mop cleaning the floor

Simple & Frugal Cleaning: The Staples

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I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like cleaning. I’d much rather be in the kitchen, playing with my kiddo, reading, or doing something else. Things need to be tidy for me to function well, but, deep cleaning, ugh, it is just something I dread doing. But, alas, it has to be done. As a recovering cleaning hater, here are a few of my favorite, frugal, and simple products that help me keep my home, clothes, and space smelling fresh and looking clean!

I know I have a lot to learn in the versatility of certain household products in regards to their cleaning capabilities, so by all means, if you have any tips, hacks, or tricks…please share!

1. Lemons

My favorite. Because, they smell so good. And lemons are already a staple in most kitchens so the chances you might already have some on hand are greater! A half of a lemon does wonders for smells (like a stinky garbage disposal or garbage) and stains (some lemon juice can work as a bleaching agent in your laundry for white linens). It can also be scrubbed on stains in the sink, counter, etc to help them disappear. I love The Spruce blog for ideas for green and simple cleaning-read their thoughts on lemons and cleaning here.

2. White Vinegar

A cheap household staple that comes typically comes in a generous portion, there are SO many uses for vinegar. Two of my favorites are using it to clean my dishwasher (run one cup of white vinegar through an empty dishwasher on the high temp setting), microwave (pour a cup in a bowl and microwave for a few minutes-then you wipe out the grub), and washing machine (haven’t tried this yet, but I plan to using these tips). It can also be used as a fabric softener and as a main ingredient in homemade multi-surface cleaner. Read more here for even more uses!

3. Blue Dawn Dish Soap

No, this isn’t a “natural” tool, but it’s simple to find, cheap, and is an AMAZING stain defeater. One of my facebook friends posted about how blue dawn dish soap was all she needed for all the clothing stains from her baby, and I was skeptical. But it’s true! Blue Dawn dish soap does wonders for spit up, poop, food residue, and that mysterious stain…I pre-treat it for a few minutes by rubbing it in really good and then washing it in hot water.

4. Castille Soap

I am still exploring the multiple uses for castile soap-but since purchasing this lavender one-I try to find all kinds of excuses to use it because it smells amazing. One tip from my own mistakes, it lathers REALLY easily so a little will be more effective than a lot. I’ve used it as a surface cleaner, on the floors, and even a little bit as a shampoo (for my hair, it was a little too harsh to use consistently (it made my hair really dry), but goodness, my hair smelled so good it’s almost worth trying again.

I have also used a bit in the laundry as a scent booster. Yes, it is $18 for a whole bottle, but again, a little goes a LONG way, so this baby will last a long time. If you are not convinced, read this for a million more ways to use castile soap around the house.

5. Mrs. Meyer’s Surface Cleaner

This stuff is amazing. I love it because when I don’t have time to do a deep clean, it is a great go-to for a wipe-down of everything-kitchen counters, bathroom, appliances, crayon marks on the little’s white table….all. the. things. And it smells wonderful. It cleans, removes (light) stains, and leaves everything looking like it’s been scrubbed…even when it’s not been 😉

6. Baking Soda

You already have it in your pantry. But did you know how versatile this little guy is? My favorite use is that of de-odorizer-in the fridge, bathroom, sprinkled in stinky shoes and at the bottom of the garbage,…it works great! Apparently it can be used in the laundry and also as part of dishwashing detergent (with a little Borax). I haven’t tried either, but hope to soon-you can find the info here.

What’s your best simple and/or frugal cleaning staple?

I have a lot to learn still. What do you find essential in your cleaning supplies? Do you have any items that have lots of purposes? If so, please share!

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2 thoughts on “Simple & Frugal Cleaning: The Staples”

  1. I deep clean…basically never. I also rely on Mrs. Meyers so much around the kitchen for the day-to-day scrubbing – it makes me so happy! Our dishwasher is starting to smell funky, so I am definitely going to try your vinegar trick this weekend!

    1. Yep, real life often means deep cleaning gets “forgotten” over here too ;). Have you heard of The Grove Collaborative website (they sell cleaning stuff)? I joined them just for the Mrs. Meyer’s freebies…worth it in my opinion!I hope the vinegar works well!

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