Author Topic: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles  (Read 15311 times)

Cressida

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homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« on: December 30, 2015, 09:39:45 PM »
OK folks. I'm starting to make my own household cleaning products. I happened to have some empty plastic spray bottles hanging around, so I made a few batches of various cleaners and poured them into the bottles I already had. Well, those bottles were good for about three sprays before clogging and leaking.

So I thought, fine, maybe these weren't the best kind of bottles, I'll try again. I bought these from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00008VXNE/ref=pe_385040_30332190_TE_M3T1_ST1_dp_1
Exactly the same thing happened!!

I know there must be a reliable model of plastic spray bottles, suitable for homemade cleaners. Can anyone point me to any such reliable model? If so, you will be on my permanent list of favorite forum members. Thanks everyone. :)

maco

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2015, 09:51:46 PM »
Well, crap. The ones you got from Amazon are the ones I have!

Rural

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2015, 01:45:11 AM »
Posting to follow because I've had the same problem for years.


OP, plant misters are better. Not great, but better.

YogiKitti

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2015, 02:10:30 AM »
Could it be your recipe that is the issue and not the spray bottle? Maybe it is too concentrated?

HappierAtHome

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2015, 02:14:48 AM »
I have this issue with plastic spray bottles even with just *water*. Even with the heavy duty enjo ones I was given.

kimmarg

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2015, 06:50:23 AM »
I've had the same problem! I got some at a resturant supply store recently and they are good so far but it hasn't been very long....

I'm using @Nwedible recipe from her new book, maybe she has ideas?

DragonSlayer

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2015, 07:10:06 AM »
The only way I've been able to make it work is to actually buy commercial cleaners, use them up, and then reuse those bottles. I tried all kinds of bottles you can buy, but the only ones that work long term are the ones that come with Windex, Clorox, etc. Those are great, it just sucks you can't buy them without the crap in them.

pompera_firpa

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2015, 08:36:57 AM »
The only way I've been able to make it work is to actually buy commercial cleaners, use them up, and then reuse those bottles. I tried all kinds of bottles you can buy, but the only ones that work long term are the ones that come with Windex, Clorox, etc. Those are great, it just sucks you can't buy them without the crap in them.

Seconding this; sad, but true. That said, you can always ask friends/family to save theirs for you and avoid the part where you buy 'em!

I'm happy to see other people using non-commercial cleaners! We largely use homemade laundry soap (except for our kitchen rags, which are greasy as all get-out and need some hard-core cleaning), scrub most things that need scrubbing with baking soda, and spray things that need sprayed with a concoction that my husband makes.

Incidentally, my mom figured out a long time ago that she could make some A+ non-scratch scrubbies by crocheting them out of fishing line. If you or anyone else in your immediate circle knows how to do some basic crochet, I highly recommend giving it a try.

OmahaSteph

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2015, 08:50:33 AM »
The only way I've been able to make it work is to actually buy commercial cleaners, use them up, and then reuse those bottles. I tried all kinds of bottles you can buy, but the only ones that work long term are the ones that come with Windex, Clorox, etc. Those are great, it just sucks you can't buy them without the crap in them.


Ohhh, I'm so gonna save mine and do this. Are you talking kitchen counter disinfectants, etc.?

DragonSlayer

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2015, 09:00:46 AM »
The only way I've been able to make it work is to actually buy commercial cleaners, use them up, and then reuse those bottles. I tried all kinds of bottles you can buy, but the only ones that work long term are the ones that come with Windex, Clorox, etc. Those are great, it just sucks you can't buy them without the crap in them.


Ohhh, I'm so gonna save mine and do this. Are you talking kitchen counter disinfectants, etc.?

Yeah. Currently I've got an old Windex bottle I'm using for my glass cleaner, and old Method bottle I use for my general surface cleaner, and an old Mr. Clean bottle I use for my floor cleaner. They all work great. I've been using them for about five years now with no issues. And they spray really strong and most are adjustable to stream or spray. Not the wimpy little mists I was getting with the store-bought bottles.

jesse_runs_far

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2015, 09:12:55 AM »
Is there a thread or a good resource for learning to make your own cleaning products? I'd like to start but don't know where to begin... thanks!

