Extreme Budget Tips: Homemade Cleaning Products to the Rescue

 Picture of a maid

Flickr Photo Credit: Givepeasachance

It’s difficult to believe there are still people who don’t know this is possible. But it’s true. I was one of them.

Here are some of my favorites that started saving us money immediately when I made the transition to budget queen:

  • Spray on fabric softener: For this you’ll need an inexpensive or free recycled spray bottle and a jug of el cheapo liquid fabric softener. That’s it. Pour the liquid into the bottle and dilute it halfway with water. Spray onto an old face cloth or other fabric scrap that you’ll keep in your laundry area. Toss it in to the dryer with your current load. Purchase the liquid softener on sale with a coupon, supplement your clothes dryer use with a rack or outside line, and a 99 cent investment can last for several years.
  • Homemade Wrinkle Releaser: Use the same items listed above, but dilute the solution with much more water. I’ve always eyeballed this one, but I would say you could easily do 3-4 parts water to 1 part liquid fabric softener. Shake up to mix and spray to use just like the expensive wrinkle – release products you can buy at the store.
  • Do it Yourself Spray Cleaners: Using water to dilute various cleansing agents will provide you with an end product that is similar to, if not superior than one you would find at the store. Plain white vinegar and water is probably one of the least expensive mixes there is. If the mood strikes you, add a touch of your favorite essential oil such as orange or lemon. Sometimes the odor of these homemade versions is the only barrier people have to making the transition. An inexpensive scented oil can fix this problem,  and provide you with an additional baking ingredient as well. Ammonia is another ingredient easily found in less expensive generic brands. Dilute 50% with water, add a squirt of liquid dish soap, and you have a humdinger of a multipurpose spray cleaner. Depending on the strength of cleaner you need, you could dilute even further. Say, 3 parts water to one part ammonia. A third option? One part water to one part rubbing alcohol. This is extra great for mirrors, electronics, and wiping down door handles, phones and light switches during cold and flu season.