Non-Toxic Cleaning Supplies for Frugal Moms

Once upon a time, when I was single and had this thing called “extra time,” I learned how to make my own cleaning products. I grated bars of soap for laundry detergent, boiled and mixed various ingredients for dish washing detergents….maybe I had too much extra time. Back then, I made all of these things because they were so much cheaper than buying them. Now I have three kids and we’re still on a tight budget, but I don’t have as much time to concoct all these cleaning potions. With little ones in the house, now it’s even more important to have non-toxic cleaning supplies. Through lots of trial and error, and the magic of the Internet, I’ve found some cleaning supplies that work well for us, are non-toxic, and aren’t too expensive.

Some of these products don’t seem “cheap,” but they’re good quality. I don’t have the time (or money!) to waste on products that don’t work well!

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Super Frugal Cleaning Supplies

These “cleaning supplies” are super frugal because you probably have many of them in your kitchen already. Just be sure that you’re using them right (because I wasn’t!)

 

White Vinegar

White vinegar is a natural disinfectant, but it is not actually that good at cleaning dirt. I use vinegar in my kitchen to degrease and disinfect the countertops. I’ve learned that I don’t have to add water to white vinegar when using it as a cleaner, because run-of-the-mill white vinegar is actually very diluted. When you clean windows or mirrors, though, you’ll want to dilute the vinegar because the acidity can pull up the coating on the glass.

Pure Garden Vinegar is super acidic, so it’s  very concentrated for cleaning. It’s so concentrated that I had to wear a mask and gloves while cleaning! I looked really cute. And, I couldn’t clean when my babies were nearby.  With it’s crazy potent smell, there’s no way any germs survived. But, garden vinegar is expensive so it isn’t cost-effective and I will stick to the good ol’ grocery store kind.

I recently learned that I’ve been misusing vinegar as a cleaner for years.  I sprinkled baking soda in my sink, poured some vinegar on it, and sat back, thinking I was making some kind of cleaning magic as they bubbled away together. But I might as well have “cleaned” with water. Adding vinegar on top of the baking soda made them have approximately the same pH as H20. The baking soda did a good job scrubbing away, but no actual disinfecting happened. Gross. Letting that vinegar sit for a while before adding the baking soda is a better bet.

Vinegar Cleaning Spray Recipes

Citrus-Infused Vinegar Spray

Shower Cleaning Spray (skip the water, if you want!)

 

Baking Soda

Baking soda makes a good scrubber for tile, sinks, and bath tubs. Just add a little water to make a paste, and scrub away!

Other Baking Soda Uses

Place a box of baking soda in your refrigerator or coat closet to keep away musty smells.

Clean your oven by spraying it with vinegar and lemon juice, and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes. Then, add baking soda to scrub off all the baked on gunk. (Baking soda and lemon will also neutralize each other, so make sure to use the lemon and vinegar first!)

 

Lemon

Not only does lemon make everything smell amazing, it has antibacterial and antiseptic powers. It’s also a natural bleach, which I learned in a junior high hair incident. You can cut a lemon in half and get scrubbing, or use bottled lemon juice.

Lemon Cleaning Ideas

Mix lemon with vinegar for extra cleaning power

Lemon dust cloths

Clean your microwave with lemon

 

Dust Mitt

I think dusting sprays are about the most ridiculous products out there. Dust could literally be wiped off with a finger. Why do I need to buy an expensive spray? For not much more than a dusting spray, you can buy a  dust mitt that will last a couple of years. I just get mine a little bit wet, and it grabs the dust and traps it away. This is perfect for my kids, too. They love to dust with it, and they look so cute with a giant blue hand.

 

Castile Soap

Castile soap is typically made with olive oil. It’s really good at getting rid of dirt (unlike vinegar) but it isn’t good at disinfecting (unlike vinegar.) Pair it with some essential oils to get a grime-fighting all purpose spray.

Cleaning Recipes

All purpose cleaner

Stone counter spray

Laundry soap

My little ones love “helping” mom- isn’t that the sweetest stage? I know it won’t last long. I don’t have to worry about what’s in the cleaning products we use.

Good Value, But Not Cheap

These things last a long time and work well, but aren’t necessarily cheap.

Essential Oils

You know of the magical powers of essential oils. I won’t list all the possible cleaning combinations, but I love the Cleaning Synergy Blend by Edens Garden. It saves me time because I don’t have to mix different types of oils- it’s already done for me. Essential oil brands are kind of a controversial topic these days (what isn’t, though??) but I did a lot of research before deciding to go with this brand. The’re cost effective, and from my research and opinion, they’re good quality. I just mix the cleaning blend per package directions, and have a quick and easy multi-purpose cleaner.

Essential Oil Cleaning Recipes

Seven Recipes for Cleaning with Essential Oils

 

Bissell Steam Mop

When I was pregnant, mopping was such a huge chore. I always had to get on my hands and knees to scrape little food bits of the floor with a rubber scraper. Not fun. I realized I needed a better mop, did lots of research, and ended up getting the Bissell Steam Mop.   It cleans with steam; no harsh chemicals at all. (It comes with little Febreeze packets but I don’t need my floor to smell like a summer day.) I, because it’s a big investment. But I had been using another “green” mop that basically had been pushing the dirt around on my floor for several years. There is a less expensive steam mop, the Shark Steam Pocket Mop. that I had my eye on. I chose the Bissell mop because of the option to control the level of steam. We have finicky wood floors, and they start to get deformed when someone dribbles their water on them.

Window Cleaning Cloths

This is a two-step window cleaning process, but it’s still really quick. Wipe off the grime and fingerprints and yogurt (in my house, there is always yogurt on the windows!) with the cleaning towel, and then follow that up with the polishing cloth. Windows turn out amazingly streak free.

Country Save Laundry Detergent

The Amazon price is nothing to write home about, but the retail price of Country Save makes this non-toxic detergent about $0.12 a load. It’s fragrance free, and highly recommended for people with sensitive skin. My little guy E(2) turns bright red at the hint of harsh detergents. I did lots of research, and this seemed to be the best, most cost-effective option.

Krud Kutter

I once read an article written by a professional home cleaner, and she said that only uses two cleaning products: vinegar and Krud Kutter. Even though things that are purposely spelled wrong drive me crazy, I decided to try it. It’s non-toxic, bio-degradable, and overall isn’t going to poison your kids (or so I’ve read.) It’s more expensive than your run-of-the-mill green cleaner, but it’s just so much more powerful! Our 32 ounce bottle lasted for about a year. We’ve cleaned the filmy layer of dust off of our metal blinds, the greasy stuff on the stove, and the gunk in the shower.

Antibacterial Rug

It’s smart to stop dirt from coming in instead of always just cleaning it up. We have two rugs similar to this, one at our back door, and one at the door leading to the garage. I’m not sure if they actually kill bacteria, but they make a noticeable difference in preventing dirt from coming in our home.

e-cloth General Purpose Cloths

These general purpose cleaning cloths are proven to kill 99% of bacteria, including some that cause serious illnesses. These are just a little over $5 a piece, making them a smart choice for cleaning everything from kitchen counters to bathroom floors. Keep a few in your kitchen for a super quick clean up- no cleaning sprays needed.

Keeping a clean home without dangerous chemicals can be expensive, or you can use natural or reusable non-toxic cleaning products.

#Non-toxic #cleaning doesn't have to be super expensive.

 

 

With little ones around, #non-toxic #cleaning supplies are a must. These are #frugal or have great value.

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