For months I’ve been looking for a granite cleaner that doesn’t streak, have a horrendous odor or cost $8/bottle as it’s a product I use multiple times a day. So when I came across Mary Hunt’s Everyday Cheapskate article last week, I had to try her homemade granite cleaner. I love it and it’s easy to make with products most already have on hand. It doesn’t streak and most important of all, I can control the smell with my choice of essential oil. If you have a homemade cleaner you’d like to share, please comment below.
By Mary Hunt
If there’s one area that you can cut down in household spending, it’s household cleaners. The cost of most home cleaning products is becoming outrageous. While I don’t advocate throwing away what you have already bought, I do recommend that you consider making your own cleaning products in the future, using cheap ingredients.
While I have many recipes, tricks and strategies, these are my top five favorites:
Pour 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol (vodka or gin are good substitutes) into a 16-ounce spray bottle. Add 3 drops of blue Dawn dishwashing liquid and 5 drops of an essential oil (optional, but makes it smell great). Add 2 cups of water to fill the bottle. Shake the bottle to mix. Label the bottle and keep it out of reach of children. Use this cleaner to keep your granite countertops beautifully clean and shiny without damaging the sealant or harming the granite. Note: Any size spray bottle will work; simply adjust the spray nozzle to accommodate.
TUB AND SHOWER CLEANER
Pour 1 cup of blue liquid Dawn into a 32-ounce spray bottle (1/2 cup Dawn if you are using a 16-ounce bottle; 1/3 cup Dawn for a 12-ounce bottle). Fill the bottle to the top with plain white vinegar. Put on the spray cap; shake gently to mix. Label the bottle. Spray the solution liberally on the walls, doors, tub and faucets. Let it sit anywhere from 30 minutes- to overnight depending on the dirtiness of the bathroom. All of the offensive gunk and grime will break down and soften. At that point, simply rinse it away. For the initial treatment or especially challenging spots, use a sponge or brush to gently scrub the surfaces before rinsing. Spray down the walls and floor of the tub and shower once a week. Rinse. Admire.
All you need is 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of distilled white vinegar. To use: First, turn off the water inlet valve behind the toilet (turn the handle clockwise until tight). Then, flush the toilet once or twice until all of the water is gone. Sprinkle the baking soda all around the inside of the toilet bowl. Next, pour or spray the vinegar into the bowl. You’ll get a little show as the solution starts bubbling and popping. That’s the reaction you want. Next, using a good toilet brush, scrub the toilet down from under the rim all the way to the bottom. Last, turn the inlet valve back on by rotating it counterclockwise until it stops turning. The toilet tank will fill. Flush to rinse the cleaning solution. Repeat as necessary. You’ve just cleaned, deodorized and removed mildew and odors.
This heavy-duty cleaner will sanitize and clean every surface in your bathroom, including glass and mirrors. Fill a spray bottle halfway with rubbing alcohol; fill it to the top with white vinegar. Label the bottle. The ratio will always be 50-50 rubbing alcohol to white vinegar, no matter the size of the bottle.
WOOD AND LAMINATE FLOOR CLEANER
Combine 1 part alcohol (rubbing alcohol is cheap and readily available) to 4 parts distilled water, plus a few drops of blue Dawn dishwashing liquid. Mix these ingredients in a spray bottle each time you clean the floors. Or make it ahead of time, label the bottle and keep it out of the reach of children. To use: First, sweep or vacuum the floor. Spray the cleaner in a small area. Scrub well with a cloth or sponge and immediately wipe the area dry with a microfiber cloth. The secret is to spray, scrub and wipe dry immediately. If you do not want to do this on your hands and knees, I recommend buying a spray mop for both wood and laminate floors; it sprays cleaner from a nozzle at the touch of a button. You can also use a large surface mop with a detachable microfiber cleaning pad that swivels for easy handling. Using either mop with floor cleaner will make scrubbing wood and laminate floors a breeze.