Cleaning Supplies Using Food Storage Items

Recently we received an email from one of our readers and Twitter friend (@MaryC49) we just HAD to share! Mary did a blog post all about homemade cleaners on her blog http://somethingaboutmaryc.blogspot.com. What a great idea to store simple ingredients in your storage that can make a variety of cleaners. Her post was so great, we are just copying it directly here (she gave us permission).

So straight from Mary’s Mouth:

Today I am sharing some of my home-made cleaning recipes. They work. I have been using them for several months and have eliminated most of the store bought, pre-made cleaning products in my home.

I bought a 3 pack of spray bottles at Costco. Each had a different color cap ring and spray trigger. I use GREEN for Floor Cleaner, BLUE for Glass Cleaner and RED for Multi-Purpose Cleaner. I also re-purposed a clear acrylic spray bottle to use for a Linen Sprayer. I cleaned it well and poured just-boiled water in it to sterilize.


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A few items to keep on hand for FRUGAL and GREEN cleaning are:

  • Distilled Water (when you clean you should start without stuff in your liquid)
  • Vinegar (plain old cheapo white vinegar)
  • Dishwashing liquid (I like Method or Trader Joe’s)
  • Borax
  • Washing Soda
  • Baking Soda
  • Essential oil (optional)

So here are a few recipes to start:

Multi-Purpose Cleaner

1 teaspoon Washing Soda
1/2 teaspoon dishwashing liquid
4 cups hot distilled water (or fill your 32 to almost full)

Put the top on your sprayer and shake it up a bit. Use this for your regular cleaning in Kitchens, baths, etc. Don’t use it on stone or granite. I haven’t made one for that yet.

Window Cleaner

1/4 cup Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dishwashing liquid
4 cups distilled water (or fill your 32 to almost full)

Put the top on the sprayer. Give it a shake or two. Use on Windows and glass. You can also use it on ceramic tile. Use newspaper to wash your windows. I use a microfiber cloth to clean mirrors and tile.

Floor Cleaner (Not the Mop Bucket kind -Ok for sealed Wood, Ceramic Tile, Sealed Stone and Laminate)

1/3 Cup Vinegar (NO MORE)
Fill the remainder of the 32 with Distilled Water
Shake it up.

To use: Spray (don’t squirt) on dust mop for daily clean-up. For build up on Wood or laminate floors, spray the floor and use a microfiber mop or cloth to buff the floor.

Linen Spray

1 1/2 oz Vodka
1/2 teaspoon Lavendar (or fragrance of your choice) essential oil
2 cups distilled water

I used a 16 oz spray bottle so a little was left. Place in spray bottle and shake well before using. Spray on your linens when you make the bed or use to iron with.

Oven Cleaner

Make a paste with Baking soda and water. Spread a bit on baked on gunk. Let sit a bit and then scrub off. Repeat if necessary. It also does a great job scrubbing grease off the inside of the oven window.

Soap Scum

Use a little baking soda with the Multi-Purpose Cleaner to scrub soap scum off shower doors and tubs.

Toilets

Use 1/4 cup of borax in the bowl. Swish it around some. Let sit in bowl about 30 minutes. Swish again and flush. I also put the same amount of Borax in the back of the toilet every so often to disinfect the whole thing.


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  • emorra

    Two more recipes for home made cleaning products, hope they are useful to someone! We use them all the time and they have both saved us tons of money, and we also feel they are better for our home environment than the commercial alternatives.

    ***Home made liquid Laundry Soap:

    1 bar soap (can use any kind, from purchased bar soap to home made)
    1 cup Borax
    1 cup Washing Soda

    Grate the bar of soap fine, then dissolve in 4 cups of simmering water in a saucepan.

    Dump soap mixture into 5 gallon bucket, add Borax and Washing Soda and stir, slowly adding 3 gallons of very hot tap water as you mix.

    Once cool it should gel, if not, mix well before using each time, it will still work. For an average load of laundry use 1/4 cup of this mixture. Totally safe for HE machines (front loading), I’ve been using this for 5 years in mine πŸ™‚

    ***Tub & Tile Hard Water/Soap Scum cleaner

    1 part any kind of dish soap (we use Method) to 1 part vinegar

    Mix well in your spray bottle, spray on tub/tile/glass shower doors, leave for 10 minutes, wipe with sponge or cloth, rinse with hot water.

    Don’t use this on any stone surfaces. It has never damaged our tile grout in the 5 years or so that we’ve been using it, I just fear that the acidic content (vinegar) would damage real stone like marble or granite.

  • Christine Grimae

    A very
    helpful advice. These will surely help us.. Smile.
    -tine
    Β 

  • I follow your projects with great interest and I hope you will be able to continue your great work.Β  You’re an absolute inspiration to me. Thanks!

  • Some people shop for staples in their grocery shopping once a month or
    once every other month. This is a good idea except for the period when
    it gets down to shopping day and the supply of food may be depleted.
    Having even a small supply of food on hand is a good thing for everyone
    in case of emergencies.

