Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Budget: My Cleaning Pals

Meet my cleaning products. I buy all the No Name products from No Frills and all of the other products from the Real Canadian Superstore (Loblaws).

Laundry Detergent - We use Nature Clean HE 3x concentrated unscented laundry detergent. It is supposed to be good for 86 loads but I tend to buy one every 6-7 weeks or so and I don't think I do more than 10 loads of laundry/week. I also add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil ($5 and has lasted me 2 years) to the detergent when I wash our bedding as eucalyptus is a dust mite deterrent and it makes for a nice smell when we get in bed.  It is more expensive than the other mainstream and generic brands but we don't mind forking over a little extra since we have extremely sensitive skin. We don't use fabric softener and we've never noticed our clothes/linens as being scratchy or not soft.

Nature Clean Oxygen Bleach (not pictured) - I think this is somewhere around $8/bottle but I can't remember since I've had the same bottle for about 2 years. I use this to run through our front loader washing machine periodically on the clean cycle. I've also used it to give the kitchen counters a thorough clean.

Floor Cleaner - We use the unscented PC Green All Purpose Cleaner (somewhere around $3/bottle). Does a decent job on the floors.

Clorox Green Works All Purpose Cleaner - I use this spray for surfaces like the kitchen counter etc. (somewhere around $3 per bottle). It has a slight scent to it which is nice.

Baking Soda - I use baking soda (less than $1/box) for anything that requires a more abrasive cleaner like the stove, tub, and sinks. The key to this is adding it to the dry surface and then only adding a little bit of water so it turns into a paste. It will sometimes leave a bit of a residue if you don't thoroughly rinse it so I follow up with the PC Green All Purpose Cleaner.

Glass Cleaner - mix of vinegar and water in an old Nature Clean glass cleaner spray bottle.. again the cost is cents and it works just as well as Windex in my opinion.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner - Yep.. the harsh stuff ($3). I don't mess around with toilets. I found mould and other icky bacteria growth on my toilet brushes to be a lot when I used the green toilet cleaner. Anyone have a solution for this? Do other people clean their toilet brushes periodically? Maybe I'm just out of the loop.

Paper Towel (not pictured) - I use on average a half a roll of No Name paper towel. A 2 pack is only $.77 which I've found is cheaper than buying the larger pack for some reason. This is used  for kitchen (mostly wiping out my cast iron frying pan or soaking up excess bacon grease) and cleaning (glass and mirrors - and then use the same paper towel after for the toilet because I don't want that on my cloth).

No Name Quick Tie Regular Garbage Bags - These are cheap at around $5/box and meet my durability expectations. Some cheaper bags can fall apart or rip easily. No fancy tie up or handles. We don't mind roughing it when it comes to garbage bags.

As for other supplies, I use a Vileda broom and a Vileda Mop 3-in-1 sponge end. I replace this end when it starts to look yucky about every 3 months. I use a cloth (old towel cut up) for all of my surface, sink, tub cleaning and then throw it in the laundry with DH's work clothes. We have a HEPA Kenmore Vacuum - I change the bag every 4ish months when my light comes on to tell me it is full. Though we have to pay for the bags and they aren't the most environmentally friendly, I find having a bag really helps with allergies since I don't have to empty a canister. I had to do this with our old vacuum and I could never do it without making a mess and getting sneezy and itchy. I do use a Swiffer duster but use the No Name disposable duster refills - one box of these will easily last me a year or better since I find I don't need to change it often.

Cascade Dish Detergent (5.10kg) - I find this the cheapest product that still meets my expectations (clean dishes) - we tend to do about 10 dishwasher loads/week and I put everything in the dishwasher.

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