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Grandma's homemade cleaning products 

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Many people pooh-pooh grandma's homemade cleaning products, claiming they don't work as well as the ones that line grocery store shelves. But with the economy failing and companies cutting jobs left and right, you might want to rethink grandma's tried-and-true—and cheap—solutions.

Let's say you've run out of your favorite all-purpose cleaner. Seventh Generation's version costs about $4.40 plus tax for a 32-ounce bottle. Instead, you could buy a bottle of white vinegar (97 cents plus tax for 16 ounces) and mix in table salt. Or empty that old box of baking soda by taking four tablespoons and mixing it into a quart of water. Spray and use.

Grandma's cleaning solutions not only cost less but also are greener than the products in stores. Who wants to clean their house with products that have dozens of precautions listed on the back of the bottle like: "In case of contact with eye, flush immediately, if irritation persists seek medical attention." Following grandma's recipes, however, you don't have to worry what your cleaners are made of, because you know the solutions are safe. Not to mention you'll be saving landfills from piling up with mostly empty plastic bottles of cleaning products.

Soap, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, salt and vinegar, among other common household items, when used properly, can leave your house and your clothes spotless and odor-free.

Cleaning product recipes abound on the Internet. Michigan State University's Extension program is a great resource for everything from unclogging drains and cleaning to getting rid of bugs naturally. They can be found at web1.msue.msu.edu/imp/mod02/01500631.html. Deal Diva peruses the recipes and compares the savings against buying cleaning products: www.mormonchic.com/dealdiva/homemade_cleaners.asp.

  • Grandma's cleaning solutions not only cost less but also are greener than the products in stores.

More by Kelly Behling

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