By Angela Colley
Cleaning products and personal care items once consumed a sizable chunk of my discretionary income. But now the cabinet under my sink only has trash bags, a bottle of vinegar, and a box of baking soda.
Household items like vinegar, baking soda, salt, and even beer can replace many of the products you use to clean, do laundry, garden, or take care of yourself. And they’re cheaper to boot. Here are 19 ways I’ve found to replace expensive store-bought chemicals…
- How to Avoid Disaster With a Store Credit Card
- Here's How to Stay Within Your Budget This Black Friday Weekend
- Spend Thanksgiving Day In Shopping Mode? More Americans Are
- Loyalty Programs and Your Small Business: Which Ones Work?
- 'Hidden Price' of Business Is Paid by You, Making a Customer Service Complaint
Around the house…
1. Clean glass
Mix a quarter-cup of white vinegar and 3 cups of water in a spray bottle, and you have a better glass cleaner than any commercial product you could buy. Just spray it on, wipe it down with a piece of newspaper, and you’re done!
2. Clean porcelain and chrome
I use the same vinegar mixture to clean my bathroom. The vinegar is mild enough that it won’t etch the porcelain on my vanity, and it makes the chrome faucets shine.
3. Scrub stuck-on food and stains
Baking soda works as an alternative to abrasive cleaners like Comet. You can sprinkle dry baking soda on stuck-on food, or combine the baking soda with a little water to make a softer scrub for bathtubs and shower tiles.
4. Deodorize carpet
Sprinkling baking soda on carpet removes odors. Cover the entire area with a light sprinkling and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour, then vacuum it up. The baking soda will absorb the smell. It works great on pet smells and other mild odors.
5. Mop tile floors
I’m in love with my Swiffer Wet Mop – just not the chemical fest cleaner that comes with it. Instead, I mix a half-cup of vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle and spritz it as I mop. It doesn’t smell great at first, but the vinegar mixture is tough enough to remove stains and the smell disappears as it dries.