Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Some cheap & healthy cleaning alternatives

We're in the process of moving away from expensive and toxic store-bought cleaners (both of the body and the house), towards homemade cleaners instead. Here's some recipes I've compiled for cheap and effective cleaning product alternatives. One thing I'm still trying to understand is why so many recipes call for mixing vinegar and baking soda, as that would just neutralize them; I'm not sure about the reaction between borax and vinegar, because tho borax is basic, it is actually a buffered base/acid combination... hum. Still, pretty much everything is vinegar, castile soap, baking soda, and borax, with a little bit of club soda added in. Enjoy!

Oh, and here's how to use xanthan gum for when you want some thicker shampoo and toilet bowl cleaner.

1/3 cup castile soap (Dr. Bronners)
2/3 cup green tea
approx 1/4 teas xanthan gum (more or less, optional, for thickening)

If you're going to use the xanthan gum, I'd just add it to the green tea in your blender or food processor, then mix in the castile soap by hand; hard beating + soap = froth.

Conditioner (specifically for use after the above shampoo - don't use the shampoo without this step)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water

Dishwasher detergent:
1 cup baking soda
1 cup borax

Use 2 tablespoons per dish load. Put white vinegar in the rinse (jet dry) cycle.

Fabric softener:
Use 1/2 - 1 cup white vinegar in the fabric softener cup

Toilet bowl cleaner:
Vinegar (can be thickened with xanthan gum)

Pour vinegar around toilet as normal toilet bowl cleaner. Sprinkle stains with borax. Let sit 10 minutes, scrub clean.

Window cleaner:
2 tsp vinegar
1 qt water


Club soda (store bought or homemade, no sugar)

Fill spray bottle with this, and wipe with newspaper.

Tub & Tile scrub
½ c. baking soda
3 tbsp. castile soap

Mix together and use as a scrub.

Original photo by Valerie Morrison

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