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Old 07-27-2010, 02:32 PM   #1
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My cleaning schedule and Homemade cleaner recipes

I usually just blog about stuff for my family but have had several friends ask me about my cleaners lately. So I thought I'd blog about it. I figured some of you might be interested in the schedule I use and especially some of the thrifty homemade recipes. So I hope this is legal but I just cut and pasted it here:


I find that putting stuff up on my blog is more for me than anyone else. I link to friend's and families blogs through my own so I come here quite often even if I don't post much. But one way to keep myself on track is to post it here, that way I see it often. So I have my menu plan under control now, so I'm on to cleaning. During the school year I have a pretty good system in place. I get up a half an hour early and try to be ready to go at the same time as I send dh and ds out the door, half an hour before I have to go. That gives me 30 min. to clean, organize, do laundry and dishes each day. I have to be really focused during that time to get it all done in time but it works for me. During the summer I have more time so you'd think that would mean I'd clean more, but instead I loose focus and clean less. Even though I only work part time in the summer, this summer I also started my Masters so that is taking up extra time. So I've decided to keep things on track, and keep my stress level down I have to keep on a schedule during the summer too. I figured it's more than just me that could use this help so I"m posting it here. If you see some way for me to stream line more and be more organized I'd love the tips! The only way I get everything in life done is to be super organized. So here's my cleaning schedule:
Everyday:
*Run Roomba (every other day in the kitchen/living room/hall, off days in other areas) -Roomba works amazingly well and helps me keep my sanity with all the dirt DH and the dogs track in.
*1 Load of Laundry Daily, this includes Wash, hang dry, fold and put way
*Dishes kept up on (thanks to a college roommate I learned to put them straight in the dishwasher instead of letting them pile up in the sink. It now drives me nuts to have dishes in the sink. Justen is starting to get the hang of it, it only took him 7 years)
*Toys away (DSdoes this every night before bed)

Weekly:
Mon: Kitchen
Tues: Downstairs (we spend so little time down here I don't devote much to cleaning it, if every room gets hit once a month I'm happy)
Wed.: Living Room/ Dust
Thurs: Bedrooms
Fri: Bathrooms (do these two rooms get cleaned together so I can do one load of laundry for sheets and towels)
Sat: Deep Vacuum and mop (deep vacuum is with the dyson, roomba does maintenance during the week)

I've had several folks ask about my homemade cleaning recipes. About two years ago I started noticing that I was having more migraines and asthma attacks then I'd ever had. I was also totally out of energy all the time. I especially noticed that anytime I cleaned the bathroom I was wiped out for the rest of the day, I'd actually clean it at night so I could go to bed because that is all I could do once I was done. We decided to start cutting out commercial cleaners to see if it helped (about the same time we switched to cloth diapers for DS). It worked wonders, my migraines are less, my muscle spasms are better, and I breathe much easier. I still have some left over cleaners in the house but don't use them a lot, and when I do I always regret it. I've found I can clean about anything in my house with a few simple ingredients. I feel a lot better about what I'm putting in my septic tank too. I have found a lot of essential oils don't bother me like commercial smells do so I use them for fragrance, but I still have to be careful. A lot of people use lavender oil in cleaners but it makes me sick so I don't use it. You don't have to fragrance them, I just have the oils on hand for my soap making so I use them. Here are some of my favorite recipes for cleaners:

*Redi-Wipes- Clorox Redi-wipes were a major cleaning crutch of mine. I went through 4-6 big sams club canisters a month. I really hate rinsing and reusing rags, I"m not sure why it just bothers me. But I found a great, cheap alternative. I cut up a huge stack of old T-shirts into 6X6 squares (no hemming required). I keep them in an old huggies container in the window sill. I keep a bottle of Multi-surface cleaner next to them. I have single use wipes ready to go all the time. I throw them in the laundry hamper in the kitchen along with my un-paper towels and wash them once a week with my whites. I have over a hundred of them to get me through until wash day.