Altons Bobs

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2015, 09:17:42 AM »
I use spray bottles for my plants, the last time I bought these and they seem to be working fine: http://www.lowes.com/pd_369819-531-HDPRO36___

pompera_firpa

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2015, 09:49:47 AM »
Is there a thread or a good resource for learning to make your own cleaning products? I'd like to start but don't know where to begin... thanks!

I don't know of any threads, offhand, but I've had good luck with just googling and then cross-referencing what I find to see what the common threads are.

Here's a good place to start: http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2013/06/homemade-all-natural-cleaning-recipes.html

That said-- really, it can be even less complex, and you can bring it down to a single rule for most things: baking soda and white vinegar are your friends.  There is very little in my house that can't get cleaned by one of those, including the time my kid drew a picture with a permanent marker (on paper, but it soaked through) on my table-- baking soda got that off. Gunk in your tub? BAKING SODA. Need to clean your toilet? BAKING SODA. Baked-on grease on your stove? BAKING SODA. Coffee stain in your favorite mug? BAKING SODA. It is the scrubbing paste to end all scrubbing paste. It is truly the most awesome thing ever. It solves generally everything sticky or gunky or greasy.

Vinegar is for things that need less scrubbing and/or more disinfectant power. Need to dissolve the mineral build-up in your shower head or humidifier? VINEGAR. Need to disinfect your cutting board? VINEGAR. Need to wipe down your refrigerator? VINEGAR. Need to make your greyed-out gym socks look white again? VINEGAR. Need to get wax out of clothes (or crayon off the wall)? VINEGAR. Need to clean out your coffee maker? VINEGAR. Need a substitute for fabric softener? VINEGAR. Need to kill some mold? VINEGAR.

Read around, do some experiments, you'll be fine. (Lucky thing is, neither vinegar nor baking soda will kill you unless you use their containers to hit yourself repeatedly.) And should you ever want to go THE FULL FLOWER CHILD / FRUGAL GENIUS, a lot of people can get by with using baking soda in water for shampoo and diluted vinegar for a conditioning rinse (my family, for instance, which I didn't think was possible but it turns out it is!).

Altons Bobs

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2015, 10:02:58 AM »
I second vinegar and baking soda!!  You can use regular while vinegar even though most are GMO, but since it's for cleaning, it's okay. I always have a big container of vinegar, for household cleaning (oh, you can clean your floors with it too, dilute it with water) as well as for weed killing (not very effective). And if you need to get rid of the glue left from a sticker on a bottle or container, soak a little piece of paper towel with vinegar, put it over the stuck on glue area, let it sit there for 30 minutes, come back and it comes right off.  Don't use vinegar on granite though.

I use baking soda for cleaning my sinks, bathtubs, pots and pans, etc. It's not very effective on my stainless steel cooktop, that I use a stainless steel cleaner.

I usually go to baking soda or vinegar first, and if they don't work, then I use something else.

jesse_runs_far

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2015, 10:12:15 AM »
Thanks! That's not so hard...I already have all the ingredients on hand ;)

NoStacheOhio

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2015, 10:29:48 AM »
Try the Home Depot spray bottles. Actually, we've found Home Depot has good prices on cleaning stuff in general. And they have large size cleaning vinegar.

Rural

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2015, 11:34:52 AM »

 Public service announcement: if you reuse commercial bottles, don't put anything ammonia-based in the bottle from a bleach-based cleaner, and vice versa. Or, at a bare minimum, be sure you clean them out really, really well first.


OmahaSteph

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2015, 11:47:08 AM »

 Public service announcement: if you reuse commercial bottles, don't put anything ammonia-based in the bottle from a bleach-based cleaner, and vice versa. Or, at a bare minimum, be sure you clean them out really, really well first.

