I’m a clean freak. I admit it. When stressed, I clean. It’s a win-win situation. However, I’m also very conscious about what I spend on cleaning supplies, so when a DIY cleaning project pops up, I give it a try. Like housework, cleaning supplies are temporary, with most materials ending up washing down the drain so it only makes sense to save money whenever possible on cleaning supplies. Here are a few of my favorite DIY cleaning projects for frugal families.
DIY Cleaning Projects to Save You Money
1. Get rid of water spots. We have well water, full of iron. I can spend hours scouring bathroom fixtures to have them yellowed by the next day. To help combat water spots and mineral deposits, I wipe the bathroom fixtures down with WD-40, then polish the faucets and shower doors with wax paper to help repel water longer.
2. Environmentally friendly floor cleaner. Living on an organic means I have to pay special attention to everything that goes down the drain. To clean floors, I like to mix a half cup of vinegar, a half cup of washing soda (Arm and Hammer Baking Soda), a Tablespoon of grated Fels-Naptha, and two gallons of hot water. This mixture cleans well without a residue.
3. Toilet Cleaner. Living with a house full of energetic boys, I tend to clean overspray off the toilet daily. Instead of buying toilet cleaner by the case, I keep a tub of baking soda and lemon juice (mixed to a honey consistency) to scrub away odors. Let the paste sit for a half an hour, then spray with vinegar to bubble away the stains and smell. Clean off the paste with a damp cloth for a sparkling clean toilet.
4. Laundry Pretreater. My laundry hamper often looks like a rag bag. You’ll never know what you’ll find in there, but constant staples are machinery grease and layers of mud, sometimes combined to create a stain that would send Heloise running for her supplies. One of my favorite DIY laundry pre-treaters is a paste of baking soda, a few squirts of hydrogen peroxide, a little Dawn dishwashing liquid (yes, it must be Dawn), and fabric softener. My measurements aren’t precise; I add what I need to make a thick paste. Be sure to spot test on different fabrics before using.
5. Dishwasher Powder. With hard water, getting dishes clean can sometimes be a real challenge. My favorite DIY dishwasher powder is a mixture of one tablespoon of powdered bleach (the oxygen bleach cleaner works best), one half teaspoon of Dawn dish soap (yes, it must be Dawn again). To help fight soap scum on glassware, I also place a half cup of white vinegar in a cup or bowl in the top rack to act as a rinse aid. Dishes usually come out spotless.
6. Carpet Freshener. We have a cat and two house rabbits indoors. Needless to say, sometimes my carpet is less than fresh smelling, even with regular vacuuming. To help combat the pet odor, we mix up our own carpet freshener from two cups washing soda (baking soda), one cup Borax, and 4 Tablespoons of finely grated orange peel. Just sprinkle on, let sit for a half an hour (and encourage the kids to walk all over it), then vacuum up the remains.
What DIY cleaning solutions have you tried that work?