All that stuff you get at the grocery store to clean your house is crap. Seriously, it sucks. The traditional harsh cleaners are full of gross chemicals, terrible for your skin, and really bad to breathe in. All the natural, plant based stuff is just ridiculously expensive. Ugh. What’s a frugal, earth-conscious person to do? I make my own. And now I will share my wisdom with you.

First, get a bunch of spray bottles. You’ll be lost without them. You can get them at the dollar store or your local big box retailer. Or, you know, you can get fancy ones at green boutiques. But if the point is to not spend an arm and the leg, the dollar store is the way to go. Whatever you do, don’t reuse the spray bottles that used to have your store-bought cleaning products in them, because that totally defeats the purpose of making ones without harsh chemicals. Also, you don’t want to mix up your new cleaners with the old ones, so be careful to label everything, listing all the ingredients.

Next, go shopping. Pretty much everything you need can be had at the grocery store for very little money. You can also probably pick this stuff up at the dollar store while you’re there buying your spray bottles.

Shopping list:

1 gallon of white vinegar
A box (or a few boxes) of baking soda
Castile soap (I love Dr. Bronners)
A couple lemons
Olive Oil
Your favorite essential oil (totally optional!)

 All-purpose cleaner:
Mix a small amount of baking soda, a small amount of castile soap, and a lot of water together in a spray bottle. Spray on and wipe off with a rag. If you have a really tough mess, add some vinegar to the mix as well.

Wood floors:
Clean wood floors with a combination of castile soap and water. Splash in a little vinegar. Also, add a few drops of essential oils if you’d like to mask the vinegar scent. Mop as normal.

 Windows:
Mix a tiny bit of vinegar with a lot of water in a spray bottle. Use your old newspapers to dry off the glass after it is sprayed. I don’t know why, but newspapers, water and vinegar leave my windows WAY less streaky than glass cleaner and towels.

Furniture polish:
Mix four parts lemon juice with three parts olive oil and ten parts water in a spray bottle. Spray onto furniture and use a cloth to buff until the wood looks awesome.

Toilet bowl cleaner:
Fill a bottle up with vinegar and add a splash of lemon juice. Pour the contents into the toilet and let it sit for at least 10 minutes, but up to an hour if there are tough stains. When the time is up, brush carefully with your toilet brush until it’s clean as a whistle.

General tips:

-Anywhere you have a tough mess, just sprinkle with baking soda and then scrub with a damp rag. The baking soda’s cleaning and scouring power will get the job done ASAP
-If you have a clogged drain, a bunch of baking soda washed down with a lot of hot water will usually work. If not, wash the baking soda down with vinegar, but be very careful of doing that if you have old pipes.
-Adding a little vinegar to your laundry can make your clothes softer – it’s a natural fabric softener!
-If you are having trouble with odors that seem to be stuck in a piece of fabric (like smoke in clothing), just put a dish of vinegar in the closet with the fabric and the odor will go away.

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