Over the course of the past several years I have tried many natural cleaning products and non-toxic cleaning supplies, both commercially made and homemade. I have a love and hate relationship with the commercially made cleaners…..they tend to work well for a little while, and then don’t work as well. OR they work on some things but not other things…..I don’t like having a cabinet full of cleaners for all different purposes….I really like to use one or two things for everything…..this not only saves time, but also space.
Having moved has put a whole new learning curve on the cleaning, because I have surfaces that I’ve never had before, and they are fussy about cleaning products 🙂 The only thing that I have found so far that works well on my stainless steel appliances is windex…..going to try some homemade versions of this once I’m done with the gallon of windex I currently have on hand. For the granite countertops & stone tile backsplash I have found that my normal “all purpose cleaner” works great …..what is that cleaner you may ask? A spray bottle with vinegar….straight vinegar……in it. (I have learned to make infused vinegar from my friend Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom and am using that now). I also use this “all purpose cleaner” for my bathrooms. I do still use a commercial toilet cleaner….but may start using a straight bleach gel…just need to figure out how to get it onto the sides of the toilet. For the glass shower doors when we moved in there were some hard water deposits on the doors, so I scrubbed with Bar Keeper’s Friend powdered cleanser and a gentle nylon scrubber pad until almost all of the deposits were gone. And we squeegie off the doors after every single shower now. I did notice this morning when I took my shower that there is a bit of a tackiness to the doors….I’m 99% sure that that is a soap buildup, so I’m going to try my straight vinegar to see if it cleans it. If not, I just read about a fantastic soap scum remover….equal parts white vinegar and DAWN dish soap (the brand does matter in this case….look for those coupons folks), so I will try that if the vnegar doesn’t work.
As a scouring powder in my sinks and stuck on stuff in pans and baking sheets I use straight baking soda with a little bit of the vinegar sprayed on it.
For laundry I have used plain white vinegar for YEARS (I used to use a downy ball, bu t my new washer (have had it for a little over a year) has a fabric softener dispenser, so I use that now. Over the years I have tried different homemade laundry detergents and have had problems with over a period of a few months they just aren’t working as well, and my whites and lights are turning gray and getting dingy. I know that this is from the hard water. I have finally found a homemade laundry detergent that combats that particular issue by including baking soda. I made what is probably a 3-5 month supply for well under $20….I normally spend $20 per month just on laundry detergent….it would be great to spend that for 3-5 months! 🙂
Here is the recipe for the homemade laundry detergent that I use. The only difference is that after I grated the soap, I ran the soap through my food processor with the borax to grind it up and mix it in better. I also didn’t use the purex crystals because I couldn’t find them, and I like the fresh clean smell of the detergent without them.
In my laundry room I have the detergent in a pretty apothecary jar with my jug of vinegar (which I am now infusing with lavendar from the garden to see how that smells….I will run it through a strainer before putting it into the wash machine.
Here is the lavendar that M and D harvested for me over the weekend….
I have some of that lavendar in the jug of vinegar that is used in my laundry pictured above, and then I also have some in a jar with vinegar to be put into my spray bottle in the kitchen and bathroom….some in my baking soda shaker to infuse it’s goodness into the “scouring powder”, and I also put some into my hand soap mixture that I use in my handsoap dispensers at the sinks. I also have some citrus peels that are making a citrus-infused vinegar….
Do you have natural cleaners that you use? What are they? PLEASE share 🙂