Always been paranoid about that, especially when cleaning the cat litter. "Oh, bleach will get rid of the cat pee sme--" *thud*

pompera_firpa

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2015, 12:29:01 PM »
Public service announcement: if you reuse commercial bottles, don't put anything ammonia-based in the bottle from a bleach-based cleaner, and vice versa. Or, at a bare minimum, be sure you clean them out really, really well first.

Always been paranoid about that, especially when cleaning the cat litter. "Oh, bleach will get rid of the cat pee sme--" *thud*

An incident of that nature is why my husband switched to non-bleach, non-ammonia cleaners in the first place. That, and having a kid. Nothing like having to play the "what can she kill herself with if we forget to put it on a high shelf?" game to conclude that we'd rather clean with stuff that wouldn't involve a call to Poison Control or a trip to the hospital. We're still striking out on homemade dishwasher soap (doesn't rinse off worth a damn) but at least we don't have to worry about having her recreate WWI while we're out of the room.

FrugalShrew

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2015, 12:49:15 PM »
I have encountered the same problem with any spray bottles I bought, too. This seems like it could be a good business opportunity for some enterprising mustachian . . .

nessness

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2015, 11:07:02 PM »
I like the ones from Target. They're kind of pricy (like $3 each) but no issues yet with clogging.

MMMaybe

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2016, 03:35:19 AM »
I don't buy cleaners anymore but when I was working down my undersink stash, I kept the spray attachments when I threw out the bottles.

We are working on reducing plastic so I use the spray attachment on glass bottles of homemade cleaner and it works great. I don't use very thick or goopy textured cleaners (vinegar and water or soap and water usually) so maybe thats why.

justajane

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2016, 07:10:41 AM »
In my experience it is the essential oils in homemade cleaners that cause the clogging problem, so I stopped using them. I haven't had a clog since. I bought my spray bottles at Walgreens, and after 5+ years they are still going strong. I have one with just vinegar and water. Another has like 1 TB of Mr. Clean that I'm trying to use up and about 2 TB of rubbing alcohol. The rest is water. This is very effective for degreasing, even though I know it's technically not a homemade cleaner.

cjottawa

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2016, 09:55:18 AM »
I've had excellent luck with "Birchmeier" brand.

One thing: bottles should only be used for chemicals they're designed for.

Acidic solutions such as vinegar will eat through the seals of a bottle designed for alkalines like ammonia or chlorine bleach.


Birchmeier has a "selector" on their website that matches bottle to liquid; it'll indicate the seal type versus pH to use:
http://www.birchmeier.com/en/content/unternehmen/geschichte.php#selektor
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 09:49:17 AM by cjottawa »

Cressida

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2016, 09:59:44 PM »
Thanks everyone, this is all good advice. justajane, you're likely right about the essential oils; the one that clogged the most thoroughly was also the one with the highest concentration of essential oils. At the least, I can try using less and see if that helps.

Cressida

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2016, 11:18:28 PM »
OK folks. I'm starting to make my own household cleaning products. I happened to have some empty plastic spray bottles hanging around, so I made a few batches of various cleaners and poured them into the bottles I already had. Well, those bottles were good for about three sprays before clogging and leaking.

So I thought, fine, maybe these weren't the best kind of bottles, I'll try again. I bought these from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00008VXNE/ref=pe_385040_30332190_TE_M3T1_ST1_dp_1
Exactly the same thing happened!!

I know there must be a reliable model of plastic spray bottles, suitable for homemade cleaners. Can anyone point me to any such reliable model? If so, you will be on my permanent list of favorite forum members. Thanks everyone. :)

Update, quoting my initial post. So those Amazon spray bottles actually turned out to work pretty well, after I put them through the dishwasher, and even with essential oils in the cleaner. I have no idea why they didn't work straight from the factory, but I've been using them for a few days now and I'm pretty pleased. The spray is maybe a little stronger and less diffuse than ideal, but at least they don't clog and leak.

