Being Frugal - While Keeping The Home Clean

United States
June 30, 2007 3:27pm CST
I am always trying to be frugal in everything that I do. I make many of my own cleaning supplies as well as mixes for foods. I have found that there are just so many wonderful uses for the things that we have in our pantry all the time, that can be used instead of harmful commercial cleaners. I buy most of my items in bulk so it is really frugal. Here is a short list of some of my favorites. Ammonia - good grease cutter, wax stripper, and window cleaner. NEVER MIX WITH BLEACH! Lemon juice - great for whitening items, but vinegar is cheaper . It also cuts through grease and stains on aluminum and porcelain White Vinegar - very cheap and versatile, great for whitening, also fantastic for cleaning hard surfaces, windows and shining up metal surfaces. Removes mildew, stains, grease and wax buildup. This is another natural cleaner that whole books have been written on! Bleach - great for whitening anything, removing molds and mildews, and general cleaning. Best used diluted with water. NEVER MIX BLEACH WITH VINEGAR, TOILET BOWL CLEANER, OR AMMONIA. The combination of bleach with any of these substances produces a toxic gas which can be hazardous. We want to save money without jeopardizing our lives! Borax - (sodium borate) It is a great deodorizer, removes stains and boosts the cleaning power of soap. It also prevents mold and odors. Great alternative for those who do not want to use bleach. Baking Soda - Extremely versatile, baking soda is an all-purpose, non-toxic cleaner. It cleans, deodorizes, scours, polishes and removes stains. There are entire books out about the zillions of uses of baking soda, and the best thing about it is that it's cheap! I buy it at Sams club in large bags Ketchup - great for cleaning copper Cornstarch - cleans and deodorizes carpets and rugs, you can use this to replace expensive "baby powders" also. Pure Soap - cleans just about anything and is mild Salt - believe it or not, regular table salt makes an abrasive, but gentle, scouring powder. You always have it available also These are just a few of the things that are great to use in everyday chores without adding chemicals to your home or to the environment. Do you have some favorites that you would not care to share with me? Do you have some favorites that you find that is just great to clean with from things that are in the pantry?
9 people like this
12 responses
@Kowgirl (3492)
• United States
30 Jun 07
Thanks for all the good tips on cleaning. Here is another great way to save money and time. After you clean your shower and the tiles on the wall are dry put a coat of car wax on the wall. after it drys buff it to a new shine. It will keep it from molding and will remain clean for around a year. Just be sure not to get wax on floor of shower or tub.
2 people like this
@Polly1 (12650)
• United States
30 Jun 07
Thats a great tip to use, I will have to remember that one.
2 people like this
• United States
30 Jun 07
Wow, That makes so much sense wonder why I had never done it before. A whole year...wow I am going to do it.
• United States
1 Jul 07
Thanks so much for sharing your tip with us. I hope you took the time to read everyone elses tips too as many people added their favorite tips as well.
1 person likes this
@shestalou (293)
• Canada
1 Jul 07
I have also used mouthwash as a cleaner and it works great, one day I ran out of floor polish and decided to use the mouthwash and it did an awesome job, my floor sparkled, I use the no name mouthwash its alot cheaper than scope or listerine.
• United States
1 Jul 07
Wow that interesting. I would have never thought of that. Cool Thanks so much for sharing with all of us. I hope you took the time to read everyone elses tips too as many people added their favorite tips as well.
• Canada
3 Jul 07
Yes I read alot of the posts, this is a great one so many good ideas on good natural cleaners.
@Polly1 (12650)
• United States
30 Jun 07
I like to use the natural cleaners too. Vinegar and water is wonderful on windows and mirrors. Also borax is good to use to help repel fleas. Just put it in an old spice shaker and shake it on the carpet and leave it. Ammonia is great to use on the tough jobs around the house. I am going to have to remember the ketchup trick for copper, I have never used that one.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Jun 07
I think so many people just run out to the store and purchase cleaners that have so many harmful ingredients in them that they forget the basic items that can be used to clean safely and efficently.
• United States
1 Jul 07
I hope you take the time to read everyone elses tips too as many people added their favorite tips as well.
@ebsharer (5519)
• United States
1 Jul 07
I use fabric softner and I love febreeze since febreeze is so expensive I put about a cup of fabric softner in a bottle and the rest fill with water. It is a great smell and lasts a lot longer then febreeze just be sure to shake it each time before you use it. Clean your glass shower To clean the glass in your shower easily, apply lemon juice to the glass with a sponge. Then, take newspaper and wipe the lemon juice off the glass. It will be clean and sparkle with no scrubbing! Expanding Frosting When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar/calories per serving. Conditioner Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's a lot cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair... Hair clips can be used to hold notes, business cards, even hold bags closed Defog your bathroom mirror by spraying foam shaving cream on the mirror allow it to sit for a few minutes then remove with paper towels. This will keep your mirror clean for about 3 weeks. To clean a toilet drop two Alka-Seltzer into the toilet and walk away for about 20 minutes. Return and brush the toilet as usual . To keep a shower clean put water and a cap full of baby shampoo in a bottle. Once a week spritz the shower walls with the solution after you finish your shower and wipe down with paper towels. To keep smells out of your garbage can put a couple pieces of newspaper in the bottom of your garbage can this will help to absorb odors. To clean your microwave fill up a microwave safe container with 8 ounces of water and the juice of half a lemon. Cook this on high for five minutes remove with pot holders and wipe down microwave with a damp paper towel
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Jul 07
These are some wonderful tips. Thanks so much for sharing them with all of us. I hope you took the time to read everyone elses tips too as many people added their favorite tips as well.
@KrisNY (7609)
• United States
30 Jun 07
Those are great ideas-- and thanks for telling people to not mix certain things- I used to mix bleach with everything- A couple of times- the smell was bad- I don't mix it anymore- Great advice on how to keep a cleaner home for less!
• United States
1 Jul 07
I hope you will take the time to read everyone elses tips too as many people added their favorite tips as well.
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
29 Oct 07
I use much of the stuff you use. I have a ceramic stove top and I us a paste of baking soda to clean it when the regular creme stuff cannot get it out. I also use a damp lintless cloth or paper towel with a little vinegar to clean my lcd computer screen. You cannot use Windex or the commercial glass cleaners as they ruin the finish. I did not know about ketchup nor salt. But they do seem like a good idea. I do not use ammonia, and we just put the blue stuff in our toilet. Oh the cornstarch for rugs, do you have to make a paste of it?
@jolenegreen (1209)
• United States
1 Aug 07
Thank you. Theese tips will come in handy. I have been needing to save money. Besides who knew that you could save money on cleaning supplies, LOL. GREAT thanks!!!!!
1 person likes this
@all4ucnc (861)
• United States
2 Jul 07
We use baking soda for cleaning the garbage disposal, And the Vinegar also works for killing weeds and moss (you have to use a lot, but it works).
1 person likes this
@sid556 (31018)
• United States
1 Jul 07
hairspray removes ink and toothpaste removes crayon!
1 person likes this
@gewcew23 (8012)
• United States
1 Jul 07
Thank you for all these great frugal ideas. I will definately think about using these. I am always like to find ways to clean cheaply. THank you for taking time to post these for us. THanks again. Have a great day.
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
1 Jul 07
I want to add Coca-cola to the list. It's great for removing rust and cleaning metal. Coca-cola can also be used as drain cleaner, and also to clean the toilet. It's much much cheaper than buying commercial drain cleaner.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Jul 07
When I am at a client's house and they have nothing to clean with, I will use vinegar, salt and baking soda to clean with. Many of the client's prefer to use bleach or vinegar.
1 person likes this