PART I: The Cleaning Essentials
To say, “today’s market of cleaning products is oversaturated and overpriced,” would be a major understatement. Never before has there been so many fancy mops, air fresheners, spray bottles and other contraptions designed to spark our interest and take our money. And what good does the millions of dollars these companies spend on advertising actually do for cleaning our homes? The answer is NOTHING. Therefore, the first and most immediate way to save money on cleaning your home is to NEVER buy name brand cleaning products.
Personally, I use the dollar store for all of my cleaning needs. You’ll find that once you knock out the name brands and other advertising gimmicks the amount of choices you have to make on actual cleaning products is far less. The reason? Because you can achieve the same level of cleanliness with some general cleaning knowledge and the use of some everyday home essentials. This is the focus of PART I of Keeping Your Home Fresh. Remember to check back for future articles on how to Keep your Home Fresh by spending less and cleaning smarter!
SOME ITEMS YOU SHOULD OWN (a couple of re-usable spray bottles, bucket, washable cleaning rags, old tooth brush, scrubbing brush, broom, mop, small funnel)
1. Bleach – A Powerful and Cheap chemical which kills nasty germs like mold and mildew with ease. By simply diluting bleach with water, you will have all you need to clean a vast array of areas in your home (floorboards, toilets, tiles, etc).
- All Purpose Cleaner (spray bottle) – Mix ½ bleach to ½ water into a spray bottle and wha-la. For maximum effect, allow the bleach mixture sit for a few minutes to let the chemical kick in… Just be careful with it around clothing/furniture as it can damage fabrics. Also, try to work in well ventilated areas as inhaling a lot bleach fumes is not good for you.
2. Baking Soda – another inexpensive household product with many uses besides just cooking. Baking soda is great for things like cleaning silverware, tough food build up on pots/pans and for neutralizing bad smells.
- Baking Soda Paste (toothbrush/rag) – Mix Baking soda with a little water and you’ve got an abrasive paste great for breaking down particles on grills, bathroom tiles and more.
- Deodorizer – Baking Soda is a great air freshener/deodorizer which can be used to help keep your fridge smelling fresh by simply placing a box/bowl inside of it. For carpets… lightly sprinkle on, let sit for 1 hour and vacuum. You can also keep your trashcan smelling fresh by shaking a little on the bottom every time you change the trash bag.
- Unclog Sink – Pour a couple of cups of baking soda down the drain followed by a pot of boiling/hot water to help loosen up your drains.
3. Dish Soap – Buying in bulk is the key to saving on dish soap, so the bigger/cheaper the better. Go to the dollar store and buy $1 soap dispensers and you’ll be good for months on hand soap too.
- All Purpose Cleaner (bucket/spray bottle) – soap is actually most effective when used with hot water, so never underestimate the power of a bucket of good o’ soap and water when cleaning walls, floors and more.
4. Lemons / Lemon Juice – are a great tool for fighting things like soap scum, germs on cutting boards and bad smells because of their acidic nature… which makes them both an antiseptic and antibacterial.
- Wood Furniture Polish (spray bottle) – Mix a solution of 2 cups olive oil per 1 cup of lemon juice into a spray bottle and you’re done.
- Air Freshener (spray bottle) – Out of febreeze? Mix a tablespoon of lemon juice, a tablespoon of baking soda and 2 cups of hot water into a spray bottle and mist away.
5. Vinegar – another great cleaning essential with many different uses.
- Window Cleaner (spray bottle) – Create your own window cleaner by diluting ¼ vinegar to water for a no streak shine. Another common dip for cleaning windows is to use old newspapers instead of paper towels.
- Soap Scum Cleaner (rag)- For cloudy glasses and shower doors… wipe them down with a papertowel or rag soaked in vinegar, let sit for a couple minutes and rinse.
All of these products have many other cleaning uses than just the ones I’ve listed above… Click on the links I provided and explore other articles online for more tips on using these cleaning essentials to cut down on spending money on cleaning products.
Stay Tuned for Part II of this series COMING SOON…