Easy cheap and green cleaning.

16Dec11

I’ve been wanting to “clean up” the cleaning products in my house, but it seemed like all the “green” cleaning products out there were even more expensive than the chemical ones. I know that the environment should be top priority but cost can be a huge factor when your income isn’t what it could be.

Surface cleaning:

The biggest cleaning expense in my house has been Clorox Wipes. THEY ROCK, right? I thought so too. Convenient, easy to use, disposable. Then I realized the cost of them, the extra waste, and the fact that it couldn’t be used on anything that might touch food. Well, you know what works just as well as bleach for disinfecting and is often used in restaurants to clean cutting boards and other surfaces? Plain old white vinegar. So I made my own reusable wipes. I took an old ratty towel, and cut it into wipe sized pieces, took two old Folgers plastic coffee containers, labeled one CLEAN and one DIRTY, put the towel pieces in the clean tub, and poured white vinegar all over them to soak them. (If the smell bothers you dilute the vinegar half and half with water and remember the smell dissipates much faster than the smell of bleach)

Results: SO convenient, I’m getting everyone in the house “trained”  so when a mess happens, you pull out a clean wipe, deal with the mess, and put it in the dirty container, when they’re all used up, I take the dirty container, dump it in the washer with my laundry and refill the clean container.

Savings: Well both containers were free with the added bonus of getting to reuse them, the towel was something that  probably would have gotten thrown away, so the only cost is the vinegar, which you can get in any grocery store in gallon containers for right around $3, it also is all natural and safe so it can be used on children’s and baby’s toys or high chairs, and around pets (works wonders in things like small animal cages).

Laundry:

One of the things I’m really allergic to, happens to be dryer sheets. So I found an awesome solution for that as well. There are two main reasons to use dryer sheets: 1) static electricity 2)removing unwanted smells. So I researched some alternatives online and instead of dryer sheets I now have a spray bottle filled with vinegar and two balls of aluminum foil sitting on my dryer. The aluminum balls absorb most of the static and the vinegar removes unwanted smells, and once its dry leaves no smell of its own.

Results: I love it. My laundry has no strange scents on it and best of all, no rashes. The only thing that took some adjusting was my laundry smelling like nothing. I actually enjoy that, but there are people out there  who might want to scent their clothes with some kind of essential oil mixture.

Savings: Because of my allergies I have to use all “free and clear” laundry products so I was spending at least ten dollars for a box of laundry sheets that my family of six was going through in about a month. Now with the aluminum balls and vinegar, I spend WAY less. The foil balls probably come out to less than 25 cents worth and I’ve had to replace once in two months, and a quart spray bottle comes out to about 75 cents and probably will last two plus months. So all in all two to three months of laundry for about a dollar as apposed to twenty to thirty dollars. Sweet!

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