Saving Money Series – Save on cleaning products

We all want to have clean homes and these tips will help you save on cleaning products. Don’t waste money when a cheap alternative is available. Save that money for something you really want!


  • Soft, white socks are great for dusting and can be washed and reused unlike paper towels or those dusting cloths that require a handle.
  • Use a pillowcase to clean ceiling fan blades. Slip the pillowcase over the blade and slide along the length of the blade. When you get near the end of the blade be sure to hold the pillowcase carefully. You can take it outside, turn it inside out and shake the dust and dirt off. Finish by laundering the pillowcase as usual. You’ll save money by not buying those fancy wands and dusters made just for fans.
  • Save money on garbage bags by breaking down boxes and crushing bottles and jugs before throwing them away. They’ll take less space and you’ll use fewer bags. *Rinse milk jugs before crushing and cap them after crushing to eliminate that spoiled milk smell in your kitchen bin.
  • Don’t buy products meant to remove hard water build up from faucets and shower heads. Slip a rubber band over the plumbing you want to clean. Pour white vinegar in a plastic bag and slip it over the faucet or showerhead. Tighten the rubber band so the bag doesn’t slip off. Let the fixture soak for several hours or overnight. Don’t bother adding baking soda in spite of what you may have read online. Combined the two make a dramatic show of foaming and bubbling but the reality is that you’ll end up with mostly water. It’s because baking soda is a “basic” and the vinegar is acidic.
  • Paper napkins are generally cheaper than paper towels. Don’t waste money using paper towels to wipe your mouth. Use napkins for meals and paper towels for clean-up.
  • Get rid of musty smells in closets with white vinegar. Cut slits or punch a few holes in the lids of plastic containers (like the ones from the deli) and fill the container with white vinegar. Place the container inside the closet and leave for a day. Keep closets smelling fresh afterward by partially filling another container with holes in the lids with baking soda.
  • Vacuum the back and the space beneath the refrigerator at least once a month. Dust clings to the condenser coils and can cause your refrigerator to overheat. Sometimes a quick vacuuming can get it working again but sometimes it means the refrigerator must be replaced.
  • When you use your electric hand mixer and other small, motorized appliances be sure to clean the vents afterward. It’s the same principle as the refrigerator. If the vents of your mixer are clogged with cake batter there’s no airflow and the motor overheats and burns out.
  • Replace spray window cleaners with a little Dawn® dish detergent and a few drops of Rain X® in hot water. Use a soft cloth to apply the mixture and a squeegee to finish. Water and dirt will roll off the exterior of windows and, used on mirrors in the bathroom, condensation will do the same keeping everything clean longer.
  • Clean your stove burners with ammonia. Just place the burners in a bag with ¼ cup of ammonia and leave them overnight. Don’t worry if the burners aren’t covered; the fumes do all the work. Do not mix the ammonia with any other cleaner and thoroughly rinse the burners before putting them back on the stove.
  • Don’t throw that last little bit of dishwashing detergent out. Sure, it’s a pain to get it to pour and turning the bottle upside down can result in a leak that’s a nightmare to clean up but you can use the end of the bottle. Pour a little hot water in the nearly empty bottle and swish it around. Then pour the resulting liquid in an empty pump bottle, the kind in which expensive hand soaps come. The result is a soap you can use when you need a quick hand wash.
  • Before buying vacuums or other cleaning equipment go to the library and read the latest Consumer Report issue covering that appliance. You can also check their Year End Report. You could potentially save hundreds of dollars and get a much better product for less.

Author: Elizabeth

I'm a wife, mom, and grandma (known as Bam) who loves cooking, baking, gardening, and all things that go into making a cozy coop for my brood. I have a disability so you may pick up tips on how to do things when some things just don't work right!

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