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House Cleaning for Less

By: Joshua Unseth-- 2010-04-09 4:00 am --

People today are of the mindset that if you don't have a store bought bottle of all-purpose spray cleaner, furniture polish, or glass cleaner, you just can't clean. If you're trying to live the frugal life and save money in every way possible, your cleaning products are a great way to get started. Almost everything you buy at the store for cleaning can be easily made at home out of ingredients you most likely already have in your cupboard. An added bonus is that not only do these homemade products clean well, they are also chemical-free. If you look up the ingredients of your nearest bottle of Pledge or 409, there is a good chance you won't be able to pronounce most of them. These expensive chemical cleaners are full of harmful chemicals.

Do it Yourself All-Purpose Cleaner
To make a bottle of basic all-purpose cleaner to use in your kitchen and bathroom, all you need is distilled white vinegar, lemon juice, water, and an empty spray bottle. Mix together one part vinegar, three parts water, and one tablespoon of lemon juice. Shake it up, and you're ready to clean. This little mixture will clean just as well as the chemical filled stuff you've been using, and it probably didn't cost you anything. The acidity of the lemon juice kills germs and bacteria, and it helps to negate the unpleasant vinegar odor. Any lingering vinegar odor will disappear as soon as the mixture dries.

Do it Yourself Furniture Polish
To make your very own all-natural furniture polish, you only need olive oil and lemon juice. If you don't have olive oil, vegetable and canola oil are acceptable substitutes. Mix two parts oil and one part lemon juice together in a bowl, dip your cleaning cloth into it, and go over all areas of the wood. Use a dry cloth to go over the wood again. Your furniture should gleam and shine just as well as it does when you use store bought furniture polish. This mixture can also be poured into a spray bottle for easier application.

Do it Yourself Window Cleaner
Making window cleaner is pretty much the same recipe as the all-purpose cleaner, but the lemon juice can be left out unless you just want to use it to help with the smell. Essential oils are also fine to use in place of lemon juice for fragrance. To make the cleaner, put one part distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle and fill the rest up with water. It's best to use old newspapers to wipe the windows clean rather than paper towels. Newspapers are better at preventing streaking, and it will save you money on buying paper towels.

In addition to the above items, you can also make your own laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, and soap. However, the ones listed above are the easiest to mix. Do you have any homemade products you use for cleaning, and if so, how do you make it?