*Multi Surface cleaner/disinfectant (Use my old method brand spray bottles, they have lasted forever)
In an old spray bottle fill up about 1/4 way with vinegar, put in about 5 drops of soap, a few drops of Tea Tree Oil, and fill the rest of the way with water. I hate the smell of Tea Tree so I cover it up with Mint Oil.

*Window Cleaner, Streak Free, Spray on wipe off with crumpled newspaper, buff to a shine (although right now I'm using a bottle of Method Minty Glass cleaner that I love)
1 1/2 c. vinegar
2 c. Water
1 T. Cornstarch

*Scratch Free Scouring Powder
1 c. Borax
1 c. Baking soda
Fragrance oil of choice. Mix. I put it in a canning jar and punch holes in the lid to use it like a can of comet.

If I need to get burnt on food out of a pot and that mix doesn't work I add a little salt and that scrubs anything out.

*Drain Cleaner- I sometimes get slow drains. Draino is bad for your pipes, horrible for the septic system (and the environment if your on city sewer) and the fumes are horrible. I put some baking soda down the drain, about a cup or so, then chase it with white vinegar. Let it sit and work a few min. Then follow it up with some boiling water. Works great.

*Dish disposal deodorizer- Grind a little ice, lemon peels, and baking soda in it. It sharpens the blades adn keeps it fresh.

*Dishsoap- I really haven't had a problem with dish soap, I use plain old dawn and it gives me no problems, some of the highly fragranced ones do though so I stick with dawn. But I did play around with homemade automatic dish detergent just for fun. And when I can't find any really cheap or free with coupons I do make my own because it's cheaper. This recipe is a combination of ones I found on other sites and works well in our hard well water. I do have to use a rinse aid or our water puts tons of minerals on our dishes. Again if I find it cheap I use jet dry if not I use vinegar in the rinse aid compartment. We used to not notice the hard water so bad in our old white dishwasher, but the stainless interior on our new one get gunky really easy, and the dishes show the minerals worse. I think it might be because it's one of those high efficiency ones. None of the dish stuff seems to give me problems.

*Auto Dish Detergent-
Some websites claim that you can use one T baking soda and one T borax in place of dish detergent. If you have soft water maybe you can. But my dishwasher did not tolerate that. So after much searching, this is what I came up with for a recipe:
1 c. borax
1 c. baking soda
2 T. salt (salt is abrasive so try without first and only use if needed)
2 T. Citric Acid
2 t. liquid dish soap
Mix together thoroughly and use 1-2 T. per load. Can add a few drops citrus oil if you like the smell.


Laundry-Laundry soap is a mix for me. As long as I use something with out fragrance I'm fine. Once in a while though I have to use tide. If you saw some of the laundry DH brings me you'd know why. (think towels covered in sheep afterbirth and coveralls from lambing and spring chores.) Sometimes I use store bought sometimes I use homemade it depends on how much time I have and what kind of sales I've found. These are my two favorite recipes both are from the Duggars website.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value
4 Cups - hot tap water
1 soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
Cup Borax
- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
-Front Load Machines- Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)
*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased online here (at walmart). Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!

Powdered Laundry Detergent - Top load machine
1 soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
Cup Borax
-Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use 1 Tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons. Yields: 3 Cups detergent. (Approx. 40 loads)

TIPS FOR LAUNDRY SOAP: You can use Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castile or Zote(my preferred) bars, you can use fels naphsa but I find it fades my darks. Don't use heavily perfumed soaps. Washing Soda and Borax can often be found on the laundry or cleaning aisle. Recipe cost approx. $2 per batch.

- Sometimes I use unscented downy as a fabric softener sometimes I just use plain old white Vinegar, sometimes I use nothing it depends.

I try to hang most of my laundry to dry, it saves on power use, and I have a hard time using power to run the dryer and using extra power to use the A/C to compensate for the dryer. It just seems like paying twice. The sun is free, and if we all conserved a little energy that is one small step in the right direction. I do use the dryer on whites though, all those tiny little cloths to hang up would be too much.

