Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Homemade Cleaning Products, Part III

For the past two weeks, I’ve been trying my hand at making my own cleaning products and have been comparing them with store bought brands.  I’ve already had success with homemade window and glass cleaner (versus Windex) and homemade toilet bowl cleaner (versus Comet or Lysol toilet bowl cleaner).

This week, I gave floor cleaner and tub cleaner a try.

I finally went to the store and bought a box of borax.  If you’re planning to make homemade cleaning products, this ingredient is found in a lot of the recipes.  I was surprised that it was super cheap!  At our local Wal-Mart, I bought a 5 pound box for $2.99.  That may not sound like a lot, but trust me – in most of the recipes I’ve read, you only need a small amount of borax, so this is going to last me a while.

To give you some background . . . we have hardwood floors throughout except in our kitchen and bathroom.  In those two rooms, we have an awful white ceramic tile (who puts down white tile?!?).  Anyway.  These two rooms are a thorn in my flesh.  Every speck of dirt shows up, and when I mop there are always streaks. 

My usual floor-cleaning product of choice for these two rooms is Fabuloso.

It’s smells good (and very strong) and that’s about it.  It does leave streaks, which I don’t like, so I was anxious to try something new.  For this big bottle, I probably paid like $2 and some change.

For my hardwood floors, I usually just use Murphey Oil mixed with some warm water.

This leaves our hardwoods super shiny and clean.  I love it.  The only con for Murphey Oil is the price.  Although you don’t use very much, this bottle probably set me back about $3 and some change.

For the homemade floor cleaner, all you need is:

  • 1 TBSP vinegar
  • 4 c. warm water 

The result?  The homemade floor cleaner worked great on my ceramic tile.  No streaks!  I was very pleased.  It also cleaned my hardwoods nicely too.  But, it doesn’t give them the nice shine like Murphey Oil does.  From now on, I think I’ll stick with the homemade floor cleaner for ceramics and the store bought Murphey Oil for the hardwoods.  I know it’s double the work, but I’m just particular about the hardwoods being shiny. :)

Next up is our tub . . . like with our toilet, our tub doesn't get too nasty so I don't really have a great before and after story to tell.  However, I will say the smell was a lot less strong than my scrubbing bubbles that I normally use.  I think I paid about $1.50 for my last can of scrubbing bubbles, but the homemade route definitely comes out to be cheaper in the long run.  

For the homemade tub cleaner, you'll need:

  • 1/2 c. vinegar
  • 1/2 c. borax mixed with warm water 
Simply spray in your tub or wipe on with a sponge or rag.  If you're planning to do homemade cleaning products, these little spray bottles are a must!  I bought these from the dollar store for $1 each.  I will note, they are a little on the cheap side . . . they don't spray the best, so I'm in the search for some nicer ones.

The verdict:  The tub was just as clean with the homemade cleaning product and way more scent friendly.  


  1. Wonderful! Can't wait to try the tub cleaner :)

  2. You are such a wise young women - I'm so proud of your resourcefulness!!! I also have a great recipe for gloop/silly putty using borax HA

  3. I just love your Thrifty posts. I think it is so neat to hear some of your tricks! And I agree there is nothing like nice shiny hardwood floors!
    Have a great weekend! -Heather

  4. Very resourceful, how much money did you save on every home made products that you make? Compared to the original product.


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