Homemade cleaners that smell good? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 07-10-2005, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We go through a lot of cleaners at my house (We have a housefull to clean up after!) and I'd like to try making my own to save money. However, all of the recipes I've found for natural surface cleaners tend to have ammonia, or vinegar as the main ingredient. Unfortunately,I can't stand the smell of either. Are there any recipes out there for natural cleaners that have a pleasant smell?
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#2 of 19 Old 07-11-2005, 12:49 PM
 
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I"d love to know too. Maybe Dr. Bs sal suds? I personally like the smell of vinegar - lol - but dh thinks it's gross.
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#3 of 19 Old 07-11-2005, 03:17 PM
 
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Maybe if you just used Borax diluted w/ very hot water (so that it dissolves all the way) in a spray bottle? Add a bit of TTO for it's disinfectant properties.

If you have Sal Suds you could add some of that and it smells sooo good, not like Pine-sol, like actual pine trees. It's very concentrated so you don't have to add much. The bottle lasts a very long time.

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#4 of 19 Old 07-11-2005, 04:53 PM
 
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I've read of other mamas here using a few drops of essential oils in their vinegar solutions to help mask the vinegar smell.
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#5 of 19 Old 07-11-2005, 06:56 PM
 
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I don't love the scent of plain vinegar, but it doesn't bother me that much either. That said, I always do add a few drops of essential oil to my vinegar squirt bottles - it helps immensely.

~ Meredith, mom to dd(Jan '02), ds1(May '04) and ds2 (June '07) ~ :
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#6 of 19 Old 07-11-2005, 09:34 PM
 
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I mix a half cup of baking soda with enough Dr Bronners soap to make a very soft paste. I'm currently using Dr B's lavender soap but have used peppermint in the past. They both smell great. I use this to clean my glass stove top, stained counters, sinks and tubs. I love it.

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#7 of 19 Old 07-11-2005, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the tips! Is Dr. Bronners something that I could find at Whole Foods?
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#8 of 19 Old 07-11-2005, 10:25 PM
 
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Yes, Dr. B's can be found at Whole Foods.

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#9 of 19 Old 07-12-2005, 02:16 AM
 
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I use a recipe from Clean House, Clean Planet, modified a bit b/c I don't use borax. It does not smell bad at all. I like to use lemon or orange eo in it, but you can get the peppermint Dr. Bronner's and that really masks the vinegar.

Here it is:

2 tablespoons vinegar (not really enough to smell bad)
16 oz hot filtered water ( I don't use filtered b/c you can't run hot water through my pur filter, but the book says it worked better)
and 1/4 cup Dr. Bronner's soap.
10-15 drops of essential oil
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#10 of 19 Old 07-15-2005, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Merrick!
I'll give that one a try!
Is there a reason that you don't use Borax? I've used it in my diapers before, so if I shouldn't, I want to know it!
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#11 of 19 Old 07-15-2005, 07:10 PM
 
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I don't use borax in my cleaners because although it is natural and fine for the environment, it is toxic if ingested. So I just left it out. I find the cleaner works just fine without it. I do have some borax, though, and have used it in laundry before.
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#12 of 19 Old 07-17-2005, 10:00 AM
 
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i make a similar cleaner to what merrick listed, but i do add a tablespoon of borax.

if you add the borax, be sure to mix it with the water first until it dissolves, then add the vinegar, then add the dr. bronner's sal suds. otherwise the borax does something funky to the sal suds and they "break down" and make a film on the top of the water.

i add about 30 or 40 drops of tto to mine, and you can barely smell the vinegar. lemon oil and lavender and peppermint are all nice too.
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#13 of 19 Old 07-27-2005, 05:38 AM
 
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#14 of 19 Old 07-27-2005, 08:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messy mama
Maybe if you just used Borax diluted w/ very hot water (so that it dissolves all the way) in a spray bottle? Add a bit of TTO for it's disinfectant properties.

If you have Sal Suds you could add some of that and it smells sooo good, not like Pine-sol, like actual pine trees. It's very concentrated so you don't have to add much. The bottle lasts a very long time.
heather what is TTO. i am quite new to this so please forgive my ignorance.

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#15 of 19 Old 07-27-2005, 08:32 PM
 
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I sometimes make a paste from baking soda mixed with lemon juice. It's a really powerful cleaner and smells excellent. If you have any nasty stains to shift, just leave it on for a while and rinse later. Much better for your environment all round than any chemical cleaners.
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#16 of 19 Old 08-11-2005, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Merrick,
I've been using your recipe, and I LOVE it! thanks!
~Wendi
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#17 of 19 Old 08-11-2005, 02:37 PM
 
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TTO = tea tree oil
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#18 of 19 Old 08-11-2005, 06:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happy2bmommy
Merrick,
I've been using your recipe, and I LOVE it! thanks!
~Wendi
No problem! I got it from the book Clean House, Clean Planet. It has a lot of good cleaning recipes. You may want to check it out.
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#19 of 19 Old 08-12-2005, 01:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mere
I don't love the scent of plain vinegar, but it doesn't bother me that much either. That said, I always do add a few drops of essential oil to my vinegar squirt bottles - it helps immensely.
I do this too.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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