  • Good quality article thanks for sharing with us this impressive info

  • Ejb11324

    The best tub scum cleaner I’ve ever found is: 1/3 spray bottle of Dawn and 2/3 bottle white vinegar. Spray, let soak a bit. Wipe off with “scratchy” sponge. Vinegar can be *strong but surely less toxic than some of the chemicals in commercial sprays.

  • wvgrlntx

    I don’t know if any of you are planning to make laundry detergent or not. The recipe I use calls for Fels Naphtha bar soap. I have ordered this online as I could not find it locally. I have paid from 2.00 to 4.50 per bar plus shipping. This morning I was at Walmart and found it there!! They sell it for .97 cents a bar.

    • Marie

      Fels Napa can be found at Fresh Market in the laundry section most often on the top shelf.

    • Maria Hovak

      Could you share your recipe?Β  I know I’ve seen one previously, but, noodle-head that I am, neglected to write it down πŸ™Β  Thanks

    • Corinne

      I like Zote better it smells like lemmons and seems to clean better, it’s available at some Wal-Mart’s, other smaller 5&dimes, and those small latino stores that are popping up everywhere, I’ve also seen it at independent hardware/feed farm stores. It runs about $1.25 and is a large bar.

  • I love this blog, I found it on Bing and I think I will come back one day, it very helpful for me. Thanks.

  • wayne

    Excuse me for sounding dumb. But what the heck is Washing soda please ladies????

    • Marie

      It looks like and is in the same family as baking soda..will be found in the laundry section in stores..you do not want to use it for baking…great for cleaning and washing clothes

      • Sam

        It’s very different form baking soda.

  • Keep on posting such articles…

  • Good article. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free.

  • do you have these cleaning supply tips on you binder’s updates??

  • i read this comment and agree with you !

  • Thanks for your information on how to use a food storage items to cleaning. Naturally and save the world.

  • Yeah, I also can’t understand people who seldom cleans the kitchen sink saying that it’ll get dirty again anyway… πŸ˜€

  • Yeah, I also can't understand people who seldom cleans the kitchen sink saying that it'll get dirty again anyway… πŸ˜€

  • San

    If it helps – the washing soda box will look a like a big box of baking soda except instead of being orange it will be yellow.
    Been using similar recipes for ages & these work. Don’t breathe in the borax but borax is great for killing bugs (carpet freshener) and it dried things out or keeps the damp away. I use it as a neutralizer – if I’m worried the shampooer didn’t get all of a mess out then I sprinkle borax on the spot to draw it out the rest of the way & make sure any damp left by the shampooer doesn’t make it worse.

    Question – this probably sounds dim but I’m not s drinker…. what kind of vodka is best for household use??? I’ve heard the cheap ones can have sediment in them that can cause issues/degrade the quality of what your trying to make. But there are so many kinds I get overwhelmed.

    • Corinne

      Everclear is the best choice or 91+% alcohol you can get at some pharmacies, both have no smell and evaporate quickly.

  • San

    If it helps – the washing soda box will look a like a big box of baking soda except instead of being orange it will be yellow.
    Been using similar recipes for ages & these work. Don't breathe in the borax but borax is great for killing bugs (carpet freshener) and it dried things out or keeps the damp away. I use it as a neutralizer – if I'm worried the shampooer didn't get all of a mess out then I sprinkle borax on the spot to draw it out the rest of the way & make sure any damp left by the shampooer doesn't make it worse.

    Question – this probably sounds dim but I'm not s drinker…. what kind of vodka is best for household use??? I've heard the cheap ones can have sediment in them that can cause issues/degrade the quality of what your trying to make. But there are so many kinds I get overwhelmed.

  • Yes When we comes to the food matter we must be clean and keep all our materials and products clean……
    You have done a great job by sharing your ideas with as…. Thank you….

  • Yes When we comes to the food matter we must be clean and keep all our materials and products clean……
    You have done a great job by sharing your ideas with as…. Thank you….

  • Elizabeth Golly

    i tried some of these yesterday and oh my the multipurpose cleaner is great and the baking soda on the oven works really well… another tip for an oven with gunk in ball up some tin foil and scrub with it. no water or extras needed. just don’t use it on the oven glass. well have a great day.

  • Elizabeth Golly

    i tried some of these yesterday and oh my the multipurpose cleaner is great and the baking soda on the oven works really well… another tip for an oven with gunk in ball up some tin foil and scrub with it. no water or extras needed. just don’t use it on the oven glass. well have a great day.

  • Natalie

    Would it be okay to put essential oils in all of these recipes to make your home smell pretty? Or does it do something to the cleaner?

  • Natalie

    Would it be okay to put essential oils in all of these recipes to make your home smell pretty? Or does it do something to the cleaner?

