Is it worth it to make your own cleaning supplies? Before I embarked on the project of making my own, I needed to look into this a little more. To answer my question, I came up with 4 main criteria.
Does it save money?
Let’s compare the prices. Here are some of the cleaning products I usually buy compared to the cost to make the alternative.
Shower Cleaner: Seventh Generation Shower Cleaner-Green Mandarin & Leaf, 32 oz, $3.99.
An alternative recipe: Use an old spray bottle from your commercial cleaner, then add 2 cups white vinegar + 2 Cups water (32oz total), $0.75 (on average) Ummm, yeah. Quite a difference.
Tub Scrub: (I clean our tub every other day before I run a bath for my son because I’m a tub-a-phobe…dirty tubs scare me!) In conjunction with the shower cleaner, I use Bon Ami Powder Cleanser, 14oz can, $1.29. An alternative recipe: Baking Soda and Dish Soap Scrub -This is a great cleaner to use once a week. It works as a scrub, to break up any residue that sprays don’t wash away. Pour 1.5 cups of baking soda into a bowl, and slowly stir in drops of liquid dish detergent until you reach the desired consistency. You want a firm cream with a little baking soda grit left behind. About $1.60. Thanks to eHow.com for the recipe. OK, so this doesn’t exactly save me money and I’m really happy with how Bon Ami cleans, so not going to make my own in this case.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Seventh Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner, Emerald Cypress & Fir, 32 oz, $3.69. An alternative recipe: 1/4 cup baking soda + 1 cup vinegar, pour into basin, let sit for a couple minutes and clean with brush and rinse. 32oz of this recipe would cost about $0.65. Done!
Window and Glass Cleaner: Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Window Spray, 24oz, $5.69. An Alternative recipe: 1.5 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol + 1.5 cup water + 2 Tablespoons white vinegar. 24oz of this recipe would cost about $2.00. Wow! Looks like I can cut my cost by almost two-thirds!
All-Purpose Surface Cleaner: I dilute BioKleen All Purpose Cleaner Super Concentrated-16 oz, $6.05. I use this on almost everything from floors to kitchen and bathroom counter-tops, walls and other surfaces. 16oz of this solution makes about 16 gallons, so if you were to whip up 32oz of this it would only cost about $0.10. An alternative recipe: In a spray bottle mix: 2 tsp borax, 1 tsp washing soda, 2 tsp liquid castille soap, essential oils as preferred- I use 8 drops lemon, 8 drops lavender and 20 drops orange, and 4 cups of warm water. Distilled is best, but any water that has been boiled will work. Cover bottle and shake well. Use as needed as bathroom cleaner, floor pre-treater, kitchen cleaner and on toys to disinfect. Thanks to WellnessMama.com for this recipe. 32oz of this alternative recipe would cost only pennies BUT you would have to invest a pretty penny in buying all the items upfront, which could add up to a lot.
Are there less chemicals?
It depends…on what you would buy for a commercial cleaning product. There are many great natural cleaning supplies available now but most of the cleaning products you find in your average grocery store, Costco or elsewhere contain hundreds of chemicals. Some companies have even had litigation brought forth for not disclosing many harmful toxins in their cleaning products sold to the unsuspecting public. Read article here.
Bottom line, when you make your own cleaning supplies, you KNOW what’s going into them and therefore what you and your family are breathing in, sleeping on or eating off of.
Does it really clean well?
So far, I have only used a few homemade solutions but I have been very happy so far! I will keep posting about my results in the future after having some time to use my new homemade products. Based on all the blogs, comments, and Facebook posts, the general consensus among the homemade cleaning supply users is an overwhelming YES! These natural alternatives DO work, and sometimes even better than their commercial counterparts.
Is it a huge undertaking?
Nope. In fact, you may even save time when you don’t have to traipse up and down the cleaning aisles at the grocery store. Most of the homemade solutions can be made in a sizable amount and stored for many uses down the road before you have to (quickly) whip up another batch. These recipes listed above are so easy I’m pretty sure my 22 month old could make them (with a little guidance and some cleaning up afterwards…ha ha!)
The following websites were incredible helpful in writing this blog and are great resources to further your research on homemade cleaning supplies, going green and saving money!