Thursday, March 29, 2012

ALL the homemade cleaners from Trisha's Homemade Cleaner Month

So just as a public service I've decided to put all of the homemade cleaner recipes I tried this month in one post rather than make you / myself remember what stupid title I gave to which random entry.  Um, not that any of my titles are stupid, because the lines I quote make me happy.  But it isn't the easiest way to find a post.

You know what I learned this month?  Homemade cleaners are awesome.  Well, I already knew that, but I would never have gone out of my way to make so many different cleaners had it not been for the blog.  Even if I'm the only one who cares.  I also learned that peppermint castile soap is rather lovely.  I would not have guessed that.  Cleaning and then having the house smell all minty?  Is very pleasant.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't thoroughly enjoy this whole ordeal.  I really did.  And I'm so happy with the results as a whole.  There's no going back, I tell you what.

Dishwasher Detergent: The other day I was unloading my dishes and I realized that I was putting them away just assuming that they were clean.  Because I've had very good luck with rinsing off my dishes, my homemade detergent, adding three drops of Dawn to the dispenser and hosing everything down with white vinegar.  I'm not sure if I should really post this recipe or not since what I'm currently using I sort of made it up (read: didn't read the directions very closely), but what the heck:

1 cup Borax
1 cup washing soda

I have some Cascade I'm trying to use up, so I also added a cup of that, and since I messed up, I added a cup of baking soda, too.  Maybe it's not a mess up but my own special dishwashing powder genius!  Take that, The Man!  Oh, except.  I might have read that Borax is terrible for plants.  Is that true?  Because if it is, that bothers me.

Bath, sink and tile cleaner: This was my favorite recipe of the month.  It's just wicked groovy.  It's my best friend.

2/3 cup baking soda
1/2 cup castile soap
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 cup water
A few drops of tea tree oil

Shake like crazy to combine, and then shake like crazy every time you use it.  You're welcome.

Liquid dish soap: This is not particularly sudsy--or, should I say, the suds don't have staying power.  But it works like a champ and is especially pleasant with peppermint castile, just FYI.

1/2 cup castile soap
1 tablespoon white vinegar
A few drops tea tree oil
1-1/2 cups hot water

Shake like crazy to combine, and then shake like crazy every time you use it.  Wait, that sounds awfully familiar...

All purpose cleaner: Ah, I love this stuff.  I use it on practically everything in my kitchen, from floor to counter.

3 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon washing soda
1/2 teaspoon castile soap
2 cups hot water
10 drops tea tree oil

Mix in a spray bottle.  Give it a good shake before using.

Room freshener: Well, this was probably a waste, really, since I hardly ever use room fresheners anyway.  Mostly I was just curious how it would turn out.  Watch where you spray this or you'll end up with baking soda droplets on your TV and windows.  Not that my girls know ANYTHING about that.

2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons baking soda
10-12 drops essential oil (which for me means tea tree)

Combine water and baking soda and stir until dissolved. Add oil.  Place in a re-purposed spray bottle and use liberally.

Homemade laundry detergent: I had the most fun with this little experiment.  I can't believe that a tablespoon of this stuff gets my laundry so nice and clean and fresh.  But it does.  It is NOT sudsy, so keep that in mind.  But it IS awesome.

2 bars Fels Naptha (look in the laundry aisle)
2 cups Borax
2 cups washing soda (NOT baking soda!)

Grate the Fels Naptha in a food processor, then run the blade until it turns into "powder."  It won't actually turn into powder, but more like little soapy yellow beads, which is cool.  Then add the Borax and washing soda, mix it all up, and store in two quart jars.  

Carpet stain remover: This does not get out old stains, but it works pretty well on new stains.  Read: That blueberry Johanna ground into the carpet?  Still there.  That dirty looking blob by the wood stove?  Gone.

1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap (I used peppermint castile soap)
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 cups hot water
5 drops tea tree oil

So mix that around in your re-purposed spray bottle.  To use, spray, then blot with clean, damp cloth and repeat as necessary.  Don't saturate the area or all hell will break loose.  I think.

Window and glass cleaner: This is the very last recipe I tried this month, but I have yet to post it.  Well, I got bored writing just cleaning posts all the time.  This works just as well as the cleaner I was purchasing, so yay me!  At first I wasn't so sure because the mirror looked all streaked, but then all of a sudden it evaporated and my mirror was gorgeous.  Weird.

1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
Few drops of Dawn

Mix that around and then go crazy.

Tub and shower cleaner: Technically this one was from February, but what the heck.  I'm continuously surprised how well this works.  Goodbye, soap scum!  I wish I could get rid of my water stains too, but perhaps that is too big of a wish.

12 ounces white vinegar, hot
12 ounces Dawn... unless you think that is excessive, then cut it down to like 4

Heat the vinegar, add the Dawn, and then mix that around well.  When it cools, pour into a spray bottle.  Spray on tub / shower and let sit about 10 minutes to a couple of hours, wipe down with a damp cloth or sponge and then do a happy dance.

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