While I was pregnant I read a book titled " Healthy Child, Healthy World" it inspired me to rethink how I clean and as I changed my ways I realized I was saving TONS of money. The phrase that altered me forever was " 275 number of active ingredients in antibacterial products classified as pesticides" EPA, 2007.
The above three ingredients are my primary household cleaners! I buy the vinegar and baking soda at Costco for around 4 dollars each. The castile soap I found on sale on amazon.com for the tidy sum of 38 dollars. Seems expensive but the last gallon I had lasted me eight months! We use the castile soap among other things for showering, washing the dog, and cleaning the cars. Hydrogen Peroxide is my other cleaning agent of choice.
Just this morning I mopped my floors ( the whole house is hardwood) with one cup of the vinegar and a gallon of water with two drops of lavender. Now my floors sparkle and smell good!
I clean my toilet bowls with baking soda (for scrubbing) and vinegar. I use 1/2 cup of soda, 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 5 drops of tea tree essential oil.
Vinegar kills mold and bacteria and dissolves soap scum and mineral buildup. The vinegar smell goes away after it dries. Tea Tree oil has great anti fungal and antiviral properties.
I probably save the most money having invested in a reusable cleaning tool box. The following is my toolbox list:
Rags: My husband had the hardest time with this as he was a big paper towel user. We have NO paper towels in our house and no longer miss them! I use old diapers, wash clothes, strips of old clothing, old dish towels and bath towels, and old socks (the ones with holes worn in them). I just wash them when they are used and hang them out on my laundry line to dry.
Broom and dustpan: I use this instead of breaking out the vacuum every time I need it. It's a whole lot easier on my back!
Mop: My husband talked me into this. I wanted one of those disposable mop wipe things. He being a former professional cleaner insisted that this was much more economical and less chemicals. So we bought a regular mop and mop bucket at Home depot and haven't looked back. I now love it!
Scrub Brush: A must so you can avoid harsh chemicals to clean places like the tub, shower and bathroom floor.
Spray bottles: I now make my own cleaning products so these are needed for storage.