Cleaning the house is not entertaining. I think I’d rather do 50 loads of laundry then get up close and personal with my toilet. Nobody likes it but at some point you have to do it. There is a way to save money even when you clean your house. Do not buy cleaning products. All you need is a jug of vinegar. Vinegar is the best item to use that is non-toxic but cleans and disinfects your whole entire home. I stopped buying household cleaners at least 18 years ago – maybe more. When we lived with my in-laws, that is all my mother-in-law used to clean her house, and she didn’t even go buy vinegar, but used wine vinegar. Any wine my father-in-law made that turned bad, she would use for cleaning. How is that for recycling! I think the last generation recycled much better than we do, but I wouldn’t use wine vinegar to clean. Although it worked for my mother-in-law, it could stain some of your household surfaces. Use regular white vinegar instead.
Vinegar is made up of about 5% acetic acid and 95% water. The acidity is what helps loosen dirt and grease. It can be used on any surface, although I avoid using it on my wooden furniture. Y0u can use it on wood, I do use it on my parquet floors, but, depending on the amount of vinegar you use, over time it could make the furniture look worn. Instead, I just use a microfiber cloth to dust my furniture. Vinegar can be used on your countertops (unless they are marble), the shower, bath, toilet, wooden floors, linoleum or vinyl floors, windows, and appliances. Vinegar has been shown to kill many bacteria, molds and viruses including E. coli and the influenza virus. It can disinfect as well as bleach does but never mix vinegar and bleach together as it will create a toxic chlorine gas. I mix my vinegar with water and a drop or two of dish soap along with some essential oils to make it smell good. The mixture I use is below. You can play with the amount of water to vinegar ratio depending what you are cleaning. Some people like a 50/50 water and vinegar ratio but I thing that’s a bit too strong.
I also use straight vinegar in some of my loads of laundry if the load is smelly or especially dirty. I always use it in my towel load because it makes the towels smell nice and makes them soft. I put about 1 cup into my load to wash.
Some people don’t like the smell of vinegar but the smell quickly dissipates. If you really don’t like the smell of vinegar, try adding some type of essential oil to your vinegar mix. It gives it a nice fresh scent. I’ve used peppermint, orange, lemon and lavender oils at different times.
Vinegar will also remove rust, lime and soap scum. Use it to clean your kettle or coffee maker; it will dissolve any hard water build up. Put a half cup to a cup into your kettle and fill with water, let it boil and then cool down. Once cool, wash your kettle and boil again with clear water to remove any residue. The same with your coffee maker. Let the vinegar and water run through your coffee maker several times and then run clear water through your coffee maker a few more times. You will find it cleans up the inside of your coffee maker and coffee brews more quickly and effectively.
Vinegar will effectively remove grease from your stove. Spray the above mixture on your stove top, sprinkle with baking soda, and let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes, then wipe clean with a wet dishcloth. If you have a hard-to-clean pan or pot, leave some vinegar, baking soda and water to sit for an hour or more and then you will be able to clean the pan without much trouble.
The cost? Pennies. I buy two 5 litre jugs of Allen’s Original White Vinegar at Costco for $5.69. I can go through two 5 litre jugs fairly quickly because I do use it everyday, but at that price ($2.85 per jug), you can’t go wrong. How much cheaper is that compared to buying a cleaner for your bathrooms, a cleaner for your kitchen, a cleaner for your stove top, a cleaner for your floors. It is quick, easy to use and will clean your home easily. Try cleaning with vinegar and water for a month. You will see that it’s easy, costs you much less and cleans your home effectively.