Thrifty Cleaning Ideas

Natural Cleaning Products
Cleaning your home can be expensive in both time and money. Here are some frugal ideas for removing stains, eliminating odors and other common household cleaning problems. This is a page about thrifty cleaning ideas.

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January 9, 2009

Cleaning ProductsTips for saving money on cleaning products as suggested by the ThriftyFun community. Feel free to post your ideas below.

Use Vinegar

You can save on cleaning products by using white vinegar and newspaper to clean your windows, windows come out sparkling clean. You can also use white vinegar for washing your floors, add 1/2 cup white vinegar to last rinse cycle of your wash to control static cling. Also white vinegar is good for cleaning coffeemakers, tea kettles, tea pots,coffee and tea mugs. There are so many uses for white vinegar and it is non-toxic and does many jobs much better than cleaners from the store.

By Anita

Make Your Own Cleaning Products

Make your own. There are sites where you can easily learn recipes to make your own home made cleaners. There are recipes for making laundry detergent, vinegar has oh so many uses, also baking soda.

With baking soda, you can clean your whole bathroom, from scrubbing the toilet to the tub.

I don't buy any cleaners anymore, and it is a big savings.

By karen morton

ThriftyFun has a section dedicated to Cleaning Recipes. You can find it here:

Cycle Sponges

If you use a sponge to do the dishes, you can retire it to floor duty when it gets worn.

By vickie guy

Use Salt and Baking Soda for Tub Cleaning

I found mixing salt with baking soda works great for cleaning the tub. It is less harsh then the chemical bathroom cleaners out on the market and I usually have both items in my house any way. I keep the mixture in a canning jar on my bathroom closet shelf.

By Michele from Landisville, PA

Glass Cleaner Recipe

I have the best recipe for glass cleaner, I works better than anything I have ever used. I never buy the expensive store brands.

You can make any amount as long as it is in one third portions.

By Doris

Use a Steam Cleaner

Invest in a steamer cleaner! I have had several that are not as good as the BIG Wagner model I have now. It has a super long hose and several attachments and holds enough water and vinegar (half of each) for an hours worth of cleaning. It also has a really powerful blaster! I got it from

The reason I am so thrilled with this new one is: with the smaller hand held ones - you must fill, heat the steam, let cool off, refill again & heat: all this very time consuming.

By melody_yesterday

Try Ammonia

Ammonia will clean up a lot of greasy things. I mix a cup of ammonia, a cup of water and a squirt of liquid dish detergent in a spray bottle then spray away on walls stained with tobacco smoke, window screens, anywhere in the kitchen, etc.

By Gorius

Clean Windows With a Squeegee

The best way to clean outside windows is with a squeegee. I use a bit of Dawn in a pail of water. It does a far better job much easier than any product you spray on and wipe off with towels or paper. The amount of dishwashing liquid you use is minuscule.

By Louise B.

Ways To Save On Cleaning

I use white vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser in my washing machine. I use hydrogen peroxide solution instead of rug cleaner. I also use it directly on stains. It is great on pet stains.

Our biggest savings on cleaning supplies was repairing the dryer ourselves. We live in a rural area and just to get a repair person in our door is $90. It took us 3 hours as we have not skills, but replaced the drive belt for about $20.


By Empty Nester

Cleaning Window and Mirrors

After using your preference of cleaner, finish these chores using wadded up newspaper to dry and eliminate smudges.

By Cindy

Cleaning Rings In Toilet

I've never tried this, but my friend swears by it: soak paper towels in white vinegar, lay them in the toilet and leave it for a while (I'm not sure how hour or two maybe).

By Jess

Earth Friendly Cleaners

I don't use anything that will affect my breathing such as bleach (which is bad for a septic tank also) or ammonia. I use clear vinegar for softener in my laundry. I also buy ERA soap and dilute it 2/3 water, 1/3 soap. To clean my bathtub, I use baking soda as my scrubbing agent. This is an excellent all-purpose cleaner:

In a spray bottle:

To clean windows, same except use rosemary oil instead of lavender.

Bug Spray: Water in spray bottle with about 5 -10 drops of peppermint essential oil. You can put some on cotton balls and tuck in the corner of your cabinets if you have the need.

Hydrogen peroxide cleans well too all by itself.

By Susan

Thrifty Tips On How To Save

I use an SOS pad for the toilet rings also. Just put a cup of water in the microwave and heat it up and just wipe down the loosened stuff and then sit down and enjoy a hot cup of tea.

Second there is this stuff called Ka-Boom that cleans the back of the toilet and boy does it work. I get it over at Wal-mart.

