Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Cost of Green Cleaners and the Bathroom

I love making green cleaners.  They are so easy to make and work well.  I also feel so virtuous, doing what's right for the earth, and hey!  The added bonus is that they're cheap to make!  In one calendar year, I spent about $25 to make a years supply of:

Laundry soap
Laundry pretreat or stain stick
Fabric softener
Dishwasher detergent
Bathroom cleaner
Daily shower spray
Hand soap in pump foam dispensers for kitchen and bathroom sinks
Eyeglass cleaner
General cleaning
Wasp spray
Non toxic bug spray for plants

What I bought:
Zote laundry bar
Washing soda
Baking soda
Dawn dish soap (I'm a huge fan of this stuff)
Rubbing alcohol
Cheap brand of 'Jet Dry' type product

Now then, for the bathroom:

I have labeled spray bottles of the following that I use to clean the bathroom and general cleaning:
Dawn and water - tub, shower, sink and pot
Bleach and water - pot and to spray the shower pan and liner in between washings
Vinegar and water - ceramic tile floor

If there's something that needs a little extra attention, I have a designated box of baking soda for cleaning.  I usually keep some in the bathroom cupboard brush my teeth occasionally, too.

In a closet, I have several bars of bath soap unwrapped so they dry out.  I put them in a basket with a washcloth over them.  They gradually dry out and last longer when you use them.

Daily Shower Spray
The daily shower spray has been a big time saver!  I only have to actually clean the shower about once every 6 months if the spray is used faithfully.
Mix together one-half cup of hydrogen peroxide, one-half cup of rubbing alcohol, about six drops of Dawn, a capful of Jet Dry and twenty-four ounces of water. Using this on a daily basis will keep your shower and liner clean for a long time.

I'm experimenting now with just some Dawn water with alcohol in a spray bottle.  I still haven't decided if that works as well as the other formula.  You can use your regular cleaner that's diluted, too.

The easiest way for me to clean the shower?  Right before I get in it.  I spray the walls with Dawn/water mix, hit it w/ a wet cloth, then turn the shower on.  Undress, hop in to finish rinsing the walls and get to showering.  I wonder if Bill knows that I do that...  I wonder if I can get him to do that in the other shower...probably not.

Foaming Pump Dispenser Refill
Fill it 3/4 the way full with water and give it a good squirt of dish soap.   I like Dawn Green or 7th Generation, but use what you have.  My dispensers have the pump gadget inside the bottle, so I ended up overfilling it the first (two?) time I did this.  What didn't work for me was diluting the 'pearl' looking liquid hand soaps, or melting my own bars.  I put them in the blender and still ended up w/ pieces that would clog up the pump dispenser.  For a regular pump dispenser, the ratio is 4 parts water to 1 part liquid soap.

Eyeglass cleaner:
A safe formula no matter what type of eyeglasses or coatings you have on your lenses:
Fill a spray bottle (any size will do) with 3/4 rubbing alcohol and 1/4 water. Put in a few drops of dish soap.

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