My Frugal Frugal Ways

White Distilled Vinegar is My Friend
December 24, 2007, 11:46 am
Filed under: Cleaning

Use to clean and disinfect counter tops.

Make some ice cubes out of vinegar and then run them down the garbage disposal to clean and deodorize.

Clean the microwave by putting some vinegar and water in a microwave safe dish, cook until it boils up and splatters the side. Wipe out and you have a clean and odor free microwave.

Clean any greasy kitchen area with straight white vinegar.

Of course, we all know it’s great for cleaning those coffee makers. Regularly run the vinegar through the coffee machine and then run it two or three times with plain water.

Clean plastic containers with straight vinegar if they are stained or have an odor.

Salt and vinegar mixed together makes a dandy cleaner for brass, copper, and pewter.

Soak a rag or paper towel in vinegar, wrap around faucet or wherever you have calcium deposits, let it soak for a few hours, wipe clean.

Clean grout with white vinegar and a toothbrush.

Use it for cleaning your shower door or shower curtain.

Vinegar is also a germ killer so use it to wipe surfaces such as door knobs and light switches.

Try it as a stain remover in the laundry room.  As always, test on an inconspicuous part of the clothing first.

It makes a pretty good weed killer and is environmentally healthy.

Pour it on anthills.

One part vinegar and one part water sprayed on slugs will kill them and is a bit safer for your garden than the old  ammonia trick.


Baking Soda is My Friend
December 21, 2007, 11:40 am
Filed under: Cleaning

I buy baking soda by the ten pound bag at the local restaurant supply store.

It makes a great presoak for diapers.

Add 1/2 cup to a washer load for better cleaning.

Use it as a wash for fruits and vegetables.

It’s a great cleaner for formica counter tops and fiberglass bathtubs.

Sprinkle some in the bottom of your dishwasher occasionally to keep it clean and smelling sweet.

Sprinkle on a pan that’s hard to clean.  Add just enough water to moisten.  Leave overnight.

Once per week, put 1/2 cup of baking soda down your drains and flush with hot water.

It makes a great toothpaste.  I brush my teeth as normal with a small amount of toothpaste.  Then I dab some baking soda on my toothbrush and give my teeth another brush.  The last time I went for a cleaning, it was over very quickly because I didn’t have much tartar at all.

Add a small amount to legumes as they are cooking to reduce their gas producing properties.

Equal parts borax and baking soda can be used as a dishwasher detergent.

If you’re doing dishes or pots and pans in the sink, add some to your dishwater for better cleaning.

Bugs stuck on your chrome bumper?  Yep, gentle clean with baking soda paste.

Deodorize your carpet by sprinkling with baking soda 1/2 hour before vacuuming.

Use it to clean your toilet.  You can also add it to the tank before going to bed and flushing in the morning to clean tank and bowl.

I add a dab to my shampoo to help clean the hairspray build up out of my hair.

December 20, 2007, 11:31 am
Filed under: Cleaning

There are lots of ways to save in the laundry room. We’ll start with laundry detergent which costs, on average, $.09 per load. There are homemade laundry soap recipes out there which boast a $.03 price tag. I can’t find washing soda in my town so I’ve chosen a low cost laundry detergent which costs $.05 per load. I do let the laundry soak for 30 minutes before beginning agitation.

My washer has lots of water level settings so I can adjust for any load size without wasting water. All outer garments get washed in cold water. It’s better for the clothes and saves electricity. 85 percent of the cost of washing is heating water so washing in cold after soaking saves quite a bit.

My fabric softener consists of filling half the dispenser with vinegar. Another good recipe is 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup vinegar, and 2 cups water. Be careful when mixing. I dissolve the baking soda in the water before adding the vinegar. You can pretreat stains with inexpensive shampoo or Ivory bar soap.

Use the dryer minimally. I do dry my towels and sheets. Some clothes like jeans I start in the dryer for 10 minutes and then finish by hanging them on one of those wooden laundry racks. The rest of the clothes don’t even see the inside of the dryer. This not only saves electricity but it’s better for the fabric. An added bonus is that the dryer has a lot less wear and tear.

Cleaning Supplies
December 19, 2007, 11:10 am
Filed under: Cleaning

Diluted white vinegar is great for cleaning windows and mirrors. I buy it in the gallon jugs.

Use baking soda to clean sinks, counters, and bathtubs. I buy it in bulk at the restaurant supply store. Once per week (don’t worry, I clean my shower more often but this I do once per week) I sprinkle some baking soda on the shower floor, take a wet sponge and keep dipping it in, and gently scrub all the walls and floor of the shower/bathtub. Then I take my morning shower which rinses away the residue. That is followed by my normal daily spray and wipe of the area.

Diluted vinegar makes a great air freshener.

For furniture polish, I mix 1/2 lemon oil with 1/2 white vinegar, put in spray bottle, shake well, and spray a soft cloth.

To clean linoleum, diluted white vinegar works well.

Can you tell I love my white vinegar?

Using homemade cleaners has the added benefit of leaving a healthier environment than chemical cleaners.