a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Homemade Dish-Washer/Dish-Washing Soap, and More--Simple, Cheap and Effective!

A continuation of Friday's post on making your own cleaning supplies --- and watching the seemingly insignificant savings add up. . . significantly.

Several months ago I read an Extension Service's article addressing the ineffectiveness of dishwasher detergents since new laws went into effect regulating the ingredients.  

To me, the most amazing part of the article was when the Extension Service gave recipe options to use UNTIL the detergents had been REFORMULATED TO ONCE AGAIN BE EFFECTIVE!!!

Why, if the simple options worked as well as they claimed, would you switch back to expensive commercial products?

Friday, I used excerpts from Trent Hamm's The Simple Dollar blog on homemade laundry soap. Today I will continue with his other homemade products which use basically the same ingredients.

Again, since Trent gives permission to use his information, I give you his own words:

Dish-washing soap +
"Just simply mix together one cup of borax and one cup of baking soda or washing soda in a tub. If you wish, you can add a small bit of OxyClean to the batch or a small bit of store-purchased dish washing detergent – you need one or the other to act as the active detergent ingredient if you’re washing any dishes that are fairly dirty. All you need is a tablespoon or two of this stuff (depending on the size of your dishwasher) to get things fairly clean.

If you want to replace the “finishing” liquid (Jet Dry, for example), just use a tablespoon of vinegar. There’s no smell – just shine on your dishes.

There’s a theme worth noticing here. Between the two recipes (Friday's laundry and Monday's dish soap) we’re using borax, baking soda, washing soda, OxyClean, a bar of soap, and vinegar. I also keep some club soda These ingredients together manage to clean laundry thoroughly and clean dishes thoroughly.

If you carry that thought out to its logical conclusion, these ingredients can pretty much clean anything in your home thoroughly.

For example, when I’m cleaning windows, I fill up a spray bottle with one part vinegar to two parts water, with perhaps a tiny amount of another cleaning agent (whether it’s dish soap, borax, or something else). I stir it thoroughly, then head to the windows.

Hand Dish-Washing
If I’m washing dishes by hand, I make a bit of paste out of borax, washing soda, and water, then just use a tiny amount of this on a sponge to clean almost any dish I have.

Carpet Stain Remover
If I’m facing a carpet stain, I put some baking soda on the spot (a teaspoon or two), spread it thoroughly into the spot, then pour a couple teaspoons of vinegar on top. There’s a fair amount of foam, which I then scrub into the spot.

Clothing Stain Remover
If there’s a dark stain on clothing and I see it immediately, I put some club soda on it. 

If I have any acne (I often did in my twenties, but haven’t had any in a while), I make a paste out of baking soda and water and put it right on the spot before I go to bed.

Heck, if I want to whiten my teeth at home, I brush with baking soda and then use a bit of vinegar while brushing. 

If my stomach feels out of whack, I usually put a bit of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it (I usually burp like a madman for a while, but my stomach feels better).

I could keep listing things, but the truth is that most home cleaning tasks and even other simple things can be handled with some combination of the ingredients listed above. 

The best part? Those ingredients are cheap. I can get a giant bag of baking soda or a jug of vinegar at my local warehouse club for a very low price. Even things like borax and washing soda are pretty inexpensive at my local Fareway.

Why use a product with a brand name and an expensive price when homemade mixtures like these will do the job?"

Now it's back to Simply, Gail:
Even if you are not interested in making these/using these items on a regular basis, please consider buying the ingredients to store away for a "What If . . .?" time when there is the need. 

The above is from The Simple Dollar blog  and Trent Hamm's book "365 Ways to Live Cheap: Your Everyday Guide to Saving Money"  Keep up the good work Trent, and thanks for allowing your readers/fellow bloggers to share.

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