Instead of keeping specific cleaning things for specific jobs, I have learned to "generalize" my supplies. So now, I keep on hand the following things for cleaning any room in the house.
These 10 items will take care of any household cleaning that needs to be done. I keep spares according to how much the item is used. For instance the general cleaner, window cleaner, and disinfectant are used all over the house and get used up fast so instead of one spare, I keep 2 spares. And the Febreze is used literally everywhere; furniture, drapes, carpets, rugs, etc, so it REALLY gets used up fast.
Instead of trying to keep the whole house clean all the time, I've learned to let the house look "lived in". I give one room each day a good general cleaning. Once every 4-6 weeks instead of a good general cleaning, it gets a good thorough cleaning.
The difference being a general cleaning means basically "surface" cleaning. Wiping counters, sinks, tubs, showers. Putting scouring powder in the toilet and swishing with the toilet brush. Cleaning the mirrors. Vacuuming, mopping. Wiping inside appliances. Feather dusting.
Thorough cleaning takes longer. This is when I bring out the big buckets and give everything a good scrubbing. I also get under the sinks and clean, then straighten. This is when I do the windows (insides only, outsides have their own day). Also this is when I bring out the furniture polish and really polish the furniture. I also get down with a pumice stone and really scrub the toilet, followed by a dose of bleach in it to disinfect it.
By Cricketnc from Parkton, NC
Editor's Note: Here is Cricketnc's cleaning schedule, posted previously:
Wow. This article made my thrifty head spin. A Roomba vacuum, paper towels, and 409. All too expensive for me. Lol.
I printed off your entry as I am moving soon & I will take the list to the market. Thanks!
I like all your cleaning tips except the last one. I recently learned that pumice stone actually contributes to a toilet that will get dirty faster because the pumice scratches the porcelain. I use a very fine water sand paper about once every six to eight weeks in the toilet followed with a product called amaz. Apply the amaz with a finer version of the green scotch pad, let dry and wipe off. It does a much better job than the pumice stone.
Doesn't it bother anyone to use that many chemicals to clean a home? Try some vinegar, baking soda, borax and other things for a cleaner, more natural home. Also, use rags in place of paper towels and newspaper for window washing. This person spent way more money on her thrifty cleaning than I do in a couple of years!
As someone else said, you can get by with a much shorter list of cleaning "staples" instead of buying all of those individual cleaners. I would stock a couple boxes of borax (1 for the laundry), baking soda, dish detergent, white vinegar, Bleach and Several spray bottles.
The only specific things that I insist on splurging on is glass cleaner (because I've never gotten vinegar and newspaper to work for me), oven cleaner, and scoring powder. But other than that, I can do all of my cleaning with he staples listed above and making my own general spray cleaners.
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