Apr 25, 2011

Natural Household Cleaners

For those of you who know Melissa Hutsell, you know that she is one cleaning machine.  When she told me she was willing to write a post about natural cleaning products that she used, I was excited. - Julie

by Melissa Hutsell

Perhaps you are like me when it comes to learning something new…you’d be only to happy to learn if someone else would just make it simple and tell you EXACTLY what you need and how to do it.  That is what I am hoping to do for you in this blog as it pertains to making some of your own household cleaners.

Truth be told, if you did the little bit of digging on the internet that I did you’d be able to figure it all out too!  But, that’s the point!  You don’t want to take the time to dig…you just want someone to tell you how to do it!  So here goes…

First is the cast of SIMPLE, AFFORDABLE, NATURAL ingredients you need to make ALL of the following cleaners!  As you can see it is only 11 items and I would bet you have at least some of them already in your cabinet!  They can all be found at Drug Emporium - or some combination of Kroger, WalMart and Drug Emporium.

Now, a good blogger would tell you exactly what she paid for all this, do the price breakdown of all you will save if you make your own cleaners! But this girl would never get this blog written if I did that!  And, I PROMISE~ you WILL save money making your own cleaners and they WILL be safer than store-bought cleaners.  Initially, as with anything, you will have to make an investment but a little of each of these things goes a LONG way so jump in, make the investment and then sit back and count all the money you are saving in the long run!

Better Basics for the Home: Simple Solutions for Less Toxic LivingI have used all of these cleaners with great success and I know you will be happy with them too!  If I got the recipe from the internet, I hyperlinked it for you.  The others are from Better Basics for the Home.  (I checked this out from the library.)
Furniture Polish:
¼ cup vinegar (or lemon juice-but lemon juice will not keep in your cupboard as long as vinegar)
Few drops of olive oil
Place in a spray bottle, shake! (Your family will tell you this smells bad but the vinegar cleans wood well and the smell dissipates quickly!)

Window Cleaner:
¼ cup vinegar
½ tsp. liquid castille soap (this little drop of soap makes this superior to just using vinegar alone!)
2 cups (distilled or filtered) water
Place in a sprayer and shake!  (This stuff is the BOMB!  Use newspaper instead of paper towels and you will be happy and thrifty!)

Automatic Dishwasher Detergent:
1 cup Borax
1 cup WASHING soda (not baking soda)
½ cup kosher salt
½ cup citric acid (if you have hard water)
Mix together in a jar.  Use a tablespoon or two for each load.  Fill your rinse compartment with vinegar.

(The citric acid helps prevent water spots and cloudy dishes.  It makes the mixture clump together so the site I got this from recommends adding 1 tsp of rice to the mix to absorb moisture.  They say it won’t hurt the dishwasher!)

Soft scrub/toilet cleaner:
1/2 cup BAKING soda
Enough liquid castille soap to make it thick (if you use tea tree oil castille soap it is naturally disinfecting)
I also add some water to the mix so that I can use my soap more sparingly.

Mix this all together to form a paste and it works well to scrub your toilets or tubs.

All Purpose Cleaner:
½ tsp.  WASHING soda
2 tsp. Borax
½ tsp. liquid castille soap (again, tea tree soap is naturally disinfecting)
2 cups HOT (distilled or filtered) water

Combine minerals and soap.  Add water.  Shake well each time you use it.

Granite cleaner:
¼ cup alcohol
Few drops of liquid castille soap
Mix in a quart size spray bottle and fill the rest of the way with WATER.  Shake well.  (I got this from a site that said this is a safe way to clean granite.  NEVER use acid cleaners on your granite.)

Homemade Laundry Detergent:
I am not going to write this one out since Kelli does such a good job on her site and her site is where I got my recipe from!  Just click on the link for the steps to make this affordable and effective laundry detergent.  You can also look here for a recipe for dry detergent if you don’t need liquid.  This recipe is VERY safe for your front load machines as it is low suds.

Organic Liquid Hand Soap:
Again, I got this one from Kelli and I LOVE IT!  So click on the link to make your own hand soap.

This post is part of Monday Mania with The Healthy Home Economist.

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  1. Wow I'm flattered! It's good to know people are enjoying the recipes from my site.

  2. Great post btw. I'm definitely going to try the glass cleaner. My windows are covered with doggie-nose smudges :)

  3. Thanks for this concise list with recipes included. I've been experimenting with alternative cleaners, as well, and have had to search here and there for recipes. You've saved me hours and hours of work!
    I tried my own laundry detergent and was dissapointed. The Fels-Naptha seemed to irritate our skin. I substituted Ivory bar soap in the recipe. Both did an excellent job cleaning our clothes. Rinsing in vinegar helped too but I often forgot. I looked up the ingredients in Fels-Naptha and here's what I found: Soap (sodium tallowate*, sodium cocoate* (or) sodium palmate kernelate*, and sodium palmate*), water, talc, cocnut acid*, palm acid*, tallow acid*, PEG-6 methyl ether, glycerin, sorbitol, sodium chloride, pentasodium pentetate and/or tetrasodium etidronate, titatium dioxide, fragrance, Acid Orange (CI 20170), Acid yellow 73 (ci43350)

  4. @Ellie - I've been using Zote, but when that's out I want to try using castile bar soap. Just another suggestion...

  5. I make a powdered laundry detergent (got the recipe from Tipnut, I think). I, personally, am freaked out by Borax, so I stay away from using it in my home. And besides, I'm with you, Ellie, on the crazy list of ingredients in Fels-Naptha. My recipe uses liquid castile soap, vinegar, washing soda, and baking soda. That's it. Great for HE machines, too!! (Oh, yeah, and no shaving or grating!! Ugh.) I posted the recipe at



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