    • Corinne

      Yes essential oil is fine and sometimes great, like lavender essential oil will kill bacteria and I think it may kill other things as well. And grapefruit essential oil kills all kinds of things and smells great. Lots of info @ mother earth news and mother earth living websites.

  • Re: Washing soda – if you can’t find it, use a tiny bit of regular laundry soap or castille soap. It’s only a teaspoon.
    You can use Washing Soda on walls, doors, tile, linoleum, clothes as a stain remover, presoak or detergent booster. You can even use it on concrete to get out greasy stains and so forth.

    I have been using all these cleaners for almost year exclusively in my home. We have asthma and allergies so I felt it necessary. The only thing I have not been able to get rid of with these cleaners is mold or mildew stains. I use hydrogen peroxide or oxygen bleach for that. You can also use regular bleach but the fumes are not very healthy.

    Hydrogen peroxide will also get rid of algae in fountains and bird baths without harming the birds.

    HTH.

  • Re: Washing soda – if you can’t find it, use a tiny bit of regular laundry soap or castille soap. It’s only a teaspoon.
    You can use Washing Soda on walls, doors, tile, linoleum, clothes as a stain remover, presoak or detergent booster. You can even use it on concrete to get out greasy stains and so forth.

    I have been using all these cleaners for almost year exclusively in my home. We have asthma and allergies so I felt it necessary. The only thing I have not been able to get rid of with these cleaners is mold or mildew stains. I use hydrogen peroxide or oxygen bleach for that. You can also use regular bleach but the fumes are not very healthy.

    Hydrogen peroxide will also get rid of algae in fountains and bird baths without harming the birds.

    HTH.

  • I know here in California you can get it at Winco and I have a reciepe for laundry soap too.

  • I know here in California you can get it at Winco and I have a reciepe for laundry soap too.

  • Nicole

    I have researched the best cleaner for granite. It is just dish soap and water. I make a mixture and keep it in a spray bottle. I don’t have an exact amount. Just enough soap so that it doesn’t leave a residue. I’ve been using this solution for over a year and my granite counters are sparkling clean.

  • Nicole

    I have researched the best cleaner for granite. It is just dish soap and water. I make a mixture and keep it in a spray bottle. I don’t have an exact amount. Just enough soap so that it doesn’t leave a residue. I’ve been using this solution for over a year and my granite counters are sparkling clean.

  • Great ideas! Thank you… Does anyone happen to have a recipe for a furniture cleaner similar to “pledge?” I’ve been looking for a while and would love a recipe. Buying it in the store is SOOOO ridiculously expensive!

  • Great ideas! Thank you… Does anyone happen to have a recipe for a furniture cleaner similar to “pledge?” I’ve been looking for a while and would love a recipe. Buying it in the store is SOOOO ridiculously expensive!

    • Sam

      When I was a M____y Maid we used straight lemon oil. Also used it on glass showers doors – kept water deposits away over time.

  • Mary

    Ok, maybe I’m totally spacing it but what is washing soda? Have either of you tested out these concoctions? I’m always hesitant to try out “self made” cleaners for fear that they will ruin whatever I’m cleaning, or not clean it at all and just be a waste of time.

  • Mary

    Ok, maybe I’m totally spacing it but what is washing soda? Have either of you tested out these concoctions? I’m always hesitant to try out “self made” cleaners for fear that they will ruin whatever I’m cleaning, or not clean it at all and just be a waste of time.

  • gaby

    wow what a great idea!! thank your jodi and julie for post in these very helpful and thank you mary for sharing it with us I’ll give it a try!!!
    it sound really good!!!!!

  • gaby

    wow what a great idea!! thank your jodi and julie for post in these very helpful and thank you mary for sharing it with us I’ll give it a try!!!
    it sound really good!!!!!

  • Cindy

    What’s washing soda and where do I buy it?

    • Jodi — Food Storage Made Easy

      Ok I asked Mary about washing soda as I was curious myself. Her response “Washing soda is sodium carbonate. It is a detergent, water softener, degreaser. Arm & hammer makes some. Grocery store or walmart has it.” I couldn’t find it at my neighborhood market Walmart but I read about it on another website and it says to look near the laundry detergents and it’s normally right by the borax. Also I believe the website soapgonebuy.com has all kinds of cleaner products like that. Good luck and let us know if you find it!

  • Cindy

    What’s washing soda and where do I buy it?

    • Jodi — Food Storage Made Easy

      Ok I asked Mary about washing soda as I was curious myself. Her response “Washing soda is sodium carbonate. It is a detergent, water softener, degreaser. Arm & hammer makes some. Grocery store or walmart has it.” I couldn’t find it at my neighborhood market Walmart but I read about it on another website and it says to look near the laundry detergents and it’s normally right by the borax. Also I believe the website soapgonebuy.com has all kinds of cleaner products like that. Good luck and let us know if you find it!

      • Sam

        The Walmart out here stopped carrying Washing Soda & Fals Naptha when they moved to a new store but all the other grocery stores have it & even some drug stores…

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