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Most of us buy at least a few commercial household cleaning products but in many cases these products are made much stronger than we need them to be. There are quite a few that can be extended simply by adding a small amount of water. This does not detract from their effectiveness. A general rule is one quarter of the total (i.e. For one litre of product add 250ml of water).
Try it with these:
- Laundry pre-wash spray
- Window cleaner
- Facial astringent
- Multi-purpose spray
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- Fabric Deodoriser spray
- Air freshener (pump spray)
- Liquid Fabric Softener
But let's go one step further – here’s how you can save even more:
- Substitute pre-wash spray with laundry soap. A bit more elbow grease but much more economical.
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- For a cheaper ironing aid make up your own using concentrated laundry starch. This is available in the iron-aid section of your supermarket and a one litre bottle makes up to three litres (that’s the equivalent of 6 bottles of regular iron-aid.)
- Vinegar and newspaper make a great window cleaner substitute.
- Natural Aloe-Vera is good for our skin and is so easy to grow. (Or you can purchase 100% Natural Aloe-Vera gel from the chemist for under $10.)
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- For an effective disinfectant mix a quarter cup of borax into two litres of hot water.
- A couple of drops of an essential oil (About $2 from variety stores) in a spray bottle topped up with water makes a great air freshener.
- A quarter cup of vinegar in place of liquid fabric softener used in the final rinse cycle makes clothes cleaner, brighter and softer. Vinegar works great with cheap laundry detergent.
- Better still, you can make your own washing powder by mixing Castille (or Velvet) soap, borax and washing soda.
It’s easy to be drawn in by advertisements for products we don’t really need or can’t afford. The idea of saving time and effort is very appealing, but what we need to consider when reaching for the latest miracle cleaner on the supermarket shelf is this:
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- Do I really need it?
- Can I afford it?
- Do I know exactly what’s in it and what effect it might have on my environment?
- Is buying this product going to make a difference in my life?