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  • Writer's pictureTy Bailey

Money-Saving DIY Cleaning Supplies

Name-brand cleaning supplies have only increased in price since the pandemic, but for everyday cleaning purposes when you don't need to scrub everything into germ-free oblivion, these DIY mix-it-yourself cleaning supplies are a lifesaver on both your wallet and your need for a consistently clean and sanitized home.

I'm not going to lie to you. I am an absolute cleaning fanatic and can be found constantly wiping down counters and doorknobs and light switch plates every single time I walk into a room. Kids are gross and I have no immune system, so playing games with germs and bacteria is not something I want to be doing lest I end up sick and back in bed yet again. Ain't nobody got time for that.

When it comes to the times in which one of our household members is genuinely sick or I've cooked something involving raw meat and those juices have managed to find themselves on surfaces they've got no business contaminating, I will 100% bust out the name-brand products to make sure we reduce the chances of sickness as much as possible. I'm aware that these types of products may come with certain health risks, something that encourages me to eventually stop using them altogether, so I've slowly begun dipping my toes into the habit of making my own cleaning supplies and only saving the hardcore chemicals for when I'm desperately in need of making sure the invisible little enemies are completely gone.

Here are a few of the easiest mixes I use when simply needing a quick disinfectant wipedown of our kitchen, bathrooms, and other surfaces.

Everyday All-Purpose Cleaning Spray

This is my go-to that has, so far, worked great on nearly all surfaces it's been used on. It lets me quickly and easily spray, sanitize, and wipe down my kitchen counters and table every five seconds after the kids completely cover everything in spills and drips and messiness.

What You'll Need:

  • An empty spray bottle

  • White vinegar (distilled)

  • Water

  • Peppermint essential oil

Basically, just mix together about 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar, then add in about 20 drops of the peppermint essential oil, gently swirling it all together in the spray bottle. I generally spray the surfaces I want to clean, let it sit on those surfaces for about 30-60 seconds, then wipe everything down.

I find that the peppermint oil is extremely pleasant and refreshing and counters the vinegar smell quite well. It also works well as a disinfectant and is a great repellent for many bugs (which is a common issue we face in the new area we moved to). You can exchange this oil, if you prefer, for something more like tea tree oil, which works incredibly well for cleaning purposes. My partner and our oldest child have tree allergies though and have had allergic reactions to anything we've used containing tea tree oil so far, so we stick to the peppermint (and I like it best anyway!).

Glass Cleaner

I've never had much luck with name-brand glass cleaners anyway, for whatever reason, so switching to this DIY mix hasn't been a problem at all. It's quick, easy, and works perfectly well as a substitute without containing any weird chemicals or horrid smells.

What You'll Need:

  • An empty spray bottle

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • White vinegar

  • Water

  • Essential oil of your choice (optional)

For this mixture, you'll want to do 1 part rubbing alcohol to 1 part water, then add a few tablespoons of vinegar to the mix. You can also add an essential oil of your choice to this glass cleaning spray, but I prefer to reduce any risk of streaks whatsoever, so I typically leave mine not-smelling-amazing and let the alcohol and vinegar do their thing without restriction. This also lets them dry up as quickly as possible, too.

Toilet Cleaner

This isn't so much a mixable cleaner to have on hand for spraying anything down, but it's a quick and easy way to get rid of gunk, stains, and buildup—especially if you have kids that may use the toilet but "forget to flush" all the time.

What You'll Need:

  • Baking soda

  • Vinegar

  • Toilet scrubber brush

This one is incredibly easy: just sprinkle the baking soda into the toilet water and around the stained/gunky areas, then slowly pour in your vinegar of choice. I usually try to clean with just distilled white vinegar, but other types are still okay when it comes to cleaning a toilet. I mean... it's a toilet. A lot of horrifying things go into it.

Let the mixture bubble up (making sure you add the vinegar CAREFULLY so your toilet doesn't become an overflowing volcano) and then let this sit in the bowl for a few minutes to break up the gunk and work on removing the stains. Use your toilet bowl scrubber to scrub off everywhere the baking soda and vinegar mixture has cleaned, then flush it all down. Clean as new!

Tub Cleaner

You may not need to clean your bathtub every single day, but it probably needs to be done quite frequently. I try not to use any products with my kids that leave behind nasty residues, but the tub still gets some gunk on it anyway. Now that my oldest has decided she needs numerous body and hair care products for her showers, this has only gotten worse. Luckily, there's a quick fix for this problem that also leaves me not having to worry about potentially having NOT washed all of the other harsh cleaning chemicals down the drain when my toddler needs a bath, and it costs a lot less than buying the name-brand options too.

What You'll Need:

  • Baking soda

  • Liquid dish soap (you know the one)

  • A good scrubber brush or sponge

You'll have to get your hands a bit dirty for this one, but it's absolutely worth it. Mix together a small amount of your liquid dish soap with a heftier amount of the baking soda until you've got a good paste ready to spread on and rub into buildup on your tub. Cover all of the problem areas well, and it doesn't hurt to lightly rub some less intense amounts into other less gross spots just for a good, general clean.

Let this paste sit on the tub surfaces for a few minutes, then scrub the worst areas well with your scrub brush or sponge. Rinse everything off with warm or hot water, making sure to get all of it down the drain well. Your tub should now look absolutely fabulous and gunk-free and be clean and ready for kids of any age to safely be submerged in chemical-free water afterward.

Need more ideas?

Check back in soon for more ways to go as chemical-free as possible while also sparing your budget the hassle of purchasing all of those name-brand products you don't need for cleaning your home.

Got any requests for cheaper alternatives to other common products a parent is likely to use every day? Shoot us a message, and we'll be sure to address your questions in future posts!

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