When I ditched the corporate world for the glamorous (heh) freelance life last summer, I became a woman possessed. Sure, I was focused on lining up work but my real obsession was with saving money now that our steady income was, shall I say, “in transition.” As I was forking over seemingly tons of money for non-toxic cleaning supplies at my local food co-op (don’t even get me started on that rant), it dawned on me that I could make something that would work and save money. Hmm … work, save money … was I talking about cleaning products or me?
So, I went home empty-handed and started researching make-it-yourself non-toxic cleaning items. After all, women used age-old cleaning formulas for generations probably because the chemistry was right. And non-toxic cleaning is safe, it works, it doesn’t pollute — and if you remember my original goal — it saves money. It really does. I was surprised to learn that ounce for ounce, homemade cleaning formulas cost about one-tenth the price of their commercial counterparts.
Over the past year, I’ve conjured up my inner “Kitchen McGyver” and assembled my own non-toxic cleaning kit. So many friends and family members have noticed, that I’ve started packaging these as gifts. Making your own non-toxic cleaning kit will take not time at all with these simple, straight-forward directions. This kit will supply you with enough cleaning products for months of cleaning. I’m providing five ideas here, and will contribute more in my posts along the way.
1/3 c. rubbing alcohol
1/3 c. ammonia
1/3 T. liquid dish soap
3-1/3 c. warm water
Several drops essential oil (orange or lavender are good options)
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and gently shake to mix.
1/2 t. liquid detergent
3 T. white vinegar
2 c. water
Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use as you would a commercial brand. The soap in this recipe is important. It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.
1/4 c. baking soda
1/2 c. vinegar
This one was too simple to believe and is my absolute favorite. Simply pour baking soda into the drain, followed by vinegar. The kids love to watch the bubbles, as this mixture pushes debris close enough to the top of the drain to pull it out and discard. You can’t bottle this but you can keep these two items side by side in your cleaning bucket.
1/2 t. vegetable or olive oil
1/4 c. lime or lemon juice (vinegar may be substituted)
Mix the ingredients in a glass jar. Dab a soft rag into the solution and wipe onto wood surfaces. Cover the glass jar and store indefinitely.
Faux Soft Scrub
1/3 c. baking soda
2 1/16 T. Borax
2 1/16 T. laundry detergent
Liquid bath soap
Mix dry ingredients with enough liquid soap to make a thick, creamy paste. Transfer to squirt bottle for use.
Author by Kristi Anderson