Vinegar Free All Purpose Cleaner That Works Like Magic

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Need a vinegar free all purpose cleaner that works magic on your family’s muck and mayhem? I have the absolute perfect 3-ingredient recipe!

Vinegar Free Household Cleaner! Need a vinegar free all purpose cleaner that works magic on your family's muck and mayhem? This 3-ingredient recipe not only makes wine stains disappear, but it's also non-toxic, saves you money and smells amazing! #diy #cleaning #ecofriendly #greencleaners #cleaner #cleaningtips #cleaningrecipes #lifestyle #healthylifestyles #lifestyleblog #healthyliving #nontoxic #biodegradable #naturalcleaning #naturalcleaningrecipes

If your husband is like my husband, he can’t stand the smell of cleaning vinegar. And he most definitely lets you know he HATES it. In my case the complaints were almost as bad as when men get sick. You know those complaints. They get a cold and you’d think they were dying.

While the smell of cleaning vinegar does dissipate, there’s absolutely no relief from a complaint about the smell regardless of the essential oils I use to freshen the scent. On the flip side of that, you want to use non-toxic cleaning products in your home. And in an effort to use more natural cleaning products, vinegar has always been your go to thing.

So what do you do when you A.) want save money by making your own natural cleaning products and B.) your husband threatens you with divorce if you use vinegar just one more time? The good news is, you can keep your husband. The better news is, you can make a homemade vinegar free all purpose cleaner that works like magic.

I’m talking this stuff took wine stains off my laminate countertop that were two weeks old kind of magic. Not only that, but it smells simply AMAZING. And the fragrance, just a single to-die-for essential oil, was personally approved by my husband. He actually came home and COMMENTED on how great the house smelled. I mean wow, right?

Not only does my vinegar free all purpose cleaner require the purchase of just TWO products, you’ll find that these products last a long time and have so many more uses than just cleaning countertops! Plus they’re eco-friendly!

Vinegar Free All Purpose Cleaner Recipe

© Rebecca D. Dillon

Ingredients:

800 mL/27 oz. distilled water
20 mL/.67 oz. Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner
20 mL/.67 oz. 5-fold lemon essential oil

Instructions:

Measuring all ingredients by volume, add the water to a 28 oz. spray bottle then follow with Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner and the essential oil. Gently turn the bottle to mix.

If you don’t like strong scents you can halve the amount of essential oil used. (The usage rate of both the essential oil and Sal Suds is approximately 2.4%.) The amount called for in the recipe was enough to get a strong lemon fragrance that made the whole house smell fantastic.

If desired you can print out labels for your vinegar free all purpose cleaner here.

(For the BEST price on Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds, I purchase my Sal Suds from Thrive Market. Thrive Market offers wholesale prices on tons of natural, organic and eco-friendly products including food, vitamins, essential oils and household cleaning supplies. You can save 25% off your first purchase when you join risk free. Learn more here.)

How to Use Your Vinegar Free All Purpose Cleaner:

I used this specific vinegar free all purpose cleaner recipe to clean my bathroom and mirrors (without streaking,) to wipe down countertops and appliances as well as to mop my floor Swiffer style with an eco-friendly mop with reusable pads.

As this is a surfactant based cleaner, however, you’ll want to only use it on hard, sealed surfaces, painted or sealed (not waxed) wood or fabrics. For furniture and the like where you want to protect the finish, try this recipe using Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap in place of the Sal Suds. You can also use Sal Suds on fabrics to wash clothing as well as to spot treat stains.

Zap Red Wine Stains on Rugs + Countertops!

I’ve use this recipe to successfully clean red wine out of an outdoor rug as well as to remove wine stains from my laminate kitchen countertops. To clean my rug, I sparingly sprayed my vinegar free all purpose cleaner onto the stain and then rubbed it in with a rag dipped in hot water until the stain disappeared. (However, it is important to mention you do need to make sure you get all of the suds out of your rug or carpet when spot cleaning so that it doesn’t attract more dirt. You can learn more about cleaning your carpets using Sal Suds here.)

For the countertop, I heavily sprayed my vinegar free all purpose cleaner onto the wine stain and let it set. I then wiped the countertop down an hour or so later to find that the stain had magically disappeared. For tougher stains, you can repeat this step or simply let the cleaner sit on the stain longer. (You’ll want to spray enough cleaner on your countertop stain so that it forms a small puddle for best results.)