Mopping
For mopping we bought a Bissell Steam Mop. It works great and mops with no chemicals. I love it! You can just use plain vinegar in mop water as well, but I really hate the smell of vinegar and while I cover it up with oil other places I didn't want to on my whole floor so this works really well for us.

Carpet Cleaner- I have a Bissell Pro Heat carpet cleaner I really like. Fill the soap compartment with white vinegar. In the hot water part put a couple of scoops of oxyclean and a small squirt of dawn (think 5 drops or so), with the hot water. It works great and doesn't leave a soapy residue that attracts dirt like the normal soap does.

There are so many good things about homemade cleaners. They are cheap, work well, great for the environment, and easier on us. I can get a gallon of Vinegar at Winco for $2, and huge boxes of baking soda for $1.50. I only use a few drops of oils and you don't even need those. Hope this helps someone, it's also a nice reference for me in case I forget one of these. I know there are others I use and as I remember them I'll try and add them.

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ISO: Formula Checks- if you have some you won't use we would love to have them!
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Last edited by slimy72; 07-27-2010 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:37 PM   #2
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Re: My cleaning schedule and Homemade cleaner recipes

And just for fun, the menu post I did this morning. Ive got a bad headache today so I don't feel like doing much super productive, so updating my blog seemed like a good thing to do. Oh, and I didn't include it on my blog but since this is the thrifty forum. All of the food for two weeks came to $84 at Winco. That leaves me $16 to spend on milk and fresh fruit next week. My current grocery budget is $75 a week. So this two weeks I'll only spend $50 a week and have $50 left. This means that the extra money will go to cover the cut and wrap I'll have on my lambs next month (we raise our own but pay a butcher to do that). Once winter comes and the extra expense of canning/lambs/freezer filling is over we'll go back to a strictly $50 a week grocery budget.

Menu Planning

We were getting really bored eating the same old thing all the time. So the last few weeks we've been on a mission to try some new things. We've tried some fun things like Lime, Chili Fish kabobs, Grilled Tilapia, Kiwi Marinated Lamb Kabobs, Grilled asparagus , basil and balsamic pork chops (these were amazing and Justen thought it was the best pork he'd ever eaten) and Parmesan grilled corn on the cob. It's been really fun trying new things. One way I've found to keep myself on track and not get stuck in the what's for dinner rut is to Menu plan. I start by looking in the freezer, and cupboard to see what needs to get used. Then I look through the sale paper to see what is cheap this week. With those two things in mind I come up with a few old favorites then head over to recipezaar to find some new ideas. I finished my menu plan for the next two weeks on Sunday night, and went shopping yesterday for everything I will need. Aside from maybe a few more gallons of milk (only got six it will be close if we make it a full two weeks, we usually need 4-5 a week) and maybe a little more fruit for breakfasts and snacks we should have everything we need. I am hoping by posting it here I won't loose it, because little helping hands keep taking my list off the fridge and then I forget what I had planned and fall back into the rut. I've also found we eat healthier this way and produce doesn't go to waste because the produce I buy is all ear marked for a meal.

Dinners (two weeks worth)
*Sour Kraut and Brats (this was Sunday dinner)
*Braised Lamb Shanks (crock pot so not to heat up the house), Parmesan and Basil Orzo, Parmesan grilled Corn, and Grilled apples (this was last night)
*Grilled Trout and Acini di Pepe salad, w/roasted summer squash (trout was caught at a faculty party we went to for work right at the end of school)
*Scallops and Pasta Florentine (the new winco in town carries bay scallops at a really reasonable price)
*Black Bean Salad and chips (this has lemon, lime and orange juice, cilantro and fresh vegis in it, hoping we like it.)
*BLT Sandwiches (forgot to buy lettuce so we'll be having these with the spinach from the pasta- it was a big bag)
*Marinated Lamb Chops and Zucchini Couscous
*Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad (lots of vegi's in this)
*Chicken and Grapes salad on Pita bread (with Carrots and celery on the side)
*Grilled Lamb Chops (for our family BBQ/Party Friday night)
These last two are for my nights when I have to have a quick meal and there are no left overs left, like this thurs. night when we have our livestock board meeting.
*Beans and Weenies w/spinach salad
*Tuna Casserole w/corn

I just list it all out and then cook whatever we feel like eating that night. I don't list it on a day particularly because maybe we won't feel like fish on Monday we want it on Wed, so this has enough flexibility to keep us happy but enough structure to keep me organized and sane.

