Tuesday 15 January 2013

What Household Cleaners Do You Use?

Tina Klein left a question on last week's "What We Spent" blog post:  

"I am curious to know if you are buying name brand items for household supplies- cleaners and such? "

Good question Tina!  I thought it merited a blog post all its own.  :)

Like many people I use name brand, generic, and homemade household supplies depending upon the situation.  

I have some pretty strong allergic reactions to certain materials, including borax and fabric softeners, as well as many highly scented products.  It's taken me some time to figure out what works best for me without provoking a reaction and, as a result, I tend to stick to products that I know will work for me.  Here are some products I purchase by brand name because I know that they won't irritate my allergies:
  • Ivory hand soap
  • Ivory dish soap
  • Woolite laundry detergent (I wash almost all my laundry in cold water, and hang most of it to dry.)
  • Personal care items such as shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, and hand lotion

I work a full time job, take a fair bit of part time work, and spend almost 40 hours a week on blogging, social networking, and other writing enterprises.  There are times when I decide to buy ready made products because I feel my time is worth more than the amount of money I'd save if I made them myself.  Laundry soap and dish soap fall within this category, as do:
  • Liquid hand soap
  • Solid (bar) soap
  • Personal care items such as shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, and hand lotion

I purchase some household products because I think they work better than the stuff I make myself.  Dish soap falls under this category too, because it rinses cleaner.  Others are:
  • Lysol toilet cleaning gel
  • Finish all-in-one dishwasher tablets
  • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers
  • Shout stain remover
  • OxyClean (I buy the generic version)
  • Bleach (Health department regulations require that I use a bleach solution to clean all food preparation surfaces)
  • Sudsy ammonia (I use it instead of commercially made carpet cleaning solution)

I also buy Soft and Pure Premium toilet paper (in case lots) because I prefer it to other brands, and Puffs Plus lotion tissues because they're kind to my nose. (That's very important to a gal with allergies!)  

I look for coupons for all of the household products I purchase and combine them with sale prices. 

I try keep enough on hand to last at least three months (the usual time span between sale offers).

I make these household products myself:
  • All purpose cleaner from orange peels and vinegar
  • Wood cleaner from vegetable oil and vinegar
  • Drain cleaner from baking soda and vinegar
I use baking soda for scouring many different surfaces including counter tops, stove tops, pots and pans, sinks, and bathtubs and salt for scouring spills and sticky bits from inside my oven.

I think every household strikes a different balance when purchasing cleaning products and other household supplies.  

Many families use a combination of store bought and homemade items.  What works best for you?


Annie at Haphazard Homestead said...

Most of our household cleaners are homemade, but not all of them. I make an all-purpose cleaner that contains ammonia, rubbing alcohol, a touch of Dawn and water. I use it for glass and all hard surfaces. I make our own powdered laundry detergent. I make a cleaner from hydrogen peroxide and Dawn that is a good carpet spot treatment and also very good at cleaning the toilet and removing soap scum from showers. Not a household cleaner, but we make our own bath soap, too.

I buy Dawn for handwashing dishes, Cascade powder for the dishwasher (but I stretch it with baking soda and Borax), and a product called Greased Lightning for clothing stain removal. I still use some chlorine bleach in the laundry, and no fabric softener, not even a vinegar rinse.

Aunt B said...

Good for you Annie, and thank you for sharing that information.