Saturday, March 1, 2008

Top 10

My quest to natural cleaning products in my home has caused me to take notice of some things.

The average home has somewhere between 20-30 cleansers lurking in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and garage. That is A LOT!

It seems as though there is a product for every little thing that needs to be cleaned. If anything, going to natural homemade cleaners has eliminated my home's need for several different types of cleaners made up of several different types of chemicals. The homemade cleansers repeat many of the same ingredients.

I also believe that it is a lot cheaper to make your own cleansers too. I started off doing this for reasons other than financial, but I've loved the added bonus of being cost effective too! On average, a bottle of cleaner from the store costs anywhere between $3 and $4. I bought a box of Borax for that price and I've used borax in my detergent, sink scrubbers, and toilet cleaners. I'm still not done with the box.

When I first started looking into this, I thought that I was going to have to sacrifice in being a perfectionist because my thought was that the homemade cleaners were not going to be near as efficient as the store bought ones. I have actually had the opposite results. I feel like I've had to scrub less to get the grit and grease off, spray less to clean a surface off, and 'Biff' less to achieve a clean floor. Jason even noticed how sparkling our sink was last night- that my friends is proof!

This literally has not taken any time! I've avoided going down the long aisle of cleansers and reading every label. So, I figure that it has taken me about the same time to create something in a bottle.

Another thing I've loved is being creative with how my products end up smelling. I'm a huge sniffer. The sense of smell is a powerful thing for me. I haven't even built up a huge collection of essential oils either.

If you are wondering where to even begin with all of this stuff, I've made a list and condensed it down to 10 things that anyone can go to the store and purchase to get started making their very own homemade cleaners.

TOP 10 List of Get R Done Ingredients

1. Baking Soda- by the BIG box

2. White Vinegar- gallon size jug

3. Borax

4. Murphy's Oil Soap

5. Liquid Castile Soap (I use Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps)

6. Bar of Ivory Soap or Bar of Pure Castile Soap (I bought Kirk's at the Health food store in Bryan for 1.49)

7. Essential Oils- the most common used are eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, sweet orange oil, mint, rosemary, tea tree

8. Containers- get creative and have fun with this, you can also recycle lots of containers you have finished using

9. Citrus Seed Extract- I use Grapefruit Seed Extract as a disinfectant in a lot of my cleaners. GSE is an antimicrobial. If you read a little bit about this stuff you will soon discover that its uses are amazing and endless. I've even used this when Kaylyn had thrush as a baby. It is good stuff. I did have to order mine online. But, health food stores should have this. I've had my bottle a little over 2 years. Since it is has preserving agents in it as well, it doesn't go bad for 10 years or something crazy like that.

10. A creative nose and mind! If you like to homemake anything, this will be fun for you! You will enjoy using these products everyday knowing that you came up with the smells and they are also non-toxic to your home.

As you can see by this simple list, we've taken something complicated that requires a whole entire aisle at the store and have made it simple and fun. With these ingredients on hand in your home, you can clean virtually anything from your clothes to your bathrooms.

I will posting some of the recipes that I've found or created in the upcoming days ahead. Stay tuned!


Judy said...

Yes...I want those recipes! This week Kirby and I are making laundry detergent. I'm nervous. I made a vinegar/water cleaner mixer and I'm still not sold on it. I just can't shake the vinegar smell...even with Peppermint Dr. Bonner's soap. I want more ideas. Thanks! You inspire me Lyns.
Love ya..

QuiltedSimple said...

We are loving the smell of your laundry soap and fabric softner. It is making that whole end of the house smell nice and fresh. And I cannot believe how well the fabric softener worked - I couldn't use dryer sheets because of Jessie's eczema, and she noticed right away when she put her pj's on last night that she didn't have static. (I've been looking for clothes to wash today just to get that nice fresh smell and get rid of the static).

I'll be anxiously awaiting more of your recipes.

It was 47 today here - whoo hoo!!

Take care,

Kramer said...

Your amazing. I love you more and more each day. Thanks for looking out for our girls well being.

Carrie said...

Here's a site that has some homemade cleaning kits. A friend of mine, a doctor, usues this site. I haven't looked too closely at it yet. Hope it helps

cate said...

you inspire me!
i ordered 'the naturally clean home' after I read your post last week about it! It comes on Friday- i cannot wait!!
love you friend!

Jennifer Bacak said...

Can we have a party and make these? I'm overwhelmed in the how to by myself, but I really like the idea. Especially in saving money!!!
Now if we could make our own toilet paper, we'd save a LOT of money. That's weird, hu?

CarpioFamily said...

Ok, i can't even tell you how happy i am that you are making your own stuff. Ever since we talked about it that time in the nursery, i have been wondering if your tried it and if you loved it.
I have so enjoyed not having to go to the laundry isle, except to get my febreeze plug ins, for about 5 months now.
if you make it as a group it's so fun.When Ana and i did it we enjoyed it so much. I love when i need dishwasher detergent i just go to my garage and get 2 things, mix, and done. No trip to the store required.- I love IT!!
- honestly i started doing it b/c i was using so much money on detergent& kitchen-tub-toilet cleaners. I do love that it's eco friendly, but that wasn't the reason.
-Oh and i have noticed Easton's eczema, he only has small spots, has decreased alot, not all the way, but alot.
Oh and i use the reg. ivory but the detergent Ana White makes is with the lavender ivory, and it smells soo good!

Question: why do you add baking soda to your laundry soap? I don't i just use borax, w.soda, and ivory. What does it do?

The Kramer Family said...

Hey Kaylene!

I use the baking soda in addition to the rest of the stuff because it is really great for hard water. The combination of Borax and baking soda does really well cleaning together for me.

I know that there are SOOOOO many recipes out there. It is just a matter of finding one that works for you.

A lot of people have been wondering about why I add essential oils to mine. I do this mainly because of the smell plus the qualities of whitening and disinfecting that are found in orange oil. It does make it a touch more expensive, but I love the power and smells of essential oils.

Thanks for commenting.

The Montalbos said...

hey lyns!

love your posts on this topic. i get the "green guide" (magazine by national geog.) and they just had an article on making your own cleaners with almost ALL the ingredients you listed!

anyway, i was wondering if you had found any homemade dishwashing soap, or more specifically DISHWASHER detergent? i think it's gross that we eat off of dishes (and stella drinks bottles) with all those chemicals on them.

The Kramer Family said...

Hey Kyle,

That is such a good question about the dishwasher detergent. The author of 'The Naturally Clean Home' says that there really isn't an easy homemade recipe for that you can make at home due to the low sudsing need of the dishwasher.

She recommends that you buy an environmentally non-toxic one from the store. I bought one at HEB for around $3 which wasn't much more than the other kinds.

I know exactly what you mean about putting things in a dishwasher loaded with chemicals.

I need to look into the Green Guide. That sounds super interesting. Is it a monthly magazine?


The Montalbos said...

look at that website and follow the instructions to *try* and get your free subscription. i hope it works for you! :)

i got mine in dec.

CarpioFamily said...

Hey for auto-matic dishwasher detergent, you can use Borax and washing soda in equal amounts. I've used it for some time now and it works great!

The Kramer Family said...

Thanks Kaylene! I'm trying this dishwasher detergent. I might mix a bit of essential oils with mine, but I love this idea!

I did use Lavender and Vinegar instead of Rinse Aid (thanks to Connie's suggestion). It is working fantastic!

Thanks for the tip