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Budget Homeschool Newsletter

Cleaning Made Easy

As the cost of living continues to rise, we must all make some hard choices when purchasing cleaning supplies. We weigh the cost of cleaning products against safety and effectiveness. Most natural cleaning products not only work great but are cheaper to buy because you can make them yourself, many times from ingredients you already have on hand.

This may seem a little off-topic for our Budget Homeschool Newsletter but I realized that if we can save money on cleaning supplies it will free up our funds to use elsewhere, like educational supplies. I've provide a listing of links that you can begin using today to begin not only saving money on cleaning supplies but make your clothing last longer and protect your family from harmful chemicals.

One day I walked into the kitchen only to hear my son tell me he was experimenting with things in the kitchen to perfect his own cleaning product. I was intrigued. Who knows maybe he will come up with a terrific new product someday?

When the kids see you doing some things they consider silly, like microwaving your sponge or pouring salt on the bottom of the stove, be sure to take the time and explain to them what you are doing and provide as much information as they are interested in hearing. Share your favorite cleaning tips with them too, they might even improve on them one day.

Budget Homeschool

Laundry Tips

Getting Clothes Clean - provides a detailed break down on most components of doing laundry, such as water temperature, killing germs and choosing a detergent. Even though this site is geared towards those who live in New Mexico, this site makes a good instruction manual for a preteen just learning how to do laundry.

Ask A Scientist - Washing in Salt Water
Answers the questions:

  • Can you wash clothes in ocean salt?
  • Can you bathe in ocean salt?

Maybe you could try your own experiments with salt water to find what works and what doesn't? What effect does salt have on clothing? Your body? Does it affect your laundry soap?

Here's a laundry trick you may want to try:

  • Use 2 tbsp salt in a soak cycle,
  • Follow with a regular wash cycle - using nothing more.

The salt in the soak cycle makes the water softer so it can easily penetrate every fiber of the threads. The more you wash your clothes with this method you will begin to notice that they look and feel cleaner with every wash and clean easier using even less salt than before.

If your clothes are only lightly soiled you can just let the wash cycle do the work, nothing is needed as you softened the fabric for the water in the soak cycle so the wash cycle rinses out the salt along with the dirt which collected in the soak cycle.

If you are concerned about the chemicals found in dryer sheets and fabric softners, why not try adding vinegar to the rinse cycle instead of using dryer sheets or fabric softeners? The acid in the vineger added to the the rinse cycle will lightly soften the material without ruining the shape, color or texture of your garmets. Often it can even help your clothes maintain their shape.

In Your Laundry Room

  • Includes Wool de-shrinking instructions
  • Natural Stain removal
  • Washing Silk safely
  • Soften fabrics naturally
  • and more
Budget Homeschool

Household Cleaning Tips

This site offers Natural cleaning tips, not just laundry tips. Did you know?

For more effective dishwashing, add a few tablespoons of vinegar along with the dishwashing detergent when washing dishes. The vinegar cuts the grease and leaves dishes sparkling. You will find this tip and much much more.

Clean and Green
A collection of natural cleaning formulas. This site is a little slow to load but I included it because it has cleaning recipes listed by room and usage. I think you will want to print this one off and keep handy as a reference guide.

Consumer Tips for Salt Use
Besides making foods delicious, it's believed there are more than 14,000 uses of salt, and our grandmothers were probably familiar with most of them. Many of these uses were for simple things around the home before the advent of modern chemicals and cleaners. However, many uses are still valid today and a lot cheaper than using more sophisticated products. Salt is an excellent cleaning agent, by itself or in combination with other substances.

Laundry - Stain Removal List
Do it yourself laundry skills. This list is an easy to find list of common stains and how to remove them using items you may already have in your home.

Lynn Guistics provides a free household hint guide that appears to be pretty comprehensive. One page homeschoolers will be especially interested in is her craft page.

Chemical Free Cleaning Book
Using organic and natural cleaning in the home will save you money on your home budget. When you can buy a box of salt for forty cents, a gallon of vinegar for two dollars and fifty cents and a box of baking soda for fifty cents plus clean every room in your home - you can imagine how much money you would have spent on chemicals and sprays for that same job!

Find more on Natural Cleaning

Annette M. Hall
Editor of

Links Updated: June 24, 2006