My desire through this Friday series (Natural Living on A Budget) is to provide you with ideas and resources to encourage you in more natural living but without paying the extravagant prices out there now a days for organic and natural products. As Christians, we are also responsible to be good stewards of the environment as well…this is not just something left for the world around us to be concerned about.
As far as housecleaning goes, there are many natural products available on the market today that are worthy of your support, but does it have to cost that much? No! Making your own products can serve the needs of your family and household far more naturally and cost effective. Check out Housecleaning on A Budget – part 1 for good recipes for making your own cleaners. Start simplifying your cupboards and your cleaning bucket today!
Here is an even simpler list of ingredients that are environmentally friendly alternatives that are inexpensive and readily available:
All-Purpose: 1/2 c. vinegar, 1/4 c. baking soda, 1/2 gal water
Window cleaner: vinegar, club soda, or the all-purpose cleaner
Disinfectant: 4 Tbls vinegar, 3 cups hot water
Scouring powder: baking soda
Natural Abrasive: salt & toothpaste, apply to scrubby or directly on surface
Dusting powder: vinegar, olive oil
Furniture polish: vinegar, food-grade lemon oil, or 1 c. olive oil and 1/2 c lemon juice
Fabric softener: vinegar
Silver polish: baking soda, salt, toothpaste
Mold/mildew: vinegar or lemon juice at full strength, with small amount of salt
Bleach replacement: spray one coat of vinegar, followed by one coat of hydrogen peroxide (these can not be mixed, so they have to be layered separately). Scrub and wash as desired. Works just as well as bleach without the chemicals.
You can add essential oils to all of these recipes for added scent, cleaning power, and to preserve them. For preservation purposes, try out citric acid, tea tree oil, rosemary oil/extract, and/or grapefruit seed extract.
Did you know you can even make a simple recipe for laundry soap and dishwasher soap?
Laundry Soap: See my homemade recipe here.
Dishwasher Soap: See my homemade recipe here.
Dishwashing Soap: Use baking soda and liquid soap, add 2-4 Tbls of vinegar to the warm, soapy water for though jobs. Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap diluted along with some vinegar and tea tree oil works as well.
Wow! Isn’t that easy. If you have vinegar, baking soda, and some essential oils you are pretty much set to go! You can buy 1 gallon of vinegar for around $4 (which is the price of one small container of all-purpose cleanser), which will extend very far for you.
Try using t-shirts or cloth diapers for all your cleaning needs! Eliminate the need for paper towels. I stopped using these a few months back and I have not missed them. I just have a pile of rags in the kitchen and in the closet at easy reach for any messes.
I just found this website recently which has a huge supply of more ideas for homemade cleaning products: Clean and Green.