Saturday, December 3, 2016

DIY household cleaner update: the Dawn and vinegar "magic" shower cleaner

I used up the chemical, all purpose cleaners awhile ago, and have been trialing DIY cleaners instead both for health as well as home economy. The Internet is full of recommendations for a Magic shower cleaner that uses 50-50 Dawn blue dish soap and heated white vinegar. I did have some Dawn on hand, so I trialed it, following the recipe formulation.

Round 1 (Followed the recipe to the letter): It cleaned well, left the shower super slippery.

Round 2( Followed other's recommendations to do a 2 part to one part formulation): cleaned just as well, much less slippery

Round 3(Followed the 2-1 ratio previously trialed but this time, I used my regular dish soap): works just as well as Dawn.

The take away: just use whatever dish soap you feel works well for your water and use less than originally recommended.

I spend $2/gallon on white vinegar and $1/50 oz bottle of LA's awesome dish soap. I use 6 oz of soap (12 cents) and 12 o of vinegar (12 cents). I clean 3 full bathrooms once a week and a powder room twice a week using this Magic cleaner. A mixed up bottle lasts me approx 2 weeks. Add tax on the soap and round it off to 50 cents/month for bathroom cleaner. Yeah, I'll keep doing this. I still have some generic "Tilex" for mildew/bathroom mold. Once gone, I'll move to just  a generic bleach solution.

On the general cleaning front, I still vacuum once/week, Swiffer on off days (no vacuum) using up bulk stock of disposible paper pads or a dry mop with a removable, washable head (I bought a second one). I also plan on repurposing some microfiber cleaning cloths to use on the Swiffer mop once the disposible pads are gone. I dust once/week and am using up spray Pledge. I will then go back to lemon oil on a flannel rag.

Dr Bronners mixed up with water is my kitchen cleaner. Murphy's oil soap for once/month wood floor cleaning.

I am using up the last of my Windex, will move to a homemade formulation.

I stopped buying paper towels years ago, continue to rely heavily upon my stash of cleaning rags (repurposed cotton clothing and towels).

I spend so little on cleaning costs, which is really nice.


Meg B. said...

When I had my wood floors installed throughout my house, the owner/contractor told me NEVER to use Murphy's Oil Soap, that vinegar and water was the best, and then only infrequently. They said use a damp cloth to spot clean if I must, and dry mop regularly, and also, to never, ever use Swiffer wet cloths on the wood. But, sometimes I can't convince myself they are clean, so I use a couple of drops of Dr. Bronner's Sal's Suds in a 5 gallon bucket of hot water, sometimes adding a drop or two of peppermint, pine, or tea tree oil, depending on my mood.
Like you, I am in the process of using up, and not replacing my chemical cleansers. I never found the Dawn/Vinegar mix to work well, though, and I felt I spent loads of time rinsing away the slipperiness. As long as I am still able, I will scrub with my two cups baking soda/ drop or two of Dr.Bronner's peppermint soap/drop or two essential oil. It is amazing on soap scum, and rinses beautifully.
I have white(ish)laminate kitchen counters, and a white kitchen sink. Sadly, I have nothing that removes stains (ie: wine stains) except Clorox Cleanup. The Magic Erasers leave chalky spots. Any suggestions? I know I should probably replace the counters with something more "upscale" but honestly, I don't find the neutral color scheme objectionable at all

meme said...

I vacuum six days a week - but I do home daycare - living room, playroom, entry way. I give myself Saturdays off from vacuuming! I vacuum the rest of the house weekly. I have to sweep my kitchen and bathroom floors two or three times a day (daycare - kids love the "flick" cheerios, various other foods!). I clean the inside of my fridge weekly, deep clean the bathroom weekly (but wipe down the toilet and sink probably twice a day (again, daycare). I have to keep an immaculate kitchen (daycare regulations) - so I feel like I am always wiping down counters, appliances, cabinet fronts. I dust weekly (my granddaughter who is age ten - has taken a love for it - so she is now doing it!). I wash my floors once a week (but spot clean during the week). I do the vinegar/water mixture - I have a steam mop with a washable head. I feel like I am always doing housework because of daycare - I am looking forward to retirement in nine years....when I wont have to vacuum everyday ! LOL - But I love doing daycare!

Lee Ann said...

I still have a lot of commercial cleaners. Mostly Mrs Meyers products. I too like Clorox Cleanup. I do feel it works best. It will take me a long time to get through all of my cleaners but I plan on doing the same.

Marcia in rural WNY said...

My stand bys are vinegar, Murphy's oil soap, and Mr. Clean or Pine-Sol, whichever is on sale when I need it. I like the Mr. Clean sponges too, when there are lots of coupons available. My kitchen floor is Pergo so the vinegar/water is what they recommend. It also works on windows and mirrors. I could wash cabinets daily thanks to a cat that sheds and my own love of cooking! Any grease in the air sticks to cabinet fronts, sides, etc. and the cat hair sticks to that.

mikemax said...

What's your recipe for homemade Windex?

CTMOM said...

Max, once my current bottle is empty, this is the recipe I intend to use: