Friday, November 9, 2012

Homemade Windex

Another super easy super cheap alternative to store bought cleaners. Windex glass and mirror cleaner. I love that I can feel good about letting my kids help clean with this because it is just vinegar. lemon juice, dawn, and water. 


The place that I found the recipe had you make a gallon but I was out of containers other than an empty windex bottle so I adapted it. In the spray bottle I put:
1 Tablespoon Vinegar
1/2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Dawn
Then fill it up with water.

It works great and doesn't stink like vinegar, which is always a concern that I have. You will have to forgive me or not doing the cost comparison this time. I have been super sick all week and am now drugged up on 4 prescriptions so you will just have to take my work for it that this stuff it cheap, Less than a dollar a bottle for sure.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Simple Tricks from Friends

I am blessed to be surrounded by smart and thrifty women! I had a girls night last night and learned 2 tricks that I feel EVERYONE should know!

The first one is on buttermilk. I am not a buttermilk drinker but I do have a couple recipes that call for buttermilk. I love these recipes but I hate buying buttermilk because I never use it all and then have to throw the rest out and I HATE wasting things. I was telling this to my girl friends last night and one said, "you know you can make your own buttermilk." Two of them had done this before. Sounds hard right? It is SO simple!!! 

Here is what you do:

Put 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup. Add enough milk to equal one cup. Let is stand for 5 minutes and TA-DA! You have one cup of buttermilk. GENIUS!!!

The best part is that she said that she has even done this with SOY MILK! How awesome is that?!?!?!

The second trick is for keeping your shower walls from getting that foggy appearance. We have crazy hard water here in Houston so soap scum tricks are always welcome! Used dryer sheets. Grab a couple on your way into the shower and while you are in there wipe down the shower door with it.

I love having resourceful friends! Thanks girls!

Mop Solution

Today I tried a mixture for my mop. You could also just use it in a bucket with a regular mop. I have a mop that sprays like a Swiffer, but you can put whatever kind of solution you want in it and the pads you mop with are re-useable AND no batteries required!

I got mine at Walmart but I can't find it online so maybe they have a different version now but it is similar to this one

Option 1
Okay, here is what you need:

4 cups hot water, 2 Tablespoons White Vinegar, 
a few drops of grapefruit seed extract or lavender oil

I used Grapefruit Seed Extract this time because I didn't have lavender but I definitely plan on trying it next time because I love the smell. Anyway, just mix it all together and pour into the mop. It filled mine up twice, so if you don't have a lot of floor to mop you should half the recipe. It worked really well! I had to scrub my mop over certain spots but that is nothing new in my house. The purpose of the Grapefruit Seed Extract or Lavender oil is to mask the smell of the vinegar. It did a pretty good job but I stilled smelled it a little bit.

Option 2 

2 Tablespoons white vinegar, 1/2 T Dawn
2 Tablespoons washing soda, 1 gallon (16 cups) water

The original place I found this recipe made 2 gallons at a time, but I didn't have anywhere to keep that much and I wasn't going to use it all in one day, so I have split the recipe in half for you. It does store fine I made some a month ago and it still works great. I liked this one better because it did not make the house smell as much like vinegar and I think that it may have done a little bit better of a job. I didn't feel like I had to scrub very much at all. Also, this one does not smell like vinegar. 

So overall, they both work but my favorite was the second option.

Cost comparison:

Option 1 was hard to do because of the lavender oil. One little bottle costs about $7 at HEB but you only use 3 drops. I have no idea how many "drops" are in a bottle, But I have a feeling it will last a long time. The vinegar portion costs $.029 per mix (which filled my mop twice)

Option 2 is cheaper because the same amount of vinegar in option 1 goes a lot farther in this one. The Washing soda is less than $4 for a huge box and you only use 2 tablespoons so it goes a super long way too. This mix will fill my mop multiple times because this amount filled up 2 empty Simply Orange bottles as well as my mop!  
What I previously bought was Fabuloso which is $2.87 at Walmart and will clean the floor about 56 times if you measure it right which would be $.051 per mix.

So, if my math is correct, you save a dollar every 33 mop mixes for option 1 and even more for option 2. This doesn't sound like drastic savings like some of the other cleaners I have made, BUT keep in consideration that you are also getting rid of chemicals and gaining an all natural cleaner.That makes a difference when you have babies crawling on the floor. Not that I think buying a not all natural floor cleaning is going to kill your children, but better to do the healthy thing where you can right?

Bonus trick:

The first solution did make it smell a little vinegar-ish in the house so I got to try out an air freshener trick I had just read about. (Thank you Pinterest) :) Put about a teaspoon or a little bit more of vanilla (it said 2 capfuls, but I bought an off brand that comes in a bottle that doesn't have a cap) in an oven safe dish. and "bake it" at 350 for 20 minutes. The house smelled heavenly. When the kids got up from nap they asked what "that yummy smell" was. I think they were hoping for cookies. :) A couple hours later when my hubby got home the vinegar smell was definitely gone because he is not a fan of the vinegar smell and for sure would have said something. ;)