This section is devoted to inexpensive or cheap concoctions that make your life easier. Commercial products are available for lots of these things, but I do not like to use strange or weird sounding chemicals in my home if I don’t have to. I think the homemade items are better for my environment and yours. Saves the pocketbook as well. Pinching those pennies!!!
CHEAP HOMEMADE LAUNDRY SOAP
- 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha laundry soap
- ½ cup washing soda
- ½ cup borax
Grate the bar of soap and put in a pan with 6 cups very hot water. Heat until the soap dissolves. Add washing soda and borax. Stir until it is thick. Takes
min. and the mix looks a little like honey. Take off heat. In a large bucket, pour I quart of hot water, add the soap mix and blend. Add another 5 ½ quarts of water, hot or cold. Stir until well blended. Makes 2 gallons.
Set aside for 24 hours, it should make a thick gel. If it doesn’t don’t worry, just shake before you use it.
Use ½ cup for a load of clothes, this soap does not create suds.
Use a ½ cup of vinegar as a rinse agent instead of fabric softener. It is a lot cheaper and you can’t smell it in the clothes when they are dry.
SPOTS-AWAY FOR DISHWASHERS
Instead of buying the expensive Jet Dry or similar product, it’s cheap to make your own. Mix together 1 cup borax and ½ cup baking soda. Put in a pint jar along side the dishwasher detergent and add 1 teaspoon every time you run the machine. This is especially great for those of you that live in hard water areas.
CLEAN SPONGES AND DISHRAGS
To disinfect your sponges and dishrags, use 4 Tablespoons bleach and a quart of water. Let soak for about 10 minutes, rinse. Simple as that and cheap too.
SUPER WINDOW WASH
- 1 tsp washing soda
- ½ cup hot water
- ¼ tsp liquid soap (dishwashing detergent is fine)
- 2 cups club soda
Spray on your windows and use the newspaper to wipe it down. Your windows
CHEAP STAIN REMOVER
Instead of buying expensive spray stain removers, try this cheaper version instead.
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup laundry detergent
- 1 cup household ammonia
- 1 cup tap water
Mix well, pour into a quart spray bottle. Keep near your washing machine. Spray the mix onto the stain and scrub it in, if necessary. Wash immediately!! Do not let it sit on your clothes, it may remove the color. In fact this is best used on whites and very colorfast fabrics.
MAKE IT YOURSELF CHEAP CARPET CLEANERS
There are two versions of this recipe; you will have to decide which will work best for your needs.
- 1/3 cup borax
- ¼ cup rubbing alcohol
- 1/8 cup laundry detergent
Either of them is added to the carpet machine with the 4 gallons of hot water required by the machine. Pour into the reservoir of the machine and follow directions for use. Use the vacuum to suck up any excess water and dirt.
When the carpet is clean, follow up with a rinse of ¼ cup white vinegar in 4 gallons of fresh warm water, following machine directions. The vinegar will pick up any residual dirt and also remove the soap scum.
If you do not rinse, the soap scum will only attract dirt and make your carpets not only dirty again faster, but will also shorten the life of your carpet.
HOMEMADE BATHROOM CLEANERS
By using ingredients found in your kitchen and laundry room, you can make cleaners for your bathroom that work. They are safe to use on fiberglass or plastic as well as sinks and commodes. The best thing about them is they are
cheap and cost just pennies to make.
- Mix borax and lemon juice to form a paste. Wet the surface to be cleaned and spread the paste. Let sit for a couple of hours, scrub and rinse well. In the case of the toilet, brush and flush to rinse.
- Mix baking soda and white vinegar. Use the same as above.
- Pour 1 cup white vinegar into the toilet, let set overnight, then brush and flush.
PASTE POT SCRUBBER
- ¼ cup Cream of Tartar
- ¼ cup baking soda
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup soap flaked (eg: Ivory Snow)
Combine cream of tartar and soda, add vinegar. Mix well. Add soap flakes and mix to form a paste. Apply to a stained aluminum or stainless steel pan and scrub with fine steel wool, rinse well and dry. (yes, stainless steel can look bad especially if used for pasta.) Keep the remainder of the paste in a tightly sealed jar. It can be kept up to 2 years.
CHEAP HOMEMADE MOTH BAGS
- ½cup whole cloves
- 4 cinnamon sticks, broken
- ½ cup black peppercorns
Combine ingredients and place 1 Tablespoon into a square of muslin, tie with a ribbon or piece of string and hang in your closet with a thumbtack or a pushpin. This will keep the bugs away from your clothing.
Do not let it get near the clothes; it could cause staining from the oils.
You can use this recipe instead of going out to buy the pink stuff in a bottle. It has been tested by pediatricians.
- 2 cups hot water
- 5 tsp. powdered flavored gelatin
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
Mix very well, let cool and give it to the sick person. If the illness persists (same as any sickness) then a trip to the doctor is in order.
Using one of the cake pans with the slide off lid for a travel desk is great for children and adults alike. Fill the inside with what ever you need, paper, pencils, crayons, etc. The sliding top is perfect for a writing surface. This is really great for children if you are making a long automobile trip.
HOMEMADE BATH POWDER
Everyone has a favorite scent, perfume or cologne. But don’t use the name brands. You can find matching scents for these in the inexpensive, matching fragrance products. To make a cheap bath powder is quite simple. All you need is a box of cornstarch and your favorite scent. Using your nose as a guide put ¼ to 2 tsp. of fragrance. Stir well, the cornstarch will get lumpy, but stir until the lumps are fairly well gone. Spread the scented powder on a cookie sheet or foil lined pan and let the alcohol evaporate. Then put the powder through a sieve or a sifter.
Pour into a pretty container and enjoy. This is a nice gift for the ladies that you know or maybe for someone in a nursing home. You can check the discount stores for a new bath powder puff.
SCENTED BATH SALTS
- 1 cup Epsom salts, kosher salt or other coarse salt
- 1 cup baking soda
- 6-8 drops essential oils, your fragrance choice (found at craft stores)
- 2 Tbs glycerin
- Food coloring (optional)
Mix salt and soda together in a glass bowl. Add oil, 1 drop at a time and stir well. Add glycerin 1-2 drops at a time and stir well. Add color if you wish to match your bathroom or someone else’s because this makes a nice gift. Pour into glass jars, add a ribbon.
For yourself, light a candle, relax and enjoy.
CHEAP HOMEMADE WIPES – BABY OR OTHERWISE
1 roll of good quality microwaveable paper towels. (Bounty is a bit more
expensive, but works well.)
- 2 ¼ to 2 ¾ cups of water
- 2 Tbs baby shampoo or baby bath
- 1 Tbs baby oil
Used wipe container or any plastic container you can cut an X slit into the top.
Cut the roll of towels in half, using a serrated knife, go slowly and it takes a while. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and put into the empty wipe container. Place ½ of the roll into the container and close. Rotate the container so the towels soak up the mixture.
To use, fold the wet cardboard center in half and pull out of the middle. This will leave you with the end of the towel in your hand. Thread it through the hole. If the wipes dry out, just add a little more water.
There is no alcohol in these wipes, so they can be used by anyone of any age. Carry them in the car with you, sometimes you need to wipe your hands or your face.