Looking for a great way to save money? Try making your own cleaning solutions. I've cut back on so much of my spending by using common household items to replace my disinfectant, glass cleaner, and laundry detergent.
There are many recipes online for great household cleaners that can fit any need. Want a greener way to clean? Google it. Non toxic in case the kids find the bottle? Look it up. You'll find recipes and testimonials to how well it works. One thing to keep in mind is the materials you are using the cleaners on. Hardwood flooring for example has different needs than tile. Be sure to search for a recipe that is friendly to your homes specific needs.
Most cleaners require you to stock up on some of the following: Borax, baking soda or heavy duty washing soda, rubbing alcohol, vinegar, oxiclean, or ammonia. I like to use an all purpose cleaner on the surfaces of my home. We have a lot of glass surfaces so it really cuts down on time. I fill a spray bottle with equal parts water, white vinegar, and rubbing alcohol. It disinfects, and adds shine. I have a spray bottle of this solution in the kitchen and every bathroom. When I need a deeper clean, say on a really gritty surface I use baking soda to scrub it, and chase it with my vinegar solution. The baking soda gives me the grit I need to break through tough food stains, and the vinegar solution ensures the area is disinfected as well as ensuring there is no baking soda residue so I don't have gritty counter tops.
To wash dishes I use vinegar in the rinse agent compartment, and make a powder with one cup of borax, one cup of washing soda, 1/2 cup of kosher salt, and 1/2 cup of citric acid. The citric acid cuts through the residue you'll see on a lot of home made dishwashing detergents. If you don't have citric acid use one or two drops of liquid dish soap to your load of dishes.
Laundry used to be complicated because I was using cloth diapers. Now that my daughter is potty training I can use laundry detergent that actually works. The cloth recipe can't use any soap. I believe the diapers were getting clean, but they didn't smell as pretty. Now I grate a bar of ivory soap, and add a cup of borax, and a cup of washing powder.
If you can't find washing powder (in most cases it's near the laundry detergent) substitute baking soda and add half the amount. So one cup of washing powder would be replaced with one and a half cups of baking soda.
To clean the shower I keep a spray bottle of my all purpose cleaner on the shower door and give it a spray every time I finish the shower. The best toilet bowl cleaner I found was at this site. The blogger uses a condiment bottle to squirt the toilet cleaner under the rim and makes a great cleaner using vinegar, water, and castille soap.
For my floors I use a half cup of vinegar and a gallon of hot water. For the microwave I simply microwave a mug of water for a minute, and wipe down the inside of the microwave with soap and water. I don't have much to dust in my home but something I've found that works very well is a used dryer sheet. It works as well as a swiffer sheet to collect dust off of blinds and picture frames.
The vinegar smells... like vinegar, but the smell really does dissipate once it dries. If you miss the clean home scent of chemicals I would recommend investing in a linen scented candle or essential oil burner. I light it when I start cleaning, and blow it out about half an hour after I finish. You can also use a drop or two of essential oils in every cleaning bottle for a pleasant scent.
I am not a scientist, nor am I an expert on home cleaning. I cannot stress this fact enough. I believe my home is clean, and that my solutions work well for my surfaces but please do your research before trying any of these recipes on any surface in your home. As a note of caution always label the bottles with the ingredients used to make the cleaning solution. If your child or pet or some random stranger were to get ahold of it while you're not home poison control needs something to go off of. Keep all the ingredients, particularly the borax out of reach of children.
Happy cleaning ladies.