Homemade Cleaners

Sunday, September 22, 2013
Some of the "mixes" that I use most around my house are the homemade cleaner mixes!  Here are the three that I use for just about everything.

Because I use this stuff a LOT, I keep bleach, vinegar, ammonia, borax and rubbing alcohol in my food storage, so that I will have plenty of cleaning solution options available should I need them in an emergency or long-term difficulty situation.  These are all multi-purpose multi-taskers, so in the long run they save me money and save me space over having to store a year's supply of various different individual cleaners.

All-Purpose Cleaner
I got this recipe from the Dr. Oz show a few years ago (random, I know) and I love it!  We use it for kitchen and bathroom countertop cleaning, wiping down walls and banisters, cleaning sticky fingerprints off of kitchen chairs, etc.  ;)

1 Tbsp. Borax
3 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 Tbsp. dish soap
2 cups water
a few drops essential oil

Mix ingredients together carefully to avoid creating too many suds.  You may need to break up some clumps of the Borax.  Pour into spray bottle and label.

Disinfecting Wipes
I've been making these for several years, and they work marvelously!

1 roll Bounty paper towels
2 cups water
2 Tbsp. Lysol all-purpose cleaner

You'll also need:
  • airtight container large enough to hold paper towels (I believe mine is the Walmart brand, and this particular one says 6 or 9 on the bottom.  But I think if you go for the Rubbermaid ones, it is the #10 canister.)
  • large serrated bread knife or electric knife
The messiest part of this is cutting the roll of paper towels in half!  You'll need to saw through it with a long bread knife or electric knife. 

Place half of your roll, with the "fuzzy" cut end down, into the container.  Carefully remove the center cardboard roll.  Pour your cleaning mix over the roll; cover and let sit for an hour or so.  Then turn the container upside down for a bit to make sure the cleaning liquid is fully and equally absorbed into the paper towels.

To use, pull the wipes from the center of the roll. 

*Note: You can use just about any cleaning mix you want, and there are tons of them available on the Internet.  I use the Lysol because most of the time I am using these for disinfecting/sanitizing.  I'm sure there are homemade disinfecting cleaner recipes out there, I just haven't taken the time to look them up yet, so I just continue to use the Lysol. ;) And one 52 oz. bottle of Lysol has lasted me several years!  Feel free to use whatever cleaner or cleaning recipe you like.  Just be careful - these can get mold/mildew after awhile if not used fairly quickly (although I've not had that happen when using the Lysol, most likely due to its disinfecting ingredients).

Window Cleaner
I just started making this stuff a few months ago.  We're at the end of our first bottle, and so far so good! 

1 empty Windex bottle or spray bottle of similar size
1/8 cup (1oz) white ammonia
1/4 cup (4oz) isopropyl rubbing alcohol
1-2 drops blue Dawn dish soap (yeah, you could probably use any dish soap here)

Fill container about half full with water.  Add ammonia and rubbing alcohol.  Then add the dish soap.  Fill remainder of container with water and swirl gently (to avoid making suds with the soap).