About a year ago, I noticed two things:
1.) I was having to go to the store a lot and spend money on different cleaners. It was starting to add up in my budget.
2.) When I would spray a cleaner on my counter, I would practically reel back gasping from the chemical fumes. Maybe I’m sensitive, but I didn’t like breathing all those unknown poisons.
I decided to try out my own cleaner. Despite my sensitivity to the chemicals in my store-bought cleaners, I didn’t opt for a completely chemical-free cleaner but chose to make one that uses ammonia. While I didn’t like breathing a concoction of unknown chemicals, a little ammonia didn’t bother me, especially considering how watered down it is in the formula. In addition, I wanted a cleaner that had a kick to it–I am sure baking soda/water or vinegar by itself works fine, but I suspected you have to scrub more with them. I am a lazy housekeeper.
After a year of using my homemade cleaner, it’s unlikely I’ll ever go back to buying cleaners. It is incredibly easy to make and costs a fraction of store-bought stuff–it costs only one quarter per bottle! On top of that, it uses fewer chemicals and does a fine job cleaning. I do keep a bottle of the heavy cleanser around for the tough jobs, but use it very rarely.
Here’s my “recipe:”
1 c ammonia
1/2 c white vinegar
1 gallon warm water
1/4 c baking soda
Directions: Mix together in a bucket until everything is dissolved. Pour into a spray bottle.
This makes two spray bottles worth of cleaner. I poured one in a (used) spray bottle and saved the rest until I’m out.
Cost: Vinegar: $.12; Water: free; Ammonia: $.12; Baking Soda: $.25.
Total Cost: $.50 per two bottles of cleaner, or $.25 per bottle of cleaner
In the Store: 1 bottle of cleaner: $2.99
Total Savings: $2.74