I spill something on the floor and look under my sink only to find 30 different bottles. I pull them all out. I have something to clean leather, wood, wood and leather, mildew, mold, ovens, stainless steel appliances, stainless steel pots and pans, windows, grease, grim, sinks, plastic, and much more. How did accumulate so many cleansers? Mass marketing is all I can come up with.

I remember at my grandmother’s house she had two things in her closet for cleaning. She had Liquid Gold or Murphy’s Oil Soap. When she cleaned, she went into her baking cabinet to pull out the baking soda, vinegar, and oil. Sometimes she would take out cornstarch or borax, but that was for carpet and upholstery stains. Bleach would come in handy to disinfect toilets with a little baking soda. Something else she used was rags and newspapers. I do not ever remember her using a paper towel. Some examples of her cleaners:

• Windows: vinegar and water in a spray bottle
• Toilets: baking soda and bleach
• Counters: they were white so using a paste of soda and bleach
• Dusting: depending on the amount of shine she would use Liquid Gold or Murphy’s Oil to clean. She also used cooking oil lightly for a nice shine.
• Floors: bleach and water on ceramic, Murphy’s oil for wood

If you like to have a fragrance, consider adding a drop or two of essential oils to your mixtures. It will freshen up the room as nice as anything on the shelves in the store.

All of these over-the-counter cleaning products at the store have more than the natural products in the ingredients than we have in the house. Ammonia is another popular household product for windows and many other surfaces – I just cannot stand the smell!

You want to save money, save Mother Earth, and lessen the chemical load in your house? Change up your cleaning routine. Dispose of what you have now and make a small space for these basic items: empty spray bottles, baking soda (gets out the smells), white vinegar (natural disinfectant also!), castile soap, hydrogen peroxide, and some essential oils, if you would like. You will also want to clean out your old t-shirts or cloth diapers (if you still have them). You can pick up microfiber clothes if you do not have any t-shirts or diapers. You will save money on cleaning products and paper towels. The result will be more space under the sink and more money in your pocket. Saving the planet can be cost-effective. Happy cleaning 