There are a million different cleaning products on the market all vying for a spot in your supply closet, not to mention a chunk of your budget. But before you bring home the next new wonder spray, consider these three money-saving cleaning must-haves: they're widely available, kid and pet friendly, and cheap, cheap, cheap!
The Big Three:
This product literally has 1001 uses if not more (there's an entire website dedicated to its awesomeness). Here are the top five ways to use this cost-saving cleaner in your home.
1. To disinfect hard surfaces, spray with undiluted vinegar (or wipe with a cloth soaked in vinegar), wipe clean. Great for countertops, door knobs, etc. Never use on marble!
2. Deodorize and clean a funky-smelling garbage disposal by making vinegar ice cubes. Just toss a few down the drain and turn the disposal on. (Make sure you mark which ice cube tray has the vinegar in it!)
3. Add 1 cup vinegar to 1 gallon of warm water for a great disinfecting, grease cutting, deodorizing floor cleaner.
4. Deodorize and clean a toilet bowl by adding 3 cups vinegar. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, scrub, and flush.
5. Remove mold and mildew by mixing 3 parts vinegar to 2 parts water in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to the area and let sit for 30-60 minutes. Wipe clean with water.
Check out more fantastic ways to use vinegar on VinegarTips.com.
Baking soda is widely known for its deodorizing powers, but it has many other uses that will help you cut cleaning supply costs while maintaining a fresh-smelling home!
1. A mixture of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water can be used to polish silver. Simply rub the mixture on with a soft cloth and rinse with cool water.
2. / 3. Soak smelly sponges in a solution of 4 tablespoons baking soda and 1 quart of warm water. The soaked sponge can then be used to clean the inside of microwaves. Zap it for 4 minutes to further disinfect the sponge and/or loosen food particles in the microwave.
4. For an excellent bathroom scrub, make a paste from baking soda, salt, and liquid dish soap. Let it sit, then scour and wipe clean.
5. Clean painted furniture and walls with a damp sponge sprinkled with baking soda. Wipe clean with a dry cloth.
We shared 31 things to do with lemons earlier this week, but their cleaning abilities go beyond that. Here are five more ways to put this fruit to work.
1. For a fresh-smelling sink, drop a few lemon peels down the garbage disposal. Let that thing go and you'll soon be in citrus heaven.
2. Polish chrome with a lemon half. Simply rub on, rinse, and buff with a soft cloth.
3. For copper, brass, and stainless steel, dip a halved lemon in salt or baking soda and rub. Let sit for 5 minutes, rinse, and polish.
4. Disinfect and clean cutting boards by running a lemon half over the surface. Don't forget to rinse off the juice when you're done.
5. Clean greasy spots in the kitchen by sprinkling them with salt and then rubbing with lemon halves. Wipe clean and you're done. (As with vinegar, do not use this method on marble or other surfaces sensitive to acids.)
Check out these other great tips for using lemons in your home.
Do you have any money-saving cleaning tips of your own? Share in the comments!