Lunch is usually leftovers, as is some dinners, the three of us just don't ever finish a whole meal at one sitting, so we have lots of left overs. We also always have stuff to make sandwiches. If we run out these are things that can be made with stuff I have in the house
*Tuna Sandwiches
*Ham Sandwiches
*Beans and Weenies
*Mac and Cheese (with corn and hot dogs or tuna)
-I actually made this today for lunch but for a fun twist we put fresh chopped
chives and parsley in it, a squirt of ranch dressing, corn and hot dogs. It was really good, actually made box mac and cheese enjoyable
*Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwiches
*Bean Burritos
*Egg Burritos


Breakfasts (we try to have a little fruit or something with this, like this morning we had the left over grilled apples from last night.)
We make huge batches of pancakes, waffles, and french toast sticks, then freeze them with wax paper in between. That way on a daily basis all we do is pull them out of the freezer and put them in the toaster for a few min. I also make big batches of biscuits and freeze them and can bake them in the toaster oven, we use them for breakfast but also sometimes to have fresh biscuits with dinner.
*Pancakes
*Waffles
*French Toast Sticks
*Biscuits and Sausage
*English muffins
*Bagels
*Oatmeal
*Cream of Wheat (I take a beaten egg or two and drizzle it in at the end while stirring really fast to add some protein make a big batch so left overs can be used the next day)
*Gries Brei Schnitzel (this stuff is awesome! You take your leftover cream of wheat and put it in a square container in the fridge. Let sit until the next morning. The next morning you slice it about half inch thick. Dip it in beaten egg then coat it in bread crumbs and fry it in a skillet or on a griddle. Serve with cinnamon sugar or syrup or fruit topping, and we always have either fried bananas, or fried cinnamon apples with it).
*Homemade yogurt w/fruit and granola (just put a batch of yogurt in the yogurt maker this morning)

Snacks
*Crackers
*Fruit (grapes, kiwi, apples, berries, cantaloupe, & bananas this week)
*Carrots and celery
*Yogurt
*PB and J (Justen eats a piece of whole wheat bread toast with pband j at least once a day, jam is homemade).
*Ice cream or Popsicles
I'm sure there is more I just can't think of it right now.


Sweets
*Banana Choc Chip muffins w/flax seed meal and wheat germ (to use old bananas up)
*Choc. Chop Cookies (Nanny's recipe-Justen is CRAVING them)
*Lemon Cake (for the BBQ Fri. Night)
*Rice Crispy treats (not healthy at all but we have a huge bag of marshmallows left from camping smores that needs to get used up).
*Old Fashioned Kettle Corn
*Kiwi Something?? I bought a huge box of Organic Kiwis at Sams a few weeks ago and I'm starting to loose the last 10 or so. I've got to figure out something to do with them, so that is today's project, save the kiwis. First kiwi recipe I've found is a Rachel Ray kiwi smoothie, sounds good! And uses up an over ripe banana, I may add a handful of raspberries too.
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hand spinning, soap making, sheep raising wife to my hardworking and FT WOHM to my 'lil & 6 angels in heaven & our rainbow baby that joined us safely this summer!
ISO: Formula Checks- if you have some you won't use we would love to have them!
NB Diapers for sale: http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/....php?t=1594851

Last edited by slimy72; 07-27-2010 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:41 PM   #3
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Re: My cleaning schedule and Homemade cleaner recipes

*Window Cleaner, Streak Free, Spray on wipe off with crumpled newspaper, buff to a shine (although right now I'm using a bottle of Method Minty Glass cleaner that I love)
1 1/2 c. vinegar
2 c. Water
1 T. Cornstarch
could I add pine oil to this and use it instead of counter spray? I LOVE the winter wonderland spray they sell at William Sonoma during the winter that is pine scented.


