Sunday, March 01, 2009

Frugality

In case this blog couldn't get any more boring, I thought I would post some frugal living tips. I'm not sure how many of my blogger pals are feeling this recession smack dab in the wallet but I know most of the country is in sticker shock.

If anybody has frugal tips to share with me, please do. Today's topic is homemade cleaners.

I wanted to start with homemade laundry detergent. It doesn't leave your clothes with a fancy smell. BUT it does get them clean and it's better for you and the environment. And did I mention it's CHEAP?

HOMEMADE LAUNDRY DETERGENT

1 cup grated soap (Use Zote, Fels Naptha, Castile or Ivory)
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax

Mix all together. Use one to two tablespoons per load.

To find washing soda at a store near you, call 1-800-524-1328.

Next I am covering homemade dishwasher detergent. I don't know if this one is a lot cheaper, but it is supposed to be healthier.

HOMEMADE DISHWASHER DETERGENT

1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Baking Soda
1/4 cup Citric Acid or you can use lemon koolaid powder
1/4 cup Salt

Use the same amount as you do with commercial cleaner. I've read that we tend to use too much detergent so I would try a tablespoon or two at first and see if I could get away with it.

Now for antibacterial cleaner since we are such a germ obsessed nation

4 cups water
1 TBS Dr. Bronners liquid castile soap (look at vitacost.com)
1/4 to 1/2 cup vinegar
20 drops tea tree oil
20 drops lavendar oil

Mix all together in a spray bottle.

I know tea tree oil is pricey but I have a friend who says she finds it at grocery outlet. Woo-hoot for the grocery outlet!

On to glass and counter cleaner.

1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar

Mix in a spray bottle. Use newspaper to wipe your mirror down after you spray this. Otherwise you will be wiping all day. The smell does dissipate, I promise.

I can't find the ratio of water to mouthwash but I read in a magazine that water mixed with cheap mouthwash is a great tile cleaner.

I use cheap mouthwash to scrub my toilet, just a splash of it. When Jasmine lived here, I had purchased her some generic Listerine which she refused to use. The gall of me, I know.

The mouthwash languished under a cupboard until I read the cleaning article. So I tried some in my toilet and it worked. Hey, if it can kill the smell of my morning breath it can certainly deodorize my toilet.

4 Comments:

Blogger Liz said...

Great topic, Caro.

I can vouch for the homemade laundry soap recipe, which I got from you! Just a fraction of the ingredients makes a ton, and it works.

I've also been using water/vinegar mix for cleaning lots of things. The smell is a turn-off, initially, but like you said, it dissipates.

My frugal tip: your public library. Books, movies, CDs, and activities for the whole family. For FREE.

Other things: check eBay and Craigslist first; always Google for coupon codes you can use for any online purchases (there is almost always SOME discount available); cook from scratch as much as possible, and when you do, double or triple the recipe so you can freeze some for later.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Caro said...

Thanks Liz. I might have to post your answers in my next frugal living post.

4:52 PM  
Blogger My float said...

I think this is great. It's also supposed to be healthier anyway, so win-win all round!

2:25 AM  
Blogger Caro said...

Myfloat - You're back! I forgot to point out it was healthier - too true. With so many toxins in our environment, it's great to cut back where we can.

8:36 AM  

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