Fun, Thrifty and Economical Homemade Items

The times we are living in today are pretty hard times and could be harder for some. Through the years my husband and I made a commitment to be as self sufficient at possible. I have found and used a lot of homemade recipes for cleaning and everyday use. They really work! I used to be skeptical thinking that in order for a cleaner to work you had to smell all the chemicals and realized that those chemicals were the very thing that were harming my family. There a very basic products you can keep in your home that are inexpensive and can be bought at just about any grocery store.

The following ingredients are

*Baking Soda
*Rubbing Alcohol
*Washing Soda (can be found near laundry detergent in most stores)
*Murphy's Oil Soap (something I use on my floors but can used on any wood)
*Dr Bronners Castile Soap (can be used alone) $ sizes may vary ranging from $3 for 2oz to $50 per gallon- a Gallon can last up to a year depending on how often you use
*Bleach (I use mostly in the bathroom diluted with water only)
Your more costly ingredients would be essential oils, but recipes only require a few drops and they last a long time. You can purchase them at your local health food store. My favorite brand is Aura Cacia.

All Purpose Cleaner
A clean 32 ounce trigger spray bottle
2 teaspoon borax
4 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 cup Dr. Bronners
Essential oil of lemon, tea tree or lavender
Hot water (enough to fill bottle)
Instructions: Fill bottle 1/4 full with hot water then add borax. Shake to completely dissolve borax. Next add vinegar, home soap, and 20-25 drops essential oil. Fill the rest of the bottle with hot water. Gently shake mixture. Ready for use. **It's a good idea to clearly label your bottle as "cleaner"

Dust Furniture Polish
A clean 16 ounce trigger spray bottle
2 teaspoon olive oil ( vegetable oil)
Essential oil of lemon, tea tree or lavender
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
Hot water (enough to fill bottle)
Instructions: Mix 20 drops of essential oil, olive oil, and vinegar with hot water in bottle. Gently shake mixture. Ready for use. You have to shake this occasionally as you are using it for the oil separates in the water.**It's a good idea to label your bottle as "cleaner"

Dryer Sheets/Fabric Freshener
Ingredients: Your favorite essential oils
Instructions: Add freshness to baby's clothes with a few drops of essential oil in rinse water or put a few drops on towel and throw in the dryer.

Glass Cleaner All natural, powerful, AND inexpensive
Ingredients: 1 cup white distilled vinegar
1 cup distilled water
3 drops essential oil of your choice
Instructions: Mix all ingredients together. Pick an oil you'd like, or just skip.

Sterilize Sponges and Rags in Your Microwave I also recommend you modify the way you use your existing towels, sponges, rags and other conventional tools you use to clean your home with, as 1) they are some of the top sources for illness-causing germs in your home; and 2) they do a very poor job of cleaning the biological and toxic aspects of dirt in your home Microwaves are horrible for cooking, but GREAT for sterilizing these items! A University of Florida team found that putting your wet sponge in the microwave for two minutes at full power could kill 99 percent of a wide range of bacteria, viruses and parasites (including B. cereus spores after four minutes, which are normally able to survive extreme heat and radiation). Keep in mind, however, that you MUST SOAK THE SPONGE BEFORE MICROWAVING IT, or else it will likely catch fire and possibly ruin the microwave, if not your house. Additionally, the way this works is by causing the water in the sponge to turn to hot steam, which is what kills the bacteria. Also make sure the sponges do not contain any metallic components. Zapping your sponges in the microwave every other day will decontaminate them better than simply putting them in the dishwasher, which is the strategy I had been using previously.

Step One
Strong paper towels work the best. Cut one roll of paper towels in half. Take out the core so wipes pull out of the center.
Step Two
Make solution.
2 cups water
1/2 cup of baby oil
1/4 cup baby magic baby bath or 1/8 cup Dr Bronners Baby Mild Castile Soap
Step Three
Place 1/2 roll of paper towels in container. Pour solution over towels. Store in container. Makes 2 1/2 rolls.
****A word of caution on making homemade cleaners: never mix bleach with any type of acid such as ammonia or vinegar. It will cause toxic fumes that are very dangerous
These recipes are fun to make with the children, Most of the ingredients are non-toxic ** I HIGHLY RECOMMEND KEEPING ESSENTIAL OILS AWAY FROM YOUNG CHILDREN AND CLOSELY SUPERVISE OLDER CHILDREN- As some essential oils can irritate the skin and eyes**



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