Kadie from Seven Alive had a great money-saving tip. She suggested that you make your own cleaning and laundry products to save money. I couldn't agree with Kadie more. If this is new to you, here are a few recipes to get you started:
I haven't tried the laundry soap yet and I know there are a bunch of good dishwasher soap recipes. Has anyone tried those yet? I'd love to hear if a dishwasher soap recipe was successful.
I find that I can clean most of my house with white vinegar, baking soda, Dawn, and those magical micro-fibre cloths (not all at the same time). In case you're new to homemade cleaners, this is a list of the cleaning combos that I use for different jobs around the house to give you an idea.
sink drains - baking soda + vinegar, rinse
stainless steel sinks - baking soda
counter tops - vinegar/water + micro-fibre cloth
stainless steel appliances - first vinegar/water, then baby oil, buff off
microwave - cup of vinegar, microwave 2 minutes, wipe down
ovens - orange enzyme cleaner + sometimes self-cleaner, yeah I'm a cheater :)
baseboards, toilet (incl. bowl), sink, floor - orange enzyme cleaner
chrome, mirrors, windows - vinegar/water
tub, shower, porcelain sinks - Dawn/vinegar
wood - furniture polish
glass, windows - vinegar/water + micro-fibre cloth
carpets and dog beds - Febreeze knockoff
Another big money-saver is to use rags instead of paper towels. When shirts become stained or worn beyond saving, I turn them into rags. The only thing I use paper towels for now is grease and, uh, presents from the pets.
Keeping your appliances clean can also save some money be ensuring they remain efficient. For example, spills in the microwave absorb some of the micro waves and therefore cause cooking to take longer. Dirty filters cause inefficiencies in dryer, air conditioner, and furnace performance, so keep those clean or changed.
What other frugal ideas do you have to keep cleaning costs down?