Think you can’t feed your family on less than $300 with nutritious, fresh foods?
I know, I said we have a Grocery budget of $300, but really, it’s more than that. Included in our $300 is groceries, cleaning supplies, baby stuff, and toiletries. I addressed how keep to a budget on groceries in part 1, but today I want to address the second component of stretching our “everything” grocery budget – making some (not all) of our cleaners by hand!
I have tried lots and lots of homemade cleaners, and I’ve loved some and hated some. Currently, I use these recipes, but there are some things, like dishwasher detergent, that just don’t work. I have tried recipe after recipe, but can’t find one that works. So, here are my recipes that can be made for a fraction of the cost of store-bought cleaners!
Homemade Cleaners – I believe that the simplest cleaners are best. Maybe I’m the crunchy, granola type, but ever since Baby RB40 came along I have been super concerned with keeping chemicals our of our house. And saving money. I love saving money!
Really, you only need a few basic things to keep your house sparkling clean for a fraction of the cost of store-bought cleaners! Check out my favorite recipes below:
- Laundry Detergent: 1 box borax, 1 box Washing Soda, 2 boxes baking soda, 2 bars grated Zote or Ivory Soap, 1 tub OxyClean, 1 container Downy Unstoppables. The Unstoppables are really not necessary, but they are a compromise I make with The Big Guy. He needs his clothes to smell super clean, so I mix them in. Spending the extra money on them makes it worth it because of the savings. 3 jugs of laundry detergent @ $15 = $45. One year of homemade = $20. Savings = a minimum of $25!
- Glass Cleaner: ½ cup water, ½ cup vinegar, and a few drops of Dawn Dish Soap. Watch your streak free glass and be amazed!
- Toilet Cleaner: 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar. Combine the ingredients in a large bowl and then dump them all in the toilet bowl. Let them sit and then flush.
- Carpet Cleaner: Vinegar! Put in in the cleaning chemical bin of your carpet cleaner or add it directly to the water and go to town!
- Laundry Stain Remover: 1 part Dawn Dish soap, 2 parts Hydrogen Peroxide (use 3 parts Hydrogen Peroxide for really tough stains!) Always test this on an unnoticeable part of the fabric first. But, with this recipe I have gotten some really set-in stains out of toys and clothes!
- “Everything Scrub”: 6 Tbsp. Baking Soda, 5 Tbsp. Vinegar, and 4-5 drops of Dawn Dish Soap. Mix it all into a paste – nothing special! Use it to coat set-in grime on your stove and oven, and let it sit for 15 minutes. (More if it’s really bad) Use a scrub sponge when you go to take the past off and you will be shocked at how easy the grime comes off!
- Floor Cleaner: Water. Seriously, your floors don’t need much else. If you have a kiddo crawling around on them, consider adding ½ a cup of vinegar into the mix for a deeper clean, but truly, your floors don’t need anything else!
- Stainless Steel Cleaner: 1 c. baking soda, ¼ cup lemon juice, 3 Tbsp. Borax, Club Soda. Mix the baking soda, lemon juice, and borax. Add in club soda until the cleaner reaches your desired consistency. Wipe on and wipe off – it’s that easy!
One thing I DO NOT make myself is homemade dishwasher detergent. I have tried and tried to find one that works, but so far nothing but the store bought harsh stuff will take breastmilk off of bottles (TMI?). The nipples get all cloudy, and then I don’t want the baby to use them. They’re probably clean, but I like them to look clean too!
So, what do you think? Have you ever made your own cleaners? Like me, are they’re some you’re totally ok with making yourself, and some you absolutely will not? I would love to hear about your favorite!
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Cash Cow Couple says
Love this list of awesome cleaners. I’m a big fan of vinegar+orange peels. Cleans everything!
[email protected] says
so true! I love the smell the orange peels give off…most of the time i’m a bit too lazy to make it happen though :-(
[email protected] says
I don’t make my own cleaners but I don’t use that many cleaners either. I mop my floors with a steam mop- best clean ever and all it uses is steam! =)
[email protected] says
Oooh, I’ve heard good things about the steam mops….can you use it on hardwood?
DC @ Young Adult Money says
I’m willing to admit we are too lazy to make our own home-made cleaners. We do buy things on discount and try to get the most “natural” cleaning products versus some of the harsher stuff.