Just thought I would let everyone know, for the greater good.

partgypsy

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2016, 09:09:14 AM »
Try the Home Depot spray bottles. Actually, we've found Home Depot has good prices on cleaning stuff in general. And they have large size cleaning vinegar.

That's what we use. And you can use a magic marker and mark what it contains. Also use a plastic plant mister bottle, for misting my clothes (to get our wrinkles) works great.

Lizzy B.

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2016, 06:16:56 AM »
This cracks me up. Last week I was wiping down the floor and sweating profusely as my spray bottle leaked and squirted everywhere. While fighting with it, I thought "I should ask the Mustachians to see what spray bottles they use" but gave it up thinking it was too trivial. You guys are awesome and thanks for asking (and answering) the question! 

Cressida

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2016, 01:44:58 AM »
Lizzy, can confirm: nothing is too trivial. :P

Kitsune

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2016, 06:57:04 AM »
While we're on the topic of cleaning, because this might interest so people: I needed a quick mop to spot-clean the floors (I have a toddler, food drops from the high chair, I don't wanna get the mop and bucket EVERY TIME she drops a spoonful of applesauce (or 5). I got a wet-jet swiffer on sale (the swiffer itslf is pretty cheap; it's the refills and wipes that are expensive)

Then I spent 10$ on ebay buying re-usable pads (toss 'em in the wash, they stick on with velcro), and learned how to get that cleaner bottle open (soak the top in boiling water for 30 seconds to soften the plastic a bit, then force it open. Use pliers to trim the little plastic teeth that stop it from opening, and suddenly you have a re-usable screw-top bottle). No more 1$/wipe, no more 6$ bottles of cleaner. I use a citrus vinegar/water mix, and it works great.

I've been using the refills and screw-top bottle for a year and I have ZERO complaints. And, frankly, anything that makes housework affordable and easy is a winner. I honestly wouldn't bother if not for toddler-induced messes, but there's enough spot-cleaning that getting on all fours with a wet rag to wipe the floor 3 times/day is just obnoxious, and I'd rather just do a quick swipe with the mop and be done with it.

pompera_firpa

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2016, 08:39:03 AM »
Try the Home Depot spray bottles. Actually, we've found Home Depot has good prices on cleaning stuff in general. And they have large size cleaning vinegar.

That's what we use. And you can use a magic marker and mark what it contains. Also use a plastic plant mister bottle, for misting my clothes (to get our wrinkles) works great.

Home Depot also has the BOX OF RAGS (it is literally called this), which-- combined with a tiny hamper in the under-sink cabinet-- means I can avoid having paper towels. I got the BOX OF RAGS from my dad for Christmas a few years back, because my family is awesome like that, and we have been using them ever since.

HairyUpperLip

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2016, 09:59:45 AM »
I've only recently started doing the homemade cleaners.

I've got 2 -

all purpose cleaner - vinegar and water
bathroom magic - dawn, vinegar, and water

Why is everyone using essential oils? Doesn't it just make your house smell?

I recently let my vinegar soak in orange peels and then made my cleaner. Vinegar smell is hardly there and dissipates even quicker than before.


justajane

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #32 on: January 14, 2016, 06:47:47 AM »
Try the Home Depot spray bottles. Actually, we've found Home Depot has good prices on cleaning stuff in general. And they have large size cleaning vinegar.

That's what we use. And you can use a magic marker and mark what it contains. Also use a plastic plant mister bottle, for misting my clothes (to get our wrinkles) works great.

Home Depot also has the BOX OF RAGS (it is literally called this), which-- combined with a tiny hamper in the under-sink cabinet-- means I can avoid having paper towels. I got the BOX OF RAGS from my dad for Christmas a few years back, because my family is awesome like that, and we have been using them ever since.

I was going through cloth diapers to sell some. I have about 30 prefold diapers. They take up a lot of space, but really, I shouldn't sell them. That's rags for life!

Cressida

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #33 on: January 14, 2016, 01:41:33 PM »
Why is everyone using essential oils? Doesn't it just make your house smell?

