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Thread: Spring fling for less Ka Ching$
03-12-2004, 04:53 PM #1
Spring fling for less Ka Ching$
OK couldn't resist that.
Carolyn sent me a nice pm and asked if I'd share some of my frugal cleaner ideas for the Spring Fling Thing that is happening and I thought maybe a homemade cleaner thread might be fun where we could all share cheaper cleaning ideas.
Some homemade or partly homemade cleaners that are budget friendly that I've used and liked are:
Homemade Spray Cleaners made with a drop or two of NON SUDSING Ammonia--no name of course, in a spray bottle, filled with water. Something known as red juice concentrate from the Clean Team is still my favourite. I've used that for years but in the last 5 years I've been using a no name red concentrated engine degreaser that is safe around food. Home made red spray cleaner is less stinky than ammonia and milder to use.
Diluted ammonia washes floors and walls as does a diluted solution of the Red Juice stuff above.
More uses for Ammonia: Carpet steaming solution, 2 to 4 TBSP of ammonia to a tank of hot water.
If you use nonsudsing ammonia, when you go to rinse you aren't coping with a flood of bubbles. It's cheaper too.
I've used it to clean my oven too, and if you put your greasy oven racks and bbq racks into a black plastic gbg bag, OUT ON THE LAWN pour in a slosh of ammonia (just in case the bag leaks, it's best outside) and seal and let the sunlight cook it all day long. Open, empty and ta daH!!!!
You have clean racks, hose them down and they are ready to go again.
But the ammonia makes a WONDERFUL high nitrogen fertilizer for lawns etc IF YOU DILUTE WITH PLENTY OF WATER (so you don't burn your plants)
I've even used it in one of those liquid fertilizer sprayer things that fits on the end of a hose, and sprayed it on my lawn for a quick green pick up.
GOOD CHEAP LAUNDRY DETERGENT. I love Costco's Kirkland brand, (house brand). Figure out as small a quantity as possible that will work for you and mark that level on a measuring cup. You can increase for heavy soils, but this is WAY cheaper, easier on the fabric, needs less rinsing to rinse away, and is easier on the environment. Who can lose?
CHEAP NO NAME BLEACH. Bleach is bleach. It's great for disinfecting surfaces, http://www.clorox.com/health/food/ http://www.clorox.com/health/cleansmart/ http://www.cloroxchildcare.com/childcare/
are 3 links that I used to download a handy little chart with dilution rates that I stuck up on the inside of my pantry door for ready reference. You may find those sites handy. I don't bother with brand name bleach, here in Canada at least the hypochlorite content is regulated and doesn't vary between brands or no name types.
I use a good brand of dish liquid (Sunlight but I'm not sure what that is in the States) that cuts grease and use as little as possible for dishwashing. Like the laundry soap, it pays to figure out how little will do the job and this is where I found a more expensive brand that goes farther is more economical.
I use no name dishwasher detergent in the smallest quantities possible. and I like Costco's Kirkland one. I tried making my own from washing soda, and also borax but found it didnt' work well in my hard water area.
Speaking of hard water borax will soften your water right in the washing machine so as to use less detergent and also clean a bit better and brighter.
I use cleaning cloths made from old dish cloths, facecloths or diapers instead of paper towels. Save the environment and your budget. Cotton or linen content is best. They absorb well, and clean best.
Oh and use home sewn cloth napkins at the table instead of paper which I also do. Use individual napkin rings so people know whose is whose, so you don't have to wash after every meal for fear of using someone elses napkin.
I keep floors and tables clean with a damp cloth most of the time. The floors I stick a damp facecloth into my swiffer sweeper and take my home made cleaner spray, and spritz the floor, then damp mop.
Put it this way if water will do, then use it, safer and cheaper, but if you have to increase the power try the home made spray cleaners.
Once in a while put a fresh coat of polish on floors and tables to keep shiny.
Sinks/toilets can be scrubbed with a bit of salt or soda and a damp cloth, follow with bleach every once in a while. I like and use comet, but if I run out, that doesn't stop me from cleaning.
Soda is a wonderful scrubbing paste for all kinds of spots and grimy bits.
grocery bags lined with newspaper or junk mail make good kitchen garbage bags and food can be put into recycled plastic bags that had bread or bulk bin stuff in them in a pinch.
Vinegar is useful to chemically break up detergents or soaps to rinse squeaky clean.
I like to put some on a scrubby and do glass with water spots, because the acids in vinegar will take out hard water minerals and leave a shiny clean. It's great for hard water spots on windows from a sprinkler head spraying it.
I've never been thrilled with it on my floors though or for cutting grease. I prefer detergents to cut greasy soils and clean the floor well.
