Keeping your house clean for cheap can be difficult if you’re always buying commercial cleaning products. These 6 homemade cleaning products use simple ingredients that have been proven to work over time. They’re not always as effective as the commercial products, but they’ll get the job done most of the time.
Ammonia has been used as an effective cleaner for years. It’s not something you’d want to drink, but it’s cheap and it works. Soapy ammonia is especially useful as a cleaning agent. You can use it for most of your kitchen and bathroom cleaning jobs. You can buy it as a pre-mixed cleaner in many stores (dilute according to directions). Or you can make your own. Simple mix about 1/3 cup of ammonia with 2/3 cup of water and add a squirt of dish detergent.
Floor Wax Stripper
By mixing 1/2 cup of powdered floor cleaner with 2 cups ammonia and 1 gallon of cold water, you can make your own floor wax stripper. Rub it on the floor with a fine steel wool pad and get ready for a lot of scrubbing! You can make the formula a little bit better by mixing in a little rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol).
You don’t need any fancy anti-static spray to clean the furniture in your house. Some plain water and a little bit of mild liquid detergent will clean furniture with a sealed finish just fine. Mix it up in a spray bottle for easy application. Just spray some on the furniture, wipe with a damp cloth, then follow it up with a dry, lint-free cloth to finish drying.
Silver Tarnish Cleaner
This solution will strip all the tarnish off a piece of silver, so don’t use it on an antique or something with a detailed pattern. Take a piece of aluminum foil and put it in the bottom of a plastic or glass container. Lay your tarnished silver on top and sprinkle it with 1 to 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Then pour about 2 quarts of very hot water (just under boiling) over it all. Let it sit until the bubbles stop. Then you can rinse it and polish it with a soft cloth.
This works by breaking down the silver sulfide (that’s what tarnish is) and transfers it to the aluminum foil. Then you just throw out the foil. You can also clean large pieces this way by using the sink with more hot water and baking soda.
With a solution of 1 cup chlorine bleach, 3 cups water, and 2 teaspoons of trisodium phosphate (TSP), you’ll have an effective wall cleaner that can cut through mildew and grime. You should test your paint or wallpaper in an inconspicuous area before using this or any other liquid based wall cleaner.
Apply this solution with a sponge or soft brush and work from the bottom up. Let it sit a few minutes to break down any grime, then rinse it with a damp cloth. Be sure you don’t dump any of this solution down the drain as trisodium phosphate isn’t good for the environment. But using it this way you won’t need to worry about environmental effects. It’s also non-toxic so no need to worry about that.
You can usually find trisodium phosphate in hardware stores with the paint supplies. (In higher concentrations it’s a great prep for repainting as it deglosses shiny surfaces so the next layer of paint will stick better.)
What Homemade Cleaning Products Do You Use?
Do you have a favorite homemade cleaning product you like to use to cut costs? Let us know the details in the comments below! I’ll start. We also like to use vinegar solutions for a variety of things. Anyone else use vinegar as a cleaning product?
photo credit: (Anne Hornyak on Flickr)