Cheap spring cleaning: Make your own supplies
Amrita Singh, Frugalista
Published Thursday, March 20, 2014 8:13AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, March 20, 2014 10:01AM EDT
All Purpose Cleaning Wipes
- Cotton Rags
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
- 2 T dish soap
You can buy cleaning wipes pre-made and they've really come down in price. But it's still cheaper, and greener, to make your own. I use these on so many different surfaces. Works great on granite counter tops. I like them for wiping down stainless appliances and sinks. I especially love these for cleaning spots and marks on my laminate flooring.
Rubbing alcohol is a solvent which means it dissolves dirt and oil and it's also disinfecting. It dries almost instantly so the initial hospital smell dissipates almost immediately. Still, use a bit of caution...don't keep the container open all day and night. And, keep open flames away and kids away.
Cost to make $1
Soap Scum Spray
- Spray bottle
- 2 parts vinegar
- 1 part dish soap
I keep this on standby inside my bathroom and use it once a week at least. The best thing to do is take your shower, dry yourself off and then spray this on the damp tiles. It is quite strong smelling initially so you want to make sure you step out of the bathroom for a few minutes while it gets to work. I let it sit on the tiles for at least fifteen minutes before wiping and rinsing.
Vinegar is known to be a wonderful disinfectant. The acid crosses the cell membrane of bacteria and causes the cell to die. Most vinegar has five percent acetic acid, but you can now find stronger vinegar with six percent -that boosts its cleaning power by 20%! Either one you use will work well.
Cost to make $1
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- Zest from one lemon
- Zest from one orange
- Parmesan cheese shaker (bottle)
Most people already know that they should zest their citrus before they peel and eat. This zest freezes beautifully and can be used in baking and cooking. But, you can also use the zest in this freshener recipe. I like to keep my baking soda in cheese shakers because it's much easier to sprinkle when I need to use if for cleaning. I add zest into the shaker and it gives the baking soda a nice fresh scent. Sprinkle this onto your carpets, furniture and even mattress. Let is settle for a little bit and then vacuum it up.
Baking soda is a little controversial in the cleaning world. We know that it helps to neutralize the pH balance of acidic vapors aka: odors. So, it's not absorbing the odors per se, but it is making the pH level more neutral so you can't smell the bad stuff anymore. Adding a hit of lemon and orange helps as well. Activated charcoal is an amazing odor absorber but that's a tip for another day...
Cost to make: 50 cents
DIY Scented Sachets
- Vanilla extract
- Scotch mints
- Refillable (and breathable bags)
- Glass jar
- Pre-scented rice
These scented sachets can be used anywhere in your home that needs a burst of fresh scent. Works well inside closets, inside drawers, even in your car. You can customize the scents to your liking -no hard and fast rules for this. I've also made an instructional video for this one: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2Y7CEEYLpA&list=PL7710C08CD6FD50AA>
Rice is the main ingredient because the grains absorb scents really well. When they are coated with the vanilla extract they hold that scent for up to four months. Instead of mint, you could add cloves and cardamom. You could also use essential oils to scent the rice instead of extract.
Cost to make: $2 for six sachets