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Save money: Homemade household cleaners

Confession time – If there’s a “clean gene” in DNA, it somehow skipped me. My Mom had it, but not me. I can always find something more interesting to do than clean house. That being said, there is something about springtime that energizes and dare I say, even inspires me, to become the Queen of Clean.

In my all-consuming quest for everything frugal and fabulous, a few years ago I began experimenting with making my own household cleaners. I had two requirements. They had to be cheaper than the retail equivalent and they actually had to work. I know, color me crazy.

Happily there are a few “recipes” to share that yield excellent results.

Glass Cleaner — Mix in a sprayer bottle: 1 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol, 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon ammonia. I like to color this blue so everyone knows what it is.

All-Purpose Cleaner and Deodorizer — 4 Tbsp. baking soda dissolved in 1 quart warm water. Pour this on a clean sponge and wipe. This is for appliances and kitchen counters and it’s especially good for inside the refrigerator.

Vinegar is your friend. No doubt the most versatile of all the home cleaners is vinegar. Don’t worry about vinegar making your house smell like you’re perpetually dying Easter eggs. The odor disappears when it dries.

All-Purpose Cleaning Spray — In a spray bottle, mix 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water. Spray and scrub. For really tough mineral deposits or soap scum, warm the solution first, spray, and let sit before scrubbing, or use straight vinegar (don’t use straight vinegar on tile grout – it can cause the grout to break down). Use on countertops, sinks, toilets and floors.

To clean shower heads clogged with mineral deposits: Place 1/4 to 1/2 cup undiluted white vinegar in a plastic food storage bag, and secure the bag to the shower head with a rubber band. Let stand overnight, then rinse and buff the fixture to a shiny finish.

Fabric Softener — Add one cup of undiluted white vinegar to the laundry instead of commercial fabric softener. White vinegar softens clothes and cuts detergent residue. This is especially helpful for family members with sensitive skin.

A word of caution; always use care in mixing up your own cleansers. Due to residue that could be left on containers, use new empty containers to store your cleaning solutions.

Lastly; NEVER mix ammonia based cleaners with chlorine bleach, or anything that contains bleach. The fumes that are created are dangerously toxic. Happy Spring Cleaning!

Frugal Finds contributed by Patti Diamond author of Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! , www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.

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