Frugal Housewife – Homemade Cleaning
These are all various ways I clean. I don’t buy glass cleaner, floor cleaner, shower and tub cleaner. I buy peroxide, baking soda, essential oils and a pumice stone. I make my own vinegar.
I grow herbs to use for cleaning and smelling great. Easily done in a pot in the window. I buy masa, a finely ground cornmeal found in the Mexican section of your local grocery. I use old flannel sheets or shirts, cut up and hemmed. They don’t really even need to be hemmed though.I’ve got multiple chemical sensitivity, plus asthma that is set off by my environment. Going grocery shopping and being around the chemical cleaners, peoples perfumes etc always leaves me wheezing, ill and headachey. Ugh. Not something I want to repeat in my house. I’ve been doing these things for years. I’m not saying my house is any bastion of super-cleanliness. But we only get sick a couple of times a year, and visitors never seem shocked at the state of my house LOL! Yes, we have dust (I use microfiber and water to pick that up), yes we have dirty floors (6kids? yeah) about 20 minutes after I wash them. Just like any normal house. But the difference is I’m saving probably hundreds of dollars a year just by using cheap, effective and more people and eco friendly cleaners. Plus saving on packaging by re-using packages.
So on to the ideas.
- To replace candles, potporri and air fresheners, I usually put some cinnamon sticks and orange peels on the stove to simmer (or in a tiny crockpot). Lemons, basil, rosemary, basically any strong smelling natural plant will work great.
- Homemade febreeze? Basil tea (I have lots and lots of various kinds of basil that’s why) and vinegar. One cup of vinegar to 4 cups of tea.Spritz your furniture, carpets, closets and curtains with the mixture. The vinegar smell fades quickly, taking bad smells with it, and leaves behind the good smell aka the tea you made.
- Homemade carpet sprinkle/odor absorber is 2 cups masa mixed with about 12 drops of whatever essential oil I have on hand. Usually pennyroyal and tea tree oil (keep bugs outa the house which is important in the South) then 2 cups of baking soda. You must put the EO’s in the masa first, because if they are put in the baking soda, the baking soda will foam up, wasting both ingredients. I sprinkle it on the floor, let it sit for about 30 min then vacuum up. I store whatever I don’t use in a jar.
- Clean counters with peroxide. This way you will *know* if there is anything left after the counter looks clean because the peroxide bubbles on anything organic left. It kills germs and has kept my daughter and I from getting glutened when others have cooked with food that contains it. This probably would work for those with other severe allergies like fish or peanuts.
- Clean the sinks and toilets with a baking soda water mixture for super bad stains (we have really tough hard water) I use good old fashioned pumice and elbow grease for the times when I’ve taken too long working on those hard water stains.
- The shower gets cleaned with vinegar and flannel cloths. Spread the cloths out on the shower walls and bathtub, plus the door glass too, spray them throughly until they are sticking on their own. Leave them be for about 10-20 min, and when you come back, if they are still damp, wipe everything in it’s area off well. If dry, spray the area just till it’s damp and wipe it dry. You have to put the cloths close or overlap ’em, otherwise the soap scum and hard water stains will be left where there wasn’t a cloth.
- Floor cleaner is vinegar. Yes, it’s strong smelling, but it’s very cheap, the smell fades and it does NOT set off my asthma.