Making your own household cleaners is not only a great way to save money, but it helps to get rid of harsh chemicals in your home. Homemade cleaners are easy on the environment and your home — which means your kids can get in on the cleaning action and you won’t have to worry about what they’re breathing in. Double win!
These 3 homemade cleaner recipes can just about replace everything you have in your cleaning arsenal. If you’re unsure about using them on your surfaces, test them in a small area before cleaning the entire surface.
Easy Homemade Glass Cleaner
2 cups water
1/2 cup Ammonia
Essential Oils (optional)
Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle. If using essential oils, citrus oils are a great option, as they smell fresh and clean and they help to disinfect.
Use as you would store bought glass cleaner — but use newspapers to wipe your windows clean. This will help you obtain streak free windows, without all the elbow grease!
Homemade Oven Cleaner
2-3 Tablespoons liquid soap, such as dish soap or Castille.
1½ cups Baking Soda
2 Tablespoons Salt
¼ cup Vinegar
Water (if needed)
Combine the soap, baking soda, salt in a bowl.
Add in the vinegar, just a little at a time as it will fizz, until it forms a paste. If the mixture is too thick to spread, add in a little bit of water.
Spread the natural oven cleaner all over your oven using a pastry brush, covering it completely.
For best results, let it sit for more than 4 hours.
Then you’re able to wipe it off and enjoy your naturally clean oven! Go ahead and bake yourself cake to celebrate!
Homemade All Purpose Cleaner
1 cup water
1 cup vinegar (White Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar both work)
10 – 20 drops Essential Oils such as Lemongrass or Lavender (these are optional, however they help your cleaner smell fresher, and can also help with disinfecting)
Combine all of the ingredients In a spray bottle and shake so the essential oils will mix in.
Maybe you’re a teacher who uses whiteboards at school. Maybe you’re a parent who keeps a grocery list or to-do list whiteboard up in your kitchen. Maybe your kids have whiteboards to play with in their art area. At any rate, you might find out that you’re blowing through your stash of dry erase markers much faster than you’d care to replace them. Before you head to the store to buy more, try one or more of these tips below! You may end up getting a few more weeks or months out of your markers than you thought possible!
- Store them differently. Do you store them vertically, tip-up? Gravity drains the ink down to the bottom, away from the tip, so when you go to use markers stored this way, they may seem dry, when really the ink is just all at the bottom! Store them tip-down until they work again, and then store them on their sides, horizontally, from then on.
- Dip tip in alcohol. If your marker isn’t water-based (it will say this on the packaging), dip the tip in rubbing alcohol or acetone nail polish remover. The ink might have dried into a crust on the pen tip, and alcohol will dissolve this gunk and allow the ink to flow freely again. Make sure you test an alcohol-dipped pen on a small section on your whiteboard to ensure it won’t damage it. If this doesn’t work:
- Snip off the tip. But not too much! Use scissors to snip off just the part covered in crusty ink.
- Clean your whiteboard. Do you only use your eraser on your board, but have never really wiped it clean with anything else? Leftover dried ink and dust can make it hard for new things to be written on your whiteboard. Use a whiteboard cleaner and clean rag to scrub your whiteboard clean! Get off all the old streaks and marks that you can. Let it dry, and try writing on it again.
Hopefully these tips help you extend the life of your dry erase markers for a while longer!
Maybe you dislike using store-bought cleaners that smell weird and are full of chemicals you can’t pronounce and aren’t even disclosed on the bottle. Maybe you want to do your part in saving the environment and want to use something that’s eco-friendly and won’t kill small furry animals when the runoff gets dumped into the local river. Maybe you love store-bought cleaners, but it’s 1am and your kid has vomited on your floor three times in the last five minutes and you’re out of cleaner and all the stores are closed and you need something now. Hot water, a washcloth, and a heck of a lot of scrubbing is good in a pinch, but certain mishaps often require something a little stronger. Try the recipe below!
Mix one-half cup vinegar and one-quarter cup baking soda into one-half gallon of water. Shake it, stir it, do whatever is necessary to dissolve the baking soda all the way. Store or use immediately. This works fairly well on almost anything in a bathroom made of tile, and most other hard surfaces. Nasty water rings on the bathtub you really, maybe, probably should have cleaned a few months ago? Sayonara, baby.
Cleaning carpet and other fabrics with this solution are not recommended. While this solution is fairly diluted, vinegar is acidic and can munch away at delicate fabric fibers and other less durable materials. As always, test clean a small, discreet spot first if you’re not sure if your cleaner will suddenly eat a gaping hole in the finish of the antique sewing machine table your toddler decided to scribble crayon all over. And even though baking soda and vinegar and generally gentle on skin, you probably should avoid taking a bath in gallons of the stuff. However, overall, this is a cheap, basic, effective all-purpose cleaner for most things around your home.
I’d like to think most people are like me and never clean their microwave. It’s one of those chores that gets pushed to the bottom of the cleaning list every day because, you know, who sticks cleaning a microwave on their priority list? But every time I visit someone’s house, their microwave is sparkling clean. Maybe I’m just the messy one with a bunch of neat freak friends. But anyway, after learning this super cheap and easy way to clean a microwave, I don’t have any more excuses! Well, other than being lazy, but that’s my excuse for everything. 😉
Actually, this isn’t too bad compared to how it’s looked in the past. Still nasty though.
