There's a ton of great advice over at Momadvice! Here's one of the articles on making your own household cleaners by Amy Clark.
A great place to save money is to make your own household cleaners. If your house is anything like mine you have invested at times a small fortune into household cleaners. What many people don’t know is that household cleaners can be made, you don’t need very many ingredients (most found already in your home), and these cleaners are less toxic so they are better for your family. As an added bonus, ounce for ounce homemade cleaning formulas cost about one-tenth the price of their commercial counterparts -- and that includes costly, but worthwhile essential oils and concentrated, all-purpose detergents for homemade recipes.
Today, the cleaner is frequently more dangerous than the things we are trying to clean up. Common household products contain alcohols, ammonia, bleach, formaldehyde, and lye. These substances can cause nausea, vomiting, inflammation and burning of the eyes, nose, throat, and respiratory system, and are linked with neurological, liver and kidney damage, blindness, asthma, and cancer. If you have children, this is very scary to have these kinds of things in your home. Why not save money and protect your environment by using earth-friendly cleaners? If you have already bought a lot of your household cleaners use the remainder of the bottle so that you don’t have to feel guilty about throwing away perfectly good cleaners and then begin making your own.
To continue saving money buy your ingredients that you need in bulk and try to buy your spray bottles in bulk. You should not reuse spray bottles because it is not safe to reuse bottles that had commercial cleaners or chemicals in them.
The number one most important thing that you need to be aware of is to NEVER mix bleach and ammonia- this is very deadly! You should always read labels before mixing to make sure that you do not cause yourself or anyone in your home any harm. In addition, when making your own cleaners make sure that you label your own containers clearly so that you don’t mix these with other potentially harmful ingredients.
Below are a few recipes for making your own cleaners. If you are interested in researching the topic further I recommend that you visit care2.com for more information on how to make your home a toxic-free home.
1 teaspoon Borax
½ tsp washing soda
2 tablespoons white vinegar or lemon juice
1 liquid soap (vegetable oil based if possible)
Combine with 2 cups very hot water and use in a spray bottle. If you want a bucketful, use 1/8 cup each of borax, washing soda, and vinegar and combine with 1 tablespoon liquid soap and 2 gallons of water.
½ teaspoon liquid soap (vegetable-oil based soap recommended)
3 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
2 cups of water spray bottle
Mix ingredients together and pour into a spray bottle.
Pour one half cup of baking soda and one cup vinegar down the drain, plugging the drain immediately until the foaming stops. Then rinse with hot water.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Mix a solution of water and vinegar. Recommended proportions vary from three tablespoons vinegar in one quart water, to three tablespoons vinegar in two cups water, to a 1:1 mixture. Some recipes add a drop of detergent.
Scrub with a paste of baking soda, soap and water. Also, add borax and salt to the paste. Salt is very abrasive so it will help to get the grime off of your oven.