We have all heard about it, but have you tried it? Making household products at home for less. From cleaning products to bug repellant to cooking spray. Find your DIY hacks here.
The acidity of lemon juice and vinegar make them antimicrobial and refreshing cleaning agents, the best ingredients to make an all-purpose kitchen and bathroom cleaner. When using lemon, save and cover the peels in vinegar, leaving them submerged in a sealed jar in your cabinet for a minimum of two weeks. Then, strain the mixture into a spray bottle. You can purchase your spray bottles at the dollar store for added savings.
A similar mixture can be used to clean dishes by hand or in the dishwasher, minimizing the expense and waste of those individually packaged detergent tablets. About four medium deseeded lemons, 4 ounces white vinegar, 1 cup kosher salt, and water make an effective detergent that harnesses citric and acetic acids to easily degrease and preserve your dishware. As an added bonus, it smells great too.
All you need to make your own cooking spray is a spray bottle, water, and cooking oil. The two ingredients are all you need and its a one to four parts ration. Water, of course, is the 4 parts, and you can use less or more depending on what you need it for. This homemade method also lets you use different kinds of oil for different purposes, like olive oil for savory dishes and canola or coconut oil for sweet. I use mine for salads and always use olive oil.
Time is usually what’s needed to get over a cold, but there are still plenty of homemade remedies that can make at least the symptoms feel less. Combine a few common immune-boosting ingredients like raw honey (which has anti-inflammatory and cough-suppressant properties), lemon (said to promote immunity and fight infection), ginger (used for treating nausea and loss of appetite), and apple cider vinegar (good for acid reflux). Add these ingredients separately to tea, or mix and jar them all together for a quick medicine to take by the spoonful. Soon you will be feeling good as new!
Deet is the nasty smelling chemical in most bug repellants. Although its effective, its hard to take that smell. For an effective substitute (though not as long-lasting) the active ingredients of lemon and eucalyptus essential oils work well. DIY Natural has a recipe that uses vegetable oil and witch hazel or vodka to serve as a filler and preservative, respectively.
If you don’t mind buying a few standard cleaning products, you can create a cost-effective detergent at home that will cost only 4 or 5 cents per load of laundry, triple the value of Tide powder. According to Happy Money Saver, the ingredients you’ll need are ivory soap, baking soda, super washing soda, borax, and Oxy-Clean. All can be found on Amazon or likely Walmart.
It’s white vinegar to the rescue (again) if you want soft and fluffy clothes without scented commercial fabric softener. It’s a natural softener that reduces soap residue and static cling, and with the addition of some essential oils like lavender or rose, you’ll still be able to enjoy the fresh scent when you take your clothes out.
Chemical dryer sheets are unnecessary for leaving clothes smelling clean. One popular alternative is wool dryer balls, (you can find on Amazon) or you can make your own dryer sheets by using small squares of cotton fabric, dab a few drops of your favorite essential oils and that’s it. These can be reused about two or three times.
Who likes the idea of spraying commercial poison around the house to deal with an ant infestation? No one. Especially if you have animals. A Good Tired recommends making a nontoxic ant killer that lures ants with sugar and dispenses of them with borax. Soak cotton balls in the solution and place them on a small tinfoil sheet wherever the ants are a problem. I have tried this in my garden, using a baby food jar, put holes in the top and ants will go in the jar for the sugar.
Windshield De-Icing Spray
It’s rare here in Arizona, but it can happen in December or January. And when it does, are you prepared? Do you even own an ice scrapper? Using a spray bottle filled with equal parts water and rubbing alcohol, it will melt the ice away within seconds of contact.
For keeping refrigerated ingredients fresh and cold throughout the day, it doesn’t get much simpler than this: Instead of using store-bought ice packs, just soak a sponge in water, seal in a zip-lock bag, and freeze before using in your cooler or lunchbox. And the cost is almost nothing.
Homemade air fresheners don’t require anything too fancy. Create your own version of the toilet spray Poo-Pourri (to be sprayed in the bowl before you go) by filling a small, 3-ounce spray bottle with water, 1 teaspoon alcohol, and 3 -4 drops of your favorite essential oil. For a more traditional potpourri, you can leave around the house, try simmering some fragrant cut fruits like orange or grapefruit with spices or extracts like rosemary and cinnamon in a saucepan on the stove, then cooling and storing in mason jars.
If you struggle with unwanted weeds sprouting in your garden, you can save time pulling them out using a few ingredients from your kitchen for a homemade weed killer. Combine 1-gallon white vinegar, 1 cup salt, and 1 tablespoon dish soap (or the equivalent ratios) in a spray bottle and apply to weeds when the sun is high for best results. Just be careful not to exterminate your prized plants, too.
Yes, we have even some homemade Goo Gone. You can clear away these residues using an even mixture of baking soda and vegetable oil. Leave it to penetrate the surface for at least five minutes before rinsing away with warm water. That’s it, it’s gone!
All it takes to spruce up jewelry that have lost their shine is to put them in a solution of hot water containing equal parts salt, baking soda, and dishwashing detergent (about a tablespoon per cup). Whatever hasn’t come out after 15 minutes of soaking you can scrub out with a soft-bristled toothbrush. It’s that easy.
Fruit and Veggie Wash
Try this remedy for a homemade vegetable wash solution over store-bought spray. All you need is water mixed with equal parts lemon juice and baking soda plus a spray bottle for easy application. Another cheap alternative!
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