All Natural Cleaning Stuff...without spending so much money!
I am hooked. First a disclaimer. There is ONE ingredient here which is all-natural, Borax, but some people really do not like it one little bit. More on that later. Now for the good stuff...
First, I figured out a decent stock of cleaning products to MAKE everything I need. Here's the list:
Super Washing Soda
Citric Acid (or you can do what I did, and get unsweetened lemon kool-aid)
Essential Oil of your choice (I used Rosemary and Mint)
...and here's a picture:
Next, I make what I call my "basic mixture"...
4 parts Borax
2 parts Super Washing Soda
1 part Baking Soda
a little essential oil (a few drops works just fine)
This mixture forms the basis for everything else, and has some great uses on its own. Here are a few:
-Sprinkle on the rug before you vaccuum to make the rug smell fresh.
-Use to keep bugs away--Borax is a natural bug repellent!
-Scrub sinks, tubs, and toilets with it
To make a spray, dissolve about 1/2 cup in 16 oz white vinegar. This makes a terrific disinfecting cleaner for the bathroom and kitchen. You will not smell the vinegar!
For dishwasher detergent, add a packet of unsweetened Kool-Aid to a cup of mixture. Fill the rinse dispenser of your diswasher with white vinegar. Since I have a terrible dishwasher, it didn't work very well in mine, and I am still perfecting this recipe...I ended up breaking down and buying Seventh Generation, which works a little better.
For laundry detergent, grate 1/3 bar of laundry soap (I use a home made stain stick soap...you can buy mine in the Shepherd's Harvest Store or use a bar of goat milk soap) into a pan. Pour 6 cups of boiling water over the soap, and heat it on a low setting until the soap is melted. Add 1 cup of the basic mixture and stir until it is dissolved. Pour 4 cups of hot water in a large bucket, add the soap mixture, and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups warm water and stir well. Let the entire mixture sit for 24 hours. It will gel, and end up looking like a gloppy "egg noodle soup," but it works very well! Use the rest of your laundry soap as a stain stick. You may add a few drops of essential oil for fragrance if you like.
For windows, mix vinegar with a few drops of essential oil...lemon works well for cutting grease. Works like a charm.
And now...drum roll please...I promised you some good information about Borax. The very best source-of-all-sources I could find was from my favorite blogger, Crunchy Betty. Here are her very well documented thoughts on Borax: http://www.crunchybetty.com/getting-to-the-bottom-of-borax-is-it-safe-or-not
Sooo...I am pretty happy with all my new spiffy cleaning "inventions" and am spending literally a FRACTION of what I previously spent on cleaning products! My home smells terrific--all minty and stuff--and I feel pretty good about using more natural ingredients in my cleaning routine.
Let me know if you try it...off to make some soap. The clean-up will be nice this time!