Household Cleaning Products On A Budget

Mary Haswell By Mary Haswell, 9th Jul 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Daily Life

Hints & tips on more cost effective methods for household cleaning.

Are You Spending Too Much For Cleaning Products?

Thirty years ago I was an uncompromisingly loyal consumer of name brand household cleaning products, not so much because they were name brands but because they were effective. They did what they promised they would to do. As the years progressed however, these name brands got more expensive and when you are on a restrictive budget, you have a choice between a $4 can of disinfectant spray, or a $4 gallon of milk. Of course, being a mother the milk wins out every time.

Naturally, I wasn't going to just give up cleaning my home so I had to come up with alternatives for the cleaning supplies I could not afford. In the end I found two solutions that work for multiple purposes. I have bleach and vinegar on hand at all times. These two items cover all of my cleaning chores just as effectively as products that are made specifically for those jobs. In fact, they work even better and I have been using them now for the past 10 years.

I clean my entire kitchen and bathrooms with bleach, including doorknobs and light switches and my stair railings. Boom. Clean, and more importantly sanitized. That's right, bleach is a sanitizer-it kills germs. The cost of a bottle of bleach? I get a gallon of generic bleach from Family Dollar for $1.50. It comes in regular, lemon and lavender. I mix a spray bottle with a half cup of bleach and fill the rest with water and I have cleaner for my sinks, showers and counter tops for a few months. The only caution statement I will make here is that you should watch how much bleach you are using. Pour sparingly. If you use too much bleach, it can cause breathing difficulties.

We already know vinegar is great for cleaning windows and glass, but did you know it is also effective in cleaning electronics and coffee makers? I've been cleaning my coffee makers out with vinegar for years and it actually extends the life of the machine. It's a simple process: Six cups of vinegar, six cups of water, run it through your coffee maker, run through clean water after, wipe the top of the well out with a paper towel or coffee filter, ( coffee filters are better for cleaning windows and mirrors because they leave less lint than paper towels. Just wanted to throw that in here. ) and you're done. Note: some people will tell you to clean your pot out with ice and salt, don't do that-salt is an abrasive and can scratch up your pot.

A word on using vinegar on electronics: A vinegar and water solution will remove dust and fingerprints of most electronics, but obviously you can't spray the solution directly on some things or you will risk getting the insides wet. Family Dollar sells magnetic dusters for $1 if you lightly spray the duster, you can clean the backs of your electronics safely.

Quick tips: Keep two magnetic dusters on hand. One for use on electronics and one to use with your bleach solution. I have one duster that I taped a stick to that I use to clean above windows and doors with bleach solution. Works like a charm. Also, if you want to conserve paper towels, it pays to keep a few cloth rags on hand. Old t-shirts work best. Just wash them once in a while and they'll last almost forever.

I have found that by using these method I am only spending approximately $10 every few months on cleaning supplies. It took me a while to wean myself off of name brand household products, but when I realized that I was only paying for the name it got a lot easier for me to be more frugal and still be able to maintain the level of cleanliness I demand in my household.

If you are on a really tight budget you may want to substitute all those expensive name brand cleaning products with bleach and vinegar.


Clean, Cleaning, Cleaning Home Cleaning, Cleaning House, Cleaning Tips, Cleanliness

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author avatar Mary Haswell
I am a novice writer looking for my niche while working on perfecting my writing skills.

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author avatar SherryeB
26th Oct 2015 (#)

I use both bleach and vinegar for cleaning myself. I really like the clean smell of the house after using bleach. Vinegar cuts the smell of pet odors.

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