How to Save on Cleaning Supplies

How to Save on Cleaning Supplies
Written by Irina Vasilescu

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average American family spends around $3 per month on laundry and dry cleaning supplies and services. For buying household cleaning supplies, an average $42 per month is spent, which adds up to $504 per year. Just imagine what other things you can buy if you can save even half of the amount that you are spending on household cleaning supplies.

The good news is that there are actually plenty of ways that you can save money when buying household cleaning supplies. More than just the savings that you will enjoy, there are plenty of other benefits for saving up on household cleaning supplies. The number one way to accomplish this feat is to make your own cleaning supplies and solutions.

Doing so requires kitchen staples and the ordinary items typically found inside the house. This means that there is no need for you to wear gloves while cleaning since there is no danger of your skin getting in contact with harsh chemicals. If you have kids or elderly family members inside the house, using all-natural cleaning products will benefit their health, too.

Another advantage of taking the natural route when formulating cleaning supplies is that you can do your share in helping save the environment.

Although there are cleaning products which are labelled by manufacturers as eco-friendly, you are never really 100% sure if they are indeed safe for the environment. When you formulate your own tile cleaning solution using all natural ingredients, you can rest assured that its residue will not harm the environment.

Based from this list alone, it is easy to see why it’s a must for homeowners to learn how to save on household cleaning supplies. In the following sections, we will be explaining a three-step program on how you can save hundreds of dollar per year on cleaning supplies.

Step 1: Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies!

As mentioned earlier, the best first step to take by those who wish to save money on cleaning supplies is to make their own. As long as you have kitchen staples and a few other basic items, you can formulate your very own cleaning supplies – minus the harsh chemicals and strong scents that commercial cleaners are associated with. Here are a few examples of how you can make your own household cleaning supplies:

All-Purpose Cleaner

Instead of spending your hard-earned dollars buying commercial household cleaners, you can simply formulate your very own all-purpose cleaner and deodorizer. Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with a quart of warm water and use it for kitchen counters, the inside of your refrigerator and the outer part of other appliances. Using a spray bottle, you can squeeze some of the solution onto a sponge and wipe. It’s that easy!

DIY Air Freshener

Commercial air fresheners simply mask the bad smells inside different rooms in your house. A more natural solution that you can use is to mix baking soda or vinegar with lemon juice. This will easily absorb any bad odors inside the house. Fresh ground coffee stores on the kitchen counter, house plants, or a bowl of dried herbs are other natural air fresheners or deodorizers that you can use.

DIY Glass Cleaner

To make a DIY glass cleaner, mix two cups of water with half a cup of white or cider vinegar. Add ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol with 70% concentration. Combine all the ingredients and store in a spray bottle. Use as you would a commercial glass cleaner. Just make sure to do the glass cleaning during the cooler parts of the day. Using this solution when it’s too hot outside will leave unsightly streaks on your glass windows, so wait until it’s a bit cooler.

Carpet Stain Remover

No matter how careful you are in not spilling drinks or food onto your carpet, accidents do happen. To get rid of carpet stains immediately, mix equal parts of white vinegar with water. Pour the mixture onto a spray bottle, spray the solution directly onto the stain and let sit for a few minutes. Afterwards, get rid of the rest of the stain using warm water with soap. Rinse.

Grease on carpeted floors can be removed by sprinkling corn starch onto the stain then vacuuming. For heavier stains, mix ¼ cup of salt with ¼ cup of borax and ¼ cup vinegar. Once you have a paste-like consistency, rub the solution onto the carpet and wait for a few hours, then vacuum. Borax is a laundry booster which can be found in the detergent aisle of supermarkets.


If you would like to clean germs-laden doorknobs, countertops, computer tables, etc., make your own disinfectant. Mix a couple of teaspoons of borax with four tablespoons of vinegar and three cups of hot water.

Rust Remover

If there are parts of your bathroom or kitchen fixtures which have rust, sprinkle some salt onto the surface. Then, squeeze some lime over the salt and leave it soaking or two to three hours. Use the rind of the lime to scrub off the rust, then rinse or wipe with a damp cloth.

Scrub Formula for Heavy Stains

To get rid of rust stains on sinks and tubs which are made from porcelain or enamel, cut a lemon in half. Then, dip the fruit into half a cup of borax. Scrub the rusty surface and rinse.

If you would like to have that fresh or flowery scent on the items that you just cleaned, simply add a few drops of essential oils onto the mixture.

Mold and Mildew Remover

For bathroom walls and floors with mold and mildew, use pure lemon juice or white vinegar. Apply the liquid onto a sponge, and scrub until clean.

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Step 2: Know How to Get Rid of Stains Easily

Next, learn how to get rid of stains easily. Whether it’s your clothes, carpeted floors or your granite kitchen counters which have stains, the rule of thumb to follow is to remove it immediately. The longer that you let the stain sit on the surface, the more difficult it will be to remove later on.