For lighter everyday cleaning, Dr Bronner’s recommends one tablespoon of Sal Suds per quart of water. You can then add lemon or other citrus based essential oils as desired for scent. (Pssst. A combination of lemon and peppermint essential oils will also deter spiders.)

You should find that my vinegar free all purpose cleaner also works better than a combination of vinegar, water and essential oils. As vinegar is primarily a degreaser, it just doesn’t have a lot of actual cleaning power.

What Else Can You Use Sal Suds For?

Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner is actually super versatile. And because most household cleaning uses call for so little of it, you’ll not only be surprised by how long it lasts, but also the savings from the products it replaces.

Wash + Spot Treat Laundry

To wash clothes in a top loading washer, use 2-3 Tablespoons of Sal Suds for a large load in place of your usual laundry detergent. For whites or extra funky smelling clothing, you can also add 1/2 cup baking soda to the wash cycle followed by one cup of vinegar during the rinse cycle. (Don’t add them both during the wash cycle or they cancel each other out.) For front loading HE washers, simply halve these amounts.

Wash Dishes + Veggies

To make a veggie wash add one drop of Sal Suds to a bowl of water. Then dunk your produce into the bowl, swish and rinse.

Or, to wash dishes, use a half teaspoon of Sal Suds in a sink of water. You can also use one drop of Sal Suds to wash a single pot.

Alternately you can create your own dish soap by combining 1/2 cup Sal Suds with 1/2 cup white vinegar,  1/2 cup warm distilled water, 1 tsp. citric acid (or lemon juice,) 2 tsp. kosher salt and 20 drops of essential oil.

Combine Sal Suds, vinegar and citric acid in a bowl and mix. In a separate bowl, combine the salt and warm water.

Once the bowl with the salt dissolves, stir in the mixture from the bowl with the Sal Suds. Add essentials oils then continuing stirring until the dish soap thickens. Then pour into a reusable dish soap container and use as you would regular dish soap.

Mop Floors + Clean Your Car

For mopping floors (using a mop and water bucket) as well as for washing cars, combine a half Tablespoon of Sal Suds to 3 gallons of hot water. Just be sure to add the Sal Suds to your bucket after you fill it with water.

Got it? Maybe? Don’t worry about trying to remember all of this. While I’d love you to bookmark this page for reference later on, the truth is, most of these recipes are on the back of the Sal Suds bottle for quick and easy reference. How nice is that?

Now not only can you enjoy a cleaner, healthier home, but you can also enjoy a happier husband!

For more eco-friendly household cleaning recipes and tips, be sure to check out my Lifestyle + Living Pinterest board. You can also follow me via all of your favorite social media platforms including G+TumblrFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram. Or subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

Natural Deodorizing Homemade Lavender Linen Spray Recipe

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DIY Natural Deodorizing Homemade Lavender Linen Spray Recipe with Printable Labels

If you’re wanting to use more all natural products in your home but are still in search of an effective alternative to Febreeze that will neutralize tough odors then you’ll definitely want to try my natural deodorizing homemade lavender linen spray recipe! This natural homemade linen spray recipe knocks out tough odors – I use it on my dog’s bed! – and leaves behind a fresh, clean scent that comes from natural essential oils. While white distilled vinegar neutralizes even the toughest odors without that vinegar smell. Plus it’s super concentrated so a little goes a long way. Use it wherever you need to kick nasty odors or simply freshen up a room.

To make your own natural homemade lavender linen spray you’ll need a 4 oz. glass bottle with a fingertip mister, a 100ml glass beaker, a small funnel and the ingredients for the linen spray below. I also created free printable labels for this natural deodorizing eucalyptus and lavender linen spray that you can download below.

Natural Deodorizing Homemade Lavender Linen Spray Recipe with Printable Labels

Natural Lavender & Eucalyptus Linen Spray Recipe

© Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen

Ingredients:

4 fluid oz. (100 ml) white distilled vinegar
10 fluid ml eucalyptus essential oil
10 fluid ml lavender essential oil
5 fluid ml fir needle essential oil

Instructions:

Measure out the vinegar for your homemade lavender linen spray recipe in the beaker and then use the funnel to pour into your glass bottle. Repeat with each of the essential oils then screw on the lid and shake to mix. Spray onto clothing, furniture, fabrics and those stinky shoes to neutralize and eliminate tough odors. Shake before each use.

To label your homemade lavender linen spray recipe simply print out my Natural Deodorizing Lavender & Eucalyptus Linen Spray labels here. They’re free for personal use.

