Save Money on Cleaning Products by Using 6 Common Household Items

There are so many cleaning products out there. Just a walk down the cleaning product aisle in the grocery store is an assault on the senses, so many colors and smells, and potentially the pocket book. There is a cleaner for every household problem and many of them work great. But when money is tight or you don't have time to run to the market to buy that perfect cleanser or spray, it is good to know that there are a some common household items that pack a cleaning punch.

Baking Soda
Baking Soda is so versatile. Below are two of my favorite ways to use it around the house. For more ideas see my post The Amazing Wonders of Baking Soda.
  • Gently scrub away baked on foods: Sprinkle a thick layer of baking soda on any pot or pan that has a baked on mess. Add a little water to make a paste and scrub. Add more baking soda as needed. Also good to shine the outside of a pot with out scratching.
  • Our favorite deodorizer: We all know that a box in the fridge works great but other places where baking soda works well are - the cabinets under the sink in the bathroom, the laundry room and sprinkled on floor mats in the car to absorb moisture and odors.

  • Clean and brighten costume jewelry: put a dab of toothpaste on a damp old toothbrush and gently scrub, rinse and dry. This will remove accumulated dirt brighten the rhinestones.
  • Remove crayon marks from walls: You will need non-gel toothpaste for this. Dab a small amount on the crayon mark and rub with a soft cloth. Rinse and repeat if necessary.
  • Get rid of garlic and onion smell: If your cutting board or cooking utensils are retaining the scent of the garlic or onion you just chopped, rub some toothpaste on and then rinse. To get rid of garlic or onion oder on your hands, rub a little toothpaste between your palms and around your fingers.

Dryer Sheets
I haven't tried either of these tips but I'm interested to see if they'll work.
  • Cleaning a pan: Another method to clean a messy pan is to fill with water, add a dryer sheet and let soak for a few hours, wipe and rinse.
  • Clean soap scum and mineral deposits off of your shower walls: Wipe shower surfaces with a wet dryer sheet.

  • Soak up a greasy spill: If you spill cooking oil or drip grease on your counter or floor pour salt onto the spill and let set for a minute then wipe up with a paper towel. The salt absorbs the greats and makes clean up much easier.
  • Clean Veggies and mushrooms: Clean the grit and hidden dirt off of mushrooms and leafy greens by placing them in a ziploc filled about 1/3 with water, add 1 Tbl salt and swirl the water to mix the salt. Add your mushrooms or greens, close the bag and swish. Rinse with clear water.
  • Rub away water marks: To remove those frustrating marks left on wooden furniture from water glasses and spills, gently rub with a paste of salt and cooking oil, allow to sit for about a minute then wipe with a soft cloth and polish.

  • Clean your coffee pot: This is a well known and well used method to keep your drip coffee maker clean and free from hard water deposits. Run 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water through the brewing cycle. Allow the pot to cool for a short time then run a full pot of fresh water through. You should clean your pot once a month. If you haven't cleaned your coffee maker in a while stop reading this post and go take care of it right away. You'll thank me the next time you make a pot of coffee.
  • Keep colors bright: To keep the colors on new clothes and towels bright and run resistant, soak them in 1 part vinegar to 1 part cold water for 15 minutes before their first washing.
  • Clean clogging deposits off of your shower head: Pour some white vinegar into a plastic bag and rubber band it around the shower head so that the shower head is sitting in the vinegar. Allow to soak for half and hour.
  • Damp mop: Fill you bucket with 1 cup vinegar to a gallon of water. Cleans and deodorizes your floor. (Warning: the smell of the vinegar may also make you want to color Easter eggs. Or maybe that' just my problem)

  • Get rid of ring around the collar: rub white chalk over the dirt around your collar. The chalk is supposed to absorb the oils and make the color easier to clean. I haven't tried this one but it seems like it should work.
  • Tarnish prevention: Wrap some chalk in cheesecloth and place alongside your silver. The chalk will absorb the moisture and help prevent tarnish from starting.

What common household products do double duty for you? Post a comment and share your cleaning suggestions.
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Anonymous said...

To clean your ironing spray bottle, hold the sprayer in
1/4 cup of vinegar and spray away. It will be back to spraying perfectly in a few seconds. Don't forget to rinse it out before using again.

kelly said...


Here's a home-made mouth-freshener if you run out of some at home!
1. Peppermint oil
2. baking soda
3. lemon/lime juice

Dee Ann said...

Good additions to the list. I can't wait to try them both.