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Cleaning & Household Cleaner Substitutes


Sponges and Cloths

Sponges are breeding grounds for bacteria.  Do you really want to wash your dishes with bacteria’s homeland?  Instead of replacing your sponges every few days, invest in ten dishcloths.  Use one cloth per day.  The next day use the previous day’s dishcloth to wipe the counters, and use a clean dishcloth for the dishes.  This way you only have to do laundry once a week, and you won’t have to continuously spend money on new sponges.

If you do not want to spend money on buying cleaning cloths, you can also use your old clothes that are torn but relatively clean as cleaning rags. Just cut into easy to use sections. After the rag is used, you can just put it in the washing machine.

Instead of buying brand new scrub brushes, you can also use old toothbrushes.


Make Your Own Laundry Detergent!

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent...and its fun!
You can save about $66 per year!
Here is what you need:
1 cup of washing soda
1/2 cup of borax
1 bar of soap
Approximately 3 gallons of water
A 5 gallon bucket with a lid
Here is how you do it:
1. Grate the bar of soap
2. Boil 4 cups of water
3. Add the grated up soap one handful at a time until all the soap is dissolved.
4. Add 3 gallons of warm water to your 5 gallon bucket
5. Add 1 cup of the washing soda, 1/2 cup of the borax and all of the soap solution you just made to the 5 gallon bucket and stir.
6. Let the soap sit for 24 hours and you are done!
This recipe makes enough detergent for about 312 loads of laundry with a total cost of about $7.00!


The Multiple Uses of Baking Soda

Face Exfoliant 
It is actually less harsh than many  products used for exfoliating on the market today. Just add a little bit of baking soda to a mild face wash or soap that you use regularly, mix with your fingertips, massage in circlese onto face, and then make sure to rinse your face off thoroughly. For a gentler exfoliant, try using less baking soda in the mixture.
Odor Neutralizer
For Shoes, you can put a little in a sock and tie the opening of the sock up. Place the sock into the shoe overnight. Or you can put the powder directly into the shoe and then be sure to shake it out in the morning before using the shoes.
Put an open box in your refrigerator in order to neutralize odors left behind by spoiled food and other things.
Fire extinguisher
You can use baking soda to put out grease and electrical fires by sprinkling it over the fire.
For other Uses of Baking Soda, go to


Homemade Household Cleaners

Household Cleaners:
Mix together: 
1 tsp. liquid soap (castile, peppermint)
1 tsp. borax
Squeeze of lemon 
1 qt. warm water
¼ c. baking soda
½ c. borax
½ c. vinegar
1 gal. water

Window Cleaners:  (try using old newspaper to wipe down the windows rather than paper towels)
Mix together:
2 tsp. vinegar
1 qt. warm water
2 tbsp. borax 
3 c. water
(If there is a little scum leftover from other cleaners, add 1/2 tsp liquid soap or detergent to the mixture)

Drain Cleaners:
Pour together: ½ c. borax in drain followed by
2 c. boiling water
¼ c baking soda down the drain, followed by
½ c. vinegar
Cover drain and let sit for 15 minutes. Follow with 2 qts. boiling water.
Use a plumber's "snake" and boiling water.


Ecocycle.org offers several tips on how to remove stains, bad odors, and unwanted build-up. 

Other recipes can be found on ecocycle.org.  Such recipes help you save money while also helping decrease the amount of toxic chemicals in our households