Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cleaning Supplies - How Much Is Enough

Cleaning. Such an ugly word right? You never have enough time to do it. It' a never ending job. The more you clean the more you find to clean. Can't we put a petition together to strike this word from the Dictionary? It never ends. I have two dogs and trust me, when Sully (my Shephard) does his doggie shake, the fur and dust fly, literally.

Now days cleaning products take up almost a whole isle in the stores. So many choices. You have cleaners for the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink, the toilet bowl, the bathtub, the backsplash, the walls, the counters, the stove, the fridge, wood floors, no-wax floors, etc. etc. etc. It's crazy. How many cleaners does one house actually need?

Used to be, you could open the cabinets under my kitchen sink and would find all types of cleaners, dusting polishes, etc. And then you could go to the bathroom and open up the cabinet under that sink and find several cleaners for the bathroom. Again.....IT'S CRAZY!!!! Is it really necessary for you to have that many cleaners in your house? I don't think so.

I was reading an article about a year ago about all of the ingredients in cleaners and how what people didn't realize while they were cleaning was that they were actually putting harmful fumes and chemicals into the air and on the surfaces of everything they cleaned. My husband has Asthma and thankfully hasn't had an attack in 6 years. (WOOO HOOO!!!), but I got to wondering when the day would be that one of those cleaners would trigger an attack in him.

Now I have slowly but surely been weaning out the cleaning supplies. Trust me that I had a ton and am just now getting down to the last bottles of this and that. Now don't get me wrong.....I do use a couple. Scrubbing Bubbles is my favorite, but honestly I wonder what it does that good old water and elbow grease (always free) can't do. If you have been reading my posts, you also know that I am a fan of Soft Scrub (thanks to a co-worker). I also have been a life long user of Windex and Ajax.

Now, as I said, at one point about a year ago, I had all of the following cleaners in my house:

Mr. Clean
Scrubbing Bubbles Spray
Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Mop N Glo
Soft Scrub
Formula 409

I was a cleaning product nut. You would have thought I had the cleanest house in town. (NOT NOW AND NEVER WILL BE!). However, as I said, I have slowly been weaning out the cleaning products. Once I finally used up my supply, I have been tossing the empty bottles and not purchasing them again. I have however been doing some research and testing things to see if I couldn't replace the cleaners with simple ingredients.

The two best ingredients for cleaning.....you guessed it. Gold ole White Distilled Vinegar and Baking Soda. These two ingredients separated or combined (watch out for the Volcano effect) clean like any product out there.

A little Baking Soda on a wet rag cleans counters, sinks, tubs, cabinets, stoves, fridges, etc.

Need a little extra strength.....keep one of those spray bottles from a previous cleaner and fill it 3/4 full with water and the remaining way with vinegar. Great window cleaner. Does just as good a job as Windex or any of the other glass cleaners out there. Better than that. Just good old water does a great job of cleaning windows. Believe it or not. My father used to own his own gas station in Memphis, Tennessee. He always had a spray bottle sitting on top of the gas pumps and while he was filling the customer's tank he would clean their windows. I remember one day when a nice older lady asked my dad what he had in the cleaning bottle because he got her windows so clean. He looked at her and smile and said water. They even told that story at his funeral.

And another thing....quit buying sponges, scrub brushes, etc. I have found the perfect little scrubby for free. You know the bags that Oranges, Potatoes, Onions, etc. come in. The red plasticky material....they make great scrubbers and they don't scratch a thing. I have been using them for about 6 months now and I will never buy SOS pads or Brillo pads again. I used to stock up on SOS pads whenever they went on sale. Haven't bought a brush, scrubber, sponge, etc. in 6 months and I never will again.

Now.....think about how much money you spend on cleaning products or how you go crazy trying to find the right coupons and match them with the best deals to get your cleaning products for as cheap as possible. Even when they are on sale and matched with a coupon, they are still pretty pricey. You can get Baking Soda (small boxes free with $1/2 at Wal-Mart) and the larger size at a reasonable price with coupons from the Arm and Hammer website. You can get distilled Vinegar at very reasonable prices in the gallon size jug and you don't need a ton of it to do your cleaning. Don't want you house to smell like Vinegar....add a little lemon juice or orange juice (from the orange) to the vinegar/water mix and there you go. Perfect.

I'm not telling you to go run into the kitchen and throw out all of your cleaning products. I didn't. Continue to use them until you start running low and then start stocking up on Vinegar and Baking Soda. A 1 Gallon jug of Vinegar will last you a pretty long time.

And the next time you purchase a bag of onions or potatoes in the mesh bag, save the mesh and start using it in place of your sponge or scrub brush. See how you like it.....let me know what you think.

I would really like to hear your thoughts on this one. And by all means if you have some great cleaning tips.....please share.....we are all in the saving money business together. Let's spread the knowledge and tips and help each other out.

Have a great day everyone!

This post is part of the Becentsable Gathering
Compensated Affiliate

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