Usually there's no reason except that they make the cleaners smell nice in a customizable way. Sometimes they add a little to the efficacy of the cleaner: orange cuts grease, for example, and others repel bugs or have antibacterial properties. Or so I'm told.

gillstone

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #34 on: January 14, 2016, 02:55:47 PM »
I've discovered that you can make almost any cleaner you need from these ingredients in some combination:

Rubbing alcohol
Dish soap
Baking Soda
Vinegar

I've made a great degreaser for my bike using 400ml rubbing alcohol, 500ml warm water, 50ml baking soda, & 50ml dish soap

Kaikou

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2016, 05:47:35 AM »
Try the Home Depot spray bottles. Actually, we've found Home Depot has good prices on cleaning stuff in general. And they have large size cleaning vinegar.

That's what we use. And you can use a magic marker and mark what it contains. Also use a plastic plant mister bottle, for misting my clothes (to get our wrinkles) works great.

Home Depot also has the BOX OF RAGS (it is literally called this), which-- combined with a tiny hamper in the under-sink cabinet-- means I can avoid having paper towels. I got the BOX OF RAGS from my dad for Christmas a few years back, because my family is awesome like that, and we have been using them ever since.

http://www.homedepot.com/s/box%2520of%2520rags?NCNI-5

I don't think any of these are it?

NoStacheOhio

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2016, 12:38:46 PM »

http://www.homedepot.com/s/box%2520of%2520rags?NCNI-5

I don't think any of these are it?

Not sure, we just bought a big package of white terrycloth-like towels. I don't remember how much they cost, but it was less than $20. They hold up decently well as long as you trim any loose strings.

pompera_firpa

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2016, 12:44:02 PM »
I think it was this: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Buffalo-Industries-8-lb-Recycled-White-Cloth-Rags-Box-10526/205895922

There are t-shirt / jersey rags in there, too-- the trick is to look under "paint" for "rags and cloth" and then find one that is actually cloth. I think the old-t-shirt rags are best for cleaning shiny things like mirrors and glass, and the scrubbier ones are best for cleaning up yuck from the cat. Of which there is a great deal, sadly.

redbird

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #38 on: January 30, 2018, 09:55:39 PM »
I use spray bottles for my plants, the last time I bought these and they seem to be working fine: http://www.lowes.com/pd_369819-531-HDPRO36___

I'll second these. They're fantastic, way better than the spray bottles factory-made cleaning solutions come in.

NeonPegasus

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Re: homemade cleaners and $#%!*&%# plastic spray bottles
« Reply #39 on: January 31, 2018, 11:08:27 AM »
While we're on the topic of cleaning, because this might interest so people: I needed a quick mop to spot-clean the floors (I have a toddler, food drops from the high chair, I don't wanna get the mop and bucket EVERY TIME she drops a spoonful of applesauce (or 5). I got a wet-jet swiffer on sale (the swiffer itslf is pretty cheap; it's the refills and wipes that are expensive)

Then I spent 10$ on ebay buying re-usable pads (toss 'em in the wash, they stick on with velcro), and learned how to get that cleaner bottle open (soak the top in boiling water for 30 seconds to soften the plastic a bit, then force it open. Use pliers to trim the little plastic teeth that stop it from opening, and suddenly you have a re-usable screw-top bottle). No more 1$/wipe, no more 6$ bottles of cleaner. I use a citrus vinegar/water mix, and it works great.

I've been using the refills and screw-top bottle for a year and I have ZERO complaints. And, frankly, anything that makes housework affordable and easy is a winner. I honestly wouldn't bother if not for toddler-induced messes, but there's enough spot-cleaning that getting on all fours with a wet rag to wipe the floor 3 times/day is just obnoxious, and I'd rather just do a quick swipe with the mop and be done with it.

My swiffer hack was to make washable reusable cleaning pads out of hubby's old cotton socks. Just cut down the ankle part until you can slip the foot part over the mop head. Use a hairband to hold it on. If the sock has a hole, double up with the socks. ;)