How to Keep Your House Clean Without Spending a Lot of Green

Buying cleaning supplies for your house can be expensive, and you have to buy different products to clean different things. So, even if one cleaning product isn’t very expensive, having to buy a dozen of them can be. In addition to cost, many people are concerned about the chemicals in cleaning products, and whether they are really safe. With many people looking for ways to cut costs, there are a number of things that you can do to keep your house clean for cheap.

  1. Use Rags – You can either buy a cheap pack of rags and reuse them or you can cut up old towels and t-shirts rather than throwing them away. If you use rags to clean instead of paper towels, you will save a lot of money.
  2. Use Sponges – Using sponges is another great way to reduce the amount of paper towels that you use.
  3. Use Newspaper – You probably don’t want to use a rag to clean your windows and mirrors as this can leave them streaky. Newspaper, however, is a great, cheap alternative to paper towels. It can be used on glass and some counter tops. However, do not use it on porcelain or white counter tops as the ink from the paper can stain the surface.
  4. Use Homemade All Purpose Cleaners – Really all you need to clean nearly every part of your house is some white vinegar and some baking soda. One suggested formula for an all purpose cleaner includes ½ a cup of vinegar with ¼ of a cup of baking soda, mixed together in a ½ gallon of water and store in a container.  What can you use it for? Everything! For example,  for cleaning counters, you can sprinkle some baking soda on them, spray some white vinegar on that, and use a sponge to wipe it off.  Then use a damp cloth afterward to clean off any leftover baking soda.
  5. Use Earth Friendly Bleach – Bleach is a cheap product, and it can be used for all purpose cleaning and disinfecting. Bleach usually needs to be diluted with water, but it makes a good bathroom cleaner, and it can be used to disinfect things like toys, plastic shower curtains, and dog bowls.
    • Here is a tip: If you have cats, hydrogen peroxide will get rid of urine odors (it breaks down the urine crystals). Spray the peroxide on the spot, let it dry, and rinse with water.
  6. Use Homemade Floor Cleaners – Diluted vinegar (mix the vinegar with equal parts water) can be used to clean nearly all floor surfaces. It is even gentle enough to be used on hardwood floors. Apply with a mop and let air dry. Note, any vinegar scent will dissipate when the vinegar dries.
  7. Use Homemade Furniture Cleaners – You can even make your own furniture cleaner at home. Olive oil and vinegar are some of the favorites when it comes to making furniture cleaner. The formula is generally three parts olive oil to one part vinegar. For example, ¾ cup of oil and ¼ cup of vinegar. This mixture can be stored, but it does need to be shaken well before use. Spray onto your rag and rub into your wooden furniture. Some people prefer to add a couple of drops of lemon juice for the smell.
    • Here is another tip: It’s always best to store your homemade cleaners somewhere that is cool and dry, like a pantry.
  8. Use Homemade Carpet Cleaners – Carbonated water is a great option for cleaning small spills and stains. A baking soda and vinegar paste can be used for tougher stains, though you might have to vacuum up the excess when the paste dries. Water and vinegar mixed in equal parts can be used in carpet steam cleaners for general carpet cleaning.
  9. Use Homemade Glass Cleaners – Again you can use equal parts water and white vinegar to clean glass mirrors and windows. Make sure to wipe off the excess solution, and it should not leave any streaks.

As you can see, if you invest in a little extra olive oil, vinegar and baking soda, you can pretty much clean your entire house for a few dollars. Cheap cleaning products like bleach are another good option for tough cleaning jobs. Using these products often saves you money, and you know exactly what you are using to clean your home.

So, do you have any tips or tricks for keeping your house clean for cheap? I want to know!

This post was written by YFS.


How to Keep Your House Clean Without Spending a Lot of Green — 39 Comments

  1. I am guilty of using a lot of paper towels. However after reading this post I promise I will not be guilty of this anymore. Do you want to know why I say guilty? Because I actually feel guilty when I do it but I still do it. THAT WILL CHANGE STARTING NOW…

  2. Those were interesting points about making cleaners with vinegar and baking soda. It never ceases to amaze me how many uses commonly-held household goods have. I’ll have to put more effort into purchasing earth-friendly cleaning products.

  3. Vinegar is a very powerful and cheap cleaning agent. Unfortunately, it smells bad for about 2 hours. If you can stand the smell vinegar is a great product.

  4. LOVE LOVE LOVE this list! I use vinegar, olive oil, lemon, borax, and eco-friendly bleach for absolutely everything! I do buy Bon Ami scouring cleanser because it’s the only thing that takes care of that hard water ring that is eating our bathtub. Other than that, and my ecover dishwashing tabs, this is all I use! Fabulous resource!

  5. I never use paper towels, anyway, but do use sponges and cloths of different kind. These can be either washed or, particualrly the ones used in the kitchen, ‘purified in the microwave. As to home made cleaning products so find the smell that ligers after vinegar unpleasant. There are some great suggestions of how to make cleaning products (that are better smelling and much less harmful to you and the nevironment) on Miss Thrifty’s site. Worth having a look.

  6. I haven’t looked a the cost of furniture cleaners on a per-ounce basis, but is olive oil cheaper? Olive oil bought in gallon size bottoles is 17 to 19 cents an ounce (US dollar cents). I forget what spray furniture polish costs, but I’m guessing there are about 12 ounces in a spray bottle. If the polish is less two bucks, then it’s a winner.

  7. I didn’t know that olive oil was good for cleaning! Thanks for the tip.

    I’ll admit though, I’m a sucker for the marketing of those earth friendly cleaning products. There’s something about the grapefruit smell that smells so fresh.

  8. Use a squeegee to clean your windows. I don’t get the newspaper, so there’s no cost for it and no paper to throw out when I’m done. Just fill a bucket with water and a few drops of ammonia.

    Vingegar will RUIN a marble floor; it etches it IMMEDIATELY. I twill eat away at granite, too, though not so quickly.

    And if you like the semll of grapefruit in your cleaner (or oranges or lemons) you can put citrus peels in vinegar for three weeks, and then dilute that half with vinegear again for cleaning.

  9. Fantastic tips! We do a mixture of homemade and eco-friendly products in our home and use rags and sponges, old toothbrushes, and People Towels for paper towel alternatives….. We even use vinegar for fabric softener.
    Thanks so much for stopping by The Organic Blonde. Great to “meet” you.

  10. Nice post! It’s almost funny that simple items like vinegar and baking soda can take care of most of our cleaning needs.

  11. I have been experimenting with homemade cleaning supplies lately as well. I am so excited to now have a homemade dishwasher detergent that works extremely well. I found the recipe on DIY Naturally but didn’t have all the right ingredients. What I came up with works so well that I am now using my dishwasher again! (I’d given up on using my dishwasher because I couldn’t get the film off my dishes)

    Check it out at –

    It is truly amazing!

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