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Don’t Break the Bank Buying Cleaning Products

Looking to save money on homemade cleaning products? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American homeowner spends about $725 a year on housekeeping supplies, including laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, toilet paper and other necessities. The average renter shells out about $403.

Household cleaning products and cleansers can cost a lot of money, but there are two products that you probably already have in your kitchen. They both do the job when it comes to cleaning and won’t put a dent in your budget!

White Vinegar

natural cleaning with vinegar

Plain White Vinegar can be a cleaning powerhouse!

Skip the harsh chemicals found in the cleansers at the grocery store and make your own instead with this pantry staple.

When mixed with water, simple white vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner, acting as both a cleaning agent and a disinfectant. Just mix one part vinegar with one part water in a spray bottle and start cleaning. If the smell is too harsh, add a little bit of lemon juice.

You can pick up an entire gallon of white vinegar for between $3 to $4. A typical 32-ounce bottle of all-purpose cleanser can cost more than $4.50. But, be careful. Like with any cleanser, there are some surfaces, including hardwood floors and irons, where vinegar could do more harm than good.

Baking Soda

Baking soda might be an important ingredient in your favorite cookie or quick bread recipe. It also is a great way to clean up after you’re done.

natural cleaning with baking soda

You’ll Love What Baking Soda Can Do!

Sodium bicarbonate, as the scientists call it, is both a mild abrasive and a deodorizer. Just sprinkle a little in the bottom of garbage cans, for instance, to cut those funky smells.

Other uses:

  • Add some baking soda to a wet sponge and wipe down counters, sinks or tubs.
  • Get a deep clean by mixing baking soda with water until it forms a paste. Spread the paste on the bathtub or sink and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then, wipe it up.
  • When it’s time to clean out the microwave, combine about three tablespoons of baking soda with one cup of water in a microwave safe cup. Microwave for a few minutes until the water is boiling. Then, remove the water and use a cloth to wipe out the damp microwave. You’ll not only remove food crumbs and splatters, but also get rid of any bad odors.

Best of all, it’s cost effective. A 16-ounce box of baking soda costs less than $1, compared to nearly $5 for a 24-ounce bottle of a scrubbing cleanser.

Stronger, Together

When you use both vinegar and baking soda together, you get an even more powerful cleanser that not only disinfects, but also deodorizes.

baking soda and vinegar used for cleaning

Savings and Safety together -- Win Win!

With both, you can:

  • Make an all-purpose cleanser that gets rid of odors by combining a ¼ cup of baking soda, a ½ cup of vinegar and one gallon of hot water in a spray bottle.
  • Unclog drains by dumping about a cup of baking soda down the drain and then 1 cup of hot vinegar. Wait about five minutes. You’ll see bubbles come up from the chemical reaction. Then clean it out by pouring about two quarts of hot water down the drain.
  • Remove carpet stains by scattering baking soda on the stain to soak it up. Vacuum. Then, with your bottle of equal parts water and white vinegar, spray the stain with the solution. Let it sit for about 30 minutes. Blot it up.

These natural solutions might require a bit more elbow grease, but they are effective ways to clean house this spring and cut costs at the same time, and they have an added benefit of being non-toxic, “green” alternatives!

Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit committed to empowering and inspiring consumers nationwide to make wise financial decisions and live debt free. Speak with a certified counselor for a free debt analysis today

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