*Basic Self-Sufficiency #2 - CLEANERS*
By: CountryLady
11 June 2004

A good way to be self-sufficient, stay prepared, and save money, is to reduce the number of different products we use. This may seem to be a simplistic perspective, but open your mind a minute, and take a look at the following information.

What do you use to clean your home? Think of all the different cleaners available today for the kitchen, bath, laundry, windows, drains, vehicles, leather, pets and small livestock pens. Its easy to make excellent cleaners with ingredients that are often already on hand for other things, such as...


Baking Soda

Beeswax or Paraffin

Boiled Linseed Oil


Chlorine Bleach

Cream of Tartar

Dawn Dishwashing Liquid

Fels Naptha Soap


Hydrogen Peroxide

Ivory Liquid Dish Soap

Ivory Soap, Bar

Neatsfoot Oil

Rubbing Alcohol

Table Salt

Vinegar (distilled white vinegar)

Washing Soda

Witch Hazel


Essential Oils,

Lavender is great because it is antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial.


All Purpose Cleaner #1

1/2 cup ammonia

1/2 cup washing soda

7 cups warm water

Combine ammonia, washing soda and ONE CUP warm water in a 1/2 gallon jug.

Cap and shake well to mix. Add remaining water. Label the container.

Makes 1/2 gallon of CONCENTRATE.

To use, mix 1/2 cup of the concentrated cleaner with 1 & 1/2 gallons hot water.

(Be sure to test on delicate surfaces such as wallpaper before using)


All Purpose Cleaner #2

1 cup white vinegar

1/2 baking soda

5 gal bucket water

A great disinfectant type cleaner that's gentle on the nose, surfaces, and even for animal feeders and waterers.


No-Rinse Wall Cleaner

1 cup ammonia

1/2 cup vinegar

1 gallon hot water

1/4 cup baking soda

Mix together and wash your walls. No rinsing is required.


Magic Wall and Appliance Cleaner

2 tablespoons non-sudsy ammonia

1 teaspoon liquid dish soap

1 pint rubbing alcohol

1 gallon water

Store in a spray bottle. This is comparable to the "Fantastic" cleaner.


All Purpose Spray Cleaner #1

31 ounce Water

1 ounce Ivory Liquid Dish Soap

Mix Water and a squirt of Ivory Liquid thoroughly in a spray bottle

Use Ivory because most other dish soaps leave behind a filmy residue. Ivory is especially safe for marble, wood counter tops, butcher blocks, brass and gold plated items.


All Purpose Spray Cleaner #2

1 pint rubbing alcohol

1 tablespoon dishwashing detergent

1 tablespoon household ammonia

1 tablespoon vinegar

Mix in a gallon jug. Fill jug with warm water and shake. You can put this in a spray bottle and use as you would Windex. Great for cleaning windows, chrome and bath fixtures.


All Purpose Bleach Cleaner

2 tablespoons liquid chlorine bleach

1 quart cold water

Mix in a bucket. Moisten a rag with the solution and wipe on surface to be cleaned. Let stand for 2 minutes, then rinse well. USE ONLY ON COLORFAST ITEMS.


Bathroom Tile Mold Preventative

1 part water

1 part bleach

Put into a spray bottle.

Spray the tile and bathtub area evenly and wipe off with a damp sponge.


Bathtub Cleaner (for badly stained tub)


Cream of tartar

Make a paste of peroxide and cream of tartar. Scrub vigorously with a small brush. Rinse thoroughly. If the stains persist, spread the mixture over the stains and apply a drop or two of household ammonia. Allow to set for two hours before scrubbing.


Aluminum Pot Cleaner

2 tablespoons cream of tartar

1 quart water

Mix; boil in the aluminum pot for 10 minutes. Scour lightly if needed.


Moist Towelettes

24 squares white Bounty brand paper towels

1 cup witch hazel

1 teaspoon glycerin

Separate and stack each of the paper towel squares from the roll; cut each square in half. Place the rectangles in front of you vertically, fold each rectangle into thirds as though folding a business letter. Fold each in half as though closing the cover of a book.

Combine witch hazel and glycerin. Mix well and pour over towelettes. Let stand for a few minutes to absorb all of the liquid. Stack in a lidded plastic container or zip-lock type bag.

These are also great for melting windshield ice in cold weather!


Car Wash

1/3 cup mild soap flakes

2 gallons warm water

1/4 cup baking soda

Mix soap flakes and baking soda in a large bucket. Add water and stir until soap flakes dissolve. Start washing from the top down. Wash one section at a time, then rinse. Wash the wheels last.


Pre-Treated Dust Cloth

1 tablespoon mild soap powder (Ivory Snow)

1 tablespoon ammonia

2 tablespoons boiled linseed oil

1 quart warm water

Soak a large piece of flannel in this solution for several minutes.

Wring out and hang to dry.

Store in a covered glass or plastic container. Once washed, treat again.


Concrete Cleaner (heavy-duty)

1 pint liquid chlorine bleach

2 gallons warm water

Mix well in a bucket. Wash concrete; rinse with clear water and allow to dry.

For tough stains, allow the mixture to set for 15 minutes before rinsing.


Shower Head Cleaner

1 pint white vinegar

1 pint hot water

Pour into a pot to cover shower head. Soak for 1 hour.


Copper and Brass Cleaner

1 pint vinegar

3 tablespoons salt

Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and add salt.

Spray solution liberally on copper or brass.

Let set for a while, then simply rub clean.


Saddle Soap

3 1/2 cups water

1/4 cup neat's-foot oil

3/4 cup soap flakes (not detergent)

1/2 cup beeswax or paraffin

Heat water to the boiling point, then lower heat to simmer.

Slowly add soap flakes and stir gently.

Combine neat's-foot oil and beeswax or paraffin in the top of a double boiler.

Heat until melted, then stir.

Turn heat off and slowly add oil and wax mixture to the soap solution.

Stir until thick. Pour into containers and cool.

To use, apply with a damp sponge over leather surface.

Buff dry with a soft cloth.


Spot Remover (use in a well-ventilated area)

(Especially good for removing spots from delicate fabrics.)

3 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide

1 tablespoon ammonia

Mix ingredients and dab on the stained area. Leave on for up to 1 hour, then rinse off.

Reapply if necessary.

CAUTION: Fumes from this cleaner may seem strong, so work in a well-ventilated area.

Do not make this recipe in a larger quantity as it will not keep.

Also the two chemicals generate heat if left together for long.


Toilet Bowl Cleaner

1 cup bleach

1 to 10 cups water

Pour bleach and water into a clean gallon-size plastic jug.

Label, cap, and keep out of the reach of children.

Pour 1 cup into the toilet. Let sit for 30 minutes with the lid closed and then swirl around and under the rim with a toilet bowl brush. Flush.


Clogged Drain Remedy

1 cup salt

1 cup baking soda

1 cup vinegar

Mix, then pour down the drain. Let foam.

Follow with 2 quarts boiling water.


Once you start to use the various homemade cleaners, you'll soon discover which are your favorites and the choices are reduced even further. Having a clean home and homestead is so nice, and so is saving money.

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