A couple of years ago I began dabbling in the world of baking soda and vinegar as cleaning products, but didn’t get into it whole-heartedly. Then when we moved here I didn’t bring any cleaners with me and thought it’d be the perfect time to see how long I could go without buying any cleaners….well we’ve been here going on 9 months, and I’ve purchased almost none! So what have I been using the last 9 months? I’m glad you asked! :)

Vinegar

You can buy a nice big jug of distilled white vinegar for just a couple bucks.

I use it for:

  • Cleaning mirrors and windows, just keep it in a spray bottle for easy use.
  • Sometimes I clean my floor with just hot water, but sometimes I use vinegar too.
  • Pour some baking soda, vinegar and then hot water down a slow drain to help clear it out.
  • Use in place of fabric softener.

 

Vinegar makes great window/mirror cleaner!

Baking Soda

I like to buy the larger boxes of baking soda and use it not just for baking, but also for cleaning!

It works great on:

 

Keep baking soda in a spice jar for easy use.

Keeping baking soda in a spice bottle makes it easy to sprinkle around for cleaning!

 

Disinfecting Wipes

Disinfecting wipes are really the only store-bought cleaning supply I have right now (not counting dish soap). I know they’re not the most frugal choice, but they come in handy, like when we were chopping up meat from an entire deer on our kitchen table! I’ve been reading about various DIY disinfecting wipes and if I do try it, I’ll have to make a new post! :)

Any recommendations on homemade disinfecting wipes?

This post is linked at Frugally Sustainable and A Blossoming Life.

 

 

 

 

Amy 

 

There seems to be a big move towards home-made cleaning products. They’re cheaper, more natural and supposedly better for the environment, but to be honest sometimes the thought of making all my own cleaning products seems daunting. Mixing ingredients that I don’t usually have around the house, or cooking laundry soap over the stove kinda daunts me at this point. The good news is, I’ve discovered just because I don’t want to cook up my own cleaners, doesn’t mean that I have to buy all my cleaning products either!

Elbow Grease

We get in such a habit of using a special cleaning product for every surface that could ever be imagined. There’s floor cleaner, oven cleaner, window cleaner, furniture polish….. While it can be good to have some specific cleaners, it’s not always necessary. I usually wipe down my counters, tables or shelves with just a damp cloth…no cleaner at all. Unless I’m cleaning up raw chicken or a super gooey mess, a damp cloth and a little elbow grease usually does the trick!

Soaking

When I have to clean out my crock pot I usually fill it with water and maybe a little soap and let it sit! I let the soaking do most of the work for me. Then when I wash it out, usually most of the hardest gunk falls right off. Soaking can also be done with stained clothes.

Vinegar instead of Windex

I did a post on this before and in my post I mixed white vinegar and water, but I’ve changed that and now I just do all vinegar. Just put it in a spray bottle and spray your windows and mirrors then clean with an old newspaper or rag. I like using microfiber cloths. You can impress your friends by telling them you make your own windex, and they never have to know it’s just one ingredient!

Vinegar for Fabric Softener

I like to soak stinky shirts in white vinegar to help get rid of the smell, but it also has other benefits in laundry use, which you can read about here.

Baking Soda

Baking soda can be used for many a cleaning job. It  works good for scrubbing, especially when paired with an old toothbrush and it helps get rid of odors (as does vinegar). You can sprinkle some in the toilet bowl, clean sinks or counter tops with it. To make it handier to use you can keep it in an old spice bottle and sprinkle out as much as you need.

Keep baking soda in a spice jar for easy use.

Vinegar + Baking Soda

Mix the two ingredients and you have a bubbly reaction! I’ve used these two together to put down sink drains to get rid of odors and help keep the drains clear.

Easy Air Freshener

I’ve made my own Febreeze using fabric softener. It worked pretty well too.

Have you tried making home-made cleaners and detergents? Do you just buy them? Or do you meet in the middle, like me?

Baking soda….so many uses, so versatile, so cheap, so wonderful! While, I do use many store-bought cleaners, I really like my baking soda cleaner. I’ve started buying the big boxes of it to use not only in baking, but also in cleaning. My favorite things to clean with it are my bathroom and kitchen sink, and occasionally I even use it in my toilet bowl. I used to just grab a spoon and spoon out a little at a time to use, but then I saw on pinterest someone had used an old spice bottle to store their baking powder. Now I have an oregano bottle converted to a baking soda bottle. I have reasons 5 why I like this:

  1. It helps keep my cooking baking soda and cleaning baking soda separate.
  2. It’s less bulky to take a little container into the bathroom to clean than a big box.
  3. I like how I can sprinkle a small amount in my sinks. I think I actually use less this way.
  4. Since it’s easy to use, I feel like I’m less likely to grab my chemically cleaners when scrubbing.
  5. For extra cleaning power and a science experiment for the kids, put a little vinegar on the baking soda when cleaning and watch the bubbles fizz!
  6. UPDATE: I forgot about this until I was cleaning my cutting board, but having the baking soda in the bottle makes it perfect for sprinkling on my cutting board to get strong smells out.

Any of you out there clean with baking soda?

This post is shared at Tammy’s Recipes for Kitchen Tip Tuesdays. Thanks Tammy!

About a year or two ago I got this wooden cutting board that I LOVE! I use the cutting board almost every day for fruits and veggies (I have a separate one for raw chicken of course). But sometimes when I cut up onions or garlic the smell lingers, which doesn’t bother me that much, unless I want to cut up a nice juicy apple. As much as I love garlic taste, I don’t care for it on my apples. So I’ve learned this great way to get ride of the smell! Just put some baking soda on your cutting board.

Then add a little water to make a paste, and rub it in with your hands.

Bonus: It might help any onion or garlic smell on your hands too! Sorry this picture is blurry, but in my defense, my right hand was having to pose, while my left hand was snapping the picture, a little too much multitasking for me!

This post is shared at Tammy’s Recipes for Kitchen Tip Tuesday

Those are some dirty hands!

Cameron and I recently discovered a trick for really greasy hands. He’s been working on our car  lot. I was in a minor fender bender. Anyways….back to the matter at hand…or rather on Cameron’s hands…haha! He wanted to wash his hands with something to get all the black car grease off and I thought we could try baking soda. So he washed his hands with soap and baking soda and we were both amazed at how well it worked! But you’ll just have to take my word for it, because I forgot to take an after picture (sorry, I know that’s being a bad blogger). It really did work well though. And I buy my baking soda in a big generic brand box, so this is a really frugal way to clean those messy working hands! But when he was done cleaning his hands my sink was all black and needed to be cleaned…with baking soda too!

To continue with the vinegar theme (this is national vinegar month). You can use baking soda and vinegar to clean a lot of things. I’ve used it in my kitchen and bathroom sink and tub. My favorite part is when you pour the vinegar over the baking soda and it bubbles and fizzes! =) I especially like using it in my kitchen sink because, when it goes down the drain it helps get rid of any bad smells.

Sometimes I make a kind of paste with the baking soda and little bit of water and scrub with that before adding the vinegar. And I like to save my old toothbrushes, they’re great for getting into little corners. This is a great way to clean if you’re trying to stay away from chemicals.

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