Go to the Dollar store for cleaning products. There is this one thing I will buy that I think Windex or Pledge makes it is a wipe that cleans everything and they are cool. I take one or two in my daughter's room and clean her windows, TV and stand and sometimes doors and light switches all with this one cloth. cool

By Barbara Snyder

Homemade Cleaning Recipes

Definitely make your own! They work great and there's no weird chemicals in them! Here are my favorite recipes:

Vinegar Kills Bacteria, Mold and Germs

Keep a clean spray bottle filled with straight 5 percent vinegar in your kitchen near your cutting board, and in your bathroom, and use them for cleaning. I often spray the vinegar on our cutting board before going to bed at night, and don't even rinse, but let it set overnight. The smell of vinegar dissipates within a few hours. Straight vinegar is also great for cleaning the toilet rim. Just spray it on and wipe off.

Laundry Soap

These ingredients might seem pricey at first, but when you buy a medium box of both the borax and washing soda and maybe three bars of Fels Naptha then you realize that that Fels Naptha par grates to be about three cups. You realize that for what you might pay for a gallon of brand name detergent, you just bought 18 gallons of laundry soap!

Mix all three ingredients together. Add glycerin and water. Bring to a boil, stirring now and then to dissolve the Grated Soap; Might need to whisk it.

Use 1/2 - 3/4 cup per load depending on how dirty. Best when used with cold or warm water.

Fabric softener The liquid stuff can build up in the washer hoses and eventually clog it. The dryer sheets will actually make your dryer work less efficiently by gumming up the lint screen. It can also make your towels and kitchen cloths less absorbent!

Instead, I add just a ball of aluminum foil. About an arms' span wadded up is all you need and it lasts a LONG time. I've used the same one all last winter and off and on this summer. Otherwise I hang everything out.

Lemon Oil Duster

Most commercial lemon oil is not all natural, but may contain petroleum distillates. Contact herbalists for pure sources of lemon oil. Traditionally, lemon oil has been used for furniture because it is so lubricating and antiseptic.

Dip a soft recycled cloth, such as one of flannel, in the lemon oil mixture, and wipe furniture.


I buy my Palmolive dish liquid at Family Dollar where it's the cheapest around. I get the concentrated and put it into a pump. 6 pumps is a LOT LESS than if you just squirt, and plenty for a sink of water.

Also, do you dishes in this order and you can do your days dishes in one sink full of water!

Need Scouring Powder?

Mix in equal parts baking soda and washing soda (found in the washing aisle with the borax).

Dip your damp cloth or sponge and scrub away!

Good All-Purpose Cleaner

Fill a bowl or small bucket with very warm water, add a few drops (literally) of concentrated dish soap... i like to add a few drops of tea tree oil. You don't even need to rinse.


A good way to clean the microwave (i do this every week!) slice a fresh lemon into a small bowl of water. Pop into the Microwave and hit your beverage button. Let sit maybe 5 or 10 minutes after it's done without opening. Then open it up, and just wipe the stuff out! It smells fresh afterward!

You can then use the water for your general cleaner!

I admit it. This is a hobby of mine. I love this kind of thing. As a matter of fact, my search for such recipes led me to!

I hope I've helped!

By Sarah Leach

Do you have any more advice to share? Feel free to post it below.

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By (Guest Post)
January 10, 20090 found this helpful
Top Comment

I don't spend money on toilet cleaners. I just use Ajax or Comet, whichever I have. Sprinkle it around above the water line, then use the toilet brush to scrub, getting up under the rim too. You'll be surprised how well it works for less than $1.00 per can, as opposed to the "specialized" toilet bowl cleaners! I told a lady in the supermarket that's what I do, and she thanked me for the hint and left the Lysol on the shelf and got Comet instead,

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 390 Posts
January 4, 2011

I have always been one of those people that cannot manage money, I would get it and spend it as fast as I could. Being a single mom with five kids and running a licensed day care at home, I learned a lot of things!

Woman with Cleaning Supplies

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 297 Posts
October 12, 2010

To save on dish soap, fill a spray bottle one-quarter full of soap and top it off with water, give the mixture a good shake to mix well, and close the bottle. Spraying this on dishes cuts grease and saves a little money.

Spray Bottle

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June 12, 2011

I was using up the last of a bottle of dish soap, but the last bit was stuck on the bottom of the bottle. I added water and used a bit, then thought about how nice it was to have diluted dish soap on hand.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 171 Feedbacks
May 4, 2011

I clean houses as my second job. I drape a cleaning rag over each product I use. One rag for all the wood polishing, a separate rag draped over the glass cleaner I use for the windows, mirrors, and chrome faucets.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 267 Posts
March 31, 2015

Make cleaning sprays for many uses from 4 spray pump bottles, simple household products, and water. Take a few drops of Dawn dishwashing liquid, add water and shake. Spray bathroom mirrors, wipe with dry cloth.

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November 27, 2017

Baby wipes are an easy and convenient way to clean surfaces are the house. Using baby wipes for cleaning a good way to clean small areas that just need quick wipe down.

Baby Wipes

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August 15, 2017

Using simple household products you can make your own cleaners with fewer ingredients and often at a lower cost than buying commercial products. This is a page about making your own cleaning products.

Supplies for making your own homemade cleaning solutions.

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