Live Green & Save Green Part 1

In Celebration of Earth Day, I’m going to do a short series of posts today and tomorrow that will help us all to live greener healthier lives,  and also help us save some moolah!  These are things that I do in my home, because I am after all a “Natural and Thrifty” Mama.


Earth Day Tip # 1:  Make Your Own Cleaners

  • Surface Spray Cleaner
    • Fill a bottle with 1-2 cups vinegar (depending how strong you like it).
    • A few drops of lemon juice
    • Fill to the top with water.
    • As another option you could add a little Tea Tree Oil to the mixture.
  • Laundry Detergent – Start with a (clean) 5 gallon bucket
    • Add 3 gallons of warm/hot water
    • Add 2 cups of baking soda
    • Add 2 cups of borax (found on the laundry aisle)
    • Add 1 bar of soap (shred it with a cheese grater) to a pot of almost boiling water.  Make sure it doesn’t boil, and keep stirring until the soap is dissolved (3-4 min).
    • Add soap mixture to your 5 gallon bucket that already has the previous ingredients in it.
    • Top off with warm water and mix until well blended.
    • Total cost: Approximately $1.29 for 5 gallons of laundry detergent (less if you use coupons on these items).

You can see some awesome picture tutorials on this HERE and HERE.

  • Surface Scrubbing Cleaner
    • Just plain baking soda!  And if you want a little fizz action (great for the toilet bowl), add a little vinegar or lemon juice. You can actually get rust off of your stainless steal utensils with lemon and baking soda.

If you make your own cleaners, do you have any great tips that I didn’t mention here?

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  1. Tea Tree oil is available almost anywhere nowadays. Cheapest place i found it though is to order it on Amazon. But, it’s also available at Walgreens. So if you shop Walgreens, you can work it into your deals. You’ll find it almost anywhere, and it only takes 2-3 drops cause it’s powerful stuff!

  2. It’s actually usually where the medicines or first aid supplies are. It’s a natural disinfectant that kills bacteria. You can use it on scrapes and cuts, as well as in your cleaners to naturally disinfect.

  3. Can I use the laundry soap on cloth diapers? I have been told that most “natural” soaps are not good for cloth diapers, which I find amusing b/c you are trying to be more natural with cloth diapers yet people tell you to use soap full of chemicals. Lol
    (I do use a natural soap right now that was okay’ed for use on my babies cloth diapers (Charlie’s soap) I like the soap (and it is less expensive then what we use to buy) but the soap you posted is much cheaper. Thanks TM!

  4. I have stripped my diapers only once (I have been blessed with minimal build up) but how often do you think I should strip them if I use the homemade detergent? Thanks so much for the input!!

  5. Does anyone have any suggestions for getting mildew off of strollers? I left mine sitting on the porch and now it has little black spots (I’m assuming mildew)all over it. Thanks for your help!

  6. Richael I am with you on this.. i have a very nice double jogger stroller that is yellow and it is now spotty because DH left it out in the rain and never opened it up to dry off.

  7. Richael I am with you on this.. i have a very nice double jogger stroller that is yellow and it is now spotty because DH left it out in the rain and never opened it up to dry off.
    Ooops, should have said great post! Waiting for your next one!

  8. You can put ketchup on copper, let sit 10 minutes, wipe off with a soft clean cloth. Should be bright and clean again.

  9. Thanks for the link to my laundry soap post. I have been using this soap for a week now and I have to say I am really impressed with how well it cleans. It doesn’t make bubbles or have a heavy perfume smell but our clothes, sheets and towels actually seem like they are cleaner! I am hooked on making my own laundry soap! Why did I pay so much for laundry soap for so long??

    Amy – Cutting Coupons in KC’s last blog post..Hy-Vee Deals 4/22 – 4/27

  10. You can get tea tree oil at Walmart in the vitamin aisle. It’s very cheap!

  11. I would like to try this detergent but I have a question. If it builds up on cloth diapers, wouldn’t it build up on clothes also?

  12. Thanks for the response but I am just going to be using it on regular laundry. Is build up an issue for everyday clothes with this detergent?

  13. What kind of bar soap do you use for the natural detergent? Most of the soap from the target, walmart, etc. have the bad stuff in them.

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