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Friday, July 22, 2011

Natural Cleaners You Can Use Around Your Kids

   As a mom, I can understand the desire for safer cleaning products around the house. So, in honor of that, today's post will be a collection of recipes for safer cleaners for your home. I will provide a link to the pages I pull the recipes from just prior to the listing.

The first set of recipes comes from: "The Family Homestead"


If you are wondering what this list of “basic ingredients” are, I will show you:
Baking Soda
Vinegar
Rubbing Alcohol
Washing Soda (can be found near laundry detergent in most stores)
Borax (also near the laundry section)
Mild Dish Detergent

Homemade Floor Cleaner
1 cup white vinegar
1 gallon warm water
Mix in your cleaning bucket and use this to clean vinyl type floors.

Wood Floor Cleaner
½ cup vinegar
1 gallon water
The most important thing to keep in mind while cleaning wood floors is that they can not get overly wet.  When you use the above mixture, dip your sponge mop into the solution and squeeze until almost dry.  Then mop.  Never put the cleaner directly on the floor. Dry any streaked or wet area with a clean towel as you go along the floor.

All Purpose Cleaners
In a clean, empty gallon milk jug put:
2 Tablespoons ammonia
1 teaspoon dish detergent
1 pint (2 cups) rubbing alcohol
4 drops food coloring – optional
a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a nice fresh scent, I use Orange
Fill the rest of the gallon jug with hot water.  Pour into spray container to use.

Here is a cleaner you make right in your spray bottle:
All-Purpose Cleaner
2T vinegar
1 t Borax
Hot water
a few drops of a mild dish detergent
10 drops of essential oil, optional
In a 16 spray bottle put vinegar, borax and  hot water.  Swish around until borax has dissolved.  Add the drops of dish detergent and fill the rest of the bottle with water.  Add the essential oil (I like using orange or lavender).

All Purpose Cleaner in a Bucket (for big jobs like walls)
½ cup ammonia
¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup baking soda
Mix the above ingredients with 1 gallon of warm water and use for basic cleaning jobs around the home.  Double the above ingredients for cleaning shower walls or other extra heavy duty areas.

Soft Scrubbing Type Cleaners
Here is one of my favorites for cleaning counter tops, sinks or any area that needs some scrubbing without the worry of scratching the surface.
Homemade “soft scrub” Type Cleaner
There are no measurements necessary for this one. Simply put a small amount of baking soda in a bowl and add liquid dish detergent until you have smooth paste or frosting like substance.  This very well on sinks and counters and won’t scratch the surface.

Window Cleaner
Homemade Window Cleaner
This one can be made right in your spray bottle.
½ t mild dish detergent
3T vinegar
2 cups water
Put all these ingredients into a spray bottle.  Shake this up some and use it just like the commercial variety.

Homemade Window Cleaner #2
3T Ammonia
1T vinegar
Put in spray bottle and fill the rest of the way up with water.

Commet Type Scrub Powders
This is an easy one.  You can use baking soda!  Sprinkle on sinks, counters or anywhere you need to get rid of build up or stains.  Dampen slightly and scrub with a soft cloth to prevent scratching.


****A word of caution on making homemade cleaners: never mix bleach with any type of acid such as ammonia or vinegar.  It will cause toxic fumes that are very dangerous.
                                                               
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This next set comes from "TipNut" (I use recipe #4)

First Some Tips:
For the bar soaps required in the recipes, you could try Fels-Naptha, Ivory soap, Sunlight bar soap, Kirk’s Hardwater Castile, and Zote. Don’t use heavily perfumed soaps.
Washing Soda and Borax can normally be found in the laundry and cleaning aisles.
Some people with really hard water or well water may have to adjust the recipes if the clothes look dingy.
Although several of the recipes have the same ingredients, the measurements are different–some contain a higher soap to water ratio. Test and see which works best for your laundry needs.
You can make huge pails of this at once, or smaller quantities. Also if you can get your hands on a few empty liquid laundry detergent bottles they work great for storing the detergent. Just make a big batch and pour in bottles, cap then use as needed–shake before use.
Some of the recipes call for large amounts of water. Check with a local restaurant to see if they have any empty large pails from deep fryer oil–that’s how many restaurants buy the oil. See if you can have one or two of the pails after they’ve emptied it–just wash them out really well before using. They’re big, heavy plastic and very sturdy when stirring the soap and hot water.