For more natural and green alternatives to everyday products you use in your home be sure to follow my DIY Lifestyle Tips board on Pinterest as well as my DIY Bath & Body Pinterest Board. Or follow Soap Deli News via Blog Lovin’ so you’re sure to never miss a post!

Quick & Easy DIY Eco-Friendly Reuable Swiffer Pad Solution

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Easiest Ever DIY Eco-Friendly Reusable Swiffer Pad Solution

One Good Thing By Jillee recently posted her homemade solution for making the easiest ever DIY Swiffer Sweeper refill pads. Her simple alternative solution for eco-friendly, reusable pads is to use chenille socks. However, you could easily use the same concept and up-cycle a pair of old socks that are stretched out or have acquired a hole. Visit One Good Thing By Jillee here for the skinny on how she does it. Plus discover how to refill those canisters of Swiffer Wet Jet solution as well as how to make your own DIY eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaner to refill it with!

For more great DIY homemaking tips and solutions, be sure to follow my DIY Lifestyle Tips board on Pinterest. It’s filled with tips for making every aspect of your life easier for tips and how to’s to home remedies and natural non-toxic cleaning recipes and everything in between.

Natural Laundry and Stain Remover Soap Bar Recipe

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DIY Handmade Home - Natural Wash and Stain Soap Recipe

Learn how to make your own laundry and stain remover soap bar recipe!

Since I’ve been a member of Birchbox I’ve had the opportunity to try – as well as discover – a lot of new bath, body and beauty products I’d never even heard of before. One such product I recently found was The Laundress® Wash and Stain Bar. This soap bar is made from a combination of vegetable soap, borax and essential oils and touts that it is not only able to eliminate pesky stains in hard-to-reach places but is also perfect for hand washing or laundering on the go. Six bucks gets a small 2 oz. bar of this soap in most stores, however, if you’re practical and crafty you can make your own wash and stain soap bar for a lot less and customize the fragrance to suit your own needs.

You can make this homemade laundry soap and stain remover soap bar recipe in one of two ways – via a cold process soap recipe or by the handmilling (also known as rebatching) soapmaking method. I lightly scented mine with lime peel essential oil which is known to help cut grease, however, scenting options are endless. Here’s how to make your own:

DIY Natural Wash & Stain Remover Soap Bar Recipe

© Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen

Ingredients:

10.8 oz. refined (76° melt point) coconut oil
18 oz. palm oil
7.2 oz. soybean oil

5.2 oz. lye (sodium hydroxide)
11 fluid oz. distilled water

At trace:

.75 oz. borax (sodium borate) – This is NOT the same as boric acid!
.4 oz. lime peel essential oil (or try lemon or orange peel essentials oils which help cut grease!)

Instructions:

This laundry and stain remover soap bar recipe will yield approximately ten 4.5 oz. soap bars (or 12 4 oz. bars) and uses one of my wooden soapmaking molds. You can find 20 Mule Team Borax in most grocery and super stores in the laundry aisle.

To craft this natural stain remove soap bar recipe you will need to follow your basic cold process soapmaking instructions using a digital kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients and mixing with a stick (immersion) blender once you combine the cooled lye-water and oils. When your soap reaches a light trace stir in the .75 oz. (by weight) of borax and .4 oz. of lime essential oil. Mix thoroughly then pour into your lined soap mold, cover and insulate for 24 hours. Finally, unmold your soap loaf and cut into bars and allow to cure for a minimum of three weeks. This recipe makes a super hard bars of homemade of laundry and stain soap so they should last you a long time.

If you prefer to leave your bar unscented, then skip the essential oils. Or add your own favorite essential oil blend or skin safe fragrance oil to the recipe. This recipe makes a light lime scented soap. For more fragrance you can use up to 1 oz. of essential oils in this batch or up to 2 oz. of your favorite fragrance oil.

To craft a handmilled version of this natural laundry and stain remove soap bar recipe:

Finely grate 12 4 oz. (by weight) bars of natural cold process vegetable soap and place into a sauce pan on the stove. Weigh out .75 oz. of borax and dissolve in 18 fluid of distilled water. Then add this water to the soap and heat on medium-low until soap melts. (Photos of the process.) Now weigh out and stir in .2 oz. of your essential oil of choice, stirring to thoroughly combine. Finally, pour into a loaf soap mold and set aside. Once the soap has hardened you can remove the loaf of soap from the mold and slice into bars. Allow excess water to evaporate before using.

