Tag Archives: homemade cleaner

The Pretreat-enator

26 Feb

Ok, so that’s a lame title.  Sounds a little Phineas and Ferbish.  I’ll work on that.  🙂  So this is a simple, 2 ingredient laundry pre-treater.  My mother in law (she’s a smart lady) has been using this recipe for years and swears by it.  So for as long as we’ve been married, we’ve used this concoction.  Now I’ve used it on set in stains and sometimes it comes out, sometimes it leaves behind a lighter stain.  So I think by using this as soon as possible on a fresh stain, you’ll have a higher success rate.

Homemade Pretreater


– Large spray bottle (I believe we got a pack of 5 at Sam’s Club once upon a time)

– Jug of ammonia

– Era detergent and only Era


– Mark your spray bottle in 1/3’s, one mark at 1/3 and the other as a fill to mark with the remaining 2/3’s – use a Sharpie to do this.

– Fill the first 1/3 with Era and top it off with ammonia

**Make sure you make and use this pre-treater in a well ventilated area!**

– Shake it up and it’s ready to use!  Simple, right?


– Spray bottle: $2 (give or take)

– Era Detergent: $4 (probably less on sale)

– Ammonia: $2 or so

Total Per 32 oz. spray bottle: About $1.50 as there will be a lot more Era left after the ammonia is gone along with the re-usability of the spray bottle.

A little research:

I’m sure when my MIL starting using this remedy, the internet was in it’s infancy or this could even have been handed down to her.  So I wanted to see if the feeling that Era was a great detergent still stood true.  Check out what others have said about Era:  http://www.viewpoints.com/Era-Liquid-Laundry-Detergent-reviews.  One woman even posted a similar pre-treatment recipe!  Very cool!  So it’s great by itself, it’s inexpensive and couple it with plain ole ammonia and get a great stain fighter.

So give it a whirl!  Not a huge investment for something that works as well as all the name brand pre-treaters on the market.


Pump (soap) it up!

29 Jan

So as you’ll hear, I have a small addiction to gathering knowledge.  This has been amplified 100x by the most wonderful creation of Pinterest.  With this visual shmorgishborg, I decided to start making some of my own household cleaners.

Enter the foam soap.

We love foam soap.  It’s easy for the kids to pump and wash their hands thoroughly, it doesn’t leave gummy drips on the sink’s edge and I just like it.  We shop at Meijer for most of our food and household supplies.  The Meijer brand is usually pretty good and cheaper (unless you coupon) than the brand names.  The Meijer foam soap was no exception.  It’s great and smells just as nice.  After seeing a pin on Pinterest, I thought I’d try making it myself.  Being the good Dutch girl that I am, I saved the bottles and used up all the liquid handsoap before giving this a try.

Following the pinned recipe mostly, I got great results!  The bottle they used was with the long narrow bottles from Bath and Body Works and mine was short and stout.  They suggested an inch of liquid hand soap at the bottom and filled the rest with warm water but wasn’t sure that was what I needed.  Here’s my version along with tweaks for next time:

Christie’s Foam Soap:


One bottle hand soap (the clear kind, not cream)

Warm water

Empty pump soap bottle


– Pump liquid hand soap into clean foam soap bottle – about 13 pumps.

– Add in slowly, warm tap water.

– Swirl water and soap together until it’s all off the bottom.

– Pump and wash!

Tweaks for next time:

– The Gar said it works great but is a little thin compared to the store purchased soap.  Next time I will do 15-20 pumps of hand soap and we should find a happy medium.  I probably could do that now but this works just fine.  I filled 4 bottles this way so it may be awhile till I get to test out the tweak.  But I’ll update then!

– Would love to have all bottle free of stickers and sticker gunk and add my own label to jazz it up a bit!

Cost & Verdict:

– Bottles = free

– Water = free

– Full bottle of liquid hand soap (Meijer Brand, not on sale): $1.06

Total:  With an estimate of 16 refills, about $0.06 a bottle!

Verdict:  This will be on my forever to make on my own list.