I do keep certain eco-friendly cleaners around the house for tough jobs, but for all the everyday stuff like wiping down counters, cleaning mirrors, and general disinfecting, I prefer vinegar water. When it comes to household cleaning, the best money saving tip I can think of to help the frugal mommy has got to be white vinegar.
I purchased a few spray bottles several years ago – one for each bathroom and one for the kitchen. I mix about 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 purified water. For a little extra cleaning power (and to make it smell better), I add a few drops of sweet orange oil. Shake the bottle well and start cleaning! There is very little that can’t be cleaned with this simple spray. I even manage to get stains out of our very white Berber carpet (which was here when we moved – who’s idea was that?!?) If you have tough stains, say on your stovetop, you can sprinkle a little baking soda on after spraying the surface down and scrub most stuck-on stuff right off.
When you purchase white vinegar, make sure it’s made from grains as opposed to being produced using petroleum based methods. At this point I’ve been using Heinz; my understanding has been this is a safe one to purchase. I buy big jugs at Costco and that one jug will last months for cleaning and cooking. As I said, this has got to be one of the best money saving tips I can think of for household cleaning – not to mention chemical free!