To use simply dampen the bar of soap and/or fabric and rub onto soiled or stained spot before washing. For deep set in stains allow to set several hours to overnight.

For more homemade soap recipes and other helpful DIY projects like this one be sure to follow my Pinterest boards. You can also find a collection of all of my homemade soap recipes and bath and beauty DIY’s at Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen.

To keep track of all my new homemade soap recipes and other DIY creations by following Soap Deli News blog via Blog Lovin’ and Tumblr. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and Instagram.

Frugal Tips for Saving Money

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Feeling the sting from the expiration of that 2% payroll tax credit that expired at the end of the year? It affected everyone who works as it raised social security taxes another 2% on our income – back to what we all paid before the tax credit was passed. I know I could still use that extra money, so I’m always looking for frugal tips for saving money in the everyday little things I buy. (And so I can have a little extra to occasionally splurge on the luxuries I love – like handcrafted artisan goods. *wink*) Following are some ideas on how you can stretch your budget.

Frugal Tips for Saving Money

Frugal tips for saving money - One way to stretch your dollar is to make your own diy household cleaners - Distilled white vinegar is a key staple in my home!

One huge way to save money is to make your own household cleaners.

If you have sensitive skin you can start by making your own handmade soaps. Try using soybean oil in lieu of olive oil for a great bar of soap that’s much cheaper to make. You can also go in with a few friends to buy a 50lb. bag of lye from a local chemical supply company for soapmaking for a lot less than buying individual 2lb. containers of Roebic lye from Lowe’s or buying online and having it shipped.

Use your handmade soaps to make your own laundry detergent. Or, if you don’t have the time or resources to make your own soap, you can use Fels Naptha Heavy Duty Laundry Soap – beware if you have sensitive skin as I’ve heard this has a strong perfume like odor – Zote Laundry Soap, Kirk’s Hardwater Castile Soap or Ivory Soap. (Basically you’ll want to use a true soap, not a body bar that’s made with cheap commercial foaming agents.)

Simply grate your soap, then mix in a blender or food processor until it is rendered into a powder. Then combine two parts Arm & Hammer All Natural Super Washing Soda – or Nellie’s All Natural Laundry Soda– with two parts 20 Mule Team Borax and one part grated soap. Use 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup per load depending on load size. You can also use Borax to clean your toilets and baking soda to clean your sinks and tub. Add orange, lemon, or lime essential oils to your concoctions for any application in which you need to cut grease.

Buy distilled white vinegar by the gallon at the grocery store for a fraction of the price of smaller containers and use it in most all of your household cleaners. Not only is great straight out of the bottle for cleaning windows and mirrors, but it’s also super effective at preventing mold and mildew in the shower. You can also use it in lieu of fabric softener. Just add 3/4 cup of vinegar to your final rinse cycle.

Handmade Wool Dryer Balls - Great Way to Save Money - Never Buy Fabric Softener or Dryer Sheets Again
Handmade Wool Dryer Balls from Devon’s Creative Design

Alternately, you can use Nellie’s Dryer Balls which are re-usable and act as a lint and wrinkle remover, soften clothes, and help your clothes dry faster. (I used these for a long time with great success. Though they now offer a newer version that is PVC free and has a place for inserting scent sticks if you’re a fan of fragrances.)

You can also make your own homemade wool dryer balls or buy them from any number of sellers on Etsy, including Devon’s Creative Design. These dryer balls help to soften clothes and reduce static cling and drying time. (It’s the same principle as Nellie’s dryer balls but these are made from a natural material rather than plastic.) You can scent them by adding a few drops of essential oil to them before tossing them into the dryer. They are also great if you or your family have sensitive skin.

Here are a few recipes for crafting your own DIY cleaners:

More Tips for Saving Money

Additionally, you can also craft and use reusable Swiffer covers that get tossed in your laundry instead of buying more which is healthier both on your pocketbook and the environment. Switch to cloth napkins versus buying paper towels – I never buy paper towels anymore because they are so expensive. Instead I own quite a few handmade napkins I have purchased from various Etsy sellers over the years. (I just love her fabric choices and color combos!) You may also try hanging more of your clothing out to dry, such as on a drying rack – or drying part of the way in the dryer, then hanging to dry the rest of the way. You can also use the energy saver option on your dryer if hanging clothes to dry is just not an option.

