Less is More
Less is More. Most of us have heard this all of our lives, and yet when we walk through the store looking for cleaning supplies, we realize that there is so much more out there. But are all of these products, or even types of products necessary? Are we paying more than we should in order to clean our homes? Are these products essential or is there a better, cheaper way?
Think about the multitude of products on the store shelves. How many products for laundry detergent? How many to wash dishes or clean mirrors and windows? What is the best spray or wipe to clean counters? And what oil do I need to polish wood furniture?
After all is said and done, how much money have you spent on items to clean your home? You may think, “No problem. They will last for a while before I have to buy more”, but is that indeed the case? If you have never used anything that lasts longer, is cheaper, or works better, how would you even know?
Today we are going to answer some of these questions by looking at a few alternatives that will cut down on the number of products you need to get the job done. And in our opinion, get the job done better. Our list will surprise you because most of these products will save you money at the same time, and who doesn’t like that?
Here is a cleaning supplies list of tried and true cleaning products that work well, last longer than store-bought supplies, and cost less than those commercial brands. We will even give you a few recipes to use that will amaze you when you try them.
Cleaning Supply List for Every Home:
(prices are approximations)
- White Vinegar: 1 Gallon = $2.19: Good for cleaning glass and windows as well as being able to kill 99.7% of all germs and fungi.
- Baking Soda/Washing Soda = $5.00/pound: Good for cleaning clothes and excellent as an abrasive to clean sinks and tubs. Pick up a toothbrush so you can hit those corners and under the faucets.
- Liquid Castile Soap: $5.00 for 16 oz: Castile soap is good for cleaning anything that needs some “soapiness,” from dishes to dogs. You want this as a part of your cleaning supply list.
- Lemons: The price of lemons depends on where you live and what season you are buying them. Lemons are great for whitening and helping you get that nice fresh lemony smell most people are looking for when they think of clean.
- Borax = $4.45 for 65 oz.: Borax is somewhat like Baking soda, and they are typically used together. They each have different cleaning properties that make them powerhouse cleaning agents together.
- Natural Salt: Cheap: Salt is one of those ingredients that we usually don’t think of for cleaning, but a little research, (hit the link above), will show you what a fantastic cleaner salt can be. Natural salt is worth a look for the inexpensive price and the number of things you can do with it.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: $1 for 16 oz: Hydrogen peroxide is a natural whitener and super cheap to purchase. Excellent when you need to get proteins, like blood or grass stains out of clothes, and is a bonus when used as a whitener for sinks, tubs, and toilets.
- Essential Oils (optional): Prices will vary: Essential oils are optional but worth a look. A lot of people use lemon or lavender in their multi-purpose cleaners and laundry to bump up the cleaning quotient as well as make things smell amazing.
How many bottles of commercial window cleaner would you need to purchase versus the 1 gallon of vinegar that is going to be mixed 50/50 with water? You can see that commercial products aren’t going to last you as long as these natural alternatives and you might not be as pleased with them.
Simple Cleaning Recipes
- All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix in a spray bottle, 1 tsp. Borax, 1 tsp. Castile soap, 2 cups of warm water and 4-10 drops of lavender or a citrus essential oil – optional. Shake the ingredients up and use to clean counters, spot clean floors, toys, etc.
- Scouring Powder: Mix 1 cup Borax,1 cup Salt, and 2 cups of Baking soda. Use this mixture to scrub tubs, toilets, and sinks. Not only does it work well but it works better than commercial products you will find on the market.
- Bleach: This is not bleach at all but a great recipe for whitening clothes naturally. Lemon Juice, plain lemon juice. This recipe can be added into the laundry to help whiten your whites.
- Simple Laundry detergent: Mix equal parts of Washing Soda, (not baking soda), and Borax. Add a bar of Castile soap, shredded, then use it as you would a commercial laundry detergent.
- Window Cleaner: Fill a spray bottle half full of white vinegar and half full of water. Use this less pricey alternative to a commercial window cleaner.
- The ingredients mentioned above and the recipes are not only less of a strain on your wallet but also less toxic alternatives. These ingredients go back to a time when all of the cleaning supplies we have available to us now did not exist. We don’t have to spend as much money as we do to keep our homes clean and we could end up with other benefits as well.
It would behoove you to take a look at the commercial products you are buying. Look at their prices and how long they are lasting you. Take a month and add up how much money you are spending on cleaning products, then try the cleaning supplies list above. Look at both records, not just for the initial cost but what they will cost you over time.
If you would like to learn more about how to clean your home for less, feel free to give us a call, we are ready to help.