10 Homemade Laundry Soap Detergent Recipes

Recipe #1
1 quart Water (boiling)
2 cups Bar soap (grated)
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda
Add finely grated bar soap to the boiling water and stir until soap is melted. You can keep on low heat until soap is melted.
Pour the soap water into a large, clean pail and add the Borax and Washing Soda. Stir well until all is dissolved.
Add 2 gallons of water, stir until well mixed.
Cover pail and use 1/4 cup for each load of laundry. Stir the soap each time you use it (will gel).

Recipe #2
Hot water
1 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
1 Soap bar
Grate the bar soap and add to a large saucepan with hot water. Stir over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
Fill a 10 gallon pail half full of hot water. Add the melted soap, Borax and Washing soda, stir well until all powder is dissolved. Top the pail up with more hot water.
Use 1 cup per load, stirring soap before each use (will gel).

Recipe #3
Hot water
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
1/3 bar Soap (grated)
In a large pot, heat 3 pints of water. Add the grated bar soap and stir until melted. Then add the washing soda and borax. Stir until powder is dissolved, then remove from heat.
In a 2 gallon clean pail, pour 1 quart of hot water and add the heated soap mixture. Top pail with cold water and stir well.
Use 1/2 cup per load, stirring soap before each use (will gel).

Powdered Laundry Detergent – Recipe #4
2 cups Fels Naptha Soap (finely grated – you could also try the other bar soaps listed at the top)
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
Mix well and store in an airtight plastic container.
Use 2 tablespoons per full load.

Recipe #5
Hot water
1 bar (4.5 oz) Ivory Soap – grated
1 cup Washing Soda
In a large saucepan add grated soap and enough hot water to cover. Heat over medium-low heat and stir until soap is melted.
Fill a large pail with 2.5 gallons of hot water, add hot soap mixture. Stir until well mixed.
Then add the washing soda, again stirring until well mixed.
Set aside to cool.
Use 1/2 cup per full load, stirring well before each use (will gel)

Recipe #6
2.5 gallons Water (hot)
1 Bar soap (grated)
3/4 cup Washing Soda
3/4 cup Borax
2 TBS Glycerin
Melt bar soap over medium-low heat topped with water, stir until soap is melted.
In a large pail, pour 2.5 gallons of hot water, add melted soap mixture, washing soda, borax and glycerin. Mix well.
Use 1/2 cup per full load.

Recipe #7
2 cups Bar soap (grated)
2 cups Washing Soda
2 – 2.5 gallons hot water
Melt grated soap in saucepan with water to cover. Heat over medium-low heat and stir until soap is dissolved.
Pour hot water in large pail,
add hot soap and washing soda. Stir very well.
Use 1 cup per full load.

Recipe #8
2 gallons Water (hot)
1 bar Soap (grated)
2 cups Baking soda (yes baking soda this time–not washing soda)
Melt grated soap in a saucepan with enough hot water to cover. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring frequently until soap is melted.
In a large pail, pour 2 gallons hot water. Add melted soap, stir well.
Then add the baking soda, stir well again.
Use 1/2 cup per full load, 1 cup per very soiled load.

Powdered Laundry Detergent – Recipe #9
12 cups Borax
8 cups Baking Soda
8 cups Washing Soda
8 cups Bar soap (grated)
Mix all ingredients well and store in a sealed tub.
Use 1/8 cup of powder per full load.

Recipe #10 – (Powdered)
1 cup Vinegar (white)
1 cup Baking Soda
1 cup Washing Soda
1/4 cup liquid castile soap
Mix well and store in sealed container.
I find it easiest to pour the liquid soap into the bowl first, stirred in the washing soda, then baking soda, then added the vinegar in small batches at a time (the recipe foams up at first). The mixture is a thick paste at first that will break down into a heavy powdered detergent, just keep stirring. There may be some hard lumps, try to break them down when stirring (it really helps to make sure the baking soda isn’t clumpy when first adding). I used 1/2 cup per full load with great results.

Liquid Detergents Note
Soap will be lumpy, goopy and gel-like. This is normal. Just give it a good stir before using. Make sure soap is covered with a lid when not in use. You could also pour the homemade soap in old (and cleaned) laundry detergent bottles and shake well before each use.

*If you can’t find Fels-Naptha locally, you can buy it online (check Amazon).

Optional
You can add between 10 to 15 drops of essential oil (per 2 gallons) to your homemade laundry detergent. Add once the soap has cooled to room temperature. Stir well and cover.
Essential oil ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil
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