If you missed them you might want to read the introduction which is here How to beat rising prices like Nanna did. Then the fist subject which was How to beat rising prices in the laundry like Nanna did.
So today we are going to tackle cleaning. I first got into natural cleaners when I had reactions to some spray cleaners. They literally took my breath away and for several minutes I was struggling to breathe. This was the beginning. Hearing that some homes are so full of pollution and toxic chemicals that they are not a safe haven at all finished me. I have not bought toxic chemical clearers since. The exception is oven cleaner where I do the racks outside on the lawn.
Going back to what Nanna did I firstly have to say her home was so clean and her kitchen was wonderful. She cooked a lot. Yet her sink and surfaces were always beautiful. Nan liked things hygienically clean. Dishes were washed by hand in very hot water. They were rinsed. All the whites were white and the bathroom was spotless. She believed in being clean! She did not need scented candles (which didn't exist yet anyhow!) or deodorising sprays as there were not stinks to cover up. Rubbish never sat inside. The house smelled of whatever was cooking and it smelled good! Cleanliness and fresh air smell good. Trying to cover up bad smells with scents usually creates a unique worse stink of its own! haha!
Bins were washed out and wiped down. Household scraps went to animals and the garden.
Nan used "dusters" which were mostly old clothing, linen or towels that had become worn out and then were cut up to clean with. When cleaning cloths were dirty they were boiled up on the stove.
In recent years I started using my left over crochet cottons to make cleaning cloths and cloths to wash the dishes. I have a heap and use a fresh one each day. They are easy to make and fun to do. (and make good gifts!)
For windows and larger cleaning jobs I usually have a stack of cotton, flannel and old wash cloths on hand.
I like to find old flannelette sheets in the op shop (thrift store) and cut them up. This gives me great heaps of lovely cleaning cloths.
Next I make Miracle Cleaner. This isn't my own recipe, I originally got it from The Cheapskates Club. It is a great all round cleaner, it kills germs and it smells amazing and your house smells clean!
You can use it in a spray bottle, for washing the floor, cleaning sinks, the toilet... pretty much anything. If you make a batch it will last a long time as it is a concentrate. The pink bottles are a batch of Miracle Cleaner. You can find the recipe in an old cleaning post of mine Clean and Fresh.
I am always saving bottles and anything with a spray pump and things I can fill with my own cleaner. Another simple one is just vinegar or you can add to it by soaking you lemon peels in a jar of vinegar for a couple of weeks. This makes an effective cleaner also.
Bicarbonate of soda makes a great paste to clean touch spots or sprinkled on the sink and scrubbed off. It really does a good job. I add lemon juice to a sprinkle of bi carb on my sink and give it a good scrub then rinse and dry with a cloth. It is an old sink and comes up so nicely. Also to fresh and unblock drains just toss in some bicarbonate of soda then a cup of vinegar. It will fizz away and do a great job.
Some of my soft cloths I fold and stack in a big jar. I add some Miracle Cleaner and water to the jar... just enough to dampen the cloths. These are my ready to go damp cleaning cloths. I would use these for dusting sleeves, window sills, skirting boards etc. I love them!
Kelsey shared how she makes cleaning cloths in a past Show and Tell.
She gives her friends homemade cleaning kits. How beautiful everything looks! As I mentioned in my first post Nanna would be so cool right now with all her sustainable cleaning methods and recycled items. So all of these things also make great gifts. Many brands are marketing natural, non toxic products that are safe for us and the environment and they generally are more expensive. I have seen some in lovely bottles for over $40 each! Making your own is so so cheap! The supplies you gather are basic and will last just ages. Probably years. As with the laundry it sets you up that when you run out you just make some more. There is no more going to the store, well not for a long time.
If you consider what can easily be spent on cleaning products and cloths this just can be such a saving. But to me it is not just that it is a clean house it is cleaning without harming anyone with fumes or chemicals we really would be best to avoid anyhow.
The dishwasher can be beautifully cleaned so easily and it makes so much difference. I clean the little holes in the arms with a toothpick and then follow Cath's cleaning method. I noticed that a single use dishwasher cleaner can be five or six dollars. So there is about $70 a year saved in once simple change. It is amazing how much better the dishwasher works after a quick clean! This is Cath's method How to Clean your Dishwasher- The Cheapskates Club.My additional habit is whenever I use a lemon I sit the used up halves on the top tray of the dishwasher for the next round. Lately that has been every day. It is amazing. The remaining lemon has had the life sucked out of it when the cycle is done! But the dishes and dishwasher is so sparkling. So this gets even more use from your lemon. Citric acid is another wonderful dish washer cleaner.
If you use essential oils and have a supply there are so many cleaning things to make. Many of mine are my homemade copies of some of the expensive brands. I love them. They also make lovely gifts. Especially if there is sickness in the house I love to spray the surfaces and things like door knobs, remote controls, computer keyboards and all the things that are constantly touched... I use my Thieves/ Germ Killer/Plague Defence formulas that really kill germs in a non toxic way. I wrote a post on cleaning with essential oils a little while ago. You can find that here The Home Pharmacy.
With essential oils you can make your own version of Glen 20 (overseas think of an aerosol spray disinfectant) very easily as well as diffusing germ killing oils. If I was not into essential oils this alone would convince me. Since using these I have been able to free myself from regular terrible sore throats and usually head off any colds and flu. They are powerful. I feel good quality essential oils and studying them has helped my health and the families and finally I just do not need commercial germ killing products.
One of the last things I will mention is boiling water. Bringing things to the boil or pouring water over something with boiling water will disinfect. What cannot be exposed to this amount of heat I like to use peroxide. I am a big fan of a You tube Channel called Prepsteader. She has a tutorial on the uses of peroxide. So for instance when toothbrushes need cleaning soak them in peroxide. (as boiling water might melt them or the bristles) You can find loads of information on peroxide here The incredible difference an extra atom of oxygen makes. This is very useful as it also has medical uses.
I could go on and on but I will turn to over to you all. How do you save on cleaning products?
By all means use up what you have but really you can save an absolute fortune and have a healthier household by making some simple products for yourself. I love it. I enjoy it. I love to give essential oil and natural products as gifts. And I love to make up a fresh batch of cleaning cloths and see them all stacked up. I also do my drying kitchen towels. When they get too worn out then they become dusters also.
I make these in a super big size. These were from a waffle weave pure cotton op shop (thrift store) quilt cover. I paid $4 and got 8 huge kitchen towels. By comparison the shop bought ones are not much good!
Can you remember how your Mum or Nan cleaned and managed without fancy sprays and so on? If you have money saving tips here please do share. We are all working out ways to stretch our dollars and you might have a tip that really helps someone else.
I hope your week is going well! It is a busy week here but I have planted lots of seeds and seedlings for Spring so I am really happy with how I am doing (so far!) xxx