LIFE

Save Over $800 A Year By Switching Out These Basic Household Cleaning Products!

by Todd Briscoe
Todd is a LittleThings editor. He grew up in Texas and has lived in New York since 2003. He doesn't own a Boston terrier, but he will one day soon.

When you’re shopping for cleaning products, saving 50 cents by going for the generic brand may not seem like big savings, but think about how it adds up over a year, or three years, or ten. Saving a few cents here and there can really snowball into a significant amount.

Of course, if you want to save big money, it might be worth switching over to natural alternatives that you make at home. Personally, I keep a couple jugs of white vinegar in the house at all times, just because vinegar has so many household cleaning uses.

LittleThings decided to do some cost analysis to see exactly how much money we’d save if we took nine basic household cleaning products and swapped them out with homemade natural alternatives. We visited the closest convenience store/pharmacy to our office to price out these various products, and then we figured out how much you’d actually be paying per usage of each products — assuming you’re cleaning your house on a regular schedule.

Not only are the alternatives free of toxins and chemicals, they can literally save you thousands of dollars in the longterm.

According to our calculations, you can save the following amounts of money:

  • One month: $63.86
  • One year: $802.57
  • Two years: $2,407.70
  • Five years: $4,012.84
  • Ten years: $8,025.67

Please SHARE these amazing alternatives to help save your friends and family money!

Thanks to Maya Borenstein of LittleThings for the graphics.

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Instead of purchasing a 32-oz. shower cleaner at the store, just pour one cup of white vinegar into a spray bottle. Heat up the bottle in the microwave until it’s very warm (you do not have to do this every time you clean your shower).

Next, pour 1 T. of dish soap into the spray bottle.

Voila! You have your own natural shower cleaner sure to get off mildew without damaging your grout.

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Take care of your pipes and your wallet by switching over to a natural drain cleaner.

Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain and let that sit for a few minutes. Follow that by pouring one cup of white vinegar. You should see an immediate chemical reaction with lots of fizzing. Let this happen for a few minutes and then flush it out by pouring boiling water down the drain.

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Lemons are a natural disinfectant, so to keep your kitchen clean, mix one cup of vinegar, one cup of water, and one lemon into a spray bottle. Although not necessary, you can add some essential oils to vary the smell.

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Sponges can be a breeding ground for lots of germs and can often be the dirtiest thing in your kitchen. Experts recommend replacing a sponges at least every two weeks.

If you microwave your dish sponges for five minutes after every cleaning, however, you can double their lifespan. As long as you microwave those sponges every day to ensure that the germs are killed, you can use a kitchen sponge for up to four weeks.

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

If you have any tile and laminate floors in your house, there’s something in your own bathroom that might save you the money of purchasing floor cleaner.

Just mix a cup of mouthwash with some some warm water. It has been showing to whiten caulk, and the alcohol helps to kill germs.

You can adjust the ratio of mouthwash to water based on your own specific needs.

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Here’s a cleaning alternative that you may have already seen. Instead of reaching under the sink for toilet bowl cleaner, reach into the fridge for some cola.

Pour approximately 12 ounces (one bottle) into the toilet bowl and let it sit for an hour or longer. The acids will remove stains and the phosphoric acid will remove any limescale buildup.

For extra savings, we calculated how much you’d save by buying a two-liter bottle. If you opt to to do the same, just measure out a cup and a half into the toilet bowl.

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

If you’re someone who has to wear a white shirt to work frequently, you know how incredibly frustrating those yellow pit and “ring around the collar” stains can be. A great way of making sure those white shirts last you as long as possible is to use laundry stain removal sprays, gels, and sticks. Those can get quite pricey, however.

Instead, use a simple stick of chalk and rub it into the stained areas and the areas around the stain. Do this upon every wash.

The chalk can also help eradicate lipstick, grease, and food stains.

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

If you’re living in a house with lots of bright windows, glass tables, and mirrors, then you know how quickly you can go through a bottle of of glass cleaner.

Save yourself money by mixing one cup of rubbing alcohol, one cup of white vinegar, and one cup of water. It evaporates quickly and minimizes streaks. Make sure you label this one clearly!

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

I’m not sure how much brass you have around the house — maybe just a doorknob or too, maybe a whole rack of pots and pans — but there’s no reason at all to spend money on brass polish.

Next time you’re out to eat at a fast food restaurant, pocket a few extra ketchup packets. Rub the ketchup on a cloth, polish the brash, then rinse it off with a separate damp rag.

This is a cleaning hack that “Hints from Heloise” published over 30 years ago.

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Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Oven cleaners are one of the most toxic products you can have in your house, but all you need is probably already in your kitchen.

To clean caked-on food out of the oven, heat the oven to 125 degrees and once it’s warm, apply vinegar to the trouble areas. Once the spots are damp, pour salty directly on top. Turn off the oven and once it’s cool, use a wet towel to scrub away the mess.

No noxious fumes, but you get a clean oven!

Please SHARE with friends and family to help save them money!