Let’s take your clothes as an example. If you spilled red wine onto your favorite white shirt, remove the garment and fill the stained area with table salt. Let sit for a couple of hours, then wash the shirt in cold water. For coffee stains, make a paste out of baking soda and water. Scrub the paste onto the stain and wash the garment.

For grease or oil stains, blot the affected area with dishwashing detergent. Ink stains on clothes can be treated with hairspray or some rubbing alcohol. Instead of sending over your stained clothes to the dry cleaners, using these at-home cleaning solutions will save you lots of money in the long run.

To get rid of stains on carpeted floors, there are easy solutions that you can apply as well. Rust can be removed using a mixture of vinegar and water. Pure lemon juice will help for heavier rust stains. For muddy carpeted floors, let it dry completely then try removing the dirt with a knife. Use equal amounts of water and dish soap which you can pour on a spray bottle, then use it as a blotter or spot treatment solution or the carpet.

Step 3: Know How to Make Your Cleaning Supplies Last

Finally, make sure that you also know how to make your cleaning supplies last. These cleaning tools take the brunt of the abuse and after using them, you need to clean the items so that they will be ready for action the next time that there’s another spot of stain or dirt that needs to be dealt with.

For mops, simply remove the cloth head and put into the washing machine. Another option is for you to wash the mop in hot, soapy water, then rinse.

If you’re using a feather duster to get rid of the accumulated dust off your countertops and appliances, clean it after every use. Pour some corn starch onto a heavy-duty plastic bag. Put the feather duster inside, tie a knot on top and shake. The corn starch will serve as a cleaning agent for the feathers. After taking the feather duster out of the bag, wave it around to get rid of the excess powder and throw the bag into the trash.

Sponges and microfiber cloths also need to be cleaned properly. Sponges should be soaked in hot water mixed with some dishwashing liquid. If you know that the sponge has been through a lot of dirt, sanitize it using some bleach. Make sure to change your cleaning sponges every two to eight weeks.

For microfiber cloths, simply wash them with your delicates – but make sure not to use fabric softener or bleach, since this will diminish the effectiveness of the cloth as a cleaning agent.

By following these tips, you can keep your house squeaky-clean minus the need for expensive commercial household cleaning products.

About the author

Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our crafty designer. She joined the team three years ago and is also involved in the writing process.


  • Wow, it looks like I never need to buy cleaning supplies ever! I just have to make sure I always have vinegar.

    I also just started a restoration project, and the rust remover tip here would surely come in handy.

  • I’ve never really thought to make my own cleaning supplies, but that right there would be a major money saver in my home.
    Another way to save on cleaning supplies is to buy in bulk. I’ve switched to the laundry detergent packs (they look like little plastic covered squares), and I buy a large container. It will usually last me almost 2 or 3 times as long as liquid detergent (no one in my home really measures it out). This way they use 1 per load, and I actually get what I paid for.

  • I literally wrote a book on this topic that will soon be available on Kindle! When I researched the household chemicals most of us have under the cabinet, I was horrified by what I found. You are absolutely correct in saying that just because it says it’s green or eco-friendly does not mean it’s safe. Many of the so-called green brands have neurotoxins and other nasty substances.

  • I definitely could spend less on cleaning supplies. I feel like I am always buying them. I have never tried to make my own– I’ll have to give that a shot. I like the idea of making natural cleansers if they work just as well. One way I try to cut costs on cleaning supplies is looking for them at the dollar store or discount stores. Lots of times they have name brand supplies for a couple of bucks less.

  • I absolutely love this article! I am always looking for inexpensive ways to create useful things at home – and cleaning products are one of those things that we have to have but absolutely hate spending money on! As I am about to be a new mommy, I love the idea of the non-toxic cleaners. Every example you gave was super simple and inexpensive – not to mention I already have most of those things around my home!

  • Each week I have to spend atleast ~$30 on cleaning supplies as our households are such clean freaks. I believe the ‘All-Purpose Cleaner’ is the type we always make at home and it works effectively! Especially for a cheap price. It was only the type of cleaner we knew how to make, but we didn’t learn about the other types of cleaners until we got to this article! Extremely helpful for our tight budget household!

  • Ah, great post!

    I might have to print this out and give to my mom, haha. 🙂
    My guess is it would either be appreciated or she’d kick my ass.

    Great tips, thanks! 🙂

  • I’ve been looking for a post like this. I feel like I spend way too much money on cleaning supplies with harsh chemicals. I make a few cleaners at home, but it’s great to have a list of compiled recipes and tips like this. The tips about rust will come in especially handy, I think.

  • Saving on cleaning supplies is great to do, and you will always be surprised at just how much money you are able to save by using things that you have around your home. For example, I love the tips on how best to use vinegar with your cleaning, as this is something that I can get hold of incredibly cheaply, and it works for a great number of jobs. I don’t know why anybody would want to spend a lot of money on cleaning products when there is an alternative, as they are only wasting money in the long term by doing this.

  • I never made my own cleaning products, but by reading your article I found out that is gonna saves me some money if I do them. Plus it takes just few minutes and their quality is not less than the cleaning products on the markets.

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