8 DIY Cleaning Supplies

  • 8 DIY Cleaning Supplies

    DIY cleaning supplies have a lot of appeal. Using products you already have in your cupboards saves you from buying often costly cleaning supplies. It also frees up plenty of space in your kitchen cabinets or bathroom linen closets. Additionally, many of these creative cleansers are more environmentally friendly than their alternatives. To help you reap all of these advantages, MainStreet has collected some recipes for all types of household cleaning products. Photo Credit: Valerie Everett
    All-purpose cleaner
  • All-purpose cleaner

    Mary Findley, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Cleaning, offered MainStreet this recipe for replicating an eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner. Mix 4 cups of hot water with 2 teaspoons of borax (a natural mineral compound), 4 tablespoons of vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of organic cold-pressed lemon oil, 2 drops of pine oil and 2 drops of organic liquid dish soap. Stir until the dry ingredients dissolve and then pour into a spray bottle. You can double this recipe for 32-ounce spray bottles. The cleaner comes with one caveat, though. “Do not use this on Corian, granite, marble, slate or tile surfaces,” Findley says, as it can damage to the surfaces. Photo Credit: Jessica Mullen
    Toilet and Shower Cleaner
  • Toilet and Shower Cleaner

    According to Findley, you can avoid buying $9 toilet cleaning tablets by pouring vinegar and a sprinkle of baking soda down your toilet instead. You can also combine 1/4 cup of borax and 1/4 cup of baking soda with water to use as a shower cleaner. Photo Credit: Joe Shlabotnik
    Carpet Cleaner
  • Carpet Cleaner

    Pet owners don’t have to shell out $10 on pricey stain removers to clean up after their animals. Instead, use this recipe provided by the folks at the carpet cleaning company Stanley Steemer International. Combine 1 teaspoon of white vinegar, 2 teaspoons of cold water, 1 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of baking soda, then apply a teaspoon of the mixture to the stain and gently work it from the outer edges of the spot toward the middle with a clean, white cloth. After blotting up moisture with a dry cloth, dampen another cloth in clean, cold water and wipe the spot again. Let the area dry completely. When dry, apply a cold water and baking soda solution in the same manner to completely eliminate the stain. Photo Credit: Jeanine Skowronski
    Laundry Detergent
  • Laundry Detergent

    If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try making your own laundry detergent, you can test out this recipe supplied by Robyn Griggs-Lawrence, editor in chief of Natural Home magazine. Combine 16 cups of baking soda, 12 cups of borax and 8 cups of grated castile or glycerin soap flakes. Next, add 3 tablespoons of lavender, lemon, or grapefruit essential oil and mix with a wire whisk. This recipe makes enough powder to last a family of four for one year.  According to Griggs-Lawrence, you should use 1/8 cup of powder per load. Photo Credit: InAweofGod’screation
    Bleach Substitute
  • Bleach Substitute

    Natural Home magazine also has a recipe for bleach that can be used on laundry. Simply combine 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide with 1/4 cup lemon or grapefruit juice and 12 cups of water. You should store the alternative solution in a labeled plastic jug and use two cups of it per load. Those who are looking for an environmentally friendly alternative to the chemical cleaner to use on surfaces can use white vinegar or lemon juice as a disinfectant. Photo Credit: Katie@
    Furniture Polish
  • Furniture Polish

    A jar of environmentally friendly furniture polish can cost between $20 and $50. However, according to Karen Hoxmeier, founder of MyBargainBuddy.com, you can make your own polish by combining 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and 1/4 cup of lemon juice or vinegar. Photo Credit:  Eric Monroy
    Window Cleaner
  • Window Cleaner

    Hoxmeier also suggests using 2 tablespoons of white vinegar mixed with a gallon of water to clean your windows. You can save on both the window cleaner and the paper towels. “Use newspapers for drying and you’ll have no streaks!” she adds. Photo Credit: Iban Ramon
    Spot Remover
  • Spot Remover

    Most people know that club soda can remove stains when applied immediately after they occur, but did you know that toothpaste can be an even more effective alternative to that $13 stain remover pen? “As a mother of a 3 year old boy, I carry around a tube of old-fashioned toothpaste,” New York city resident Ali Bergstrom tells MainStreet. “Not even permanent marker can match the cleaning power of toothpaste!” Photo Credit: elisfanclub
    The 20 Best DIY Sites
  • The 20 Best DIY Sites

    Want to learn how you can do more yourself? Check out MainStreet’s list of the 20-best-diy-sites 20 best DIY sites to get started! Photo Credit: colros
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