Banishing the 27 Bottles of Cleaning Products In Favor Of A Few Simple Supplies

by Wren on April 5, 2013

Once you get rid of the clutter and organize the stuff that remains, spring cleaning does indeed involve plenty of actual cleaning (too bad we can’t just skip that step…). But before we get going on the scrubbing, maybe it’s time to take a good look at the cleaning supplies under the sink. Does that area need its own spring cleaning? I can’t really remember the last time I purchased purpose-made cleaning supplies. I know that many years ago, I had a whole stash of cleaning supplies under our sink. Maybe I was hoping that they would get out from under there at night and clean the house themselves while we were sleeping? That never happened, unfortunately. But several years ago, I decided that I was tired of the fumes and also tired of spending a lot of money on cleaning supplies.

I ended up giving away most of the bottles under the sink. I replaced them with a giant bag of baking soda and a huge jug of vinegar from Costco. I also have a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in the laundry room. That’s pretty much it as far as general purpose cleaning supplies go. My favorite trick is hot vinegar: microwave a cup of vinegar and then dump it into a spray bottle along with a squirt of dish-washing liquid. Spray it on your tub, toilet, sink, counters, stove… it’s like a little cleaning miracle worker. You still have to scrub a bit, but it’s amazing how well the hot vinegar and dish soap mixture cleans. And baking soda is also a great whitener and scrubber for counters, tubs and sinks.

Hydrogen peroxide is a perfect laundry stain remover (it’s like magic on blood stains – you can watch it work!) and disinfectant. I keep a spray bottle of it on hand for wiping down counters in the kitchen and bathroom.

I even stopped buying scrubbing pads for the kitchen sink and started making my own out of the mesh bags that sometimes encase our produce. We almost always use cloth rags and regular cloth hand towels instead of paper towels, so we only go through a few rolls of paper towels a year.

With all of those changes, we can pretty much skip the cleaning products aisle at the grocery store and just grab a big bag of baking soda and a jug of vinegar at Costco a few times a year. Not only is it better for our health (baking soda and vinegar are edible, which is more than you can say for most ready-made cleaning products!), but it’s also a lot easier on our budget.

About Author: Frugal Babe is a mid-30s American wife and mama who has been careful with money since childhood and loves the flexibility that her frugality has given her. She is the face behind the Frugal Babe website and a contributor to the CareOne Debt Relief Services blog, a provider of debt consolidation in Tennessee.

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