After taking steps to live a more conscious existence, I have found that shopping is overrated. The satisfaction that I find from making my own household products far outweighs buying the “brand of the month.”
My reason to make my own products stem mainly from the ever increasing prices as well as the harmful chemicals present in store bought brands. After using store bought chemicals for years, I noticed my eyes would burn and lungs would hurt after cleaning with them. I knew the chemical cleaners were doing more harm than good, and would much rather preserve my health and not pollute our water supply any further.
I have found many of these homemade cleaners and products use similar ingredients, therefore, purchasing them would be a lucrative investment.
1. Laundry Detergent
- 1 bar (or 4.5 ounces) of shaved bar soap (a homemade laundry bar, Dr. Bronner’s, Ivory, ZOTE, or Fels-Naptha)
- 1 cup of Borax
- 1 cup of washing soda
- In a large container, thoroughly stir all ingredients together for 5 minutes and enjoy the results!
- Use 1 Tbsp per load (or 2-3 Tbsp for large or heavily soiled loads).
2. Fabric Softener
- 1 gallon distilled white vinegar
- 30-40 drops of essential oil (popular scents include: lavender, a combination of lemon and citrus for an energizing pick me up or invigorating peppermint)
- Combine all ingredients and shake well. When ready to use shake mixture and add to rinse cycle.
- For small or average loads add 1/4 cup to the rinse cycle, or a little more for large loads.
3. Dishwashing Detergent Tablets
- 1 cup washing soda
- 1 cup baking soda
- 3 packages unsweetened lemonade drink mix
- 1 cup of kosher salt
- 1 cup water
Mix all dry ingredients together.
- In a large bowl, add water to dry ingredients, wait for fizzing to stop (about 1-2 minutes).
- Add your mixture to ice cube trays, pressing with your fingers or back of a spoon.
- Allow mixture to dry in a warm and sunny spot for 24 hours or until completely dry. Remove and add to an airtight container.
- Add one tab to the dishwasher dispenser. Also use vinegar or jet-dry in your rinse dispenser too.
4. All-Purpose Cleaner
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- Juice of lemon
- 1/2 gallon water
- Shake well and apply for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc. Or use a citrus-based natural all-purpose cleaner.
5. Drain Cleaner
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 4 liters hot water
- Add ingredients and pour into drain. The resulting chemical reaction can break fatty acids down into soap and glycerine, allowing the clog to wash down the drain. After 15 minutes, pour in hot water to clear residue.
Caution: do not use this method after trying a commercial drain opener–the vinegar can react with the drain opener to create dangerous fumes.
6. Oven Cleaner
- 3/4 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1/4 cup water
- Use a moist sponge to wet oven surface.
- Combine ingredients to make a thick paste, and spread throughout oven interior. (avoid bare metal and any openings)
- Allow to sit overnight. Remove with spatula and wipe clean.
- Rub gently with fine steel wool for tough spots.
7. Toilet Bowl Cleaner
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 cup vinegar
- Mix ingredients and pour into basin.
- Allow to sit for a few minutes. Scrub with brush and rinse.
8. Window Cleaner
- 2 ounces water
- 10 drops lavender or lemongrass oil
- Add ingredients to a spray bottle. Shake bottle to mix ingredients together and spray on surface to wipe grime off windows.
- ¼ cup liquid Castile soap
- ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
- 2 gallons warm water
- Add ingredients to a bucket and mop floors.
10. Furniture Polish
- 1 c. olive oil
- 1/2 c. lemon juice
- Spray bottle
- Shake well and apply a small amount to a cleaning rag or cloth.
- Spread evenly over furniture surface. Turn cloth to a dry side and polish dry.
- 5-6 bars of soap (a homemade laundry bar, Dr. Bronner’s, Ivory, ZOTE, or Fels-Naptha)
- Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
- Distilled white vinegar
- Essential Oils
- Baking soda
- Unsweetened lemonade drink mix
- Kosher salt
- Castile soap
- Olive oil
Tess Pennington is the editor for ReadyNutrition.com. After joining the Dallas chapter of the American Red Cross in 1999, Tess worked as an Armed Forces Emergency Services Center specialist and is well versed in emergency and disaster management and response. Tess is the author of The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals. When a catastrophic collapse cripples society, grocery store shelves will empty within days. But by following Tess’s tips for stocking, organizing, and maintaining a proper emergency food supply, your family will have plenty to eat for weeks, months, or even years.