’re sick of going through expensive detergent like crazy, or maybe you’re concerned about some of the weird, impossible-to-pronounce ingredients in so many household cleaners.
If you’ve never tried making a homemade cleaner, why not begin with just ONE? Try making one cleaner and begin using it regularly. You might be surprised the ease with which it can be done and the money it can save!
Here I’m listing for you the 5 Household Cleaning items I make myself. And this doesn’t even include things like screen cleaner, (which is just a mix of water and isopropyl alcohol,) my daily shower cleaner, or my bathroom odor eliminator.
Liquid Laundry detergent
Pretty Providence has here the same recipe for liquid laundry detergent I’ve been using for years. I like the citrusy smell of Fels-Naptha soap, but you can use different kinds of bar soap like Ivory or Castile if you prefer. You can also add essential oils for scent if you like, but I don’t usually do that, though I have melted a capful of scent beads in with the recipe before. Just keep in mind this detergent is strangely lumpy, (it’s supposed to be,) and it doesn’t lather up with bubbles the way most detergents do. Remember it isn’t the bubbles that do the cleaning.
Every nearly 5-gallon batch of this detergent is then diluted by half with water, so it goes a long way. If you fear making so much and not liking it in the end, don’t sweat it! It’s so cheap to make, you’ve really not lost much in the end and I’m sure you can find a friend who would love to take your homemade detergent off your hands! If you aren’t happy with this recipe, there are plenty more to try, plus recipes for powdered detergent if you prefer.
*Buy an extra bar of the Fels-Naptha and keep it on hand for stains. I have found nothing better for stain-lifting, especially oily stains.
This recipe for glass cleaner from Whole New Mom is my personal favorite. (I omit the essential oils, though.) I’ve tried different recipes, but I always go back to this one. I don’t know what it is about the cornstarch, but it seems to me this ingredient makes the difference in producing streak-free windows and mirrors. And streaks make me CRAZY, so that’s important!
It looks and feels different from the blue stuff you’re used to using, however. Don’t judge it based on that. Judge it instead on the great way it cleans your windows!
Disposable Cleaning Wipes
Making my own cleaning wipes is a fairly new development for me. I’ve only been making these for a couple of months now, but they make quick cleanup a breeze, so I’ve been very happy with the results.
Now here is where the recipe sharing becomes a little trickier: Once you’ve started making your own cleaning products it becomes easier to wing-it a big more and create or combine cleaning product recipes. Every time I’ve made these I’ve changed the recipe a little. But this recipe for disposable cleaning wipes from First Home Love Life is a good starting place and is very similar to at least one recipe I’ve made.
I recommend Viva paper towels, by the way. Cheap paper towels disintegrate when you try to do this. I’ve also heard blue shop towels can work very well.
This is another more recent DIY attempt on my part. I have a relatively new dishwasher that wasn’t cleaning up to par. (Anybody else noticing how poorly some of these energy-efficient appliances do their jobs??) One day I ran out of dishwasher detergent and was forced to make my own and I was pretty startled to find my dishes cleaner than they had been in weeks!
This powdered dishwasher detergent recipe from May Days works wonderfully. I don’t usually have Kool Aid on hand, so I substitute a packet of Crystal Light lemonade with great results.
*There is concern among some about the use of borax in dishwasher detergents. Borax is a natural salt mineral. Just like table salt, it can be toxic if ingested in very high quantities, but fleeting traces on dishes, if they even exist after a good rinse cycle, are not likely to be harmful. If you want more particulars about this ingredient, I think this article from Wellness Mama on the safety of borax can answer any questions you might have.
Again, this is one of those cleaners I more or less throw together, but it’s very similar to this recipe for antibacterial spray from Popsugar. I use tea tree and eucalyptus oils because of their unique disinfecting properties. And for the combined scent, which I love, for whatever reason. It just smells very clean to me. And who doesn’t LOVE clean?
You’ll find this post linked up with some of these great blogs:
Making Your Home Sing Monday, The Modest Mom Link Up, Inspiration Monday, The Art of Homemaking, Monday Musings, Inspire Me Monday, Living Proverbs 31, Titus 2sdays, Titus 2 Tuesday, Hip Homeschool Hop, Tutorial Tuesday, Inspire Me Tuesday, Homemaking Linkup, Wise Woman Linkup, The Mommy Club, Wholehearted Wednesday, A Little R & R, The Homemaking Party, Thought-Provoking Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Think Tank Thursday, Create-It Thursday, From House to Home, Growing in Grace Thursday, Faith-Filled Friday, Family Fun Friday, Weekly Wrap-Up, Friendship Friday, No Rules Weekend Blog Party, Inspiration Spotlight, Pretty Pintastic, Grace and Truth Link Up, Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop, Family Friendship and Faith Fridays, No More Rules Blog Hop