Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Homemade Cleaning Routine...

I have combined and tweaked several recipes to work for my family.  I have learned a lot from Live Renewed, Homemade Mothering, Simple Mom and Passionate Homemaking.  I have listed many possibilities for you to try.  I have my select favorites that we use daily.

My Homemade Cleaning Routine
I have tried many different homemade cleaners, and what I’ve determined to be the most frugal and easy (because if it’s not frugal and easy, I’m not going to do it!) is simply water, vinegar, tea tree oil and castile soap.  Below are my easiest ideas for a Homemade, Natural Cleaning Routine.

When I transitioned into a Homemade Cleaning Routine, I continually asked myself, “Is this really disinfecting?  Is this good enough?”  Well, white vinegar and tea tree oil are both natural disinfectants and tea tree oil has natural anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, so YES you are killing germs while you are cleaning with these natural ingredients!  With little ones in the house, I want to make sure I am truly killing germs - and not harming ourselves and polluting our air from the harsh chemicals and toxins that are found in many store bought cleaners.  I feel like my Homemade Routine is continually evolving, but for now I have been very pleased with the following recipes.

Microfiber Cloth
I  use a microfiber cloth for all of my cleaning.  Using a microfiber cloth - alone - removes up to 99% of bacteria,  and you can launder them up to 500 times before they lose their effectiveness and need to be replaced.  Now, that’s a frugally, green option!

White Vinegar
Multipurpose Cleaner – Mix 50/50 with water in a spray bottle.  Add essential oil for a more pleasing scent, if you’d like.  I use Tea Tree oil - it is a natural antiseptic, so I love that I’m killing germs - naturally!  I also mop my floors with this solution.
Window and Mirror Cleaner – Again mix 50/50 with water, but don’t add essential oil, it will leave oily spots on the glass.
Toilets - You can add 1 cup of vinegar and/or 1/4 cup of baking soda - let it sit for a few minutes and then scrub.
Fabric Softener – Use instead of fabric softener in the wash.  You could also use a Downey ball, but I just add a 1/3 cup or so to the rinse cycle.
Rinse Aid in the Dishwasher – Add to the rinse aid compartment in your dishwasher instead of commercial rinse aids like Jet Dry.

Castile Soap
I love Castile Soap and use it all around the house.  I use Dr. Bronner’s brand and love it!  There are many scents to choose from.  You can find it at most grocery stores, big retail stores and drugstores - and you can also buy it online at Amazon, and Dr. Bronner's site.  A big bottle will last you a long time (mine last over 6 months) because it is very concentrated.  You can use it for so many things, so go ahead and buy the biggest bottle you can find.

Hand Soap - You can use castile soap as your hand soap around the house.  All you have to do is get a foaming soap dispenser fill it mostly with water and then add 1-2 T of castile soap. This is what our family uses for hand soap in our bathrooms and kitchen.  This a very frugal option.
Bath time - I put a few drops in with the kids’ bath for their body wash and shampoo.  It smells lovely, cleans well and is safe for them.

Tea Tree Oil
A little tea tree oil goes a long way, so a smaller bottle of this will last you for a long time.  I usually buy mine from a local vitamin store or you can also find it online.

General Disinfecting – Tea tree oil has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, so it is a natural disinfectant.  Add a few drops to warm water in a spray bottle or just a bowl and use it to wipe down surfaces that you want to disinfect.
Homemade Hand Sanitizer - Grab a small spray bottle, fill it with water and add several drops of Tea Tree Oil.  Fill it with water and shake to mix it up.  Spray on hands as needed, especially before eating, and don’t worry about what kinds of chemicals or how much alcohol your little ones might be ingesting!

Natural Dishsoap
I watch the clearance room - and use coupons - at our local grocery store and stock up on this when it’s marked way down.  I mostly use Seventh Generation, but I will buy other natural brands I find in the clearance room.  It’s not any more expensive than the other brands - if you shop frugally!

In Summary
I think I’ve shown you how to clean your house from top to bottom - frugally and natural! 

Happy Homemade Cleaning!


  1. I like that you've expanded your list-thanks! I love the versatility of tea tree oil; it also works really well for zits too:)

    Andrea (Alex's account was last logged in!)

  2. Andrea, I'm happy you like the LONG list! :) I know it's a lot, but then everyone can pick and choose what they want. Homemade Cleaning is fun! Well, as fun as cleaning can be. :)

  3. What about lemon oil? Have you used that?

  4. Andrea, yes! I do use lemon oil. I add a few drops in my 50/50 vinegar water solution with mopping. The essential oils I currently have on hand are: tea tree, lavender, lemon and peppermint. I rub lavender on my temples a lot in the afternoons (during our quiet time), enjoy a hot cup of tea and sit for a few minutes and catch up on some reading! :)


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