Friday, March 11, 2011

Homemade Cleaning Products: Safer, Healthier and Less Expensive

My sis took this silly picture of me a few years ago, cleaning her kitchen with a homemade cleaner. I'm a homemade cleaner freak now. My poor friends. I've even been known to give cleaning products away as baby shower gifts. I know I've gone over the edge! I love the fact that homemade cleaning products are safer, healthier, less expensive and better for the environment. 

Ever since reading a book called “Clean House, Clean Planet: Clean Your House for Pennies a Day, The Safe Nontoxic Way” by Karen Logan, I started getting more interested in the subject. What really pushed me over the edge was going to a homemade cleaners class put on by my new FB friend, Mary. I was able to see how easy it really was to make your own laundry soap, dishwasher soap, multi-purpose cleaner, "Comet" and window cleaner. Those are the only cleaners I use now. I literally went through all my cupboards and got rid of everything that wasn't homemade. It is nice to have more cupboard space and not have to worry about the kids getting into toxic cleaners.

Why are Homemade Cleaning Products Safer and Healthier?

Skin is a like a sponge. Even chemicals breathed in can be rapidly absorbed into you bloodstream.
Healthier for our environment (re-using the containers, non-toxic)
Many store-bought cleaning products can be fatal to children when ingested, or extremely irritation to the skin.
Safer for the environment

The Bad Guys

Bleach *Naphthalene *Butyl
cellosolve   *Hydrofluoric acid
Cresol *Petroleum distillates
Dye *Phosphoric acid
Alcohol *Formaldehyde *Ammonia
Hydrochloric Acid *Phenol *PDCBs
Ethanol *Propellents *Lye
Sulfuric acid *TCE *Glycols

The Good Guys

Baking Soda *Washing Soda
Borax *Salt
Castile and Vegetable Oil or Animal Oil (tallow, lard)
Essential Oils
Lemon or lime juice *Citric Acid
White Distilled Vinegar *Distilled Water

Are Homemade Cleaners Less Expensive?

They’re WAY less expensive!
Very easy to make
Homemade laundry soap costs less than $3.00 for 10 gallons
Multi-purpose cleaner costs about 25 cents for 16 oz
Dishwasher Soap 12 cents per load 

If I've piqued your interest, please click here for easy and cheap homemade cleaning product recipes. Don't forget to enter my home cleaner giveaway (post before this one). It ends on the 16th of March.

Happy Cleaning!


Anonymous said...


I love using homemade cleaners. But what do I use to disinfect? After washing my eggs in the kitchen sink it needs a good germ cleaning. I usually fill the sink with some water and bleach. I looked around your site and couldn't find anything. Maybe I missed it?


Ellen said...

A mama after my own heart! I too have changed to homemade cleaners...they are so much safer..and my skin thanks me! No more red cracked hands.
I love the pic of you! :)

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Vinegar disinfects, also thyme and Tea tree oil.

Yeah for homemade cleaners! I know, I rarely have to even use lotion on my hands anymore. Very cool!

Anonymous said...

I'm a homemade cleaner freak now also- My favourite ingredients are baking soda and vinegar, separately used of course. I love that my house no longer wreaks of chemicals.

MommaMindy said...

so thankful to find your recipes....this is on my TO DO LIST now. thanks!

momstheword said...

I LOVE the idea of making my own soap, but everything I've read online about Borax indicates it has some toxicity to it. So I have been concerned about using it to wash my clothes (less much breathing it).

Do you have trouble with your whites going gray? What do you use for an optical brightener? Oxyclean or Mrs. Stewarts or something else?

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Borax is an optical brightener. I did have problems with my whites going grey when I was using Felsnaptha, but since switching to homemade laundry soap, and washing my whites in hot water (if they are really dirty I'll sprinkle some more borax over the clothes and let them soak in hot water). Then I rinse twice to make sure I get all the borax out.

While borax is natural, it is strong stuff and shouldn't be left on the skin for direct absorption. I'm comfortable using it because I still think it is more natural than anything you can find in the store.

Hope that answers your questions. Thanks for stopping by!

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

I love your passion! You inspire so many people, Sis! Keep it up!


Jenn said...

Great post! I haven't gone absolutely natural on all my cleaning. I was making my own laundry soap, but went back to buying it. I wasn't happy with the felsnaptha homemade laundry soap. I'll have to check out your recipe for that.

I use vinegar to disinfect, but resort to bleach when we've had a nasty stomach bug in the house. Cuz, I just want to be absolutely sure I kill that nasty stuff.

Camille said...

I so enjoy your wealth of information Jackie! Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge with all of us. :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Many blessings,

Amber said...

this is definitely something my boyfriend and i have been discussing as a change to make in our home. we have 3 cats and they get into/lick everything. plus, i think i'm one of the odd folks out who actually enjoys the smell of vinegar :D

any tips on air fresheners at all? we go through bottle after bottle after bottle at work and we're not in the most ventilated area. sometimes this worries me.

Diane said...

I am confused on one point. In one post you said that lye was a "bad guy" in household cleaning, but you have to use it in the homemade soap for laundry detergent, so how does that work?

I am totally getting into the natural cleaners, and I love all the information on your blog, keep up the good work!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Great question, Diane! Lye is what makes soap. When you make soap, you are use a very small amount of lye and you are mostly neutralizing it by the time it is cured, that is why it shouldn't burn your skin when you use it. However, drain cleaners are made up of almost 100% lye, which is not healthy for you at all. There are other more natural ways to get the job done. Hope that answers your question!

debb said...

What do you do with the bar soap you made to make liquid detergent for washing clothes with, I'm confused? Thank you. I'm enjoying your information on numerous natural subjects.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I make two different bar soaps. The blender milk soap I use for bodies and hands. I use it in bar form, but you could grate it up and make liquid soap out of it. The other soap I make is strictly a laundry detergent bar soap that I grate for making laundry soap. Hope that answers your question! I'm glad you are finding my blog useful :) Blessings, Jackie

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