I am a bit of a neat freak. What can I say? I like a clean house. I can't stand dirty dishes, I hate messy counters, and I pull my hair out over unmade beds. Okay, maybe saying I was a "bit" of a neat freak was an understatement, but I think you get the picture.
However, let's put my OCD on hold for a moment and talk turkey. Not too long ago, I was spending a small fortune on cleaning supplies, which I later discovered doubled as harmful household pollutants. And it was after this revelation that I began making some of my own cleaners, repurposing some old items and seeing some tremendous savings.
No. 1: Home Made Bathroom Cleaner
I found a great recipe for a homemade soap scum remover from a friend turned domestic diva turned blogger. Heat one cup of distilled white vinegar in your microwave and then pour that into a spray bottle alone with one cup of blue Dawn liquid dish soap (yes, it has to be the blue one). Spray, wipe and viola. Not only does this solution cost me half as much as garden-variety bathroom cleaners, my body is thanking me.
No. 2: Yoga Mats
I repurposed a couple of old yoga mats and am now using them as floor protectors and even under the cat box as a kitty litter catchall. Because yoga mats are so versatile and come in all kinds of colors, I can even use them as indoor/outdoor dirt mats. And I have to say that they do their job of catching dirt quite well and are easier to clean than traditional rugs.
I also realized that I could trim the mats to whatever size I wanted and protect my floors from furniture scrapes. I made some small squares and put them under my sofa and my dining room table legs, and no one was the wiser.
No. 3: Baby Wipes
I don't spend money on Clorox cleaning wipes or electrical cleaning clothes, I use baby wipes instead. They are oodles cheaper and work just as well.
No. 4: Hydrogen Peroxide
I confess, I believe that I am raising a mutated version of Pig Pen from Charlie Brown. Everything (and I mean everything) my 11-year-old touches turns to sticky, icky mess in seconds. I haven't the foggiest idea how she does it, but she does. So cleaning around her is quite a task.
If that wasn't bad enough, the child somehow figures out how to stain nearly every piece of clothing she owns. What's my fix for sticky, icky messes and stains at the hands of a mysteriously messy pre-teen? Instead of pricey stain removers, I use hydrogen peroxide. It works. I pour a little hydrogen peroxide on the stain and let it soak for about 30 seconds. For stubborn stains, I mix the peroxide with a little baking soda and make a paste, scrub it on and rinse it off.
No. 5: Shaving Cream
Instead of shaving cream, I buy cheap (think White Rain or Suave) conditioner. It lasts three times as long and actually moisturizes your skin while you shave even better than most shaving creams on the market. (I really love this during the summertime).
So there you have it, my five no muss, no fuss tricks for busy moms to help you save money on household cleaners, gadgets and goods, while going green to boot.
So now that you know mine, tell me: how do you life hack your cleaning closet?
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