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cleaning tutorial

Kitchen Cupboard Cleaning Products

The ingredients are in your cupboard!

 

Handy sink set-up

For this season’s Kitchen Wisdom finale I want to leave you with another skill in your repertoire -homemade cleaning products.  Did you know the average American household spends $42 per month on cleaning products? (statisticbrain.com  7.13.2013)  I will show you how to set up a basic cleaning tote filled with homemade products from ingredients you already have around the house… vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, inexpensive dishwashing liquid, even  citrus peels.  

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cleaning

Bleach Sanitizing Spray

Kill bacteria for less then a penny a bottle
Three of the four bottles above are re-purposed.  From left to right are: tabasco bottle,
tincture bottle, Sprayco pump spray bottle (new; made in USA, available at Bi-Mart),
and a gift jam jar with gold lid.  The wire basket originally held a gift set of hand soap
and hand lotion, the peach puff is hand-made (crocheted) by a friend of my Aunt’s.

The disinfecting power of chlorine bleach can prevent the spread of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and foodborne illness when used correctly and in proper concentration.  The FDA and most universities take the “bucket” approach – giving proportions for mixing up a gallon at a time.  This works well for restaurants and the like, but at home we need it in much smaller amounts since it its effectiveness diminishes with time*.

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cleaning

Citrus Vinegar

Citrus Peels + Vinegar = 2 great products
Peels from a pitcher of fresh lemonade are harnessed for more than one purpose!

This easily made infused vinegar is dual purpose.  You can use it in salad dressings, marinades, and stir fries, and you can add it to homemade cleaning products to boost the effectiveness of the vinegar.  Orange oil in particular is famous for its cleaning properties.  I have also used lemons, limes, tangerines, and grapefruit with success.  See Organic All-Purpose Cleaner for directions on making a handy household spray cleaner.  Don’t you love finding a use for something you would ordinarily discard?

 

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cleaning

Organic All-Purpose Cleaner

For hard surfaces around the kitchen & bathroom


With basic ingredients and a little know-how, you can compound a homemade cleaner that is useful in cleaning the hard kitchen and bathroom surfaces that need frequent maintenance:  stove top, fridge door, counters, garbage and compost pails, and more.  Start by making a batch of citrus vinegar with your leftover citrus peels or just used plain white distilled vinegar.  You can also add a few drops of essential oil and a drop of two of food coloring.  Thank you Angela Coffman of www.groceryshrink.com  (Check out Angela’s website for a wealth of money-saving ideas related to food and home.)

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cleaning

Sparkling Glass Cleaner

Your windows will shine for about a dime!


Commercial glass and window cleaners seem inordinately expensive for what they are, which is mostly water!  I’ve been using this formula for several years, inside and out, and my windows and mirrors come out squeaky clean.  We are on a well and our water is hard.  If wind causes water spray from a sprinkler to spatter the windows this will remove watermarks as long as I clean it within a day or two.  Adding the blue coloring does not make the product any more effective, but its color makes it easily recognizable as glass cleaner.  (And, I think, more fun to use!)  

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cleaning

Soft Scrub Cleanser

Soft Scrub Cleanser, Two Ways
Nutella (left) and Parmesan cheese (right) tubs become useful containers for homemade cleaning products. 


This gentle cleanser teams the natural abrasive qualities of baking soda with the grease fighting qualities of either inexpensive dishwashing liquid or pure Castille soap to gently rub away grime, stains, and scum from hard surfaces such as the sink, bathtub, and shower.  Put a bit of paste on a scrub pad and scour away gunk!  Use your good judgment and a light hand to apply the product.  

Clearance dishwashing liquid works fine for Soft Scrub.

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cleaning

Botanical Air Freshener

You’re the designer!


Instead of polluting the air in your home with noxious chemicals,  create a signature room freshening spray with just 3 simple ingredients. Baking soda keeps the essential oil suspended in water.  Store in an opaque glass spray bottle or reclaimed pump hair spray bottle, well-cleaned.

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cleaning

Clean Shower Spay

Prevents soap scum, mineral, and hair & body product build-up in the shower


You’ll feel smart and thrifty using your homemade Clean Shower Spray made with just two ingredients.  Begin with a clean, well-scrubbed bathtub or shower enclosure, including glass doors, then save your elbow grease for something else!  Daily spraying after showering prevents build-up of soap scum, hair and body product residue, and minerals from hard water from adhering to the tub and shower.  Light scrubbing once a week is all your tub and shower will need from now on.  

Categories
cleaning

Fabric Softener

 Scented or unscented ~ it’s your preference

 

Yet another miraculous use for plain vinegar! Of course you can keep a jug of plain distilled vinegar in the laundry room and use it straight from the bottle for an unscented softening rinse, but if you want to add a little creativity and pleasant scent to your clean laundry, use essential oil.  Lavender is always nice, of course, but perhaps you would prefer to make your own custom-scented fabric softener.  The baking soda keeps the essential oil suspended in the formula; just remember to shake well before using to redistribute the scent.  I like to re-use an old fabric softener jug – no need to rinse it out – it serves as a visual cue.