Monthly Archives: March 2014

Spring Cleaning On The Cheap – Part 1


Guess what I’ll be doing (in spurts, of course) this week and probably over the next few weeks too?  Yes ma’am, that time of year has rolled around again.  It’s time to start clearing out the winter yuck and freshening up my castle for the warm weather months.   The At Home Spring CleanFest has begun!

At Home Woman Spring CleanFest Spring Cleaning On The Cheap

At Home Woman Spring CleanFest
Spring Cleaning On The Cheap

 You Know You Love It….NOT!

Honest show of hands.  Who likes to clean, especially spring cleaning?  Ahh!  I didn’t think so.  No, I’m not raising my hand either.  Honestly, there are many other things I would rather do.  But I know me well enough to know that I need it clean around here for my own sanity, for my family to stay healthy and for us to be able to really relax and enjoy our space and our work within that space.  I know from experience that the seriously deep floor to ceiling, nook and cranny cleaning throughout the house at least once a year makes it easier to keep the home clean in shorter amounts of time every other day of the year.

Save Time & Money

With a busy schedule, little spare time available and the rising cost of everything, including traditional harsh and sometimes toxic chemical cleaning products, it can be difficult and expensive to keep a home clean.  Like most of you, I have (and want) to save time and money.  Over the years, I’ve found ways of cleaning and disinfecting easier, quicker, greener and much cheaper on my wallet.

At Home Tips Feature

As part of the new At Home Tips feature , I’ll be sharing several of my clean on the cheap tips and recipes with you.  Hopefully, you’ll love ’em and find them helpful. I invite you to pass this article on to others who may love it too.

Clean On The Cheap Shopping List

You only need to keep some inexpensive (and BTW, non-toxic) items on hand to clean and disinfect your entire home.  They are very effective, green and will save you a bundle of money.

  1. White Vinegar (acts as a degreaser, deodorizer and anti-bacterial)
  2. Baking Soda (mild abrasive & deodorizer)
  3. Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol (disinfects & sanitizes, speeds drying time)
  4. Distilled Water (doesn’t contain minerals that leave water marks like tap water)
  5. Olive Oil (wood moisturizer & conditioner)
  6. Effervescent Denture Cleansing Tablets (stain fighter/remover, fizzing cleanser)
  7. Fels Naphtha Laundry Soap Bars – finely grated, stored in airtight container (removes dirt, grime, grease, fights stains & smells great)
  8. Orange, Grapefruit and/or Lemon Essential Oil (optional – can choose another favorite essential oil but I recommend these because they have grease and dirt cutting abilities)
  9. Lemons (acidic, dirt lifter & degreaser, odor remover)
  10. Cotton or flannel cloth diapers – standard, old fashioned style (soft & non-linty cloths that are durable, washable/reuseable)
  11. Micro-Fiber Cloths 
  12. Heavy Duty Sprayer Bottles (quart sized recommended)
  13. Nylon Bath Puffs (gentle, washable scrubby that will not harbor bacteria or fungus)
  14. Denture Toothbrush (for grout lines, nooks, crannies & detailed scrubbing)
  15. Tub of inexpensive baby wipes (for swish & swipe quick clean convenience
  16. Newspapers (black & white print is better than color print)


Yeah…fun!  I say that with tongue in cheek.  Anyways…..Here’s a few of my favorite cheap DIY cleaning recipes for the kitchen and bathroom to start y’all off on your own Spring CleanFest.

General Purpose Disinfecting Spray Cleanser

¼  cup white vinegar

¼  cup isopropyl alcohol

Distilled water

5-15 drops of  essential oil (optional)

Pour vinegar, alcohol, and essential oil into sprayer bottle.  Fill with distilled water. Shake to mix well.  Use this spray for general, regular cleaning of  countertops, tub, shower and toilet exteriors, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, shower doors, appliance exteriors, inside your microwave, oven, refrigerator, light switches, telephones, door knobs and practically every hard, non-wood surface in the house.  Use the cloth diapers or a microfiber cloth for this and a dry cloth for buffing if desired.


Sudsy Scouring Paste

1 cup baking soda

1 TBSP grated Fels Naphtha soap

6-8 TBSP isopropyl alcohol

Enough distilled water to create a paste the thickness of pancake batter

5-15 drops of essential oil (optional)

Mix ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup using an old spoon or wooden craft stick to stir until smooth.  Pour into a bottle with a cap if desired. Use this sudsy scouring paste to clean tubs, showers, bathroom tile and sinks throughout the house, glass stove tops, etc., pouring small amounts directly onto cloth diaper, micro-fiber cloth or onto a nylon bath puff for extra scrubbiness.  Rinse well and buff with clean, dry cloth if desired.


Foaming Toilet Bowl Cleaner

2-5 denture cleansing tablets

1 TBSP grated Fels Naphtha soap

1/2 Cup boiling hot water

1/4 Cup isopropyl rubbing alcohol

Mix grated soap into boiling hot water to melt soap flakes and make a liquid soap.  Let soap dissolve completely, stirring gently to mix.  Pour into toilet bowl water. Add your denture cleansing tablets to the bowl of soapy water.  This will fizz and foam up. Pour 1/4 cup of isopropyl alcohol into bowl for disinfecting.  Scrub inside bowl with a toilet brush, swirling the foamy solution on all the surfaces, even under the rim.  Allow to sit for 15-25 minutes.  Flush to rinse.


Drain Cleaner/Freshener

1 cup baking soda

20-30 drops Essential oil (optional)

2 cups vinegar

Mix essential oil into baking soda.  Pour dry mixture down drains.  Pour vinegar down drain.  After foaming reaction stops, rinse with water.

TIP: Use this same cleaner to clean and freshen the inside of your dishwasher.  Pour double amount of baking soda with essential oil into powder reservoirs and on the dishwasher floor.  Pour double the vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher over the soda.  After fizzing stops, run the washer through a full cycle on the hottest water setting.

BONUS TIP:  Use this same cleaner recipe, at 2x-3x the amounts, to clean the inside of your washing machine. Just fill the washer with hot water, add baking soda, vinegar and essential oil (optional). Allow it to soak for 30 minutes, wipe down surfaces that the water doesn’t reach with a cloth or scrubby pad  saturated with the water solution in the washer tub, then run washer through a heavy duty setting cycle.

This is a good start to your adventure in cleaning on the cheap.  I’ll be sharing more tips.


Are you excited to try these and save some serious money? I’d love to hear from you about how you clean on the cheap. Share your DIY cleaning recipes, tips and tricks and they may get featured on the blog with all credit going to you. 🙂  You’re name in lights forever on the internet with hundreds, maybe even thousands seeing it and thanking your for such a great tip.  You want that, right? 


I look forward to hearing from you, at home woman!

Ginger Moore


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