How to Clean the Entire House For Under $3 Worth of Cleaning Products
It is estimated that the average Australian grocery budget spend on cleaning products is $25 dollars per shop. That is nuts! And a hell of a lot of money spent on things you can’t eat! Since I moved to the country a long time ago now, it has totally changed how I view cleaning products. We aren’t allowed to put any chemicals down the sink as it will kill our sewerage treatment plant (it kills all the good bacteria and it smells like… oh my God you can imagine what it smells like! Nasty!
So I’ve had to stop buying bleach, chemical sprays and harsh oven cleaners, and go back to the natural stuff. But you know, I really haven’t missed those harsh products. I do love the cleaning products I use right now – and there are no name brands here.
My entire cleaning cabinet contains items such as:
- Soapnuts: A dried berry that creates suds and is a great substitute for washing powder and washing liquid.
- Lemons: Fresh from the lemon tree growing just outside my kitchen. I use lemons to clean my microwave and freshen up the dishwasher’s bad breath!
- Bicarbonate of Soda: A fantastic all-around cleaner of just about everything.
- White Vinegar: Cheap as chips (and good on chips). Great for making clothing soft, getting whites white and general cleaning.
- White Salt: Also super cheap, and you use it in cooking anyway.
These simple items will clean, sanitise and freshen your entire home, including the laundry!
Let’s go through these items now and I’ll show you how to use them.
Using Soapnuts for Washing Powder and Washing Liquid:
To use soapnuts, just pop about 5 – 6 of the dried berries into a sock or a small linen bag, and pop it into the washing machine with your washing. Wash on the normal setting (if you like, add a little white vinegar to the fabric softener part of the washing machine which will make your clothing nice and soft).
Once your washing has finished its cycle, hang your washing out in the fresh sunshine. Grab the small bag of soapnuts and pop it on top of your washing machine in a saucer to dry out. You can re-use these soapnuts four or five times before you can throw them in the garden to decompose. To tell if your soapnuts are all ‘used up’, put one in your hand and add a little water, rub together with your hands and see if you can see any ‘suds’. If you do – great – you can re-use your soapnuts again. If not, it is time to pop them in the garden.
Soapnuts work out to be approximately 3c per wash! Considering most leading brands of washing liquid cost up to 60c per wash, this is a significant saving.
Soapnuts work well for most clothing, but if you have highly soiled clothing such as food infested kids clothing or men’s workwear with loads of grease and sweat, then you may need to add either more soapnuts, or a little commercial grade soap.
Use Them in Your Dishwasher:
If you run out of dishwasher tablets, and you have soapnuts on hand – yippee!!!!! Pop say three or four soapnuts into the cutlery basket and wash on the hottest setting. Soapnuts will get you through a few dishwasher loads, but they aren’t a long-term solution for dishwashers, unfortunately, they do start to smell eventually without the commercial grade detergent.
Add a little white vinegar in the dishwasher as a rinse aid!
Use Soapnuts To Make a Natural Shampoo:
Soapnuts are not just good for using around the home, they are also a great addition to your beauty routine. Soapnuts can be made into a very basic hair shampoo. Grab five dried soapnuts and three cups of boiling hot water. Steep the soapnuts in the water for 20 minutes. Allow cooling. Massage the liquid into wet hair and gently rub it through (it won’t sud like a shampoo does – but it will clean). Rinse well.
How to Clean Your Microwave with Lemons:
Grab a microwave proof container and half fill it with water. Cut up a lemon into four pieces and pop it into the water. Microwave the water on HIGH for 10 minutes. Allow the water to stand for another ten minutes. Then wipe your microwave clean.
The water streams, making all the grit and grime just wipe off. The lemon makes the microwave smell good!
Clean Your Timber Chopping Boards with Lemons:
Spread a tablespoon of white salt onto your wooden chopping board. Cut the lemon into quarters, and then scrub the wooden board over the salt with the lemon. Once scrubbed, allow it to sit, then rinse well.
Freshen Your Dishwasher’s Bad Breath with Lemons:
Cut a lemon in half and pop a half into the cutlery section of the dishwasher and clean as usual. The lemon will not only sanitise and freshen your dishwasher, it will make it clean better too!
Get Rid of Mildew Spots on Clothing with Lemons:
Winter and the colder months mean that you can get the odd spots of mildew on your clothing. If you have found this is the case, grab out some lemons! Squeeze some fresh lemon juice directly onto the mildew stains, then rub white salt into the spots. Hang the item of clothing out in the sunshine to allow it to dry, then pop into the washing machine and clean as normal!
Clean Your Grout with Lemon and Bicarbonate of Soda:
If your grout is looking grotty, grab an old toothbrush, a few tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda and a fresh lemon. Dip the toothbrush into the lemon to ‘wet’ it with lemon juice, then dip the lemony toothbrush into the bicarb. Then scrub the grout. It will lighten and brighten!
Bicarbonate of Soda
Clean Your Oven with Bicarbonate of Soda:
Heat your oven on very low heat, and allow to cool down (enough to be able to touch it). Mix together a few spoonfuls of bicarbonate of soda and a little water to make a thin paste. Apply the paste to the entire inside of the oven. Put some white vinegar in a spray bottle, and spray the inside of the oven (the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar will react, which will clean the grot from the inside of your oven).
Allow the mixture to work its magic over an hour or so. Then take a damp cloth and wipe the oven clean.
Get Rid of Stinks in the Fridge with Bicarbonate of Soda:
Fridges are notorious for absorbing bad smells. To stop this happening, grab a new box of bicarbonate of soda, take the top off the box, and place the box right down the back of the fridge. Leave it there and replace it every three months – the bicarb absorbs all the smells and odours in the fridge. Make sure you throw that box out and don’t use it – yukky!
Got Burnt food in a Saucepan That Won’t Budge?
Fill your saucepan with water and add a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda. Allow it to sit overnight. In the morning, that burnt food will come right off – easily!
Get a Sparkling Toilet with Bicarbonate of Soda!
Sprinkle the toilet with 1/2 cup of bicarbonate of soda. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then spray with white vinegar. Scrub and flush – it will be white and bright!
Run out of Toothpaste? Use Bicarbonate of Soda!
Bicarbonate of Soda is a great way to get your pearly whites, white and shiny! Dip a wet toothbrush into the bicarbonate of soda, and scrub your teeth well as usual. See all those stains removed quick smart!
Get Body Odour Smells Out of Clothing:
There is nothing worse than clothing that smells like body odour. Particularly men’s shirts and black clothing (black clothing always ends up stinking!). If you spray white vinegar on the under-arm section of your clothing, then pop another cup in the fabric softener section of the washing machine, it will remove all the body odour smells. You need to be consistent however and add the white vinegar to every wash to keep the smell at bay!
You don’t need bleach to get your white clothing white again. Heat up pure vinegar in a saucepan (don’t be stingy – add a litre or more) – until it is boiling. Add your white clothing, boil for five minutes and allow the liquid to cook with the clothing in the saucepan.
When room temperature, wash the clothing as normal, then hang out in the sunshine. Your whites will be white and bright and clean and beautiful!
Use White Vinegar as a Fabric Softener:
Fabric softener might smell amazing, but it really isn’t great for your washing machine as it tends to go gluggy and plug up all the pipes. White vinegar softens your clothing just as well as a fabric softener, and only costs a few cents to use. Add 1/2 cup to every wash for beautifully soft clothing.
Clean and Sanitise Baby Toys:
Fill a bucket with warm water and add a cup of white vinegar. Add the baby toys and allow them to soak for an hour. Rinse and dry them in the sun – and they will be clean enough to be put in baby’s mouth in no time!