Three Creative and Thrifty Cleaning Ideas

Cleaning can be fun, but it can also be quite expensive. It’s interesting how much we spend on cleaning products and don’t even realize it. I can assure you that a significant portion of your domestic budget was spent on cleaning products. But you need them, right?  Thrifty cleaning ideas are hard to come by these days.  You need your own personal habitat to be nice, clean and cozy. That’s why you’re willing to spend whatever it takes (sounds more dramatic than it actually is). But what if I told you you could easily reduce your cleaning expenses, use much safer cleaning products and get the same results as before (or even better)? Would you believe me or would you think I’m simply making things up? Well, I am telling you that this is the case. All you have to do is prepare a few things before you start cleaning. You will make your own cleaning products with supplies you have lying around in your kitchen (or really easy to purchase) so you will save a ton of money and have some fun in the same time. Here’s how.

Homemade air freshener

Air fresheners are great and usually manage to live up to their name. However, in many cases, you don’t really know what chemicals you can find in the substances you breathe. It’s not that they are dangerous (although they very well might be) but if you’re more sensitive, they can be especially irritating. But you don’t have to use store-bought air fresheners to freshen the air in your home. You can make an air freshener yourself, and the recipe is pretty simple. All you have to do is find an essence oil of your choosing (this is what odor the air freshener will carry), get some baking soda and find an empty spray bottle.

Place 2 table spoons of baking soda in a bowl. Then add 20-30 drops of the essence oil you’ve chosen (this should be enough, otherwise the aroma might get too intensive) and mix it well. The reason you have to do this is because the oil is not water soluble. However, the baking soda will help you create a reaction. Pour the mixture into the empty spray bottle and shake well. Voilà! You have your homemade air freshener. Label and use whenever you feel like it.

Homemade window cleaner

Window cleaning is definitely no one’s favorite task, but it has to be done. However, instead of buying products from the store, you can make a windows cleaner yourself. It’s going to be much cheaper, and it will have the same efficiency, with the added bonus of being completely safe.

Mix some white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and you have an instant window cleaner. The solution must be 2 to 1 (2 water to 1 vinegar). Vinegar is quite an effective cleaning agent when windows are concerned (and in other fields, as you will see). If you don’t have vinegar, you can easily replace it with lemon juice. The proportions are the same. Finally, you can also use rubbing alcohol, but this time the solution needs to be 1 to 1, otherwise it will be too weak. Note that if you need something stronger, you can add rubbing alcohol to either vinegar or lemon juice. In most cases it won’t be needed, but if you need to clean your bathroom door, you might have to get the extra help.

Homemade all-purpose cleaner

2 tablespoons of baking soda and a ¼ cup of white vinegar mixed together can clean pretty much every surface. This is your all-purpose cleaner. It can be used on flat surfaces, carpets, rugs and anywhere else you might need it. Of course, if needs be, you can make much more. Just make sure you follow the proportions. The end result should be a nice paste you can use to clean anything. Try it – it’s inexpensive, safe, yet particularly effective against almost all sorts of dirt.

July Minor works as a professional cleaner for Clean to Perfection and knows a lot of cleaning ideas and tips.

Image via Thinkstock


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