Clean and Sparkly Green Window Cleaner

By kristinabjornbak | Category: Healthy Living, It Worked 4 Me, Moneywi$e, Recipes & Kitchen Tips | Posted Monday, November 21, 2011

Getting ready for company coming over this week for Thanksgiving?

I’ll admit that cleaning the windows, mirros, and glass doors of our house is something that frequently goes by the wayside.  When I do remember, I generally use a store bought window cleaner like most other people, but I find I need to wear gloves to use it.  The smell just stays on my hands.  But what else besides the scent is staying on my hands?  Whatever it is, I figure that it can’t be healthy.

Eventually, I ran out of my usual window cleaner and decided to look around for some of the green recipes that I knew were out there somewhere.  In my search, I came across Crunchy Betty, a site that I have never heard of before.  However, in the archives I found something wonderful: Battle of the Homemade Glass Cleaners!  Ms. Crunchy Betty was kind enough to test drive several glass cleaning recipes and report back the results of her tests and therefore the best glass cleaning recipe.  The winning recipe contained alcohol, water, vinegar, and cornstarch.  Yes, cornstarch!  She wasn’t wrong when she assumed that readers would find it an odd addition.  I certainly did.  But, with a whole morning and a lot of dirty glass before me, I decided to give her “Alvin Corn Homemade Glass Cleaner” a try.

When I first sprayed it and wiped it (best done with a lint free cloth), it seemed like it was going to leave a cloudy film.  Nope!  After wiping until almost dry, the glass cleared right up and wowee wow wow!  This recipe worked even better than the store bought stuff!  I quickly went through the house, cleaning mirrors, doors, and windows.  Everything was sparkly, even where the dog plants her nose prints and the dreaded mirrored closet doors in the kids’ room.

As a final note, I want to say that I was really worried that the cornstarch would scratch the glass.  I didn’t notice any scratches that I’m pretty sure weren’t already there, but if you are worried, test on a small area first before you go all out.  Also, I know some people don’t like using rubbing alcohol.  If that’s the case, check out Heather’s glass recipe instead.

Happy cleaning!

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How to: Homemade drain cleaner

By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Creating a Home, Recipes & Kitchen Tips | Posted Monday, June 14, 2010

This tip was shared by Mom 4 Life Jessica Allen, thanks Jessica!

Hey Heather,

I was looking through your blog at your Going Green household cleaners. I am working on eliminating harmful chemicals in my house too!  I have been using your glass cleaner and “comet” scrub and love them both.  In fact I use the vinegar water for everything!  I wanted to share another homemade cleaner with you and you may want to share it with your readers too. It is drain cleaner and super easy.

You pour some baking soda down your drain then some white vinegar and cover the drain if possible.  Let that sit for a few minutes then rinse with HOT water.  Ta Da! You have a clean drain. I add a few drops Tea tree oil before rising and then a splash of lemon juice after for a nice clean smell.

Jessica Allen

Heather Ledeboer

I am a Christian, wife, mom and the original founder of Mom 4 Life. Now that Ashley owns Mom 4 Life, I am focusing my energies in homeschooling and asking God to use me in other areas.

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How to: Homemade glass cleaner

By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Healthy Living, Moneywi$e, Recipes & Kitchen Tips, The Journey of Motherhood | Posted Thursday, May 27, 2010

You may recall that one of my goals this year was to start making my own cleaning products.  The reason for this is two fold:

1) I want to have products in my home that are safe for our family and don’t add extra allergens.

2) I want to save money.

The first homemade cleaning product I tried was a scrub that would be used in place of Comet.  I love this easy, inexpensive mix.  Just this week I let a friend of mine try it.  She cleans houses for a living.  After using it she was so impressed, she asked me for the recipe!

Now that spring is here, I am noticing that my windows are *ahem* not very sparkly.  So I decided to whip up some glass cleaner.  This glass cleaning recipe is so darn easy that you will have NO excuse for not giving it a try:)!  Ready?

1) Find a spray bottle (I used my empty Windex bottle).

2) Fill it half way with water.

3) Fill it the rest of the way with white vinegar

All done!

This mixture works wonderfully, has no after odor and no chemicals.  Plus it is CHEAP!  I buy my vinegar at Costco.  You can get (2) 1 gallon jugs for $3.99.  Now lets say that you used this vinegar ONLY to make glass cleaner.  Once you mixed the vinegar with water (1 to 1 ratio) you would get 4 gallons cleaner total.  One gallon = 128 fluid oz.

This means you would get 512 oz. of glass cleaner for $3.99. Compare this to buying a 32 oz. container of Windex at Walmart ($2.48) or Target ($2.49).  To get 512 oz. of Windex you would pay about $39.84! This means that making your own glass cleaner is a savings of 898%! I will never buy another bottle of Windex again.

Another alternative is the E-cloth.  I have these for cleaning and they work really well!  You
can get one for glass and polishing for $9.99 (they have other options
depending on what you are cleaning).  Because it can be washed and reused
needed, you will find your costs being saved in the long run.  You can
see Ashlyn with the blue E-cloth in the image below (at her feet).  And sorry, you can’t hire her to clean your windows–we keep her far to busy cleaning our house!

Happy spring cleaning!

How about you, do you have any favorite methods for cleaning glass?

Heather Ledeboer

I am a Christian, wife, mom and the original founder of Mom 4 Life. Now that Ashley owns Mom 4 Life, I am focusing my energies in homeschooling and asking God to use me in other areas.

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confessions from a cleaner mom

By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Healthy Living, Moneywi$e | Posted Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ok girls, confession time (and yes, I still think of us as girls, you never age as quickly in your mind as your body):

I am somewhat of a cleaner and an organizer, no real surprise there if you have read this blog very long.  Recently I realized something sort of embarrassing: I almost never clean my kitchen sink.  I clean out my sink all the time, putting the dishes in the dishwasher and such but actually scrubbing it, nope haven’t been doing it.  Maybe once a week?  Ok I only said that to keep you from freaking out at the real answer–about once every two weeks!  YIKES I know, disgusting at best.

But there is good news, I have taken a new “baby step” to start making my own non toxic household cleaners.  First on the list:

Non Toxic Homemade Scouring Powder

1 c. baking soda (about $6.66 at Costco for a 13.5 pound bag)
1/4 c. borax (about $3.39 at my local FredMeyer for a 4 pound 12 oz box)
A few drops of essential oil (optional) I use about 10-15 drops of both orange oil and grapefruit oil (both are about $5.59 each at SuperSupplements) and it gives the cleaner a lovely citrus smell while adding some extra disinfectant properties.  You could pick one essential oil, I just happen to have these two on hand so I use them both.

Mix all ingredients and put into a shaker.  Use it just as you might use Comet.  If you are able to buy the baking soda and borax in a large quantity the price of this cleaner is just amazingly small.

Now each evening as I clean the kitchen after dinner I sprinkle my sink down with my scouring powder and scrub it clean.  It works really, really well and smells wonderful.  I can almost hear your thoughts of “well its about time” gentle applause at my new routine.

Heather Ledeboer

I am a Christian, wife, mom and the original founder of Mom 4 Life. Now that Ashley owns Mom 4 Life, I am focusing my energies in homeschooling and asking God to use me in other areas.

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