Save Money by Cleaning Green
With the availability of a different cleaning product for nearly every surface in the home, it’s no surprise Americans spend approximately $42 per month each on cleaning supplies. But it’s not just the expense that’s problematic. It’s also the fact that many cleaning products contain chemical ingredients that can be toxic to people and pets, especially if anyone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma.
Fortunately, there are a number of highly effective, natural ways you can keep your home looking, feeling and smelling clean — and many of them are items you probably already have.
Take a look at these natural cleaning alternatives and get ready to start saving!
The Basics – These are the ingredients you’ll use to mix and match depending on your cleaning project. They include:
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Borax (find it in the store near laundry detergent)
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Natural liquid soap or dish detergent
- Empty spray bottles
All-purpose Spray Cleaner – Mix a solution of nine parts water with one part white vinegar in a spray bottle and you’ve got a cleaner for countertops, appliances, tile and other hard, non-porous surfaces. Simply spray on and wipe. If you need a little extra antibacterial oomph, follow with a spritz and wipe of straight hydrogen peroxide to kill germs. (Be sure to test a small area first to ensure it’s not reactive).
Toilet Bowl Cleaner – Typically one of the most caustic, toxic cleaners around, you can make a version that’s 100% safe, non-toxic and effective. Simply flush the toilet, sprinkle in a generous amount of baking soda, follow with a few liberal splashes of white vinegar, then wait for the ‘volcano’ effect. Once it’s done bubbling, let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes then brush all interior bowl surfaces and flush. You’ll be amazed at how clean and sparkling it is.
Glass Cleaner – Ditch the blue bottle and make your own by mixing ¼ cup of vinegar, ½ teaspoon of liquid soap and two cups of water in a spray bottle. Use as you would any commercial glass cleaner to keep windows and mirrors sparkling. For added savings, wipe with washable cloth towels or rags, rather than paper towels.
Oven Cleaner – If you’ve ever used aerosol oven cleaner, you know how strong those fumes can be. Try this mix instead: one tablespoon liquid soap, one teaspoon borax and two cups of hot water. Combine in a spray bottle and spray directly on the mess, wait 20 minutes, then wipe. It helps to remove as much of the solid mess as possible prior to treating the area (crumpled newspaper works great for that).