Save money, the environment and your families health by making your own cleaning products!
With a growing awareness of the chemical overload we are all surrounded by, there has been a developing interest in homemade cleaning products. I took an interest in this a few years ago a) as a way to save money and b) a way to control the amount of harsh chemicals being used in our household.
I have spent several years tweaking and developing my own recipes and mixes and have found a lot of these basic cleaning products are as good as or even better than commercially available products. The best bit is that so many cleaning purposes are covered by so few base chemicals so you really only need a few things to hand!
My main ingredients that I keep on hand are:
Sodium Bi-carbonate (baking soda)
Sodium Carbonate Dense (Also known as washing soda or Soda ash but I use Soda Ash Dense as it is more concentrate- there is another product called soda ash 'Light' which is not as concentrate and is not the same thing as 'Dense')
Essential oils (cause I like pretty smells!) My favourites are the Dolphin Clinic Essential Oil Blends- all of them smell amazing
Dr Bronners Sal Suds
Dr Bronners Castile Liquid Soap
Let me share a few of my recipes (will add more as I have the time to write them out).
Please remember to use caution when mixing your chemicals- don't mix them on food prep areas such as the kitchen. It is a good idea to wear gloves as the pH is high in many of them so your hands won't thank you. A dust mask is also a good idea if you have one handy while you mix them up.
Always store chemicals out of reach of children and animals.
Laundry washing powder
(This free recipe is slightly different to our pre-made powder recipe that we sell)
This does the trick even in cold water (I am fussy) & doesn't leave undissolved flecks:
Basic recipe if you don’t want to use Sodium Bi-carbonate (some cloth nappy companies say not to use it on their products):
- Sodium Carbonate: 4 cups if you use Soda Ash Dense
- Sodium Per-carbonate: 1 Cup
*mix and use 1 tablespoon per load approx
(This is an all purpose mix that can be used for general household laundry and isn’t quite as concentrate)
- 3 cup (Sodium bi-carbonate) Baking Soda
- 3 Cup (sodium Carbonate) Soda Ash Dense
- 1 cup Sodium per-carbonate
You can add or leave out: (play around and see what works for you)
- 1 teaspoon of Dr Bronners Sal Suds- this is a super charged degreaser that will boost your detergent ingredients and banish any greasy stains or build up (add the teaspoon to the detergent dispenser before you start your washing load)
- 1/2 cup of Citric Acid can also be added for extra fabric softening.
- 1/2 cup of Borax to boost cleaning and bleaching.
- 2 or 3 drops of Essential oil- add to the dry powder in your detergent dispenser of your machine
*Mix and use one of those small concentrate scoops per large 7kg load
*****NOTES: Washing soda, Soda Ash 'light' and Soda Ash 'Dense' are all Sodium Carbonate- the difference is that Soda ash 'Dense' is more concentrate and is a finer powder than washing soda which is why I prefer to use it. Washing soda is more of a chunky crystal and takes longer to dissolve so I think isn’t quite as effective for making home made powder.
Sodium Percarbonate is an Oxygen bleach- you can use it on its own for fantastic whitening, stripping and defunking. It works best in warm to hot water and about 4 tablespoons in a bucket of water is about right for an overnight soak- your inserts will love it!
These recipes are not scented and it does take some getting used to the smell of clean, unscented laundry. If you would like a little bit of fragrance I recommend adding a few drops of essential oils to your powder dispenser.
Great oils are ones with anti-bacterial properties such as Lavender or Tea tree or for pretty smells a mix of Lavender, Neroli, Palmarosa, rosewood, patchouli, orange, jasmine.
An excellent mix if you want to just buy 2 bottles of oil is lavender and Dolphin clinic brand “Sheer Bliss” which has Rosewood, Palmarosa, Orange and Neroli essential oils, & Jasmine fragrant oil.
**please note that these powders are not suitable for delicates such as wool or silk. I have been using them for over 5 years now and have found them to be excellent at cleaning, completely safe for septic systems, low allergy and safe on most fabrics and colours. I have used them on MCNs (modern cloth nappies) for over 2.5years HOWEVER- you use these recipes at your own risk... if you aren't sure about certain fabrics then it pays to be cautious and do a test run.
Automatic Dishwasher powder
- 1 cup Sodium Carbonate (Soda Ash Dense)
- 1 cup Sodium Bi-Carbonate (Baking soda)
- 1/2 Cup Sodium Per-carbonate
- 1/2 cup Borax
- 1/2 cup Citric Acid
mix in a bowl and keep in a sealed container out of the reach of children and animals. Use 1 tablespoon per load.
Use White Vinegar as Rinse Aid. You can also add a couple of drops of Dr Bronners Sal Suds too for extra degreasing power
Household Surface Cleaning Spray
This is so easy and will enable to you banish those eye watering supermarket sprays!
Simply keep an empty trigger spray to reuse. Add:
- 2 teaspoons of Baking Soda
- 2 teaspoons Dr Bronners Sal Suds
top up with water and use as needed. You can add a couple of drops of your favourite anti bacterial essential oils such as lavender or tea tree. This is safe to use on food surfaces such as the kitchen and works wonders as a bathroom cleaner- you will be most pleasantly surprised at how effective it is on bath and shower scum. For initial heavy cleaning of showers and baths, try a more concentrate dilution of the Sal Suds.
If you use our Dr Bronners Liquid Castile Soap in the shower to clean yourself you can save time and effort by putting a few drops on a cloth while you are in the shower and doing a quick wipe down- yes, The Dr Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap is FANTASTIC for removing shower build up too! Hows that for multi-purpose cleaning! And once again- no nasties... you don't feel your chest closing up with those horrid cleaning fumes.... in fact, you might be rewarded with peppermint, lavender or Rose (depending on the scent of your soap).
Do you have dark stains in your loo?? Does it drive you bonkers?
They aren't actually stains & are no reflection of your cleaning skills, it is caused by mineral deposits from your water... Mostly a lime build up & is particularly bad if you have hard water. We happen to have hard water so these stains have been the bane of my life BUT I found a solution a few years ago that actually worked. Having cleaned it off our toilets again this week (should have taken before and after photos!) it's something I feel must be shared!! So get those gloves ready...
This is so simple & easy, is safe for septic tanks & won't have you gagging with stinky chemical cleaners!
You want to do this late at night before you go to bed...
- flush your toilet
- Add a cup of white vinegar
- Add half a cup of Borax powder
- give a quick scrub of the toilet with your toilet brush
- go to bed and leave this overnight to do its magic... in fact you can leave this for a few days if you want (yes, you can use the toilet in the meantime)
- put your gloves on and grab a normal butter knife
- flush toilet
- now get in there with your gloves and knife- use the point of the knife to gently break up the borax (it will have formed a crust) then dig the point of the knife gently into the lime scale stain... it will just crack & flake off pretty easy!! AMAZING!! just keep chipping away and breaking it off... break it up and flush.
And voilà!!! A toilet you can be proud of next time your guests want to use it hehehe.