Branded cleaners and detergents can easily eat into our grocery budget faster than we think. But there is another way to save on the laundry detergent, fabric softener, glass cleaners, stain removers, shower, wood polish… When you’ve run out of cash for detergents and groceries before payday, here are some of the solutions that can save you a packet while keeping your home hygienic and clean all month through.
Why not make your own detergent? You can add essential oils to the solution to fragrance your laundry or simply enjoy the clean fragrance of fresh laundry. All the ingredients to make your own detergent are available with the laundry products at your grocery store, but if you can’t find them they can also be purchased online (How to clean your home for next to nothing).
Softening can prove to be expensive year-after-year when softening your clothes can be as simple as adding half a cup of vinegar in the same way you would use a shop-bought fabric softener. The vinegar leaves no scent on your clothes.
Static-reducing dryer balls
Another simple solution is tin foil. Take a large piece of foil and firmly pack it into a ball shape about the size of a plum. These dryer balls can be used and reportedly work like charm – just throw them into the dryer with your wet clothes and say good-bye to static.
Simply combine in a spray bottle: one cup of rubbing alcohol with one cup of ammonia and one teaspoon of liquid dish soap. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water and stir or shake to combine and spray. This recipe leaves glass sparkling and streak-free. It also works well as a general all-purpose cleaner for other household chores.
Shower cleaner and stain remover
This ‘magic potion’ of cleaners works amazingly well and has become the ‘inside secret’ in homemade cleaning products circles. Make up in a spray bottle the 50/50 mix of dish washing liquid and white vinegar. Spray the mix onto whichever surface you would like to clean, leave for an hour then simply wipe off. Those who swear by the amazing cleaning properties of this mixture, say it makes absolutely every sparkle. A simple light misting once a week will continue to keep your surfaces in a pristine state of clean. This potion is even reported to remove pizza sauce from a white jumper when sprayed on and left overnight, and the most stubborn of bathtub stains.
Varnished wood surfaces can be a pain to keep in glossy condition, especially in the home with children around. The best solution is a combination of olive oil and lemon juice or white vinegar in a 2:1 ratio. Avoid putting the mixture in a spray bottle. Instead, dip a soft cloth into the solution and rub it onto the table, both cleaning and polishing. Once done, wipe down the table with another clean soft cloth and you’ll have achieved an enviable shine.
Carpet steamer solution
Mix up this solution for your carpet steamer. Combine a quarter cup of ammonia, a quarter cup of white vinegar and two teaspoons of liquid dish soap in about a gallon (3.8 litres) of very hot water. This solutions works wonderfully and saves money on commercial cleaners.
Hardwood floor cleaner
Stock up on cheap white vinegar because here’s another recipe that will save you a packet in the long-run. Mix a quarter cup of white vinegar to one quart (four cups or one litre) of water for streak-free floors that come up shining every time.
Tile or linoleum floor cleaner
Many, mistakenly, believe that you need harsh chemical detergents to keep the floors in your home clean and sparkling. But this simply isn’t true. Grab your trusty bottle of vinegar and use the same ratio you’ve used for hardwood floors – a quarter cup of white vinegar to one quart (four cups or one litre) of water. That’s all it takes to keep your floors clean as a whistle!
Do it for your health
Although you may begin to make your own household cleaners in order to save money, you might find that certain members of your family – usually prone to allergies – find that their symptoms have eased. This is because by making your own cleaners you are using far fewer harsh chemicals in your home. Children, not to mention the soft pads on dogs’ and cats’ feet, can be particularly sensitive to chemical compounds in commercial cleaning products.
You will also find that you spend less and throw away fewer bottles and cartons because you’re no longer spending your hard-earned cash on packaging.