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Thursday, April 16, 2009

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 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.


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.


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.

(with the help of Mary)


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