Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Guest post: Household cleaners - Thrifty, Homemade and Green!

I know you will enjoy this post from Heather at Thrifty Stories!  She has made and tried (along with her adorable girls!) several recipes for homemade cleaners that are not only thrifty and easy to make, but are also safe for your kids, pets, and the environment!  I don’t mind being green when I can do it and stay within my thrifty budget.  I can’t wait to try out some of these cleaners myself!


Ever felt guilty for cleaning your house? Ok, maybe not for cleaning it, but rather for the products you were using? This was where my husband and I have been. For the past six months or so, we have been tweaking our cleaning technique as well as our actual products looking for a safer way to clean our home. The purpose for cleaning our homes is to rid our living environment of germs, dirt, film, scum, mold....you name it, we want it gone! Yet the very things we are/were using to cleanse surfaces are possibly just as harmful. Just look at all the warnings on the backs of the bottles. Here's a few:

  • Hazards to humans and domestic animals.
  • Keep out of reach of children and pets.
  • Use with adequate ventilation.
  • Wear protective eyewear. (Really, who wears safety goggles to clean the toilet?)
  • Wash hands thoroughly before eating, drinking or chewing gum.

So we've taken the plunge and tried "green" cleaning. You know me when it comes to spending. The "green" products in the stores are priced outrageously high. We want to be healthy but at an affordable price, ya know? So I made my own. So easy, folks. I simply purchased a few spray bottles for $0.98 at Wal-Mart (found in the cleaning supplies with mops, sponges, brooms, etc.) I then took a sharpie and labeled my bottles so I know what they contain (and so does everyone else! Everyone pitches in to help clean here.)

I also used the sharpie to write the "recipe" right on the bottle. Who wants to try to google the info every time you need to refill?

Here's a few recipes: (I saw these basic recipes on several sites, so these are commonly used as alternative non-toxic choices. Tried and true.)

Homemade Glass Cleaner

1 cup water

1 cup rubbing alcohol

1 tbsp. white vinegar

Streak-free Window Washer

Fill bottle with water

1 tiny drop of dishwasher soap 

1 tsp. white vinegar

All Purpose Cleaner

1/2 gallon water

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup baking soda

General Cleaner/Disinfectant Spray

1/2 part water

1/2 part white vinegar

Silver Polish

Rub with toothpaste and allow to dry rinse with water and buff to shine (I had heard of this before and it really does work!)

After having made these simple products, I now set out to test them. And test them we did! Even my girls wanted to help clean. (gasp) Yes, that will get old, I know, but I'm gonna enjoy the help while it lasts. :)

(Please excuse the chocolate on her face. She's my girl!)


The windows were sparkling clean...and by a five year old.

What can I say? I'm hooked.

My family and I aren't jumping in with both feet, but rather we are taking baby steps to a healthier lifestyle.

And that makes me feel good. :)


Heather has recently started writing at Thrifty Stories, sharing coupon matchups and deals along with thrifty stories about family life. She enjoys Harris Teetering with her 3 girls, and serving at the local church where her husband, Stephen, is the music pastor. She is also an artist and is currently illustrating a coloring book.

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