I reuse the swiffer dusters

by Nelda
(Green Forest, AR, USA)

I reuse the swiffer dusters by hand washing, let air dry. Still picks up dust just like new.


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Make your own laundry detergent- Seriously easy

by Kit
(Wauzeka Wi)

I had been thinking about making my own laundry detergent, mainly because of the cost, but seriously sensitive skin, and my store stopped stocking 'my brand' So I looked and found this recipe. This works very very well. Very cheap and doesn't bother my skin at all.

1 cup washing soda ( not baking soda!! I found this at a local grocery store.
My WalMart doesn't carry it, but your's might)
1 cup borax
2 cups grated ivory bar soap (this is about 1 bar worth)
Mix well
Use 2 tablespoons per load


My Mom who remembers homemade detergent being "slimy" sais this might be a problem, but since I use 3/4 cup of vinegar instead of fabric softner it hasn't been a problem.

I doubled this recipe and am just now finishing up the first batch, 2 1/2 months later. I figured I spent about $7.00 for all the ingredients, and have plenty to make another double batch. This compares to $15.00 every month for store bought laundry detergent and fabric softner.

Please please try this, you won't be sorry.

Comment by Kate
Great submission and great tip too. Thanks for contributing.

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Frugal Cleaning Tips - Vinegar & Baking Soda Is All You Need

by Cindy
(Trinidad)

Most people think that cleaning is not something that you should want to skimp on. However, there are many ways that you can cut back on your cleaning expenses and use readily available household items.

Two of these household items are baking soda and vinegar. They are simply cleaning masters. I’ve used them to clean my drains, pipes and even bathtub! They act very quickly to remove drain blockages. All I do is pour some baking soda down my drain and then slowly pour a little vinegar after it until I hear the “hissing” sound. Leave it overnight and then wash down with water and your drains and pipes will be completely cleared of muck.

There are so many uses for vinegar around the home… I think I’m in love with this product! I use it to clean my windows, microwave, countertops and even toilet stains. You can even use it to kill mold and mildew growths.

Baking soda, on the other hand has a myriad of uses. For one, it can get rid of those unpleasant odors in your home. You can place a small open container of it in the fridge and it will absorb all the odors. No one enjoys a smelly fridge I can tell you that!

Another issue I have with odors is that whenever I use plastic containers repeatedly to store foods they tend to absorb the smells after awhile. This is especially true for my kid’s lunch bowls. All you have to do is allow the bowls to soak in baking soda and water solution overnight and your odor problem will simply vanish.

Besides getting rid of offensive odors baking soda can clean your bathroom by removing stains and even soap scum and it can also help to remove carpet stains.

By using these two (very inexpensive) items you can throw out at least half of your chemical cleaners.

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Laundry detergent is TWICE as good!

by Marissa
(Taunton, MA)

No way around it - laundry detergent can be costly. I buy mine at a wholesale club and divide it up into 2 detergent containers (having saved the prior empty one), fill the rest of it with water, and shake. I shake the bottle before I do a wash, just to ensure it's mixed well. I've noticed NO difference in the cleanliness or smell of the clothing, and it's saving me time AND money!

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Eco-tip: Reduce use of paint thinner

by Anonymous

First of all, get the smallest container of paint thinner you can, for those jobs where you absolutely need to use a solvent base finish- such as transparent and semi transparent wood stains and primer on bare wood (oil based primer allows real smooth sanding). You will not need very much using this method.

I take an empty plastic container, such as yogurt container, and rinse my brushes in this. I then let the impurities settle to the bottom overnight, and then I pour the clear paint thinner into another plastic container. (To get a better seal use a little film before you close up lid, and make a note on the container what is in there. I then let the sediment evaporate in the first container before I dispose it in the trash.

For jobs, where I need to stop for the day, assuming the paint on the brush is fresh and has not started to dry, I wrap the brush in a plastic bag and place in freezer. After a bit of defrosting the next day it is ready to use and I did not need to use solvent.

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Frugal Tip - Fruit Tea Bag Room Scenter

by Paula

picture by House Of Sims flickr.com

picture by House Of Sims flickr.com

I love drinking fruit teas but I have always thought it a bit of a waste just to throw the tea bag away after brewing my cup. So i decided to dry them out and use them later as room scenters.

I simply put a bowl of hot water into my room and place the tea bag into it. The hot water carries the scent of the fruit around my rooms and keeps it smelling lovely and fresh for hours. It saves me a lot of money on those nasty room scenters you buy from the shops.

I like to use small bowls with a Japanese motif on the side. this makes the colored water even more attractive and gives your room a lovely oriental look too.

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Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

by Angela Scott
(Alliance, NE)

4 cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar (can be purchased online at amazon.com and a number of online soapmaking suppliers)
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax
essential oil if desired for fragrance


Grate the soap and add to a saucepan with the water. Stir continually over med-low heat until soap is completely dissolved.

Fill a clean 5 gallon bucket half full with hot tap water and add the soap, soda, and Borax. Stir until all the powder has dissolved. Then fill the bucket to the top with more hot tap water.

Stir, cover, and let sit overnight to thicken.

The next day you should have a mixture that looks a lot like egg drop soup. Then you can add 5-7 drops of essential oil per gallon of soap and stir well.

Take a clean, used laundry soap container and fill it 2/3 full with your soap mixture. Be sure to always stir your soap before adding it to your dispensing container. Then fill the container the rest of the way with water. Shake the container before each use as soap will separate.

Top load machines use about 1 cup per load.
Front load machines use 1/2-3/4 cup per load depending on the size of the machine. My machine holds about three large top loads full of clothes so I use a little more than a cup per load. Most front loaders are not that large, however. This detergent is very low sudsing so I have had no problem using it in place of HE detergent and our clothes have come out just as clean and we save approximately $40.00 per month on laundry soap since the entire batch costs less than $3.00 to make and lasts for months.

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