Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Conversion

Recently, the husband and I bought a new house. This has led to the necessity of cleaning out our former rental property. I am not a lover of cleaning. I do not find great joy in having spotless floors and counters. I do not take pride in having a place for everything and everything in its place. On the contrary, I would rather leave the dishes and read a book or play with the boys. But, in order to get the deposit back on our rental property, the rental needed to be cleaned out. Floors swept and mopped, the bath tub scoured, cupboards wiped out; in short, my idea of a root canal. Thankfully, I had some great friends come along side me and help out. The house was done in about two hours. What I discovered is that I really really really really really really really do not tolerate the smell of bleach or ammonia well. It gives me an immediate headache. I know, I know it’s the most powerful disinfectant there is. But it’s also corrosive and smelly. I have found an alternative.

Now before you start calling me a hippy and dismissing me as one of those Martha Stewart, make everything from scratch types, please hear me out. I recently committed to the husband that I would do better about keeping up the house. We, ok I, like to entertain and we want our new investment to look nice. That requires some extra effort on my part. But I don’t like ammonia or bleach smells. What was I to do? I went on the internet! Novel I know, and found some recipes for home based cleaners. I was a little skeptical, but open to change. The clincher to try out the cleaners was that I had everything on hand so I wouldn’t have to spend any money on the experiment. I went to Google, typed in home based cleaners and was directed to the site On there I found cleaning solutions for everything, from carpet cleaners and air fresheners to a dish washing and laundry soaps. I made up the recipe for a multi-purpose cleaner and began cleaning the walls in my kitchen, and boy did it work! Extra bonus, the paint didn’t come off either! So, now I am in love with my new cleaner. It works great, is cheap and my kids can help me clean too! I no longer have to worry about the boys getting into harsh chemicals and burning their eyes out. Go check it out and let me know what you think!

If you want to start with just the general cleaner, here is the recipe:
Mix ½ cup vinegar and ¼ cup baking soda into ½ gallon water. Store and keep.


amy f. said...

I've been wanting to make some basic homemade cleaners for a while now (bought some spray bottles a long time ago), but just haven't broken down and done it (plus I just stocked up at the store on cleaners, ugh). But, yes, I've always heard baking soda and vinegar are great.

One way that I've cut costs on hand soap is by buying a huge store brand bottle of liquid soap (with no moisturizer), saving foaming soap pumps and mixing (I forget the ratio) the liquid soap with warm water, shaking up and using my existing foam dispensers. Works well.

Gene and Annie said...

Thanks Katie! I will be trying this soon and I trust your opinion because I know you would tell me it works if it didn't!! It's funny you posted this because I have been trying to save us money by doing more homemade type stuff!

We have been taking the Dave Ramsey finanaical Peace University classes.... so we have caught the money saving bug! Thanks again!

3BoyMommy said...

I am totally transitioning to non-chemical and homemade cleaners (hence the reason I was dismayed that you bought a fresh bottle of bleach cleaner to replace the one that I thought I had lost - but no harm done). The best disinfectant is to have one spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide (in an opaque bottle) and one spray bottle of distilled white vinegar. You spray one, and then the other right on top of it - the real action happens as they combine (it wouldn't be the same effect to mix them first). I love this blog for all things natural/homemade/frugal/green:
I have used the peroxide/vinegar method for several months now, and though I'm not fond of the smell of vinegar, it dissipates quickly and I know it is a healthier option for us. Baking soda is very versatile and has a million cleaning uses. I have tried a homemade veggie wash recipe that was super easy, and once I run out of laundry detergent I will be trying out a homemade recipe of that as well. I also just bought a steam mop - I really want to do away with chemicals in my cleaning routine.