Venturing Into Homemade Cleaners

A little while ago, I gathered a bunch of homemade cleaner recipes off the interwebs, which have been sitting on my coffee table, probably feeling neglected. But today was the day I finally made my first homemade cleaners. Last week I bought some borax, washing soda and citric acid from Hamilton East Bin Inn. They have the cheapest borax I could find at $5.90/kg. Ok, I have to stop myself here and say that I am officially a modern day hippie. Or, as henceforth I shall term it, a mippie. There, that felt better.

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My bathroom spray bottle was just about empty so I cleaned it out then used Method 2 of 2: Natural Bathroom Disinfectants from this post called How to Make a Natural Disinfectant on wikiHow. It uses borax, hot water and white vinegar. I made half this recipe as my bottle wasn’t quite big enough. I notice the guy in the photos isn’t wearing gloves, which you are supposed to wear when handling borax. I made sure my windows were open too. The cleaner seemed to work just as well as chemical cleaner to me. It smelt mildly of vinegar, which is much preferable to strong chemical odours. It was so easy to make.

The next cleaner I made was laundry detergent. We still have some eco-friendly detergent left but I wanted to make my own anyway. The Husband delayed my venture into laundry detergent and got the pouty face when he purchased the eco-friendly stuff all on his own. Good intentions, not so good on the pocket. The recipe I used is The Original Homemade Laundry Detergent by Matt Jabs at DIY Natural. It uses natural soap, borax and washing soda. I used Sunlight soap, available at Pak’nSave as four bars in a cardboard box. I grated the soap with a microplane, which took a while. I bet The Husband could do it really fast though.

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Washing soda.

I mixed the ingredients in a bucket to make it easy and to keep it away from my face. When the washing was finished I noticed the laundry room smelt just kind of clean rather than highly fragrant. This was oddly pleasing. I noticed some of the laundry detergent got stuck in the agitator, as it often does with our washing machine. I might have to try and make it finer next time. The washing appeared to be just as clean as it normally is and didn’t smell like fake fragrance.

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Mix it up in a bucket

No pretty containers here; I am keeping my cleaner ingredients and my laundry detergent in labelled icecream containers in the laundry. I was so engrossed in what I was doing that I didn’t weigh things out to crunch the numbers. But I will. I have a spreadsheet waiting…

Disclaimer: If you are going to try the above recipes, heed the safety warnings given and do your own research before using any of the above ingredients. I am not an expert, I am an experimenter.

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