Are you spending too much money on household cleaning products? Aren’t we all?!
We expect you have already made some discoveries about objects and substances around the house that double as excellent cleaners. However, we ‘d also guess there are some you haven’t discovered yet. You’ll be surprised by at least one.
If you’ve been wondering, “how do I clean my space without cleaning out my wallet?” read on. We have some secrets to share with you here.
Inexpensive and Unexpected Cleaning Products
We have most, if not everything, in this list in our homes already. And yes, they all do a good job with these and other cleaning tasks. If you don’t believe this, just wait until the next time you accidentally drop a penny in a bowl of ketchup.
Wait! Is this what Lincoln actually looked like?
This is by far the best all-purpose cleaner you’ll find for the cost. A gallon of vinegar usually costs $2-3. Other good cleaners cost much more than this for much less product.
White vinegar can clean pretty much any household surface. If you mix it with baking soda, it will unclog most drains. And It can be mixed with other inexpensive substances to clean various floor types.
Did you know that vinegar also kills weeds? Put some in a spray bottle and apply to leaves (just like that chemical we now know causes cancer). Wait a few days and see what’s happened to the weeds! It’s especially effective with dandelions.
Have some silver jewelry that needs polishing? Just line a bowl with aluminum foil, cover that with baking soda, and set your jewelry on top of the foil. Pour boiling water on everything in the bowl and wait a couple of minutes.
Remove the jewelry, rinse in cold water, and dry. Good as new! Caution: don’t use this technique for any jewelry that has been glued in some way, such as that with inlaid stones.
Did you ever hear the saying, “when life gives you lemons, make furniture polish”? We didn’t think so. Here’s the recipe, though:
Mix one part lemon juice with one part olive oil (unflavored). Place in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, and shake. Apply to furniture and refrigerate and use within a few days. After that, it will go bad.
Olive oil is another “jack of all trades” substance.
It oil makes a great bath product for people with dry skin. It’s a little messy but works wonders. You can also simply rub it directly onto your skin.
Olive oil is a good eye make-up remover that also happens to loosen and remove earwax.
Mixing olive oil with your cat’s food helps to eliminate hairballs, and it helps us humans get shiny hair. And (parents take note) it removes stickers form surfaces and chewing gum from hair.
You probably know that rubbing alcohol disinfects things like thermometers, but did you know that it also makes bug bites stop itching (for a while)?
It also removes ink and marker from cloth. This takes a fair amount of effort (and alcohol), but it works eventually and it’s worth it if it can save a favorite article of clothing.
Mix with water and vinegar and get a great window cleaner.
And we were surprised to discover that rubbing alcohol is good for removing frost from car windows in a hurry.
Save these if their bristles are still intact when they’re no longer good for brushing teeth. Be sure to sterilize them before use, though.
Used toothbrushes are quite handy for scrubbing around drain rims, sink fixtures, and other narrow or indented places. They are also one of the best floor cleaners–helping you get into corners and crevices.
Where else would you find a scrub brush in this size?
Rubber Kitchen Gloves
Besides protecting your hands when washing dishes, these are great for removing pet hair from upholstered furniture. They work, no matter what, but work even better if you moisten them first and at intervals until all hair is removed.
Dry these out before using, then sprinkle on your lawn’s bare patches. They help grass grow there.
Besides making a lot of food taste better, ketchup is a kind of miracle cleaner–especially for certain metals.
It works as a polish for copper, stainless steel, and silver. Seriously, try dropping a penny into a bowl of ketchup and see what happens!
A ketchup bottle is also handy–for pouring out pancake batter, decorating cakes and cupcakes, and (after attaching to the nozzle of your vacuum cleaner, cleaning computer keyboards.
Most of us have seen YouTube videos of Coke being used to clean toilet bowls. It’s also an effective bug-killer (that bugs are drawn to). And it removes chewing gum that is stuck in hair. Coke might well be one of the best cleaners around!
But wait–that’s not all! Coke also is said to remove burnt food from cooking pans. It will help grow the microorganisms in your compost bin so that composting is speedier. And it removes paint.
To read more about this remarkable concoction, check out this site.
But how many of us actually have Coca-Cola sitting around the house?
But Are These Cleaners Really That Good?
Do these cleaners work? No, really, do they?
You may have noticed that most of the liquids listed here are acidic, even corrosive (even though most also are edible). Baking soda? Well, we’ve all seen it react when it’s mixed with an acid or has hot water poured on it. Chemistry class, anyone?
Rubbing alcohol (one liquid not to be ingested) is a pretty powerful solvent that also dries quickly.
As for rubber gloves and toothbrushes–these happen to have been created for specific functions and have had others discovered later on. Pretty simple, eh?
A little Extra Benefit–to Conclude
An added benefit to these surprise cleaners is that they’re good for the environment in one way or another (the jury’s still out on Coca-Cola, though). Since most of them are things we eat, they’re pretty safe.
And just think of the money you can save while protecting the planet. If coffee is the most expensive item on this list, and you only need to use the grounds, you know what bargain sustainability really is.
Don’t forget either, there are many branded cleaning products available that are non-toxic green cleaners, made with natural ingredients.
So grab your reusable shopping bags and head out to the store to replenish any cleaning products you might be running low on. And check out some of the “safer choice” citric acid-based cleaners while you’re there!
Keep tabs on our blog for more lifestyle tips!