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.
How is it that no matter your age, blowing bubbles just doesn’t get old?!
Well, recently my daughter received one of those bottles of bubble fun as a gift and we got hooked–all over again! The one thing that bothered me most was the smell of the stuff! It smelled like Febreeze! We still used it to play outside. But, every time I took that little bottle out, I told myself (and my family) that I HAD to find out how to make our own so that I could get rid of what we had…and, thanks to the vast resources available on the internet, I did it!
I needed a “recipe” that didn’t require me to go buy anything. We were just playing around and I wanted to make it happen quickly without any big production. Many of the recipes I found required two things I didn’t have: glycerin and corn syrup. Seriously, how many people have glycerin sitting on a shelf somewhere in their home? I could be wrong. What matters is that I don’t. And, we do not buy corn syrup. Uh, we will save the explanation for that in a post on The Bad News About Corn Syrup 😉
That said, I finally found one that worked for us!
1/2 cup of Eco-friendly dish detergent (if your detergent is concentrate cut the amount in half)
5 cups of soft water or distilled water
2 tablespoons of vegetable glycerin or light corn syrup or honey (*corn syrup or honey can attract bees and wasps)
I just used our dish detergent, which isn’t eco-friendly right now. It’s just Palmolive. And, I used water. I cut this recipe in half because I simply didn’t need so much of this stuff. Quite honestly, after making it, I realized I should have quartered the recipe.
In any case, it worked! We have bubbles without the Febreeze smell. Here’s on tip though. After mixing it all up, let it sit for a while. I thought shaking it would help make the bubbles. But, it didn’t take long to realize that I was wrong about that. Mix it or shake it. Then, let it sit. When it’s time to blow the bubbles, don’t shake or mix anymore, just blow bubbles! And, have fun! 🙂
Who doesn’t love blowing bubbles, especially when you can know exactly what’s in it?
I just scored a FANTASTIC deal on Green Works toilet bowl cleaner at Target this weekend. It was a couponing trifecta: 1) sale price, 2) manufacturer coupon AND 3) store coupon all working together to get me a bottle of cleaner I could feel good about using for ONLY $0.29!!! Here’s how you can do the same thing:
Green Works Toilet Bowl Cleaner $2.29, On Sale through 5/5
Use 1 $1.00/1 – Green Works Product, any – (greenworks.com)
And use 1 $1.00/1 Green Works Laundry Care, Cleaning, or Dish Soap item, Target Coupon from Target Mobile Coupon text OFFERS to 827438
Final Price: $0.29
You can get an AMAZING deal on Seventh Generation products at Toys R Us and Babies R Us TODAY ONLY! Seventh Generation cleaning and laundry items are on sale, buy one get one free. Use a coupon with the sale to score two products for just $0.74 each! (To print your coupon, you’ll have to register on the Seventh Generation website.) Here’s how the deal works:
Seventh Generation Surface Wipes, 32 ct $2.98, Regular Price
Seventh Generation Surface Spray, 26 oz $2.98, Regular Price
Buy One Get One Free, 4/13 & 4/14 Only
Use 2 $0.75/1 – Seventh Generation Household, Baby or Personal Care product – (seventhgeneration.com)
Final Price: $0.74 each when you buy 2
It’s one of the least appreciated condiments in the grocery store: vinegar. It’s very inexpensive readily available almost everywhere. Yet, to those who are aware of its versatility, vinegar is a treasure!
I am not joking. I LOVE vinegar. In our family, we have used it for cooking, cleaning, skin care and even as a pest repellant. Did you know that it has more than 150 uses? I won’t list that many. But, in case you have yet to discover the wonder of vinegar, I thought I’d share just a few practical uses of this under-appreciated acid.
Chrome and Stainless Steel
Just apply a light mist of undiluted white vinegar from a spray bottle. Buff with a soft cloth and enjoy the shine.
If you have a lot of mildew, use it full strength. However, for lighter stains, dilute it with an equal amount of water.
Using vinegar with baking soda is much easier on pipes than most anything you’d buy at the store. It’s also far less expensive!
- To clear clogs in sink and tub drains, pour in 1/2 cup baking soda followed by 1 cup vinegar. When it stops foaming, flush with hot tap water. Wait five minutes. Then flush again with cold water.
- To speed up a slow drain, pour in 1/2 cup salt followed by 2 cups boiling vinegar, then flush with hot and cold tap water.
Brush your rug with a clean push broom dipped in a mix of 1 cup white vinegar in 1 gallon water. Your faded rug will perk up, without having to rinse of the solution!
Mix 1 pint warm water, 4 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a container. Shake it well and apply with a soft cloth. Let it sit on the wood for several minutes before you polish with a dry cloth.
There are so many uses for vinegar. Reader’s Digest offers 150 here. As for me, as part of my Christmas clean up routine, I’m cleaning my bathrooms with vinegar today. I’ll also be trying it on my wood and rug for the first time.
How have you used vinegar around the house lately?