I have seen alot on tightwad tuesday about cleaners but really wanted to share what works for us thus far on our journey to becoming as chemical free as possible. I have begun putting the cleaning recipes into a notebook as I no longer have just one or two recipes.
Comparing the Cost of Homemade Cleaners vs Store Bought...
My use of milder cleaners stems from being allergic to most store bought cleaners. I am finally making a complete switch and am almost out of commercial products. I know I buy more vinegar, baking soda, and Borax than anyone I know. I got to wondering if I was saving money as well as the environment. So I did a web search on prices of homemade vs store bought. ( homemade wins!)
I also wanted to find a better homemade toilet bowl cleaner....I tried these and was pleased with the results.
My favorite cleaner is white vinegar. Hubby is even using it now. I usually mix it 1;1 ratio with water and keep several spray bottles of it around to encourage cleaning.
We live in the south and we have mold...no way around it. You just have to deal with it year around here. So here is what I have found this spring and am finding it works really well. Best of all I do not have to wear a mask to apply or leave the house while the fumes go away! I use this for monthly cleaning.
Borax disinfectant and mold killer
- 1 teaspoon to 1/4 cup borax
- Up to 2 cups hot tap water
Place the borax in a container and dissolve completely in hot tap water. Saturate a sponge with the mixture and wash the moldy area. If really moldy, use an even higher concentration of borax and/or leave the solution on for a few hours or overnight, then rinse well. The more borax, the more residue to rinse off, but borax really works. This can even be used to clean plaster walls that have been penetrated by mold by using an almost straight borax paste. Leave the borax on the walls for a number of days and when it is completely dry, and vacuum up the powder.
Weekly : we use just full strength white vinegar as a rinse on the showers.
Odd Natural Cleaning Tips:
Ketchup: This works great on copper!
Aluminum Foil, Salt and Boiling Water: Cleans Silver
The Wonders of Vinegar ( a bit of fun history)
The Babylonians used it to preserve foods and as a seasoning for their food. We have record of the Greek using it to preserve foods and Roman soldiers made a beverage used as they traveled.
Hannibal used vinegar to make his way over the Alps in his conquest of Europe. He dissolved huge boulders by heating the rocks then pouring hot vinegar over them. They crumbled and he could then get through with his army that rode on elephants.
The Egyptian queen, Cleopatra, demonstrated its solvency powers by dissolving precious pearls in vinegar to win a wager that she could consume a fortune in a single meal.
Helen of Troy apparently bathed in vinegar to relax.
Biblical references in both the Old and New Testaments that show the use of vinegar as a beverage, likely diluted and sweetened. Jesus drank vinegar just before he was crucified. Vinegar was also used as a condiment to dip bread and as a remedy for infections and wounds.
Hippocrates, a Greek physician and writer, known as the father of medicine, extolled vinegar's therapeutic qualities. He prescribed drinking vinegar to his patients for many ailments.
At the time of the Black Plague in Europe, thieves poured vinegar over their skin to protect themselves from germs before robbing the dead.
During the seventeenth century in Europe and England vinegar was used as a deodorizer. People held sponges soaked in vinegar to their noses to reduce the smell of raw sewage in the streets. Women conveniently carried vinegar-laden sponges in small silver boxes and men stored them in their walking canes.
The British Navy used vinegar to preserve food during long sea voyages and to clean the decks of their ships
During World War I vinegar was used to treat wounds on the battlefields.