Effective Homemade Cleaners

I have been doing some research in the last few weeks about making your own cleaning products. I would like to not only save money but control the amount of toxins going into my home. I have seen some recipes on this site and others that look promising but would like to know if homemade products are really as effective as store bought when it comes to disinfecting? I am especially concerned with finding a safe anti-bacterial recipe for the kitchen and bathroom. Does any one have any good recipes or proof that homemade cleaners are safe and effective? Thank you for your help!

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June 14, 20070 found this helpful

For disinfecting no there is no safe natural way except bleach and water. The best way to clean is baking soda and water but you have to be careful it does leave streaks on windows but for everything else works great. The best dis. cleaner store bought is kitchen bleach with dis from lysol. I use ammonia and hot water for cleaning floors, with having four kids something needs to be strong. I also bought the Mr. Clean foaming cleaning pads they work great as well. Maybe some of this might help. Good Luck.

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June 14, 20070 found this helpful

Don Imus' wife (can't remember her first name) wrote a book about this very topic. He is a recovering alcoholic and she wanted only "safe" cleaning agents in her home. I saw her on the Today Show a while back and she used a lot of white vinegar and baking soda. I read once in a Heloise column that white vinegar destroys 99% of household bacteria! I use it a lot. Mixed with water, it needs hardly any rinsing. Baking soda can be used as a cleanser/deoderizer. Good Luck!

Pam W., Illinois

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June 15, 20070 found this helpful

I have to disagree abut bleach. It is not safe (or natural?). Vinegar or hydogen peroxide are safe (and good)_ Baking soda doesn't disinfect but it's a very good cleaner (not on windows) stain and odor remover. Some people use amonia but I wouldn't even have it in my house. Good place to check out all natural "recipes" for these things is Care2.com. Pam O (a different Pam)

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June 15, 20070 found this helpful

I use diluted vinegar in a spray bottle to clean nearly EVERYTHING!! I also use baking soda and mix a little bit of water with it to make a paste to scrub the bathtub, etc... These are the only cleaning products I use. My husband and I are both very sensative to smells and are allergic to a lot of chemical cleansers. I also use a very diluted lysol for cleaning linoleum floors. Other than arm and hammer detergent and dawn dish soap, these are all the cleaning supplies I have in my cabinet!! I love that they do not bother my husband's or my allergies, but they are non-toxic (other than the lysol we occasionally use) and and they are natural. AND CHEAP!!! Cheap is always good!! Good luck!!

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June 15, 20070 found this helpful

I have been using vinegar on floors, sinks, toilets, bath tiles and tub, in short anything that needs a wet cleaning, for about a year and a half. My house smells fresher and I don't seem to have as many sinus allergies either.

As I use up "bought" cleaners I am not buying them again. My goal is to use vinegar, baking soda and liquid dish detergent for cleaning anything in my house. I have four cats, a dog and a child, and we are all exceptionally healthy!

Vinegar deals with the cat pee smells, as well as germs. It also cleans mildew off bathroom tiles better than anything I've tried. A mixture of baking soda and dish detergent put down a drain, with vinegar poured in later, is a non-toxic replacement for Drano. Smells better too! I like the way wood floors look when washed with vinegar.

Oh yes. This year in Japan the big "deodorizing" (of rooms) push is "green tea extract". I have been making a bit of thick green tea and mixing it in the vinegar, half and half, and it really does seem to work. Just don't use it on anything that might stain. Also, if you have a mint plant, trim it and put the leaves in a dish where you want to soak up bad smells.

I keep a spray bottle with vinegar mixed with water on both first and second floors and in the bath room. A quick squirt and wipe up with a paper towel keeps things nice!

Cantate

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June 16, 20070 found this helpful

I have been using regular household items in place of expensive and smelly brand - named products for at least a year. If anything, my house smells and looks cleaner! I don't have to gather up all the jugs and jars of 'stuff' to start cleaning. I keep a shaker of baking soda under the sink in the kitchen and in the bathrooms along with sponges and rags. It's that easy!

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June 16, 20070 found this helpful

I believe it was good housekeeping testing center that tested the disinfecting properties of vinegar a while back. Vinegar kills 98% of germs, bacteria, etc. (Bleach kills 99%.) That's why pioneers took vinegar with them when they moved west -- they cooked with it, preserved with it, cleaned with it, and used it to kill germs in wounds. For them, it was an all-purpose thing. The medical field now says when you want to disinfect something, soak it in a bleach-water solution first for 20 minutes, then drain and soak in a vinegar-water solution second.

