Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cleaning Supply Substitutes ( Guest Post)

Cleaning supplies are not something I typically stock up. Body wash - yes. Shampoo - yes. Toothpaste - I could spackle all the holes in my house and yours and still have enough for a bright and shiny smile. But cleaning supplies, not so much.

The main reason I have trouble keeping supplies on my shelf is because they are so expensive and the coupons for the brands I like to use are so piddley that it almost seems like the manufacture is mocking me just by printing them. “Here, have a coupon for 20 cents off a $5.00 bottle of tub cleaner. You may have a 50 cent discount if you purchase an additional scrub brush.” I mean, what is that?!? That is even more insulting than the old $1.00 off of 2 trick. Don’t get me wrong. I love coupons and use them every chance I get, but if I have to choose between buying two bottles of toilet bowl cleaner and using a coupon, or buying one bottle of toilet bowl cleaner and putting the rest of my money toward my remaining grocery list, you may finding me struggling a smidge.

And then I found another way to save even more- make my own.

Making my own supplies is both cheap and easy. Below I have a few recipes that can get the job done without blowing your budget.

Glass and Surface Cleaner

1 pint of rubbing alcohol

1 gallon water

1 tsp blue Dawn

¼ cup sudsy ammonia

Stir together and divide into spray bottles. This is great to mix in a bucket for your yearly housecleaning.

Non-Toxic Glass and Surface Cleaner

1/4-1/2 teaspoon liquid detergent

3 tablespoons vinegar

2 cups water

This is a small enough amount that you can mix directly in the spray bottle.

Note: It is a little known fact that most paper towel contain some sort of fabric softener. Often when your windows streak, the culprit is not the cleaning agent, but the paper towel. Your best choice for window cleaning is often either the cheapest paper towel you can find or a cotton cleaning rag, washed without softener and line dried.

General Cleaner

1 cup ammonia

½ cup white vinegar

¼ cup baking soda

2 gallon warm water

This is great for washing your floors or scrubbing walls.

Laundry Soap

Disclaimer: I have never made a homemade laundry soap that outperforms store-bought laundry detergent. However, if you cannot get to the store, or just want to save a couple of bucks, this will work.

3 cups Borax

2 cups Baking Soda

2 cups Washing Soda

2 cups grated bar soap (like Fels-Naptha, Ivory, or other castile soap)

Mix all ingredients well and store in a sealed tub.

Use 1/8 cup of powder per full load

Fabric Softener

3 cups white vinegar

2 cups hair conditioner (use the cheap stuff)

6 cups water

Mix and use as you would with any store-bought softener product. Don’t worry, the vinegary smell disappears and the conditioners scent remains.

For a cheap alternative to dryer sheets, toss a ball of tin foil in the dryer to eliminate static cling.

What are your favorite cleaning substitutes?

frugal pals note- We did not try these recipes so can't tell you if they work or not. It is on my list of things to try.

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