RISMEDIA, April 9, 2011-Buying products to clean your house shouldn't have to cost you a fortune. Next time you're in the grocery store, check out these items that will make cleaning a budget-friendly breeze: super washing soda, Mule Team borax, distilled white vinegar, mild liquid soap, bar soap, baking soda and lemon.
Many of these ingredients can be used on their own, especially for intensive spring cleaning. Baking soda can be used on carpets (just sprinkle and vacuum 15 minutes later), to cut through grease stains on appliances and clothes, or just to freshen up the refrigerator or trash can. Mix baking soda with water to create a cleaning paste for tiles and counters, or with a lemon to treat grime and disinfect your toilet bowls.
For everyday solutions, the ingredients can be mixed to make common household products from dishwasher detergent to furniture polish. Homemade cleaners may save you up to 75% of the cost of buying store cleaners. Homemade products can also help you avoid the headache of unnecessary chemicals and strong smells in the home.
"Everyone is looking for ways to be more eco-friendly these days. These products are much less expensive and more green for your home than most pre-mixed cleaning products," says Jenny Realo, executive vice president of CareOne Services Inc.
Here's a look at some of the recipes that are easy to whip up at home:
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Use a box grater to shred a bar of soap, and gradually add the soap shavings to the water as you go. Once the soap dissolves, add the mixture to a bucket filled with 3 gallons of warm water. Add 1/2 cup borax and 1 cup washing soda. Let the bucket sit, covered, for 24 hours. Then pour the mixture into old detergent containers, and shake before use. This recipe makes enough detergent for 52 loads of laundry for only $1.25-quite a price break considering an equivalent brand detergent would cost up to $10.
Mix 2 cups washing soda with 2 cups borax. Store in an airtight container and use 2 tablespoons for each load. If your dishes come out cloudy, add 2 tablespoons of sugar-free lemon-flavored soft drink mix powder to the mix
the citric acid cuts the etching. Save even more money by replacing your rinsing agent with a tablespoon of white vinegar. This mixture runs 16 loads of dishes for $1.20 instead of paying more than $6 for store bought dishwasher detergent.
Instead of buying glass cleaner for upwards of $5 or more, you can make a simple glass cleaner for 50 cents. Mix 2 cups white vinegar with 2 cups water and put it in an inexpensive spray bottle. Wipe with newspaper for a streak-free shine.
For counters, tubs, sinks and appliances, make this all purpose cleaner and store it in a spray bottle. Mix together 1 cup of hot water, 1 teaspoon of borax and 1/2 teaspoon of washing soda. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to help cut down grunge. Spend less than a quarter rather than $4.
Instead of shelling out up to $8 for furniture polish, mix up a quick alternative for only 20 cents. All it takes is 3 tablespoons water, 2 teaspoons olive oil (or any oil you have around the kitchen), and 4 tablespoons white vinegar.
Dissolve 1/4 cup borax in 2 cups white vinegar and apply to stains or the soiled spot for 10 minutes. This remedy costs a slim 62 cents, as compared to up to $5 on a spot remover, and can be used on laundry, furniture and even carpet.
If it's the convenience that keeps you coming back to cleaning wipes, try making any of these recipes into wipes. Cut a large roll of paper towels in half and place one in a clean, empty coffee container. Pour the cleaning solution over the roll. After a few hours, you should be able to retrieve the cardboard roll from the center. Cut an 'X' in the lid of the container, and carefully pull the loose end from the center of the roll through the opening before closing the lid.
"Overall, the ingredients
washing soda, borax, vinegar, soap, baking soda and lemon
ring in at less than $15, and one of each is more than enough to make all six of these cleaning solutions with extra to refill as needed," says Realo. In fact, she says buying the equivalent in popular brand-name products can cost more than $60.
Although price is the most obvious perk to making your own cleaning supplies, you can say goodbye to competing scents in your house, feel safe about your children and pets becoming exposed to the products, and make extra bottles for different areas in your house to avoid lugging your supplies around.
For more information, visit www.CareOneCredit.com.
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