|No fancy cleaning supplies here!|
I don't buy a lot of cleaning supplies. I also don't make a lot of cleaning supplies. The homemade cleaning supplies, while natural, are not so much cheaper as they are time consuming. I once had a stack (well, a Crackberry file) of "recipes" for different cleaning products. Now I don't. My theory is that I am busy enough and I don't need to break my spirit by sweating the small stuff. If it is too hard, too time consuming or too ineffective I will give up so I work to "keep it simple stupid" by simplifying my cleaning routines AND products. My routine is clean, green, cheap and easy. Here are the only cleaning supplies I buy:
*Costco environmentally friendly dish detergent for hand washing dishes
*Finish dishwasher tabs (I found a that salt recipe didn't work at all, need to find another one)
*Country Save laundry detergent and oxybleach
*Vodka, the cheapest that can be found
I have a love affair with Dr. Bronner. Well, his soap anyway. I make most of my cleaning supplies with his stuff. You'll want to get some foaming pump dispensers. I bought mine at Target (Dial brand, but I'm not brand loyal) for less than two dollars and once the Trisoclan soap was gone, rinsed well and refilled. I have scores of these. If you are really freaked out by Trisoclan, then dump it out and rinse it out and consider the $1.89 the price for the pump and don't worry about wasting the soap. The couple of bucks might be worth your comfort.
Body wash and hand soap: half water and half Bronner's in a foaming dispenser. That's it. I put the water in first and since the bottle is tapered it actually more like 60% water and 40% soap. It foams beautifully and works well. I have a pump at every sink and in the showers. The boys prefer the peppermint but the girls and I prefer lavender or almond. Another great use for the soap pump in the bathroom? I use it to rinse ballet leotards, hose, lingerie and *ahem* other feminine items like cloth pads. If you are going to use it as body wash, do NOT use the peppermint. It is, uh, harsh on the undercarriage.
General Cleaning spray: in a sturdy one liter bottle I am using five parts or so water to one part Bronner's with a hefty splash of rot gut vodka. I use to use more soap but the kids over spray when they clean. The vodka kills germs but is totally non-toxic (well, maybe not totally). We clean bathrooms, mirrors, windows, counters, tables, floors and toilets with this. I pour some in the toilet, scrub, soak, flush and it is done. To mop, I spray the floor, mop it and then rinse the mop in water (a sink, usually). Done! Who needs fancy electric mops? I also use this same formula in our small carpet cleaning machine on rugs, mattresses and upholstery. I have ten children and sometimes they do things like wet the bed, vomit or get bloody noses. Add relatives coming at Christmas with tons of candy and junk food and sometimes we get all three at once!
Chrome cleaner: straight vodka. Yes, the cheap nasty stuff I buy for cleaning smells just like hand sanitizer but the odor dissipates quickly enough.
Delicates wash for laundry: I use a tablespoon of Dr. Bronner's in my HE clothes washer. Need to wash a lambskin? This works beautifully.
Gritty scrub for serious cleaning: one tablespoon each Bronner's and baking soda and a cheap scrub brush.
Baby wipe solution: this goes in another one liter spray bottle (you might use less, in fact I am betting on it) and just one tablespoon of Bronner's and another of vitamin E. The longer I have kids, the easier my spray gets. By the way, do NOT use peppermint! It has quite the burn and baby doesn't want it.
There are a few things that aren't Bronner-rized around here. The diapers are washed with Country Save since it is clean rinsing and I do plan to experiment with Bronner's on those, too. The dishes are washed with regular soap, though hubby wants to try Bronner's on that, too. But the rest of my house runs on Bronner's and it is pretty clean, to boot. That's the dirt on my dirt and what I do about it. So keep it simple, stupid, and you'll have more time to romp through the web. How do you KISS your cleaning routine?