Actually I guess Step Zero would be “Have a dirty microwave,” but that’s kind of a given for this. Anyway. Vinegar has long been known as a natural cleaner—its acidity helps eat away at grime without (usually) hurting the surface you’re cleaning. Mix up a solution of half white vinegar and half water in a microwave safe bowl (note that your vinegar does not, in fact, need to come from a giant Costco-sized jug as mine does). Pop the bowl in the microwave for about two minutes on high.
Be careful! The water is hot, something that should be obvious but becomes REALLY obvious if you accidentally splash some on your pants (guess how I know this). Remove the bowl from the microwave and dip a sponge into the water. You can either wait for the sponge to cool down a little or wear gloves to keep from burning your hands.
Squeaky clean. Now I can have people over and brag about my clean microwave.
Wipe down your microwave. I was surprised at how easily the grime came right off, even the stuff that was really stuck! Microwaving the vinegar and water solution caused it to steam in the microwave, loosening all that grime in every little corner without you having to get in there at weird angles with an old toothbrush. And there you go—you’ve cleaned your microwave in about 5 minutes without having to go buy some super expensive microwave cleaner. Hooray!
It’s that time of year again. That time when you can open a door or a window to get some fresh air without getting hypothermia. That means you can also clear your living area of the things stored from not wanting to freeze to death on the way to the trash can.
For the sake of your sanity, don’t try to do your spring cleaning and organization all in one day. It doesn’t matter if you have kids or not. It doesn’t matter if you live in a house or an apartment. Chances are that you have collected enough clutter over the course of the year to justify breaking your spring projects down to a day to day affair. One day is the kitchen. The next is closets. To be honest, I have one day dedicated to junk drawers. If there is a drawer (kitchen, bathroom, or desk) it has become a catch all. I need all day to discover what I have hidden in there.
Make a list of organizational tools you will need to pick up as you go from room to room. You may need hangers or hanging door hooks for the closet. You may need a few more laundry baskets. Then go to the store and get only what is on the list. Remember as cute as it looks you didn’t put the bamboo shoe organizer on the list. Walk away from temptation.
Throw Away Comes Last
Ever been cleaning and find the second half of something that you threw away an hour ago or yesterday? It was something you could have used. It’s something you are now going to need to replace. It’s something you are going to be frustrated about all day. For the sake of your wallet and state of mind, don’t get rid of anything until the very end of cleaning and organization. This may mean that one room (most likely your bedroom) will become a catch all for a few days, but it will only be a few days and can save you money.
How do you tackle your spring cleaning?
Happy New Year everybody! Now is the time for new beginnings, resolutions and starting the year off right. It’s also a great time to give your home a good de-cluttering. You see New Year is a good deal like being a bride. You have things that are old, new, borrowed and (in the fridge) blue. Since it’s the most likely to be the most disgusting, we can start with the blue.
Time to clean out the fridge, cupboards and under the couch. If you have a junk drawer it’s time to clean that out as well. These are most likely the places that you will find old food growing its own eco system. Clean until you see the bottom of what you are cleaning and then give the bottom a good scrub.
Time to give stuff that isn’t ours back. It may have been that turkey pan that you borrowed from your mom. It could be a DVD that you borrowed from a friend on Halloween. It’s a good time to send all the things that aren’t really your property back to their rightful owners.
Time to get rid of old clutter. Old baby clothes need to go to the a thrift store or to someone who has a child in that age group. Old toys can be donated to a child care center or to a church nursery. Old clothes (or clothes that we have no chance of fitting into this year) can also be sent on their way.
The last thing that needs to be done is finding homes inside your home for all the new items you have obtained during the holidays. This could mean hanging your cookware on the wall or putting your children’s stuffed animals in a hammock above the foot of their bed. Congratulations! Your home should now be organized for a new year.
I love to prepare for Chinese New Year. It is a holiday not just full of fun and festivity, but also full of good habits and practical life application.
Starting the new lunar year means to sweep out all the old dust and to get the house as clean as possible for a new start. I call it my winter cleaning. It makes spring cleaning much easier. Things are more organized so I don’t find myself overbuying things I want, need, or already have. There is less clutter and it helps remind me to maintain my home. For example I change smoke alarm batteries and air filters in the air conditioning.
The Chinese New Year is also a time to pull myself out of debt. Whether it is five dollars I owe a friend or an outstanding gas bill payment, my goal is to have it paid off by the lunar new year. With that goal in mind I can plan to set that money aside (even if it hurts a little). It also helps me to avoid new debts that may be tempting me.
In With The New
My own personal addition to these festivities are taking inventory of what I want new this year. After we have counted Christmas gifts, taken inventory of what we already have, and thrown out the things we don’t want, the list of what we do want new is much shorter. Next we own why we want an item and if we will actually make use of it. We also make sure we finish projects to make room for other projects.
What are your plans to prepare for Chinese New Year?
Those little gel and powder packs that are sold in stores to clean garbage disposals are pretty awesome. They do a great job, but like always if there is an alternative that can save me money, I am all about that! And these little homemade jewels are super easy and cost very little to make.
In addition to this, it’s also easy to drop orange and lemon peels into the disposal and turn on. But this recipe is so simple and so nice to have around for more in depth cleaning.
This one not only cleans but sharpens the blades which helps food to be broken down to go easier!
What You Need
What To Do
1. Fill the tray up 3/4th of the way with water, 1/4 with vinegar.
2. Cut up your lemons into enough pieces for each ice cube. Drop into water/vinegar mixture.
4. Drop into your garbage disposal and turn on.