Simple Ingredients: Cleaning

Parts of this post were previously posted in full on my previous blog: Green & Frugal Mama.


While I’ve been examining what I have been bringing into my home, I’ve come to realize that the fewer ingredients, the simpler the recipe, the better it is for my home, my health, my family.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • White Distilled Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Borax
  • Washing Soda
  • Liquid Castile Soap
  • Citrus peels (saved from peeled produce, stored in a jar in the fridge)
  • Citric Acid
  • Activated Charcoal
  • Essential oils (optional)

I’ve learned that with these ingredients, I can make nearly any cleaner for my home and clean nearly every surface in my home, and more! Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Glass Cleaner #1 (Homemade… book)

  • Ingredients: 1/2 c. White Vinegar; 2/3 gallon water; 1 clean gallon container, 1 clean 32oz. spray bottle.
  • Directions: Mix ingredients in the gallon container. Fill the spray bottle & spray on windows & glass items as needed. Dry glass with crumpled newspaper.

Multipurpose Cleaner (Homemade… book)

  • Ingredients: 3 1/2 c. Hot Water; 1/2 c. White or Apple Cider Winegar; 1 t. Borax; 1 t. Washing Soda; 1 t. Liquid Castile Soap; 1 clean 32oz. spray bottle
  • Directions: Fill spray bottle first with hot water; then add vinegar, borax, washing soda, and liquid castile soap. Shake well. Spray on surfaces. Wipe down with a clean cloth or damp sponge.

Air Freshener (Facebook fan)

  • Ingredients: 1 c. Activated Charcoal (about $10/bottle at Walgreens, but also available online)
  • Directions: Use 1 c. of charcoal in each room. Change every 6 months.

Floor Cleaner (Facebook fan)

  • Ingredients: White Distilled Vinegar, Water
  • Directions: Mix together. Mop.

Automatic Dishwasher detergent (Facebook fan)

  • Ingredients: 1 c. Borax; 1 c. Washing Soda; 1 bottle of CitriShine (found in the dish aisle. Any citric acid could be used)
  • Directions: Mix together in a container and seal tightly. Use 2 T mixture for each load.

Fake Jet-Dry (Facebook fan)

  • Ingredients: White Vinegar
  • Directions: Use in jet-dry hole in your dishwasher.

Oven Cleaner (Homemade… book)

  • Ingredients: 2 T liquid soap; 2 t. Borax; 2 c. Warm Water; 1 clean 16oz spray bottle; 1/2 c. Baking Soda in an open bowl
  • Directions: Pour the soap & borax into a spray bottle. Add warm water. Shake well to dissolve. Spray solution on oven surfaces. Let mixture set for 30 min.-1hour. Scrub with a damp scrub pad dipped in baking soda. Rinse with clean water.

Garbage Disposal Cleaner (Homemade… book)

  • Ingredients: 1 qt. White Vinegar; ice-cube tray
  • Directions: Fill an ice-cube tray with white vinegar and freeze it. Remove cubes, place in a sealed plastic bag and return to the freezer. Once a week, run 2-3 vinegar cubes through garbage disposer.

Garbage Disposal Freshener (Homemade… book)

  • Ingredients: Orange, Lemon or Grapefruit peels
  • Directions: Store in a sealed plastic bag in refrigerator. Once or twice a week run a few peels through the disposal.

Scouring Powder (Homemade… book)

  • Ingredients: 1 c. Baking Soda; 1 c. Borax; 1 c. Salt; 1 clean 32oz plastic container with cover.
  • Directions: Combine ingredients in container & mix well. Close tightly to store. Sprinkle some on a damp sponge or directly on surface. Scour, rinse, dry.

Dishwasher Cleaner (Shopping Thrifty)

  • Ingredients: 1/2 c. White Vinegar; 2 T Baking Soda
  • Directions: “Simply pour the white vinegar and baking soda into your empty dishwasher. Next, start the dishwasher and allow it to run through a complete cycle. Repeat this process once a month to remove hard water buildup, stains, grime, and odor.”

Any one of these is an inexpensive and health-friendlier option than their branded counterparts. And they are also things found in my home on a regular basis, can easily be acquired at almost any store (only a few items require a specialty store, or purchase online).



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