Frugal Cleaning Tips

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Have you ever stopped in the cleaning pr

oducts aisle and thought – holy cow, there is a lot of cleaning products here! Now picture how many of these products you have in your home, quite a few right? Even if you only buy these products every few months it probably adds up to a hundred dollars or more per year.

Think of how much you could save if you could get rid of a few of these products and replace them with home-made alternatives that are just as effective. Not only would your home still be clean and sparkling, but you would also have some extra cash kicking around. So what do you need to clean most household surfaces? It depends a bit on what type of surface you are cleaning.  

Equal parts vinegar and water is a great multi-surface cleaner and can be used to clean the following:

–    Bathtub, toilet and sink

–    Tile and laminate floors

–    Kitchen counter, stovetop and appliances

Do not use vinegar on marble, and ensure that it is always properly diluted when washing tile floors, or else it will erode the grout between the tires.

For extra-tough stains in the toilet or sink you can use pure vinegar. Vinegar also makes a fabulous (and cheap) fabric softener. Just add ½ cup during the rinse cycle. Not only will your clothes come out wonderfully soft, you will also save a bundle. As an added bonus, people with sensitive skin can use vinegar when the normally wouldn’t be able to tolerate fabric softener.

A combination of lemon juice, baking soda and vinegar can be used to make a paste that is great for scrubbing surfaces, yet is non-abrasive. Use it on tough kitchen messes, in your bathtub or sink. Lemon juice on its own is great for getting brass and copper to shine like new. You can even use lemons to clean your dishes: cut one in half and dip in baking soda – you now have a powerful grease cutter and scrubber in one.

What about your wood furniture? Well forget buying Pledge or some other polish – save your money and use a combination of 1 cup olive oil and ½ cup lemon juice. You will now have sparkling clean, great smelling furniture that has a lovely shine.

Then there are all those windows and glass surfaces in the home. While some swear by Windex, the fact is that you can have an equally effective cleaner at a fraction of the cost. Take 1 cup rubbing alcohol, 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon vinegar and put in a spray bottle. With this concoction your glass will be clean and streak-free, and glass and chrome surfaces will shine.

This one last frugal cleaning tip relates to one of your most precious items – silverware. Say goodbye to expensive and time-consuming polish and say hello to this super-simple recipe:

Put a piece of aluminum foil at the bottom of your kitchen sink or a washbasin. Fill with water and sprinkle in two tablespoons of salt. Place your silverware in the water and let soak for a few minutes. Remove and rinse with clean water. Finished!

Hopefully these frugal cleaning tips will help you save time as well as money, as both things are in short supply these days. The next time you find yourself in the cleaning products aisle at the grocery store just remember that with a few kitchen ingredients you can have your own effective cleaning products for much less.

For more ways to live a frugal life, click here.

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