This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com
In an effort to become more self-sufficient, I decided to try making my own cleaning supplies. Keep in mind, I am used to having multiple cleaning products under the sink: grease cutter, glass cleaner, floor cleaner, air freshener, etc. If it wasn’t a known name brand I avoided it.
THE PLAN: Use only home made cleaners for one week, no harsh detergents and see if there are any notable differences.
PROCEDURE: I acquired the following:
Clean spray bottles
RECIPES I MIXED UP:
All purpose kitchen cleaner:
1/8 cup dishwashing liquid
1 cup of water
Add dishwashing liquid to the squirt bottle, add water and shake well. Spray on surfaces and wipe down with rags. Rinse with plain water if necessary.
Use plain baking soda as a scouring powder. Just scrub with a sponge instead of Ajax or other cleanser and rinse with plain water.
1 tablespoon plain bleach
1 gallon of water
Mix the bleach and water and spray on surfaces to disinfect. This mixture will keep its potency for 24 hours. You will need to make a new batch for the next cleanup.
Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup of water. Spray on glass, tub, tile and sink surfaces. Spray on mirror and use crumpled newspaper to wipe down.
Surprisingly, the home made cleaners worked well. The dishwashing liquid/water mixture was actually pretty effective in cleaning greasy stove and counter tops. Scrubbing with baking soda and a scouring pad took out pan crud. One trick that really works is to leave the pans soaking in with warm soapy water before you start scrubbing. (Note: DO NOT use soap on your cast iron pots.)
The vinegar was effective in cleaning the bathroom. I did get a few complaints from the family about the vinegar smell, but they conceded it went away after an hour or so. I used to be really skeptical about using newspaper to clean mirrors, but my mom convinced me to try it. It actually works. It took a bit of elbow grease to make the mirror shine but it did not leave streaks.
I was able to keep the house clean without using commercial brands and harsh detergents. It took a bit more scrubbing to get rid of certain types of dirt, but everything was just as clean. I also noticed less sneezing and skin allergies on my part. Best of all, I saved a few bucks. Overall, I would call this experiment a success. I may never go back to buying commercial cleaners again. Next time, when I am feeling even more ambitious, I will try making home made detergent.
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