I became frugal once I understood that saving most of my income is the most effective way to accomplish early retirement and financial strength that will allow me to help my kids start their grown lives from a reasonable starting point.
But- my turning to green cleaning was motivated from a different angle: the environmentalist angle.
Once I fully understood the difference between green and non green products, I immediately began looking for powerful green substitutes for my regular arsenal of bleach- windex-all purpose cleaners.
The more I researched the more I understood that green cleaning has a direct link to minimizing health hazards (and home accidents involving accidentally swallowing/inhaling harsh chemicals), it most definitely simplifies the whole cleaning process as you shall see in a moment, and- it is by far more frugal- so what’s not to like?
actually there is an answer to that- if we dare be honest.
Most people were brought up believing that a good clean ain’t done untill the house smells like the floor washing brand used at your house, and the sinks and bathrooms smell like a gallon of bleach just went there- which was actually the truth.
This is why many people find it hard to trust green products- let alone DIY green products that dont have that powerful scent that reminds them of their childhood.
Understanding the environmental , health , minimalist and frugal advantages of the green products might help give those products a fair chance.
I clean my whole house using 5 products:
#1: vinegar. I use the cheap synthetic one- not the fancy acv (with “mother”) -that is a staple in my cupboard for different reasons- (will reveal in a different post).
#2: baking soda. I discovered that this product can be bought either in small 50 gram packets (I guess meant for baking), and in bulk- a large 1 kilo pack that costs a fraction of the first one per 100 grams. I buy the bulky version and store it in my own jars-labeled of course-to prevent some one accidentally mistaking this stuff for white sugar or any other powdery substance.
#4: hot water . in my experience- 99% of dirt will disappear once using hot water mixed with a few drops of dish soap and some vinegar, in my kitchen this is an all-purpose cleaner. to soften the vinegar’s strong smell I sometimes infuse leftover lemon peels with vinegar in a mason jar for a few weeks.
#5: hydrogen peroxide 3%. a green substitute for bleach. it’s not cheap but it’s a very potent liquid that I use to finish cleaning my bathroom and kitchen surfaces.please do not mix the hydrogen peroxide with any other product!!!
*of course you will need a good pair of gloves and dish sponges that can hold up to the tasks , good music and the will power to conquer all evil- and there you go.
#To clean the toilets– I pour 1/4 cup baking soda -then vinegar, let it bubble and scrub frantically with the toilet cleaning brush-which by the way- needs to be cleaned itself from time to time.please be carefull not to lean too close to the mixture-and wash your hands carefully after using the products-even though using gloves of course.
(*no cleaning without gloves! )
*before I begin please check that the kitchen utensils needing cleaning you have at home agree with the listed above products- some may not.
#my all-purpose cleaner– after using the baking soda- vinegar method listed above- there is still the rest of the toilet to clean. I spray the toilet sides, walls (yes-walls) and the floor with my glass spray bottle filled with my all-purpose cleaner: 1/2 water -1/2 vinegar and a few drops of dish soap- and wipe it with disposable paper towels.
#to clean the floors: I have hard wood floors- I use water mixed with vinegar and a few drops of essential oils.
#before mopping the floors I always let my iRobot clean the surface thoroughly. this is not a cheap device- but for me- working full-time – it was a game changer. (no-I am not sponsored by anyone). I simply believe that a clean tidy home is inviting and comfortable -no matter how small it is, and I also believe that especially for people with young kids- having no time to spare is an understatement.here is a link to a post where i explain why this indulgence is sensible if you can afford it.
#windows and mirrors– I spray with my all-purpose cleaner and wipe with disposable paper towels or old newspapers if I can get some.
#to clean the kitchen sink- (I have a regular porcelain sink- haven’t tried this with other types of sinks- please make sure these products are suitable for whatever sink you have.) I sprinkle the sink with baking soda, scrub, then spray vinegar on the baking soda , let it bubble then pour 2 cups of boiling water. not only is the sink clean now- this also helps to unclog the sink if necessary.
no need to keep many cleaning supplies around. no more a using different cleaner for every chore . simple, minimalistic, efficient, frugal. and minimizes pollution too.
ciao- the cooliflower.