Friday, March 13, 2009

How I save money on cleaning supplies

I don't use them.

Okay, so maybe this post was a teaser. Were you expecting recipes, money saving tips, ways to stretch a bottle? I've been there, done that, and the truth is most of it just isn't worth it.

True, I do have a bottle of Windex under my kitchen cabinet, but it's the same bottle I've had for 3 years, and it's still more than half full. And sure, I've been known to work some magic with some baking soda and vinegar, and I do use commercial dish soap. But most of the time, for most cleaning jobs? I don't need any cleaning products.

It happened somewhat slowly. At first I was gung ho about mixing up a spray bottle of vinegar/water to keep on hand and using that to clean the counter every night. Then, when that started to run low, I just added more water because I was in too much of a hurry to take out the vinegar. Then I added more water.

A few months later, I realized I had been cleaning my counters with just water every night with no noticeable difference.

My floors usually get wiped down with a damp rag, either wrapped around my mop or just moved around with my foot if I'm feeling lazy. My mirrors get wiped down with a microfiber cloth - sometimes with some water, sometimes dry. My dusting is done with a feather duster, which I shake outside.

I've seen recipes for homemade cleaning products, and to be honest I couldn't be bothered. I mean, I can see using some alcohol or bleach on my counters when I have been working with raw meat - although to be honest, I think soap probably does the trick. But did you notice recipes for window cleaner always have blue food coloring?

Now maybe I just don't keep as clean a house as some people. I don't feel the need to wash my windows with ammonia every week, or to turtle was my shower walls. But as far as I'm concerned, a spritz of water and a bit of elbow grease keeps my house plenty clean enough. It saves time, money, and the environment. The trifecta!

Read more frugal tips at Frugal Friday hosted by Life as a Mom.


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Corie Drane said...

though there are good cleaning services out there, I prefer doing it myself. I enjoy organizing my things around our house in NYC, especially in our library -- it's the place where I stay most of the time during weekends. I buy and use commercial products 'coz they're cheaper and sometimes come with free or extra items at a very affordable price.