Cleaning Closet

03 March 2009

One of the most common questions I get is, "What do you clean your house with?" I thought answering this question would be a great way to kick off my blog!

The best part about the list is that my two toddlers can help me clean. With the exception of the liquid All Purpose Charlie's Soap and Borax, the things I use to clean can all be left within reach of the kids (though I don't because of the kids' temptation to see how far they can make things squirt and splash). The boys love to help me clean, and I like knowing they're safe doing so!

* I keep the All Purpose Charlie's Soap and Borax out of the reach of children, because I buy them in undiluted quantities. Once mixed with water both the Charlie's and Borax are safe. *

Here Are Our Tasks and What We Use to Tackle Them:

All Purpose Cleaner: Dr. Bronner's (I like lavender and peppermint) and Tea Tree Oil

  • This cleans our counters, bathrooms, and floors

Hand Soap: 1 teaspoon of Dr. Bronner's liquid in a foaming pump of water. Fill foaming pump with water first, and then add the Dr. B.'s.

Laundry Detergent: Charlie's Soap (I have a front loader so I am able to use 1/2 T per load)

Heavy Duty Cleaner (Shower/Tub): Charlie's Soap or mix borax in spray bottle, spray it on, let it sit, and use scrub brush to clean.

Scouring Powder: Baking Soda

Windows and Mirrors: 50% White Vinegar/50% Water in a spray bottle

Toilet: Pour 2 cups of vinegar and 5-10 drops of tea tree oil in the water, and sprinkle baking soda in right before I scrub. Another solution is putting 1/2 of a cup of borax in your toilet.

* My husband cannot stand the smell of vinegar; however, once the vinegar is dry you cannot smell it. If I clean a few hours before he comes home he does not notice. *

A great resource for other cleaning products is Debra's List. This website consists of multiple lists of non-toxic products ranging from home and pet care to baby and body care. She also answers many questions about the safety of many questionable cleaning products such as borax.

Cost Breakdown (Generous Average):

Dr. Bronner's, (3) 32 oz bottles/year: $30

Charlie's Powdered Laundry Soap, 1 Gallon/year: $25

Charlie's Liquid Soap, 1/2 Gallon/year: $9

Tea Tree Oil, 1oz bottle/year: $6.50

Vinegar, 6 gallons/year: $18

Baking Soda, 3 large boxes/year: $10

Boroax, 1 box/year: $3

Cost/Month for Non-Toxic Cleaning: $8.60


Karen Nelson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

Where do you buy your Charlie's soap?

Frugal Wellness said...

I order the Charlie's from I go in on a 5 gallon bucket with 4 of my friends and it saves us a lot of money.

Anonymous said...

How much of each do you mix for the all purpose cleaner?

Frugal Wellness said...

All Purpose Cleaner: Fill a 28 oz bottle with water until it gets to nearly the 28 oz mark. Add 2 tablespoons of Dr. B's, and 5 drops of TTO. You can also add vinegar (a few tablespoons), or baking soda (2 tablespoons). Shake well!

You may have to adjust the amount used depending on how hard your water is, the type of surfaces you're cleaning, etc. Be careful to not use vinegar too much on grout, because after many, many uses it can start to eat away at the grout.

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