Stewards of the household chores are getting down to basics and creating their own cleaning products at home. Why? Well, it’s cheaper, better for the environment, eliminates use of toxic chemicals in your home and just as, if not more effective than the expensive commercial cleaners. So Moms out there, this DIY Home Cleaners, Products and Recipes Guide is for you—grab a sponge and soak it up. In this feature we’ll cover several remedies for issues throughout your home. Solutions may have an extra ingredient here and there, but by and large you can accomplish a great deal of all-natural cleaning with these hard-hitting essentials: Spray Bottles 2-3 Buckets with Lids (as large as 5-gallon if you make the whole recipe) Sponges Soft Cloths & Newspapers Vinegar Baking Soda Dish Soap (Dawn is often recommended, but feel free to use your favorite brand.) Lemons & Lemon Juice Salt Hydrogen Peroxide Water Cornstarch Baby Oil Olive Oil Essential Oil (Optional) Home Cleaners round’ the house All-Purpose: You knew we were going to mention vinegar, right? It doesn’t get more basic (and more effective, by the way) than good old fashioned vinegar and water. Mix a ratio of 1:3 respectively in a spray bottle for a fabulous all-purpose cleaner. If the smell of vinegar turns you off, add several drops (approx. 20) of scented essential oil to your bottle. Glass Cleaner: Here again, vinegar and water. This time mix equal parts and 3 drops of lemon juice in a spray bottle. Use newspapers instead of paper towels for streak-free cleaning. Wood Polish: Mix ¼ cup vinegar, ½ tsp. olive oil and ½ tsp. lemon juice. A little goes a long way with this polish. DIY Laundry Detergent, ease the load in the laundry room This homemade liquid laundry detergent recipe from Mother Nature Network is not only friendly on the environment, but on your clothing and wallet as well. Here’s What You’ll Need: 1 Bar of Soap—Brands popular for use in homemade detergents include Kirk’s Castile, Dr. Bonners or Fels Naptha. 1 cup Borax 1 cup Washing Soda (aka soda ash)- not to be confused with baking soda, washing soda is sodium carbonate that helps remove dirt and odors. Cheese Grater Medium Pot 5-Gallon Sealable Bucket Water Grate the bar of soap into a pot. Add 2 cups water and mix to combine under low heat. Once thoroughly combined, remove from heat. In your 5-gallon bucket, mix borax and washing soda. Add the soapy water mixture and stir quickly and thoroughly. Fill bucket to ¾ mark with water, continue stirring. Mixture will thicken overnight. Use one cup of detergent for large loads. Softer Sheets, on the Cheap Get a package of inexpensive sponges and a bucket with a lid. Pour one large bottle of your favorite liquid fabric softener into the bucket. Fill your empty softener bottle with water and add to bucket (do this twice for a 2:1 water/softener ratio.) Soak sponges in liquid. When clothes go into the dryer, gently wring liquid from a sponge and add it to your wet clothes. Pop sponge back into bucket after use; seal container between loads. Strike Out Stains: Mix the following in a large bucket: ½ cup hydrogen peroxide, ½ cup washing soda, and 1 cup hot water. Soak laundry overnight, then wash as normal. Tackling Stains, of the Armpit Variety: Mix one part dish soap and 2 parts hydrogen peroxide. Pour on stains and let sit for an hour. If necessary, add baking soda to stain and scrub with an old toothbrush. Wash as usual. Wrinkle Releaser: In spray bottle, combine equal parts fabric softener, white vinegar and water. Spray on fabric and either pop in dryer or tug in all directions to release wrinkles. DIY Kitchen Cleaners After you’ve thoroughly cleaned your kitchen basin, make that sink shine with just a little baby oil. Yep! Just a generic brand baby oil will do the trick. Spread it around your sink with a dry cloth or paper towel and admire the shine. Mix your own natural dish washing detergent: In a large jar with lid, mix 1 cup washing soda, 1 cup borax and 2 packs of lemonade mix (the kind with no sugar added). Just 1 tbs of this natural mix per load will get your dishes squeaky clean. Use white vinegar as a rinse agent for a one-two punch. Not only will the vinegar keep your glasses looking crystal clear, but it will help to clean your dishwasher as it runs. Bonus! DIY Bathroom Cleaner Miracle Shower Cleaner: In a spray bottle, combine equal parts white vinegar and Dawn dish soap. Spray your entire shower, let it work its magic for about two hours, then wipe with a damp sponge. For beautiful glass shower doors, dip half a lemon into kosher salt and scrub away. The acid and salt combination is all-natural and packs cleaning power like no other. Toilet bowl cleaning solution: Sprinkle ¼ cup baking soda into your toilet bowl, followed by 1 cup of vinegar. This will remind you of your 6th grade volcano experiment, but it’s doing some serious work. Let stand for 10 minutes, scrub with brush as usual. Drain De-Clogger Clogs are very common in bathrooms, with buildup of hair, toothpaste, products, etc. The drain cleaners on the market are laden with toxic chemicals, not to mention they’re expensive. Here are a couple all-nature ways to clear the clog without the threat of chemicals. For light duty cleaning or general preventative maintenance, mix ½ cup salt with 1 gallon of water. Heat mixture in large pot, just shy of boiling and pour down drain. The salt water mixture helps to pull particles off the side of your pipes and the hot water will push the clog through. For stubborn clogs, sprinkle ½ cup baking soda down your drain, followed by ½ cup vinegar. Wait 30 minutes, then pour a gallon of boiling water down your drain. Don’t mix this process with commercial solutions, you’ll create a toxic gas experiment that’s potentially very dangerous. Further, the boiling water is too intense for plastic pipes—use hot water from the tap instead. To assist the clog in its departure, you can always straighten a wire hanger (while keeping a small loop at the end) and snake that down your drain as well. Fresh & Fuzzy Underfoot The easiest, most all-natural solution for keeping your carpets looking great is to vacuum at least once per week. Depending on your home’s traffic, your carpets should be steam cleaned or shampooed once or twice annually. Carpet Stain Lifter: Combine equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Saturate stain, scrub with brush then allow solution to work on the stain for 10 minutes. Blot stain with soapy water cloth. Deodorizer: Mix 2 cups baking soda with 3 drops of essential oil. Sprinkle on carpet and allow to sit for 20 minutes, vacuum as usual. Need more ideas? There are so many clever “do it yourself cleaning solutions” out there. Let us know if we can help point you in the direction of more natural solutions for your home. Woodard Cleaning & Restoration was founded in 1946, and is located in St. Louis, Missouri. With more than 65 years of experience, Woodard is proud to serve as a preferred provider of water, fire, and smoke restoration services for residential, commercial, and institutional facilities. For more information, visit our contact page, or call 314-266-0373.