Need some simple ways to make your cleaning products last longer? Here are 8 simple ways to stretch your supplies, and cut down necessary trips to the store.
Like many of you, I’m looking for ways to leave the house less for errands. Less time spent in grocery stores and warehouses, the better.
I’m trying to find ways to make not only my groceries last longer, but everything else in my house. And with us being home more, let’s just say, I’m cleaning a lot more than usual.
If you’re shopping less, but cleaning more, you may find yourself running out of all your cleaning products at the same time. So, if you need to make your current stash stretch until the next monthly run to the grocery store, here’s how to make your cleaning supplies last.
Many of us have been trained to fill both dispensers in our dishwasher or fill the laundry soap cup to the brim. Now’s the time to evaluate how much detergent you really need. Read the packaging and see how much detergent is recommended for the load you’re washing. Your friend with toddlers may need to use more laundry detergent than your neighbor who is running a load of work-at-home clothes.
2. Mix Your Own Sanitize
If your cleaning cabinet is running out of products that will sanitize your home, it’s time to turn to your laundry area. Bleach and water, in the right proportions, will do wonders.
“Bleach is very effective at killing the coronavirus, as well as virtually every other germ on the face of the planet,” said Dr. Paul Pottinger, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Washington Medical Center.
To create your own household cleaner, follow the Center for Disease Control guidelines:
Clean the surface with soap and warm, clean water. Rinse the area with clean water. Then sanitize with a mixture of 1 cup bleach to 5 gallons water. Let the area air dry. Be sure to wear rubber gloves to keep the bleach off your hands.
- Spray the Cloth, Not the Surface
Never spray cleanser directly onto the surface you’re cleaning. You’ll save cleaner and money by spraying your glass, wood, and surface cleanser directly on your cloth and then cleaning the intended surface. Many of us subscribe to the myth, the more cleanser, the cleaner it is. But using too much cleanser can actually cause build-up and require extra work to clean the surface. (No wonder we hate cleaning!)
4. Use the Cloth for the Size of the Job
We’ve taken to rationing our disinfecting wipes with one simple trick: tearing them in half. Most of the cleanup jobs I’m doing right now are on the small side: wiping down door handles, disinfecting a sink, wiping down light switches. None of these require a huge cloth to do the job. Now, I tear the wipes in half and stick the leftover wipe back in the container to be used for the next job.
5. Use the Leftovers
We all have them. The cleaner we tried for our bathroom and didn’t love the smell of, but didn’t get rid of either. Now is the time to scour the house for any containers under bathroom sinks, in the laundry area, in the garage, or even in your basement. Where are those half-used bottles of cleaners hiding? Gather everything you have into one place, so you know exactly what you have and what you are running low on.
Read the label on the all-purpose cleaner; you may just be using it for surface cleaning, but the label tells you that it is also a degreaser, a spot cleaner for fabric, and even a carpet cleaner. It’s time to discover the power you already have sitting in that bottle and all the ways that “multi-purpose” is really true.
- Use Concentrate as Intended
With so many products being offered as concentrates, make sure that you’re using the proper amount of cleanser, and using it correctly. Do you need to be adding water to the product before using it, or using way less than a non-concentrated product?
- Ask Yourself: Does this Really Need to Be Cleaned?
With most of us not going out as much as we are used to, think about the ways that you could reduce the number of items that need to be cleaned on a daily basis.
How about dishes? Assign each member of your family one different colored cup each day so you are only washing one cup, per person, per day. Depending on the size of your family, that could save a half a load of dishes right there.
You may not be able to employ all of these tactics, but even implementing one or two can help you get to a place of extending the life of your cleaners, as well as feeling safer during this time of crisis.
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