About Me

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As a daughter, granddaughter (still...at my age!), wife, mom, grammy, lover of God and life, it has become my mission in life to encourage others. The purpose of this blog is to introduce the reader to the sustainable life through organic recipes, gardening tips, cleaning and organizing methods, Spiritual help, and anything else which may encourage you in your journey to wholeness--body, soul, and spirit.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

All Natural Cleaning Stuff...without spending so much money!

A previous blog compares two wonderful cleaning products...Mrs. Meyers and Method.  They are expensive.  I am unemployed.  Refusing to cave in to chemical yuckiness and after feedback from friends who do not even buy commercial cleaners, I decided sometime back to try noncommercial cleaners. 

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:

Borax
Super Washing Soda
Baking Soda
White Vinegar
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:
Clockwise from back left:  Borax, Super Washing Soda, White vinegar, baking soda, Shepherd's Harvest Stain Stick, Rosemary and Peppermint essential oils, a shaker container with the finished basic mixture--
I use this all the time, and wish you could smell it!

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!