Cleaning products can be expensive, and most are full of harsh chemicals. I don’t want to have to do twice the work when cleaning, to make sure that any bleach residue is off the surfaces in my house. I have young kids, and the thought of even keeping those cleaners in my house, even up high and out of reach, scares me!
I am a big fan of the all natural, less harmful, and “green” options on the market, but they often cost more and rarely go on sale. And for those of us on a tight budget, we just can’t afford them!
Vinegar to the rescue!
That’s right, the same stuff you put on your french fries works great as a disinfectant.
#1 The easiest home made cleaner ever: fill a dollar store spray bottle with vinegar. Spray on your greasy stove, dried ketchup covered kitchen table (or at least mine is!), and even better on your windows and mirrors, Does it get easier than that?
#2 The second easiest homemade cleaner: fill a dollar store spray bottle with half vinegar and half water. Spray in all the same places as the other (not as great on windows and mirrors). The vinegar smell will be a little less, and it isn’t as harsh if you are using it on wooden tables. I use this as my basic multi-purpose cleaner. Kitchen, bathrooms, even spray on a cloth and wipe down door knobs and light switches to disinfect them.
#3 The best soap scum cleaner: fill a dollar store spray bottle with 1/3 blue Dawn dish soap (has to be the original blue Dawn) and 2/3 white vinegar. Gently swish this up, and spray all over your shower and tub, and let it soak while you clean the rest of the bathroom. Very little scrubbing will be required. If you are finding your scum extra tough, heat the vinegar up first. The heat will super charge the acetic acid, and work even better on super tough soap scum. The only downside to this, is it is very sudsy, so you will have a lot of rinsing to do. I will take rinsing over scrubbing any day!
#4 The plan ahead scented cleaner: jam as many orange peels into a jar as you can, and cover with vinegar. Let this sit on your counter for 2-3 weeks. Then use this orange infused vinegar in the #2 cleaner from above (half vinegar and half water). You now have an orange scented cleaner!
Easy right? No buying fancy or hard to find products online or in health food stores. No grating soap in a food processor or boiling concoctions for 5 minutes like some DIY cleaners call for. Super frugal. Super easy!
Honourable mentions in the DIY cleaning category:
Baking soda: great for scrubbing your stainless steel sink. sprinkle a little in, spray with the vinegar, and scrub with a damp cloth. Your sink will shine like it was brand new.
Lemons: have a greasy microwave? cut a lemon in half, or pour a little lemon juice and water, in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 4 minutes, and then leave the door shut to let the steam do its works. Open, remove the bowl carefully, and wipe away the mess from all sides!
For more ways to use vinegar around the house, check out this post from a few years back.
And check out my weekly cleaning schedule here.