[email protected] says
Hey, you gotta do what works! For some people, it just isn’t worth it. However, since we’re on a tight budget we kind of have no choice…lol
Bernadyn @ B is For... says
Pinned this! Thanks for these cleaning solution tips! I make my own, too, but haven’t made my own laundry detergent but I’ve been wanting to. I use vinegar, Dawn and baking soda for most everything, as well. Found you at Creative Mondays and now following on Pinterest. :)
[email protected] says
I really can’t tell a difference between the homemade laundry detergent and the store bought stuff – except for price, of course! Dawn and baking soda sure do take care of most anything!
I haven’t done much with making my own cleaners, but I do make a lot of my own gardening supplies for bugs and weeds.
[email protected] says
Nice! I’ve heard of using vinegar and epsom salts in the garden before…how well do they work?
I love using the vinegar water on my flowers and peppers up near the house. There’s this little beetle that comes in and DESTROYS my black eyed susans if I don’t. It works really well on everything except the bees and caterpillars. But I’ll take a few caterpillars eating leaves over spraying who-knows-what on the peppers that we’ll be eating.
Ritchil Shafer (Cheng and 3 Kids) says
I’ve never tried making my own cleaners but I’m trying this for sure! Thanks for sharing!
Helen Neale (@KiddyCharts) says
Never even thought of making our own cleaners – cheers for enlightening m :-D Thanks so much for linking this up to the Parenting Pin it Party this week too. xx
Mr. Fund says
We made our own laundry detergent– A (grated) bar of fels-naphtha soap, washing soda, borax, and water. We keep it right next to the washer in a five-gallon bucket (with a sealing lid, so the Fund Kiddos can’t get into it), and dip out a scoop when we start the wash. It kind of half-way gelled up, so it’s not quite sloshing around in the bucket. It’s super-concentrated and SO CHEAP. That 5-gallon bucket literally cost us under $10 over a year ago, it’s still about 1/3 full (we do laundry about twice/week); AND we still have mostly full boxes of washing soda and borax in the cupboard for when we’ll make more– all we’ll need to do is pick up another bar of soap for $1.
Mrs. Fund really likes her orange vinegar– she just saves orange peels from when we happen to have oranges, puts them in a mason jar and fills it up with distilled white vinegar just so the peels are covered. After a few days (or a week, or whenever she feels like getting around to it ;) ) she strains the peels out and puts it into an old windex bottle. I think she keeps any extra in the fridge, in a spare glass jar.
I’m partial to using plain ammonia/water as a cleaner (stains in the carpet, window cleaning, etc.), but Mrs Fund insists that it stinks like stale urine, so I don’t use it as often as I would otherwise.
I use vinegar like it is going out of style. It is the one thing that is always on my shopping list because it is so versatile (you can even use it to clear a clogged drain!)
Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!
Melissa French, The More With Less Mom says
I have been slowly weeding out things we spend money on that we don’t have to. I haven’t eliminated toilet paper yet. Thanks for sharing. Hello from Craft Frenzy Friday!
I make our cleaners. And you can get Sweet Orange EO and then not have to have orange peels on hand. Best home made “Goo Gone” every…baking soda, orange oil, and coconut oil. I usually take about half cup coconut oil, 3 or 4 T of baking soda, and a few drops of Sweet Orange EO. Works great, and much easier to clean up. Took the labels right off. Also, if you work on a car and get greasy hands, Coconut oil takes it right off, and makes you hands feel GREAT. And if you need some scrubber in it, just add baking soda. Also a really good exfoliant for your hands or face, coconut oil and baking soda. For your face only use about a 1/4 tsp per T of coconut oil.
Louise J. says
Homemade cleaners are truly the best! You save money and live more ecologically! I love natural cleaners! Thank you for the post! I advice everybody who didn’t try to use them to do try the homemade cleaners!
They are so much healthier and cheaper, too!
Great recipes! Thank you so much! Can I ask, where have you found good deals on vinegar? I go through mine so fast and haven’t found it reasonably priced anywhere.
In our area, vinegar is only $1.99 a gallon. But I’ve heard that in some parts of the country it’s way more expensive!
Cassie R says
This is an OLD post so this may not even get seen, but I thought I’d let you know– vinegar+baking soda=water with a little salt. Not much cleaning power there. Yes, it fizzes. But that does nothing. (not my blog):
Nancy Winningham says
Just read this, and yes, I love homemade cleaners. My kitchen appliances are all stainless steel, and I use just a little bit of either baby oil or mineral oil on and old cloth to clean them. Works like a charm.