7 Smart Ways to Save Money on Cleaning Supplies
Keep your home spick and span—without splurging on cleaning products.
Between fancy scented laundry detergent, bottle after bottle of hand soap, and endless boxes of dryer sheets, the cost of your household's cleaning supplies can really start to add up. To save money on cleaning products (without sacrificing your sparkling clean home), try incorporating these money-saving tricks into your cleaning routine. From simple product swaps, like replacing disposable paper towels with reusable cloths, to mixing up your own homemade cleaning solutions using inexpensive ingredients, these tricks will save you money every single month. Don't be fooled by the promises of overpriced cleaning products, sometimes the least expensive cleaning solutions are actually the most effective.
1. Buy Concentrated Formulas
Whether you're buying dish soap, hand soap, or laundry detergent, the more concentrated formula will always cost more upfront, but because you can use less of these powerful products, they'll last much longer. If you go through bottle after bottle of laundry detergent in the blink of an eye, try switching to a concentrated formula, such as Method Concentrated Laundry Detergent ($12, amazon.com) so you can use less per load (and stop lugging around that bulky bottle of detergent). If you have a high-efficiency washing machine, just double check that the detergent is compatible with the machine and be mindful of the amount you use to avoid oversudsing.
2. Mix Up Homemade Cleaning Solutions
Want to avoid the markups that come along with trendy cleaning companies' packaging and advertisements? Make your own DIY cleaning solutions at home. Instead of buying expensive scented multi-purpose cleaning sprays, combine rubbing alcohol, dish soap, and essential oils following this formula. Common ingredients like vinegar and dish soap are very affordable, and if you buy them in bulk, they're even cheaper.
Decant the solutions into reusable glass spray bottles so they're portable and easy to use. Just think, the 30 seconds it takes to mix up a customized cleaning spray is much shorter than a trip to the store.
3. Swap in Reusables for Disposables
Disposable cleaning supplies that your family tends to use up quickly (we're looking at you, paper towel roll) can really rack up your grocery store expenses. If your family goes through multiple rolls of paper towels per week, consider switching to washable cleaning cloths, which can be thrown in the washing machine whenever they need a refresh.
4. Buy in Bulk
If you have the storage space, buying cleaning supplies in bulk can save you hundreds of dollars over time. Paper products are the safest bet to buy in bulk because they won't expire or start leaking before you have a chance to use them. An added bonus: If your basement or cleaning closet is fully stocked, there's no chance you'll accidentally run out of toilet paper.
5. Choose Foaming Hand Soap
If you end up refilling the hand soap pump almost every time you step into the bathroom, think about switching to a foaming formula instead. Because it's already pre-lathered, most people end up using less, so the product lasts longer.
While this is the most cost-effective solution, liquid soap has been shown to kill more germs than the foaming variety. Want to stick with liquid hand soap? Be sure to buy the replacement soap in bulk and refill your dispenser so you're not paying for a new pump every week.
6. Don't Forget About Coupons!
It may seem obvious, but shopping discounted cleaning products is an easy way to score the best price. If you don't want to hunt through the newspaper, search for printable coupons on coupons.com, which often has deals on brands like Mrs. Meyers and Clorox. If you're a frequent shopper at Target, be sure to download the latest Target app (formerly called Cartwheel) to make sure you're not missing out on any coupons.
7. Vinegar and Baking Soda Can Clean Almost Everything
While most of us are used to shelling out hundreds of dollars every year on cleaning supplies, never underestimate the cleaning power of a couple pantry basics. Vinegar can be used to clean everything from floors to clogged pipes (just avoid using it to clean these 7 things).
Likewise, baking soda can scrub and deodorize everything from shower grout to your gym shoes. Why pay for expensive luxury cleaning sprays and scrubs when a 5-pound box of baking soda can be yours for just three bucks?