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Make Your Own Scouring Cleanser

September 29, 2009 By: NB Category: Basic Formulas, Clean Formulas

scouring cleanser

scouring cleanser

As a general rule I don’t recommend scrubbing or scouring surfaces on a regular basis – it does eventually damage the material.  But there are occasions when it must be used if we are to rescue the surface in question.

For those times I like this cheap and easy creme scouring cleanser which is safe for a multitude of materials including glass, enamel, fiberglass, plastic, wood, stone, and metal with one exception.  This scouring cleanser contains baking soda.  NEVER use baking soda on aluminum surfaces. It attacks the thin unreactive protective oxide layer of this otherwise very reactive metal and the finish will oxidize and become cloudy and whitish.

1/4 cup liquid soap

1 Tbsp borax

3 Tbsp baking soda

3/4 cup very warm water.

Mix the water and liquid soap.  Add the dry ingredients and stir until grainy.  The shelf-life of this scouring cleanser is 3-4 months.  Remember to clearly label your container and keep out of the reach of children and pets.

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Make Your Own Disinfectant

September 28, 2009 By: NB Category: Basic Formulas, Clean Formulas

disinfectant spray

disinfectant spray

This is a much safer disinfectant that the commercial brands both safer for you and your family while you are using it and safer for the environment.  Remember, lemon juice (technically it’s the d-limonene in the lemons) kills a whole host of bacteria, viruses and fungi.

The shelf-life on this disinfectant spray cleaner is about 9 months.  Remember to label your containers.  And even though these are much safer than commercial products ALWAYS keep cleaning supplies out of the reach of children and pets.

1/2 cup liquid soap

4 Tbsp. lemon juice

3 cups warm water

Mix the ingredients in a clean, empty spray bottle and shake well.  Use your disinfectant regularly on surfaces people touch a lot, like faucet handles, door knobs, etc. – ESPECIALLY during cold and flu season!

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Make Your Own Glass Cleaner

September 27, 2009 By: NB Category: Basic Formulas, Clean Formulas

homemade glass cleaner

homemade glass cleaner

This is the quickest, easiest, safest and cheapest glass cleaner you can make.  There is no need for hazardous chemicals like ammonia or ethyl/isopropanol alcohol to make your windows and mirrors shine.

Mix all the ingredients in a clean empty spray bottle and shake well.  Label your bottle.  I use a permanent waterproof marker right on the bottle.  Paper labels get wet and smear or come off.

1/2 cup white vinegar

2 tsp. liquid soap

3 cups warm water

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Make Your Own Dishwashing Liquid

September 27, 2009 By: NB Category: Basic Formulas, Clean Formulas

homemade dishwashing liquid

homemade dishwashing liquid

This dishwashing liquid may not be as thick or suds as much as the store bought varieties but it cleans just as well, is much less expensive, and contains no ingredients that are harmful to people, pets, or the environment.  Remember — suds are like hype — it may make it seem as if a product producing lots of suds is doing a lot of work but the bottom line is that suds don’t clean. It’s the water and soap in this recipe that does the cleaning.  The glycerin is an emollient to protect your skin.  The lemon juice dissolves grease and kills germs and bacteria.

The essential oil of lemon is optional.  You can get many essential oils at very good prices at Mountain Rose Herbs.

1/4 cup soap flakes
2 cups hot water
2 tsp. glycerin
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
4 drops lemon oil (optional)


Mix all ingredients in a clean empty squeeze bottle. Cover, and shake well to blend. Label your container. I like to use a permanent waterproof marker directly on the bottle.  This dishwashing liquid has a shelf like of 3 to 4 months.

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Basic Liquid Soap Formula

September 16, 2009 By: NB Category: Basic Formulas, Clean Formulas

liquid soap

liquid soap

The basic liquid soap is used in multiple other formulas.  There are four choices with varying degrees of effort in creating a basic liquid soap.

Choice 1:  Make liquid soap using vegetable oil(s) and potassium hydroxide.  The advantage of making your own liquid soap from scratch is its purity.  The disadvantage is that it takes 4 to 8 hours to make soap.

Choice 2:  Make liquid soap by grating a bar of pure soap and mixing it with boiling water until the soap has dissolved.  The advantage of this method is it takes far less time than choice #1 and less expensive than choice #3 or #4.

Choice 3:  Purchase pure soap flakes and mix with boiling water until the soap has dissolved.  I haven’t found any local establishments who carry soap flakes but I have found a couple on the internet – but they cost more than I was willing to pay.  Proctor and Gamble stopped making Ivory Soap Flakes in 1993.

Choice 4:  Purchase a liquid soap, such as castile.  The disadvantage of this choice is that these can be a bit pricey.

Unless you’re already a soaper (slang for someone who makes soap) choice #2 (or #3 if you can get the flakes at a decent price) is the easiest and cheapest for most people.  Making soap flakes is easy.  Just grate the bar of soap with your kitchen grater just like a vegetable.  It won’t hurt your grater – just be sure and wash it well and rinse in a mild vinegar bath (3 tablespoons of vinegar to a gallon of water) so the next veggie you grate doesn’t taste like soap.

To turn your pile of soap flakes into liquid soap mix 1 cup of soap flakes with 3 cups of boiling water in a wide mouthed container with a tight fitting lid.  A large quart jar (save the earth and reuse an empty one!) works wonderfully.  Now just imagine you’re south of the border at a fiesta and the jar is a maraca and shake, shake, shake!  You could even put on some spicy Latino music and burn a few extra calories while you’re making soap.  Multitasking FTW!

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