Save money with DIY cleaners

July 26, 2011 1:21:41 PM PDT
Whether you love it or hate it, cleaning is a chore all of us have to do. Not only is it a major pain, but it can be pricy. Some of the most popular brands most of us use to wash clothes and do the dishes can be expensive.

In this Stretch Your Dollar, we found you can make your own cleaners and save big!

I know what you might be thinking. "Making my own cleaners? Isn't that another big chore?" But, when you find out how quick and easy it is to do, and then find out how much you save, you may just have to try it, too.

When it comes to saving money on just about everything, no one does it better than the self-proclaimed "Coupon Contessa," Nora Kapche.

"Ahhhh, clean and fresh! And only two cents per load," Kapche said.

That's why she makes homemade cleaners.

"You are not only saving a lot of money, you are saving a lot of your time," she said.

First up: laundry detergent.

"It just takes a little bit of effort and you'll see," Kapche said.

You just need three simple ingredients: borax, washing soda and a bar of soap. Both borax and washing soda can be found in the laundry detergent aisle.

Kapche grates the bar of soap to make three cups, adds three cups of borax and three cups of washing soda.

"Make sure you are not using the baking soda for this," she warned.

Then she mixes everything thing up.

"This batch we made right here will yield you 94 loads," she said.

Total cost of the laundry detergent was $2.29. That averages out to 2 cents per load.

Next up: homemade dishwasher detergent.

"This is one of the simplest things to make -- ever! We are going to start off with one cup of baking soda," she said. "So we have one cup of baking soda and one cup of borax, and we are done!"

Kapche sifts the powder to make sure the detergent isn't chunky, and she's finished. Add one tablespoon per dishwashing load. This entire recipe costs 58 cents to make and can be used for 14 loads of dishes. That's 4 cents per load.

"My family usually washes dishes every night, so that is every day -- 365 days a year -- we are washing dishes, so that can really add up," she said.

Kapche's final money-saving recipe is for scrubbing powder. Mix one cup each of salt, baking soda and borax. The salt in this recipe acts as the scrubbing agent.

"Now this one you don't have to worry about the lumps, you just have to mix it together," she explained.

The total cost to make the scrubbing cleaner was 67 cents, and a batch could last you an entire year.

Find these recipes on the ABC13 Consumer blog.


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