Homemade Cleaning Products – DFA Tip of the Week – 2/16/2009

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There are many ways to reduce costs in our every day lives, so to help do just that each Monday I will post a money saving “Tip of the Week”.

This weeks tip involves…making your own homemade cleaning products!

If you ask my wife, I have been going on and on about making my own homemade cleaning products for about a year now.  She just gives me that “yeah sounds like a great idea, why don’t you run with that” look and goes about her business.  What I really desire is for HER to become interested in the several benefits of such an endeavor and make it her own…but I won’t hold my breath!  🙂

Reasons for Making Your Own:

  • You wallet will be fatter! A lot of homemade cleaners are made from cheap ingredients like white vinegar & ammonia, which are both much less expensive in volume than a bottle of Windex.
  • Although I do not endorse the way the world has erroneously rallied behind “environmentalism”Making your own household cleaning products is a solid way to make a positive impact on the world around you. In doing so you are sending a message to cleaning products manufacturers that you want a better, more sustainable, less expensive product.
  • Improved self-reliance. What if Walmart stores were not open any longer?  How would you clean your living quarters?  If you have experience making your own products you won’t have to worry about it!  Also,  your knowledge & experience will be a blessing to your friends, family, & neighbors.
  • The snowball effect. Starting down a road of frugality and self-reliance will ultimately bring you more of the same.  This endeavor will more than likely kick-start other similar money saving ventures.
  • I have listed just a few of benefits to making your own homemade cleaning products, there are many more…share more reasons by leaving your comment below.

Sounds Great…Let’s Get Started!

To commence your homemade cleaning products adventure go to Sam’s Club or COSTCO and pick up some empty commercial spray bottles.  After looking around the web a little I noticed that Sam’s Club has the same product as Amazon but for about half the price!  Want to start cheaper still?  Simply save the empty bottles from your current cleaning products and use them.

And now for the big secret…THE RECIPES!!  Well, it’s not that big of a secret…here is an indispensable article for homemade cleaning products recipes from TipNut.com.

This information should help give you a strong start.  Make sure to come back to DebtFreeAdventure.com and let us share in your progress!  I too intend to post articles referencing the way my wife & I are implementing the tips given here at DFA.  Until next time…

Click here to see all past DFA Tips of the Week.



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1 John

This list is a great resource! I’ve started using vinegar as fabric softener in the laundry and used to use vinegar and baking soda for some cleaning (vinegar is apparently the most useful substance on earth). My next project is to try to make some laundry detergent. BTW – I totally know that “yeah sounds like a great idea look!”

2 DebtFREEk!

Hmmm, vinegar as a fabric softener…who’d have guessed. Like you said, it truly is one of the most useful substances around!

God bless our wives though you know…the Lord has given us a great gift in them, and the way they keep us accountable is awesome! 🙂

Thanks John.

3 AJ

Hey! In my house it is the other way around…I am the one getting that look from my Husband! But making up a batch of laundry detergent is something he loves to do. And actually since he “saw the light” – that the homemade detergent and using vinegar in the downy ball really do work great, I don’t get many of those looks anymore. We have been doing this for over a year now and I can’t even begin to imagine how much money we have saved. We do use vinegar for everything! I buy it at Sams really cheap and have jugs of it hidden all over the house! I feel so much better about our cleaning practices now that we have ditched all those harmful chemicals, and everything seems actually much cleaner too.
We all used to suffer from allergies and sinus problems and cleaners really made me feel awful when breathing them…but not any more.
I think this was the #1 best thing we have done to improve our health and pocketbook at the same time!!!

4 DebtFREEk!

Thank you so much for this comment AJ, it is very encouraging & reinforces everything we’ve been saying.

How much do you think you are saving? Do you have any recipes for certain cleaners you could give us? I could post them on the site…

Thanks again!

5 Stephanie Pruitt

Hi Matt,

Thanks for the link to the article, I’m going to bookmark that one to refer to. I also am the diy nut in my house and my husband gives me the same look, but so far I have won him over to a number of homemade products, including your dishwasher detergent! Thought I’d share my favorite homemade cleaning recipe, that has worked best for us so far.

2 Cups Distilled Water
1 tsp. Super Washing Soda
1 tsp. Dawn dishwashing liquid (or your favorite kind)
1/2 Cup white vinegar
Few drops tea tree oil
Few drops lavender essential oil
Clean spray bottle

Bring water to a boil. Whisk in washing soda and dissolve. Let mixture cool. Pour vinegar into spray bottle. Add liquid soap and essential oils. Once water/washing soda mixture has cooled, pour into bottle. Shake and it’s ready to use. All of the ingredients are great cleaners, including the oils, which have disinfecting properties, and help the cleaner smell nice. This doesn’t have a vinegar smell to it, which bugged me with a lot of other cleaners I tried making.

So far, I have used this on all surfaces in the bathroom, and the kitchen, including my granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances. Just spray on and wipe with a really hot wet rag. Works great!

Also, for jobs that require scrubbing, I mix up equal parts of baking soda, washing soda, and oxiclean and put that in a shaker can (I use an old season salt container) and sprinkle it on whatever needs scrubbed and use a sponge. Works amazingly well.

Best of luck in your frugal diy endeavors, and thanks for sharing your findings with us!

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