How to make your own household cleaners

April 8, 2010 3:37:47 PM PDT
It's that time of year and many of us are in spring cleaning mode, equipped with an arsenal of cleaning supplies. In this Stretch Your Dollar, one local woman says there is no need to splurge on your supplies when all you really need is one cleaner. That one cleaner is actually a homemade cleaner. A Katy mom says she has not only saved a lot of money, but she claims her cleaner works as good as any cleaner on the market.

Hundreds of cleaning products line the store shelves. From all-purpose cleaners to old school cleaners like Comet and Ajax and earth friendly products, there is so much to choose from.

"I spray the fixtures down," said Molly Garza.

However, Molly doesn't buy it. Instead she makes her own cleaner that she says she calls, "Molly's Cheap Cleaner."

Being retired means being on a fixed income and that's why Molly is constantly looking for short cuts to save money without sacrificing quality.

"I think it does an excellent job," said Molly.

Molly's Cheap Cleaner is made with several ingredients you probably already have at home: water, vinegar, rubbing alcohol and dishwashing liquid.

We follow Molly's recipe and after mixing all the ingredients, we shake up our cleaner then pour it into a spray bottle. Now we are ready to put it to the test.

"Let's go to the bathroom and I'll show you," said Molly.

For a deep clean once a week, she will spray her shower down. Then she'll use a mop to scrub the tile. She uses the same cleaner to clean the sinks, the fixtures and even the tile floor. When we clean her counter, the soap scum easily came off the surface.

"This sparkles really nice and it cleans it really good," Molly said.

And when she is looking for a quick surface clean on her floors, she only uses a microfiber cloth to get sweep up the dirt.

"I got a lot of these at Big Lots for nothing," she said.

Another one of Molly's favorite tools for cleaning on a budget is a lamb's wool duster. She prefers not to use furniture to cleaner because she feels her duster does a great job cleaning shutters, furniture and those hard to reach areas.

"I am a lazy cleaner. I don't like harsh chemicals. I don't like some of the products that are there, and I wanted something environmentally friendly that would do the job," Molly said.

The bottom line is it costs about .75 cents to make Molly's Cheap Cleaner. You can even add a drop of blue food coloring to get that same cleaner look. After seeing it in person, we can tell you the homemade product works. You add your own scents to any of these cleaners to get rid of the strong vinegar smell. Lemon extract works great.

Here is the recipe for Molly's Cheap Cleaner:

  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 pint of rubbing alcohol
  • 1 teaspoon mild dishwashing detergent
  • Water

Mix with enough water to equal one gallon of cleaner in a sturdy gallon plastic jug. Label with a waterproof marker directly on the container. Shake well and pour enough to fill a clean spray bottle. Label it as well.

After every bath, spray the shower and bathtub down well; let sit for a few minutes then rinse clean. Once a week, liberally spray the bath area down and scrub clean.


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