Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Clean

 It's basically summer here in Georgia. We sort of skipped that whole spring thing. It's been in the 80's since last week, yikes! Anyway we still have to do our spring cleaning.
I thought I would share some of the products I use for cleaning. I started researching how to make my own cleaning products about a year ago. I mainly wanted to spend less money. Also I was sick of being gagged by all the strong smells of the cleaners I was using. 
I was cleaning the bathtub one day with some kind of chemicals, and I started thinking, "Do I really want my little kids sitting on these chemicals when they take a bath?" The answer was no! Of course not!
I found a few things that are a little more natural, and they work for me. 
The first thing I started making was home made laundry detergent. It actually works! 
All of the supplies for it are now found at Wal-Mart. I used to have to go to two grocery stores to find everything. It's so much more convenient now.
Here's what you need:
Borax- around $3 a box
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (not baking soda!)- also around $2-$3 a box
Fels-Naptha Soap- 98cents a bar
Grater- only for soap, don't use it on your food!

First you have to cut the soap into slices, and grate or chop it. I use this tiny food processor, if you have one to designate solely to making detergent it's so worth it!!! It will take you forever to grate it with a cheese grater. I use a plastic container to hold my detergent. I printed off the instructions on how to make it and taped it to the top. 
You will need to mix together one bar grated fels-naptha soap, 1 cup super washing sodas, and 1 cup borax. You will use 2 tablespoons per load of laundry. I found that the scoop from my oxyclean is the perfect size for 2 tbs. I just keep one of those scoops in the container with the soap. I also use a scoop of generic oxyclean in every wash. (it's cheaper, and works great.) It ends up costing around $3 for 40 loads of laundry. 
The only thing that's different about this detergent is that it does not form soap bubbles, and it does not leave a scent on your clothes. Which is fine with me, as long as they are clean I don't care if they smell like flowers or not. Also, some people add oils into their detergent for smell. My friend did that and she ended up with oil stains on her clothes, so I wouldn't try it.

 The next thing I use is vinegar and water. I bought a spray bottle at Wal-Mart for less than $1, a huge jug of vinegar ( I think it was less than $3), and a funnel to make this. I just add equal amounts of vinegar and water into the bottle, and that's it! I use this as a glass and surface cleaner. It works great on glass, but it is streaky until it's totally dried. I use it for bathroom surfaces, toilet, and the glass doors on my shower.
 For my bathtub I use 1/2 cup of dawn detergent (I use the generic one and it works fine) and fill the rest of the bottle with vinegar. I spray this in the tub and use a wet washcloth to wipe it down, then I rinse it. For a great soap scum remover (especially on the inside of your glass shower doors) just heat the vinegar in the microwave for 2-3 minutes before adding it to the solution. Spray and let it sit for two hours. Then Rub it with a wet wash cloth and rinse. It really works great! I was super surprised! I learned that trick off of Pinterest. I wish I remembered to pin the link, I'm not sure where I read it. If you have seen it let me know and I'll put a link in here for it.
 One thing I lived without for a few months, but decided I had to have was disinfectant wipes. I use these on the toilets and sinks. If I run out I will use the vinegar and water solution. I always use paper towels though, I don't want to put my wash clothes on the toilet. (eww!) I'm fine with using wash clothes for everything else though. I try to buy these only when I have coupons.
 For the inside of the shower I use baking soda. I spray the shower down with water, then sprinkle the baking soda all over, scrub it and then rinse.
One of my friends told me to try oven cleaner for soap scum. I still have not tried it, but she said it works wonders. 
Another great tip a friend taught me was to pour vinegar in a bowl and microwave it for 3 minutes. Then all you have to do is wipe down your microwave with a wet wash cloth. All the junk comes off so easy! I wish I would have known about that a few years ago. 
Hopefully you will have fun getting your spring clean on!! 
Happy Cleaning!!!



  1. Loved it, Jen! I haven't made my own laundry soap yet, but have tried a "cheap" detergent in a bag from Wmart (forget the name right now) that my SIL told me about and she has 6 children and a farm and does TONS of laundry, I think 3/4 loads a day, and likes the soap so decided I should try it.
    I started using just dish soap for washing my tubs, too! I like to use distilled vinegar in my laundry for whitening, washcloth odor, etc., but haven't thought about using it for spraying....
    Thanks for your tips! I'm eager to try some! I had heard the microwave tip too, and since mine needs it again......I need to try that tip! =]

  2. Great ideas! Thanks for linking up to our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." We love having you and hope you'll be back next week! -The Sisters