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June 16, 20070 found this helpful

Comment about vinegar: I saw a PBS tv show about flu epidemics during Victorian times and they stated that the death rate was so great because the strongest disinfectant they had at that time was vinegar and it wasn't strong enough to do the job to protect the children.

Well, there's grocery store vinegar and then there's the stuff you buy at Home Depot that is so toxic you need to wear a mask and use gloves.

Is the grocery store vinegar really all that effective?

That's all I can say.

PS Am thinking they also had ammonia (internet said it was from the 1700's), but possibly not commercially available yet to housewives or possibly in too diluted a form to be useful. And that begs the queries, "Does ammonia do the job better than vinegar?" and "Which is safer to use in the house?"

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June 16, 20070 found this helpful

I agree about using vinegar for most things. I keep two spray bottles of full strength vinegar in my home. I also use baking soda, bleach and peroxide. Peroxide is great for removing blood stains and I use it for cuts and abrasions. I use less washing detergent than manufacturers would like and add borax to the wash water and put vinegar in the softener dispenser. Then I don't use dryer sheets in the dryer except for things that generate exceptional static electricity. Dryer sheets are supposed to be bad for your dryer anyway.

I raised a large family and I believe that exposure to common germs helps your body protect against the bad stuff. My children were almost never sick.

I am going to use up the rest of my cleaning supplies and not buy more.

On another note, I really believe that such things as RLS (which I have) are the result of the many additives that food producers and processors use. I try to cook fresh stuff and avoid prepared meals.

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June 17, 20070 found this helpful

I absolutely do not agree with Lynda, a guest that replied to this post. Every major company that makes cleaning products wants you to believe that nothing will work except for what they make their millions on. Children, adults and pets are sickened by homes filled with dangerous chemical fumes from these commercial products. The manufacturer will not give you the down side! I researched many sites and the evidence is that vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, borax, washing soda, lemon juice and olive oil are far safer and just as effective. Vinegar is is one of the best disinfectants, killing 98% of germs. Your kids are going to stores and school where the germs are far bigger threats. This business of one little germ causing serious illness is just ridiculous...they are more likely to get it outside the home. And I think it's a trillion to one. The thought would cause hysteria so I think everyone should calm down. Use your natural home recipes and keep air and surfaces clean and disinfected safely!

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June 17, 20070 found this helpful

I love cleaning with common kitchen vinegar... My mom got chemical burns in her lungs from using bleach and ammonia. It was a frightening experience. These two chemicals can be very dangerous.

I have started purchasing my cleaning products from Melaleuca. They do not use any harsh chemicals (see www.saferforyourhome.com) and the good stand-by - Murphy's Oil Soap. I love that stuff.

The EcoSense products from Melaleuca really aren't very expensive because they come in a concentrate - you diluate them yourself.

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June 24, 20070 found this helpful

Hi Everyone! I have 3 dogs and a cat (no children yet) and have been using white vinegar and baking soda for about 3 years in my house and also at the houses I clean in my spare time. Nobody has been sick in this time and I wanted to use it in the school where I work. Well they wanted proof about the disinfectant qualities so I have been searching the web trying to find it,which I have been unsuccessful in doing. I use it on my linoleum floors with soap and water and they were concerned about the ph for floors that have to be waxed also. Can anyone help with the proper measurements for cleaning and disinfecting? Thank you

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June 24, 20070 found this helpful

Everyone knows that inside our homes are more polluted than outside, because of all the chemicals people use in their homes. Using cleaners with phenols, bleach, ammonia, lysol etc are all dangerous. They don't just kill the bad germs they kill the goods ones that we need so why do you think there are superbugs now? Think of all the people that have asthma & allergies and what is causing it. It's not just from pollution outside. I've had allergies since high school and I grew up with my mom using every cleaner known to man and I'm sure that's why I have allergies. For years now I only used vinegar what made me change was this article http://www.care2.com/greenliving/vinegar-kills-bacteria-mold-germs.html. I also use grapefruit seed extract, tea tree oil and other essential oils that are VERY effective at disinfecting.

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September 11, 20110 found this helpful

I have also heard that cheap vodka works good as a cleaner and disinfectant. No smell and it is cheaper that the cleaner you can get in the store. Put some in a sprayer bottle and also some water. I know some people who have been using this method for years and swear by ot.

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