Have you ever stopped and thought about how successful the cleaning industry is? Between ‘health and beauty’ products and ‘home cleaning’ products, we get taken for quite a ride as to what we need, and how much we need to spend on it. These are harsh chemicals that we allow in our home, around pets and children, and lather up with. Honestly, go grab the first cleaning product you can reach, and if you can’t find an ingredient that’s over 15 characters long, I’d be surprised.
In recent years, there’s been a movement toward ‘Green Cleaners’. These intrepid companies promise all natural ingredients with no artificial scents or harsh chemicals. Good for the environment must be good for your home and body, right? Maybe so, but it packs a hard hit to your wallet. For the privilege of not having harsh chemicals, the consumer ends up paying more ounce for ounce. Still not a great answer to the cleaning conundrum–but it’s a step in the right direction.
Furthering the topic of ‘Green Cleaners’, some companies have been ‘greenwashing’. Yes, greenwashing–the practice of making something seem more healthy and eco-friendly than it is, for the purpose of garnering sales for their product from people who honestly just want to help the environment. That repackaging to make it look more natural, and the advertising campaign? Those prices also get passed on to the consumer.
When it comes right down to it, liquid cleaners are the most expensive water you buy. That’s right, I said it, and I’ll say it again. Liquid cleaners are the most expensive water you buy. When I realized this, I had an ‘Ah-hah’, moment, and decided to do something crazy. I started to make my own cleaners. From dish soap to laundry detergent, oven cleaners to carpet stain removers, to shampoos, toothpastes, and shower scrubs–all of it is made on my kitchen counter, bottled properly, and stored for later use.
Sound like a lot of work? Well, at first, definitely. However, the amount of money I save, and the peace of mind I have knowing exactly what goes into each product, is well worth the five to ten minutes (yes, that’s really all it is, most of the time) it takes to whip up a batch of whatever needs to be made.
What really tipped the scale for me was the amount of money we pay for laundry detergent. Most people pay around $5-12 for one 100oz bottle. A gallon is 128oz. I can make a five gallon concentrate which yields ten gallons of actual laundry detergent for under $5. Borax, washing soda, a Fels Naptha bar, tea tree oil (optional), and a LOT of water.
Those numbers right there made a believer out of me. Perhaps in upcoming posts, I can help you do the same.