There is a chemical reason for that. Vinegar is chemically very close to oils in it's structure and it leaves oils alone pretty much. Detergents break into oils ability to hold onto surfaces, and lift them off, and hold them in solution to be rinsed away.
When you want to remove the detergent or hard water however, that vinegar does a terrific job.
Vinegar will take out grass stains and supposedly perspiration stains. I don't have that trouble much so I don't have much cause to use that tip though.
03-12-2004, 04:58 PM #2
Here is my lazy girls method for cleaning silver
I've used this method over the years, and till recently worried I was removing some silver. I was watching a TV show with a chemist a year or two back and he said NO, you don't remove ANY silver, this simply reverses the oxidization by releasing the sulpher molecules from their bonds with the silver.
So with that worry settled, here is my home made silver dip method.
Take a large glass roasting pan, line the bottom with aluminum foil, and a sprinkling of soda THEN fill with BOILING WATER and put over a couple of burners on LOWEST POSSIBLE HEAT.
Glass pan line with
Aluminum foil, sprinkle with
BAKING SODA, top with
and put over a burner or two to keep warm on lowest possible burner setting.
NOW DIP YOUR SILVER ITEMS turning to get all the tarnish off.
Fish out with tongs, dump in a sink of hot soapy water then when you are done, fish out of soapy water, rinse, and dry with clean cloth.
Some items if left for 20 years or more will need some Silver polish like silvo and a paper towel to finish the process but
this is easier and cheaper and much less time than doing it all with Silvo etc.
03-12-2004, 05:11 PM #3
Cleaning that oven!
My dear sister taught me this and I've used it for years. Never harms the stove and it certainly works to delay the evil day when you actually have to up and scrub the thing down.
I dump a nice clean white snow drift of baking soda on any smoking remains during a baking or roasting session, then when things are done and cooled down, like the next day I vacuum the clinkers out. Or just peel them out on a pancake flipper thingy.
Repeat with more soda or just flip some of the drifts from the base onto the smoker.
Keep a nice white drift of it on the bottom of the oven, don't remove the clean stuff when taking out the clinkers. Waste not want not, and that soda has life left in it, just wait and see!
This keeps the stove going till the walls and top start to smoke, then I clean.
but when I do go to clean, that soda is transformed by repeated heat into something with way more ooomph and cleaning power than ordinary soda.
It'll lift your fingernails, so I'd wear gloves OK? Wearing those gloves, you grab a hunk of white soda off the bottom of the oven onto a wet cleaning cloth and begin to scrub the sides and walls
OK you bag the racks etc, any loose oven parts in a black plastic bag with a good slosh of ammonia, and tie it off and let it cook in the sun all day out of your way.
Back inside you scrub the inside of the stove.
When done, use vacuum to get up the drier gook, and use vinegar on a wet cloth to wipe up the rest.
The vinegar will bubble the soda away and it will leave a pleasant clean oven WITHOUT the stench and sheer lung searing power of ammonia.
Speaking of which, when it comes time, take the racks etc out of the bag (wear gloves, straight ammonia is NOT FUN STUFF) and use the garden hose to rinse.
If it needs a touch more scrubbing use a bbq brush and some more ammonia to finish. RINSE WITH HOSE.
Pour the remains of the bagged ammonia into a bucket, dilute with lots of water and pour around the base of your rhubarb or other heavy feeder. It's basically a straight nitrogen fertilizer. Follow with a good hosing of water. You don't want to burn the rhubarb plant.
You can dump it on the lawn too, but it's going to leave a bright green patch, just hose it around with lots of water to dilute it and spread it around.
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03-12-2004, 05:39 PM #4
You are sure welcome Carolyn, and I'm just enjoying joining in this wonderful party atmosphere and celebration of spring!
03-12-2004, 05:47 PM #5
forgot to mention vinegar for cleaning kettles, irons, and coffee pots. Just run it thru straight and it will take out mineral deposits.
I like it diluted as a rinse for my hair too.
AND you can apply to the fiberglas shower walls with a no scratch white scrubby pad or a folded up bit of nylon netting, and scrub off the hard water and soap scum.
Speaking of shower walls a nylon net scrubby pad with a squirt of good liquid dish detergent will scrub an awful lot of soap scum off shower walls and rinse the tub all shiny clean too.
I've been using a daily shower spray lately since my surgery, but I may go back to my older method, it works well too and costs way less.
and as for shower walls, no matter what you use, you won't have to clean them near as often if you hang a white shower stall squeegee in there, and train the family to squeegee the walls when they are done so the drips don't dry leaving those mineral spots on the walls.
03-12-2004, 05:59 PM #6
Margery!!!! You could write your own book!!!
03-12-2004, 06:00 PM #7
Margery, you are awesome! Thanks for sharing your wonderful knowledge with us.
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