Other ways to save money including changing your habits.

There are so many pre-paid phone options now available that almost doesn’t make sense to pay for a cell phone contract. Plus you can keep your smart phone – even your iPhone – and use a pre-paid plan. I personally use Virgin Mobile with an HTC smart phone and pay just $35 a month for my phone. $35 a month gets you 300 minutes a month with unlimited texting and internet. (I don’t really make a lot of phone calls except for doctor appointments.) $45 a month gets you 1200 minutes with unlimited texts and internet and $55 a month is unlimited everything! You might also consider getting rid of your home phone and switching to a mobile only.

Stop paying for cable or satellite tv. These luxuries are insanely expensive if you can’t afford the luxury. Most of the people I know who have cable or satellite tv pay over $100 a month for it. You can use a digital antenna instead and get all of your local stations. I pay $8 a month for Hulu Plus – which also takes place of a digital recorder – to watch all of my favorite shows. In the summer I put my subscription on hold while it’s only re-runs showing. I also pay $8 for Netflix streaming for movies and other shows. My dvd player also lets me stream shows from these services on my tv – although I am currently without one at the moment. And if there’s a movie I really want to see I wait and rent it from Redbox. Redbox often sends out coupons for fifty cents off so I can usually get a movie for eighty cents. All in all, Netflix, Hulu Plus and a Redbox or two a month is still less than paying for basic cable. And if none of these are options, most networks offer free streaming of various shows online.

Of course, the less options you have for watching television, the more likely you are to get up and do something which can be a very good thing. Or try reading a book instead. Amazon offers a free free kindle reading app for your Android phone or tablet, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Windows 8 PC or tablet, Blackberry or Windows phone. With this app you can download hundreds of free books from Amazon’s Bestseller list without having to make any additional purchases!

When grocery shopping, plan your meals ahead of time. There are so many great recipes online now as well as sites that will spit out a grocery list for you, that you don’t need to wing it in the grocery store. Planning out meals saves a lot of money in long run as it’s much cheaper to buy this way rather than buying pre-packaged or ready made meals. It also makes sense to stock up on staple foods with a longer shelf life by buying them in bulk when you see them on sale. You can also use coupons, though this is the one thing I have never been able to really grasp as it’s a little too time consuming for me. Also, don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. This is one of my worst downfalls.

You can also save money on clothing necessities by bargain hunting. I have heard time again that shopping at thrift stores and the Goodwill are great ways to get clothing cheap. Personally, I have a hard time shopping at these places and finding things both in my size and that fit properly so I don’t frequent them. Having worked in retail for many many years, I have found that it is possible to buy clothing new at a comparable price as buying something used. And you can find name brands for not a whole lot more. Hit stores at the end of a season and buy for the following year. Generally these are the times to find the best sales. Last year I found three pairs of pants for work at Sears for just eleven dollars and change with tax. One January, I was able to buy a dress after Christmas from Ann Taylor Loft for just $12 – it retailed at over $100. And don’t forget to shop online. Don’t impulse buy and wait for sales. I have been able to find clothing at Abercrombie & Fitch for example for just $12 per article – shorts, shirts and jeans that ran $60-$90 full price. If you have a brand you really love, sign up for their emails. They send out multiple coupon codes every month so you never have to pay full price.

Stop buying things on credit – especially if it’s not something you don’t have to have. Buy what you need, not what you want if your budget is especially tight or if it means you’ll have to charge something on credit. Instead, save for those things you really want. Look at how much money you can afford to put into a savings account if you are budgeting. Allow yourself a little for entertainment luxuries so it doesn’t feel like punishment putting money into savings. Whether you can only put away $5 in savings a week or $50 or more, the point is to save. Once you have the money to buy that item you wanted, you may realized you don’t want it so much anymore or a better option may have come along. And sometimes a newer version of whatever it is you wanted may come out by the time you have money saved, and you’ll find you can get last year’s model for a hundred to several hundred cheaper than the version that was just released. Even better, if you no longer want what you were saving for, you’ll have some money put away for emergencies like tires or car brakes.

But more importantly, as my ever so brilliant son likes to point out, you should always be grateful for what you do have because there is always someone who is worse off and less fortunate with less than what you have now. Putting perspective on what you do have and not the things you want to own can go a long way in helping you to budget better and curb your spending habits. And when you do have some extra flexibility with your budget, be sure to put some of the money you spend back into your community by supporting local farmer’s markets and craft artisans!