Most people spend hundreds of dollars a year on basic household cleaning products and rarely even consider looking for ways to cut these costs. You can easily make many effective cleansing agents in your own homes. The necessary ingredients are inexpensive and can be found in most supermarkets or bought in bulk from large discount retailers. Homemade household cleansers work as well as their commercially manufactured counterparts and don’t contain toxic chemicals, so the consumer saves in more ways than one by using them.
One of the biggest money-guzzlers in the average home is laundry detergent, but it can easily be made from just three basic ingredients. Borax, washing powder and a bar of soap are all that’s needed. Fels Naptha soap, which is found in the detergent aisle of most supermarkets, is the kind most often used, but Ivory soap works as well. The soap is grated with a cheese grater or cut up with a knife into very small pieces. It is then placed in a food processor or blender with 1/2 cup of borax and 1 full cup of washing soda and blended until well mixed. This amount will wash 48 average loads of laundry, and it takes one tablespoon per load. Because this is dye and fragrance free, it’s a good choice for those who have young children or infants in the home or those with sensitive skin. However, some people prefer to add a drop or two of essential oil to enhance the scent.
All-purpose cleaner can cost over five dollars per bottle at the store, but it’s another home product that is easily made from basic ingredients. Lemon juice, white vinegar, borax and soap flakes in equal amounts are mixed together and well-blended to produce a cleanser that will be effective on all household surfaces. As with the laundry detergent, you may also wish to add a touch of aromatherapy to this with the inclusion of a small amount of essential oil.
Window cleaner can be made using one gallon of warm water and 1/2 cup of white vinegar, and this will make windows sparkle more than store-bought solutions will. A bit of dish detergent can be added to this for glass surfaces that are grimier than usual, and a little ammonia can impart a nice shine.