6 Ways to Save Money By Cleaning Old-School Style

by Serious Coin

Save a few bucks by using simple cleaning ingredients that were good enough for grandma.

Yup. Sometimes it really is that simple.

Be honest now: If Chanel made a counter cleaner, you’d try it. It’s the power of branding, and don’t pretend you’re immune because we know about your Swiffer.

We’ve got a better idea: Instead of investing in somebody else’s brand, invest in your own ability to keep buying $5 lattes. You can save a few bucks just by using simple ingredients that were good enough for grandma.

1. Dr. Bronner’s. They call it magic. We call it awesome. One gallon bottle of the 18-in-1 concentrated castile soap, made with jojoba oil and organic olive oil, will last you all year and turn plain water into handwash (scents range from peppermint, citrus, rose and lavender) with just a few tablespoons.

2. A couple gallons of distilled white vinegar and a bucket is all it takes to replace your Windex collection and your Swiffer plastic mops and refills. One part vinegar and one part water will clean any glass, mirror, counter, tile floor or surface. Plus, vinegar kills bacteria, mold and germs, and has been around for 10,000 years. It knows what it’s doing.

3. Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda. It worked in 1846 and it works today. Two 16-ounce boxes of the environmentally safe powder will scrub off dirt and grime. Mix one part vinegar with one part baking soda. That beats splurging on Kaboom Bowl Blaster Foam and 2-count refill packs any day.

4. Hydrogen peroxide. That big brown bottle may not be as sleek as your Soft Scrub, but a gallon or two will last all year. One third hydrogen peroxide with two-thirds water applied to a rag makes a cleaning solution that can be used on cutting boards and other wood surfaces to help kill salmonella and germs. You can also use it as a bathroom cleaner and disinfectant.

5. Lemon juice and olive oil can replace that canister of Pledge wood spray. Two parts lemon juice, one part olive oil and a rag will spruce up that credenza in a jiffy.

6. Opt for a homemade waterless sanitizer rather than chemical-laden Purell or Lysol. Try 60 percent alcohol, 40 percent distilled water and a few drops of essential oil like tea tree, which smells nice and like many essential oils, is antifungal and antibiotic.

How Do We Know All This? Cuz we’re brilliant. Also:
Cleaning with essential oils: It’s the jam.
Check out 6 ways to clean green with stuff you probably already have at home.
There are 150+ ways to use vinegar for cleaning in and around the home. That is crazy.

-Sarah McClure, Serious Coin contributor

Photo credit: Russell Sadur/Getty Images