I've got an idea for a great business model. Are you listening? Okay, here's what you do. Go grab a spray bottle. Go into someone's home when they aren't home (or maybe they in the shower) and go into their pantry. Grab some random items out of there - let's say, baking soda, vinegar and some corn starch - and mix it up in your spray bottle. Go get your daughter, the English major, to write some uplifting copy about "" and get your cousin who's in art school to print you up a fancy label and slap it on. Now, go back to that person's house and knock on their door and say, "Excuse me, citizen, would you be interested in purchasing this bottle of all natural, eco-friendly all purpose cleaner for $12?"
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Sound stupid? Well, it's not as stupid as you might think - cleaning products companies are already doing it. Take the ingredients on the back of an unnamed natural all purpose cleaner ($23.99 for a gallon):
filtered water vinegar borax naturally derived cleaning agent (vegetable-based surfactant) alcohol (from grain)
Surfactant, by the way, is simply the scientific name for anything that reduces the surface tension of a liquid (i.e. soap). There's nothing on that list that you can't pick up in the laundry aisle or don't have in your kitchen cabinet already. And with a few homemade recipes for natural cleaning chemicals, you can create your own green cleaning solutions for pennies on the dollar.
First of all, grab yourself a stack of microfiber cloths. They won't leave streaks or little specks of paper like paper towels will and you can use, wash and reuse them. Now, make yourself up a batch of each one of these to have on hand for cheap, green cleanup jobs:
Natural Glass Cleaner
For mirrors and windows, nothing works better than little bit of water and cornstarch. Use distilled water if you have very hard water.
Homemade Laundry Detergent
Mix up the following and use 2 T. per load:
1 c. grated Fels Naptha or Zote (look for it at the hardware store) c. washing soda c. borax c. oxygen cleaner such as OxiClean (optional)
Natural Scouring Powder
Great alternative to Ajax or Bar Keepers Friend
1 c. baking soda 1 c. borax 1 c. salt
Skip the bleach, go with this:
1 qt. water 30 drops grapefruit seed extract
Green Tile Scrub
Mix a little bit of water with some baking soda until it's a frosting-like consistency instead of using SoftScrub to clean your bathroom tiles.
Natural Dust Rag
Create a spray dust cleaner (like Pledge or Endust) with:
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