Auto Dish Detergent-
Some websites claim that you can use one T baking soda and one T borax in place of dish detergent. If you have soft water maybe you can. But my dishwasher did not tolerate that. So after much searching, this is what I came up with for a recipe:
1 c. borax
1 c. baking soda
2 T. salt
2 T. Citric Acid
2 t. liquid dish soap
Mix together thoroughly and use 1-2 T. per load.

Also wondering if you could sub in lemon juice or powdered tang for the citric acid?
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Last edited by Delaney; 07-27-2010 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:45 PM   #4
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Re: My cleaning schedule and Homemade cleaner recipes

AWESOME!!!! totally bookmarking this!!!!!!
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:56 PM   #5
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Re: My cleaning schedule and Homemade cleaner recipes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delaney View Post
*Window Cleaner, Streak Free, Spray on wipe off with crumpled newspaper, buff to a shine (although right now I'm using a bottle of Method Minty Glass cleaner that I love)
1 1/2 c. vinegar
2 c. Water
1 T. Cornstarch
could I add pine oil to this and use it instead of counter spray? I LOVE the winter wonderland spray they sell at William Sonoma during the winter that is pine scented.


Auto Dish Detergent-
Some websites claim that you can use one T baking soda and one T borax in place of dish detergent. If you have soft water maybe you can. But my dishwasher did not tolerate that. So after much searching, this is what I came up with for a recipe:
1 c. borax
1 c. baking soda
2 T. salt
2 T. Citric Acid
2 t. liquid dish soap
Mix together thoroughly and use 1-2 T. per load.

Also wondering if you could sub in lemon juice or powdered tang for the citric acid?
Don't konw about the lemon juice, tank would worry me because of the sugar in it. I know you can use lemon kool aid with out the sugar. I would use the multi purpose spray and add pine oil for a counter spray the corn starch is to keep glass streak free. You can change up anything you want. Alot of spray cleaners don't have the tiny bit of soap in them I do. I wouldn't want the pine oil in the window cleaner though for fear it would leave a streaky residue on glass.
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ISO: Formula Checks- if you have some you won't use we would love to have them!
NB Diapers for sale: http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/....php?t=1594851
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:58 PM   #6
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Re: My cleaning schedule and Homemade cleaner recipes

Bookmarking!
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:08 PM   #7
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Re: My cleaning schedule and Homemade cleaner recipes

Glad it's useful to someone. Really no one reads my blog just me and a few close friends and family members, so I figured if I was going to go to all the effort to put up all my recipes I might as well share with some more folks who would appreciate it.
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ISO: Formula Checks- if you have some you won't use we would love to have them!
NB Diapers for sale: http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/....php?t=1594851
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:49 PM   #8
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Re: My cleaning schedule and Homemade cleaner recipes

Thanks, I just copied and paste these to my word so I can save them for when I am running out of commercial cleaners eww gross. But DH keeps buying more I don't get it. But he uses them since I won't clean with them. They make me feel sick alot of times too.
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:38 PM   #9
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Re: My cleaning schedule and Homemade cleaner recipes

Thanks!! this is a great help!
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:11 PM   #10
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Re: My cleaning schedule and Homemade cleaner recipes

Funny thing is I have tons more I just didn't have time to post them all. If there is something specific someone wants I can post it. Another one I thought of that I use a lot is salt to clean the bottom of the iron. and somewhere I have an oven cleaner recipe but I don't remember where because my new oven is self cleaning. I plan to continue to update my blog with them as I go.
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hand spinning, soap making, sheep raising wife to my hardworking and FT WOHM to my 'lil & 6 angels in heaven & our rainbow baby that joined us safely this summer!
ISO: Formula Checks- if you have some you won't use we would love to have them!
NB Diapers for sale: http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/....php?t=1594851

Last edited by slimy72; 07-27-2010 at 08:12 PM.
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