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Have you ever considered making your own household cleaning products? It’s actually pretty easy to do, and the results can be quite good. But is it worth the trouble?
As with many do-it-yourself projects, there’s a tendency to focus on cost when deciding whether or not to make your own cleaning products. Some people assert that the money saved doesn’t justify the time invested — i.e., the opportunity cost is just too high. For others, the money saved is well worth the work required.
Looking beyond the financial aspects, there are actually a number of other reasons that I’m interested in making my own cleaning products. In hopes of stirring up some intelligent debate, I’ve listed below all of the cleaning products that I’ve made, or intend to make. After that, I provide a list of seven benefits beyond saving money.
Homemade cleaning products
- Laundry Detergent – Done! Making my own homemade laundry detergent was the project that started it all. The recipe that I followed resulted in powdered laundry detergent, and it required just three simple and natural ingredients. Best of all, it works great.
- Dishwashing detergent – Done! I’ve also created my own powdered dishwasher detergent. This recipe also contains only 3 natural ingredients and works wonderfully! I have yet to publish a pictorial tutorial for this recipe but plan to do so soon.
- All-purpose cleaner – Yet to do. Though I have yet to make this cleaner, I do know that you can use washing soda diluted in water to clean nearly everything. Whatever I end up making, I want it to be in liquid form so I can use the spray bottle that I have ready and waiting!
- Glass cleaner – Yet to do. I have another spray bottle just waiting for some homemade glass cleaner. This project will likely utilize white vinegar or maybe a little ammonia — I haven’t yet decided on a recipe yet.
I’m not sure if I’ll go beyond this, though I could see myself making shampoo, lotion, toothpaste, etc. if I had enough time. Maybe I can persuade my wife to take interest in a few of these projects and help out.
Advantage of homemade cleaning products
Looking beyond the financial benefits, here are seven benefits of making your own cleaning products:
- Freedom from advertising – I have always hated commercial advertisements for products, but the older I get, the more I see them as not only annoying, but detrimental. Of course, there are purposeful uses for advertising, but the extent to which commercials are used in American mass media is nothing short of bombardment. I want something different, so I make my own cleaning products.
- Creative and independent mindset – Once you make your first homemade cleaning product, there’s a good chance that you’ll be hooked. I’ve always wanted to do this sort of thing, but never got around to it. Once I took that initial step toward product independence, my creative juices were flowing, and I immediately began to look for other things I could make myself. I like to exercise creativity and independent thought, so I make my own cleaning products.
- Environmentally friendly – By making my own products, I no longer rely on large plastic detergent containers. Granted, I recycled them anyway, but this way I cut back on the amount of packaging that we wast. Instead of traditional packaging, my wife and I store many of our homemade products in the 32 oz. yogurt containers we have left over from our healthy breakfasts. I’m opposed to extravagant, expensive, and unnecessary packaging and I also disagree with running harsh chemicals down the drain, so I make my own cleaning products.
- Self-reliance – Although I’m still buying the products required for my homemade cleaners, the ingredients that I’ve been using are raw natural ingredients that I combine into an end product. This helps to eliminate reliance on commercially advertised products, and also exercises my resourcefulness. I want to create my own simple, resourceful, and effective products, so I make my own cleaning products.
- Education – Making your own products is a great way to learn. Doing so involves a bit of math, chemistry, and even art. It’s also important to me to know as much about what I keep in my home as possible. I like to learn and stay informed, so I make my own cleaning products.
- Knowledge of ingredients – I no longer have to wonder about the contents of the products I use. I can pronounce the name of every ingredient in my recipes, and can count them on one hand. Again, I can rest easy knowing that I’m doing my part to steer clear of washing harsh chemicals down the drain. I prefer to know the origin and purpose for all the ingredients, so I make my own cleaning products.
- Because they work – Thanks to billion dollar advertising budgets, we’ve come to accept that the best products are those that are sold in big name stores. I’ve noticed that this mindset bleeds into nearly every aspect of our lives, and is utterly unsupported except by popular thought. Every product that my wife and I have created has worked just as well, if not better than, any chemical-laden commercial product that we’ve used in the past. I’m trying to shed any and all product brainwashing that I may have undergone, so I make my own cleaning products.
Of course, the reality is that you’ll also save a few cents (if not more) with each application of every product. Thus, it stands to reason that the more products you make yourself, the more money you’ll wind up saving. If you’re worried about the time commitment, I’d recommend making your cleaners in bulk. In the end, nearly any recipe you choose to follow will take far less time than a trip to the store.
What’s your view? Do you make your own cleaners? Why or why not?