"The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land."
-Abraham Lincoln

Thrifty Thursday

I met a woman in the grocery store the other day who was complaining about the high cost of general household cleaners.  Store bought cleaners generally cost anywhere from $2.20 upwards to $5.00.    Most of these cleaners can be made at home for much cheaper and with less toxicity.

There are a few base ingredients that you will need if you intend to make your own household cleaners.
1. Plain white vinegar.
2. Baking soda
3. Rubbing Alcohol
4. Borax
5. mild dish detergent

This recipe for an all purpose cleaner is one that you can mix up right in the spray bottle.  It's easy and economical.
All Purpose Spray Cleaner:
1 tblsp. vinegar
1 tblsp. borax
Hot water
a few drops of dish detergent
essential oils *optional*
Makes 16oz.

In your spray bottle combine the vinegar and borax.  Fill the bottle about half full with the hot water and swish or stir until the borax is dissolved.  Add the dish detergent and fill the rest of the bottle with more hot water.   Add essential oils if you'd like.

Soft Scrub recipe:
This one simply requires a small amount of baking soda (enough to get the job done).  Add liquid dish detergent to the baking soda until it forms a paste-like consistency. 
It's great for use on sinks and counters.

Glass Cleaner:
1 cup rubbing alcohol
1 cup water
1 tblsp. white vinegar

Mix together all of the ingredients right in the spray bottle.  Use it just as you would any commercial window cleaner.

Wood Polish:
1 cup olive oil or almond oil
1/2 lemon juice
a few drops of essential oils are optional (I don't use them for this recipe because I find that the scent of the lemon or scent from the almond oil if I use it instead of olive oil is pretty enough)

Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle.  Spray onto a cleaning cloth and apply it to your furniture like you would commercial wood polish.

Carpet freshener: You could just sprinkle plain baking soda directly onto your carpets if you want a no frills carpet deoderizer but if you want something with a little more oopmf then try this recipe:
6 cups baking soda
3 cups dried lavender buds and flowers
1 cup cornstarch

Mix well and place inside an air tight plastic container.  Store for at least 2 days before using.  Sprinkle onto your carpet and let it sit for 45min-1 hour then vacuum it up.

Making your own cleaning products saves your money and your lungs.  
**A word to the wise if you want to make your own cleaners... Never mix vinegar or other acidic materials like ammonia with bleach. It WILL result in toxic fumes. So if you decide to go from here and experiment please do so safely and research.**

The above image can be found here.