If you're anything like us, you have felt annoyed at spending a ton of money on harsh chemicals to clean your house. The ammonia is gross while you're cleaning, it smells awful and leaves you with a fair amount of plastic waste to deal with. Maybe you opt for a more "green" cleaning spray but it's even more expensive and might leave streaks or residue behind. We feel your frustration and have been diligently testing to bring you the best tips, tricks, and solutions. Here is our sustainable cleaning-hack-roundup.
TLDR: To save your wallet & the planet you can replace all your cleaning products with vinegar water spray in a reusable glass spray bottle, replace paper towels with euro sponge cloths, and make your own Goo Gone with items you already have!
I decided to compare what I used to buy with current *November 2022 prices at my local big box store and do a little price comparison on what I’ve replaced to show how much money you can save.
Window & Glass Cleaner- The leading glass cleaner costs $4.79 for a 26 fl oz bottle and contains chemicals known to cause skin, eye, and respiratory irritation.
Replace With- Water & Vinegar (equal parts). 128 fl oz of Distilled White Vinegar is $3.18 and will make 10+ bottles of cleaner. If you re-use an existing spray bottle, your total cost per bottle is approximately $0.32.
But the best part is that I can attest to the fact that you can virtually ditch all of your other cleaning products.
This is where things get exciting!
Below is how much money you can really actually save.
The products I used before replacing them with my own cleaning spray.
A leading brand Surface/ Counter spray will cost $4.79 – $5.03. Shower cleaning spray (calcium buildup removers) will cost $4.69. Dishwasher rinse agents for hard water cost $5.89. Leading brand fabric softener costs $10.99. Leading brand dryer sheets cost $6.99. Washing machine cleaner costs $7.89. Floor and tile cleaning solution (for a Multi-Surface Device costs $17.99. Note that using a non-brand solution in this device could void your warranty, just be aware, please. I could definitely go on, but these are some big ones.
That is a recurring total of $68.75 saved.
I have replaced all of those to clean my entire house for $0.32 per bottle and never have to deal with nasty fumes or feel my skin or eyes burning as I did before. I dilute my bottles and add 10 drops of essential oils (or vanilla extract), which cuts the vinegar smell. The vinegar smell dissipates very quickly after it hits the air. I let anything with hard water deposits, such as bathroom drains, faucets, and shower heads, sit with the vinegar for 15-30 minutes. I use it instead of fabric softener, and my clothes feel cleaner and softer. My dishes still have a streak-free shine by adding a small drinking cup of diluted vinegar face-up when I run my dishwasher. So I could wax poetic about vinegar and how amazing it is and how we should all clean like our grannies, but here are some more useful tips I am currently loving.
I replaced my paper towels 100% with this set of 3 Swedish dishcloths. However, I don’t use them just for my dishes. I use them for the 3 main reasons I still used paper towels rather than rags. 1) When a pet throws up on the tile floor 2)Cleaning sprays that I don’t want on my dish sponge 3) Soaking up food grease such as a plate of bacon. I would never have used a dishrag to clean up dog mess, nor a sponge to clean the top of the toilet, nor a fabric towel to soak up bacon grease. Therefore I was still consuming a fair amount of paper towels. The fabric was not accomplishing what I needed to feel hygienic and useful in these 3 scenarios. I have seen other “Swedish dishcloths” before, and while cute when new, I found the fading patterns and colors to be a drawback. However, the white cellulose cloths above look and feel close enough to paper towels that a complete swap has worked for me. I labeled them on the back with “pet mess/ floors,” “counter sprays,” and “Food only”. I cannot stress how much I love them and feel comfortable cleaning and storing them hygienically between uses. During Thanksgiving, it was straightforward enough for our family to adopt as well. How much are my savings?
The basic paper towels we used to buy cost $18.52 for a pack of 12. This is a recurring amount and can be replaced by these 3 simple sheets for 6 months to a year. I have used them for about 6 months now, and they hold up very well for the uses I noted above (using them instead of paper towels).
Lastly, ditch the Goo/ Adhesive Remover with equal parts vegetable or olive oil and baking soda with a few drops of lemon juice. Let it sit, and then use the lemon rind or normal scouring brush to scrub the mixture. This can be used for baked-on goo, in the oven, grease, label residue, and anything sticky that you’d try Goo Gone for.
We hope this adds value to your life, and please let us know if we missed anything or if you try any of the tips!
Yours in Care and Kindness,