Ten Green Ways to Save Money on Common Cleaning and Household Supplies

For those of who who are staggered by the ever increasing prices for such staples as paper towels and toilet paper, there are some very easy tips for saving money on these items. I have used these methods for years and can attest to the fact that they will indeed save you money. And, they are not only beneficial to you wallet, but they are also beneficial to the environment.

1) Get every drop out of your plastic bottles of dishwashing and laundry detergents: When your bottle of detergent (and the same goes for shampoo) is nearly but not completely empty, it is tempting to throw it away. Don’t. Whether the detergent is for automatic dishwashing, sink dishwashing or laundry, you can often get two additional loads done with what is still in the bottle. Simply swish with a small amount of warm water until the liquid pours freely. Then, if your wash is large or heavily soiled, estimate a bit more than the usual measurement for the slightly more watery detergent. If you are washing a small amount, the mixture is usually more than sufficient. Do this until there is clearly no more detergent left. The added benefit here is that your bottles will be clean for recycling.

2) Clean with vinegar: Vinegar is one of the best cleaners for windows; for shining up stainless steel and ceramic; for removing odors, and for removing mineral deposits left by hard water. Buy a big jug of generic white vinegar for one to two dollars. Some amazing tips for using vinegar can be found at http://www.vinegartips.com/.

3) Clean with baking soda: The webiste: Sixty Uses of Baking Soda is one of several that has remarkable uses for this very inexpensive, environmentally friendly product At about two dollars or less for a large box of generic baking soda, you can use it in place of scouring powder; to clean burnt-on food from pots and pans and for cleaning fiberglass showers as well as many other uses as enumerated by many web sites, including these: http://www.bakingsodabook.co.uk/ and http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/14781/25_amazing_uses_for_baking_soda_youve.html?cat=6

4) Clean with vinegar and baking soda together: These two products together create a powerfully fizzy mixture that takes much of the elbow work out of cleaning everything from a toilet and to burnt food on pots and pans. Sprinkle the baking soda on the surface to be cleaned, followed by the vinegar. By the time the reaction is done fizzing, much of the mess will be loosened and removed. Then scrub and rinse. Checkout the http://www.versatilevinegar.org/usesandtips.html for vinegar and baking soda tips and do a Google search for baking soda and vinegar.

5) Deodorize and sanitize with hydrogen peroxide : Hydrogen Peroxide is usually avaiable at discount stores for about fifty cents to seventy-nine cents a bottle. Instead of spending money on chlorine bleach, which is both personally and environmentally dangerous, add a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to your laundry– especially on whites. Test first on colors: it will lighten non colorfast dyes. Add a bit now and then to your toilet to keep it clean.

6) Cut down on paper towels by saving and using cotton rags: What ever happened to rags? Our mothers and grandmothers always had a rag bag with usable clean rags! The most useful and absorbent rags are made of cotton. Thus, when your cotton clothes are too worn to use or pass along, cut them into useable small pieces and put them in a rag bag. Be sure to remove buttons,snaps and zippers! Then, when faced with a mess, instead of reaching for paper towels, use a rag. If you can wash the rag after this use– great. If not, throw it out. Cotton is a natural fiber that will biodegrade very quickly and will cause no harm to the environment.

7) Re-use paper towels that have only been used to dry your clean hands: When using paper towels just to dry hands, squeeze them out and allow them to dry and reuse.

8) Cut paper towels in half or quarters: We often grab a bunch of paper towels when we all we need is a small piece. If you pre-cut and stack these, you will be much less likely to waste them.

9) Use plates rather than plastic wrap to cover bowls: If you have plates that snugly fit on the top of your bowls, use them to create storage for leftovers, rather than covering every thing with plastic wrap. The food will keep just as well and you will find yourself not having to replenish your plastic wrap nearly as often

10) Use microwaveable wax paper instead of plastic wrap: Microwaveable wax paper is quite inexpensive, less environmentally damaging than plastics, and has many uses: Cut down on the number of dishes to be washed by microwaving small items right on a piece of waxed paper. Use this paper to wrap sandwiches and other items in the refrigerator. When baking cookies and other messy procedures, use in on your counter top as a surface on which to work. Then fold it up and throw it away. This one piece of waxed paper will save your lots of wasted paper towels and countertop cleaning products in attempting to clean-up a counter-top mess.

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