More Bang For Your Buck Part 6: Cleaning Things Up

Welcome back for Part 6!  Today I want to talk to you about cleaning.  Cleaning products are expensive! And it seems like there is a different product for every single thing that needs to be cleaned.  Go check out how many different cleaning supplies you have under your kitchen sink right now.  Then go check out your bathroom cabinet.  What about out in the garage? Do we really need all those different jars and bottles and boxes?  Or is there a different way?

Although my husband insists on using some specialty cleaners for the cars, for the house I only use a couple specialty items.  They are:

Scrubbing bubbles bathroom cleaner (used to remove nicotine streaks from the walls – don’t ask)

Toilet bowl cleaner

Grout whitener (used to removed nicotine stains from the once-white bathtub grout)

Otherwise, here’s the list of the cleaners that I use:

white vinegar

blue dawn dish soap



baking soda

washing soda


fels naptha soap

rubbing alcohol

hydrogen peroxide

That’s it.  With those items I am able to make:

all-purpose cleaner

grease cutting kitchen cleaner

laundry soap

laundry stain remover

floor mopping solution

carpet spot remover

general wall washing solution

microwave cleaning solution

non auto-clean oven cleaner

window cleaner

dishwasher washing cubes

mold remover

And so much more. I think the most expensive item on my list of supplies would be the blue Dawn dish soap, but I buy the large bottles of it normally anyway because I use it to wash dishes.  The amount used for other purposes is rather minimal.

Ok, so what do you do with these “ingredients”?  Here’s a few ideas to get you started.

All-purpose cleaner:

spray bottle



Essential oils – optional

Fill spray bottle half full with plain white vinegar, fill the rest of the way with water.  Add a few drops of essential oils if desired.  My favorites are orange, tangerine, and grapefruit.  Use in the kitchen, bathroom, anywhere you would use that “numbered” spray cleaner. Does it make your house smell like vinegar? Not after it dries, and the essential oils help with the odor.  It just leaves a clean smell behind. You can use this spray to clean germy places too.  Vinegar is just as effective at that as bleach, but can be used around children and pets.

Grease Cutting Kitchen Cleaner AND Laundry Stain Remover:

Spray Bottle


Blue Dawn dish soap


Mix equal parts of all three ingredients in a spray bottle.  Use for really greasy kitchen clean up (I use it on my stove top if it gets really bad) and for stain removal on your clothes.  Remember to spot test this formula on your clothing before using and NEVER use this spray with bleach in the wash.

General Floor and Wall Cleaner:

You can use the general cleaner solution for this if you want just made up in a larger batch or do the following –

1 gallon hot water

1 cup vinegar

1/2 cup washing soda

Mix well.  Mop floor as usual.

Microwave Cleaner

1 cup vinegar

Place vinegar in microwave safe bowl.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.  Wipe down microwave. Repeat if needed.

Homemade Laundry Soap

That should get you started.  There are so many great ideas floating around the interwebz – go check them out!

Hope you’re having a great week!

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