One household staple that many of us are spending way too much on is cleaning products. But it doesn’t have to be so! Here are five clever ways to clean up your act and slash your spending on cleaning agents:
1. Look for specials and coupons If you’re not too committed to a particular brand, there are usually great deals to be had on detergents at the various supermarkets. Get the weekly advertising broadsheets, and compare the special offers from the different retailers. There are often also in-store promotions in which brands are bundled together at a discounted rate – so you can stock up on all your cleaning products in one go. And if you see a really special good deal, buy extra for the coming months.
You’ll be amazed at what you can create in your own kitchen.
2. Make your own Did you know that you can clean your windows with a solution made up of 50% spirit vinegar and 50% water? Or that you can make your own washing powder with borax and grated bar soap (use a Sunlight bar)? While creating cleaning products yourself can be a little time consuming, you can make them in bulk for a significant saving on store-bought ones. Look on the internet for DIY cleaning agents, and you’ll be amazed at what you can create in your own kitchen
When your old T-shirts, towels and sheets start to get a bit tatty, cut them down into dishcloth squares. If you have a box of these handy, you’ll almost never have to stock up on cleaning and drying cloths.
3. Use the right amount We tend to overuse cleaning products by a huge amount. Look on the bottle or box for the measurements – and still use less than that. You’ll need to educate your whole family about this, because it’s easy to just slop a generous dollop into a sink, bucket or washing machine. One tip is to decant, say, your washing powder into a bucket or tub, and put a spoon in the tub so people always use the spoon to measure. And while you’re at it, also be insistent about using detergents to the very end. Leave nearly empty bottles upside-down to catch the last drops, and after that rinse them out with water for one final wash. In this way you’ll get a good two or three extra uses out of them.
4. Use one detergent for multiple purposes There are probably a lot of special-purpose cleaning products just gathering dust in the back of your cupboard. In reality, you don’t need a window cleaner AND an oven cleaner AND a laundry detergent – the laundry detergent can do the job of all three. Experiment with different combinations for different purposes, and you’ll find that limiting yourself to a couple of necessary products eliminates wastage and overspending.
5. Buy refills You can save money - and use less packaging - by saving your empty bottles and buying refills. This is particularly cost-effective when it comes to products that are sold in expensive spray bottles.
Get cleaning and save Having a clean house needn’t cost you the earth. Now that you know the tricks, your house will be sparkly and your wallet will be fuller.