Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cutting cleaning costs

I love the smell of a clean house. I have 4 animals that have complete access to the house, so I vacuum and mop daily. It's the only way to keep up with the shedding, and that lovely doggy odor. Dishes need to be done 1-2 times a day and don't even get me started on the laundry. So I have developed some time and cost saving things that I do.

I dedicate an hour a day to cleaning. That is it. I am a full time student, I homeschool my kids, and my daughter is on the swim team with daily practice. I don't have time to play around. The only exception is after dinner cleanup which takes another 15 minutes or so.

I have two pre-teen girls. I make up a list of all the rooms, and each room has 3-6 tasks which are divided up between the three of us. There is also an extra 3 tasks to make sure things like cleaning out the fridge and dusting and baseboards get done at least once in a while. An example would be
Living Room:
1. Pick up floor
2. Clean off furniture (this includes couch, table, piano, shelves and so on)
3. Vacuum and mop the floor

The girls take turns picking what task they want to do out of each room. I take what is left. Cleaning time is cleaning time. This cut down the whining, complaining, and the time it takes me to clean the house.

Now, as for cleaners. One thing I use is Simple Green. I bought 1 gallon of the concentrate and I have been using it what feels like forever. I bought it for $8. I use 1/4 cup in a bucket. I start with kitchen counters, tables and so on, then move on to bathroom and floors. I can clean my whole house with it for $0.13 a day. It is also non-toxic and biodegradable.

For kitchen counters after meal prep I do bring out the big guns. I do buy the 409 antibacterial spray but it only requires a few sprays to make sure my counters are bacteria free. I use this on the toilet seat, flush handle and the bathroom faucet as well because I am not sure how well the simple green kills things. Either way a bottle costs me $2.50 and lasts at least a month which is a cost of about $0.08 a day.

For the tub to get rid of soap scum I use baking soda. It's completely natural, works better than comet or other powders and only takes a few minutes if I keep up on it. I can get a box of baking soda at Aldi for $0.49 and it will clean the tub a dozen times, so it is a cost of $0.04 a use.

I swish the toilet with the brush daily, but I also have well water so once a week I have to deep clean it. I dump in 2 cups or so of white vinegar, which I buy at Aldi for $1 a gallon. I let it set for an hour, swish with the brush and flush. Voila, no buildup, and a total cost of $0.13 a week.

Windows can also be done with white vinegar, which is another $0.04 a week, if that.

If you have any other cost, or time saving ideas, please feel free to share. I finally have a system down and my house is cleaner than it has ever been.

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