Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Homemade Cleaners

For cleaners in the home I like to go "green" if I can, so I use ecostore products which I buy when they are on special at the supermarket.

However over the years I have started to make my own cleaners too so I know exactly what is in them and to save a lot of money. I like to think that I am also contributing in my own little way to help save the environment.

I noticed yesterday that my furniture polish was getting low so in making up a new batch I thought I would put up the recipes and ingredients for some of them.

This may look like a lot of products but they are used very sparingly in my cleaners so they will last a good few years. Most are available from large supermarkets except the boiled linseed oil which is from a hardware store and you have to use the "boiled" type and be careful as it can be inflammable. It is fine in the recipe I list but just store it safely.

Timber Furniture Polish

Combine equal parts of : -
Linseed oil, [I found this in a large hardware store (Mitre 10 Mega) in the paints section]
Brown vinegar,
Methylated Spirits.

Make up and store in spray bottle. Shake well before use and either use sparingly on a lint free cloth or spray lightly over surface and rub in.
You can add a few drops or lemon essence, eucalyptus oil or lavender oil for a pleasing fragrance as this polish does stink a bit – so my cherubs say – but I don’t mind and it soon disappears.

All-purpose Liquid Cleanser

Combine: -
1 litre of hot water
1 Tblsp of cloudy ammonia,
1 Tblsp white vinegar
¼ cup bicarbonate of soda (baking Soda)
Shake all well together until the bicarbonate of soda has dissolved, then store for future use. I use an empty spray bottle of a cleaner I used to use, what’s more, no-one realizes it is home made.

Wool Wash

700gr box of soap (Lux) flakes
35mls eucalyptus oil
292 mls (1 & 1/6 cups) Methylated spirits (this is a funny amount because I had to change it as the size of the box of soap flakes changed from when I started making it years ago)

Mix all up in a bucket and store in plastic lidded glass containers. I use two large preserving jars.

Use one good tablespoonful to a bucket of water. I dissolve it in a bit of hot water first and then add cold water until I get the water to hand warm temperature.
Squeeze woollens through and soak a little then squeeze through again.
Hang to dry.
No rinsing needed.

I know it is full of soap suds but as the garments dry they just disappear.
Best hung on the line on a windy day but I have rolled up baby clothes in towels to dry them and it still works.

It is really quite simple and I have used it for over 20 years.
No shrinkage of favourite jumpers etc.
It is a recipe for blanket wash in my book of handy hints so good for that too

Edited to add: 

Glass Cleaner

1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 tsp detergent
2 cups water

Shake together.
Keep in spray bottle.

1 cup of Methylated spirits or white vinegar
Add to a litre of water.
Keep in a spray bottle and shake before use.

I have an empty 175 ml spray glass cleaner bottle, for using so I make up half this mixture.
I apply it, rub it in and dry it with a cloth. I use old flannelette sheets or pyjamas for cleaning cloths. The old cloth nappies are good too. You might have to look in second hand shops for them these days!!
Don't use newspaper like we used to do because the ink is rubber-based and leaves a smear.

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