Sunday, March 01, 2009


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?


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.


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
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.


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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