discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Thursday, 16 January 2014

this simple way of life~ Part 4 Thrifty green cleaning.

I really do think that we are a marketing persons wet dream of germ phobes.  We as a consumer driven society have gone anti-bacterial mad and the supermarkets are rubbing their hands with glee all the way to the bank.  My reasons for going green and thrify with my household cleaners was a desire to stop coughing up a lung of fumes each time I cleaned the shower, and of course to save money on these high priced antibacterial supermarket varieties.  I knew from reading many blogs on eco-friendly cleaners and making your own was and option, so I decided months ago now to just give it one try and if I didn't like it, I could always go back to buying the over priced stinkers.

You might be surprised to learn that good old vinegar could be the answer to our money saving prayers.  It has all the properties you need to kill off mould, bacteria and germs due to its acidity levels.  It is also easy on our environment and as cheap as chips. Cheaper even.   This, some bi carb and a frugal objective will give you all that you need for a basic cleaner and at a fraction of the price.  You can get the easy peasy recipe here for the citrus vinegar that I use.  This link has 1001 uses for vinegar that will make your head spin.  Why have we given good old vinegar the flick? If you really are pushed for time and/or cash and you don't have a lemon tree to pillage, just use the vinegar as is, in the raw.

I now use this citrus vinegar diluted with a ration of 50/50 water to vinegar in a spray bottle as our antibacterial spray, as a floor cleaner, straight as a room deodoriser, window/mirrow cleaner with newspaper, or mixed with borax or bi-carb soda as a heavy duty cleaner in the shower, kitchen stove, and sinks with a bit of elbow grease and a scrubbing brush.  You can also read here how to clean your oven using this vinegar, some napisan and bicarb too.  This citrus vinegar I make for next to nicks.  A 2 litre white vinegar from Aldi is $1.09 and made into my citrus vinegar will last for months and months with this one product replacing at least 3 or 4 cleaners that I use to buy for approximately $25 every few months.  The lemons I get for free off friends trees or I use the skins off the oranges we eat as fruit.  I store the skins in an airtight container in the fridge until I have 3-4 oranges worth of skins and put them into a jar and top up with vinegar.  Leave for 3 weeks and Bob's your uncle. To make it even better it's as green as green can be.  Our environment will certainly thank you.

I thought it would be interesting to show you in cold hard numbers how much moolah we are really talking.  So I did a comparison with Woolies online on the price of their cleaners, keeping in mind it's costing me one dollar approximately to make the citrus vinegar.  They had over 1,000 products listed under household cleaners, what are we a bunch of micro-organism freaks!? Next time you are in the supermarket, just consciously have a look at the cleaning aisles, they are mind boggling.

Heres just some of their list
  • Airwick automatic spray $21.92 
  • Orange power manual spray air freshener $4.25 (FYI~I am using an empty bottle of this that I use to use to put my citrus vinegar in to spray in the toilet and other rooms)
  • Orange power bathroom cleaner, shower & tile 750ml $5.26
  • Pine-o-clean disinfectant 1.25 litre $5.34
  • Windex glass cleaner trigger 500ml $4.48
  • Ducks Fresh discs toilet cleaner 2x36ml $10.74
  • Earth choice floor cleaner wooden surface $5.36
Ok you get the thats a total of around $65 and I could buy 4 litres of vinegar and a bag of lemons for under $10, under $2.50 that will probably last me 6 months, if I got the lemons off a friends tree.  Thats $60 every 3 months I could be either paying down credit card debt, mortgage or other debt. Thats an extra $240 a year to use for something other that cleaning products.  I know to some out there they will be thinking whats $240, well its better in my pocket than in the supermarkets and that's all that matters to me!
Do you spend a fortune on cleaning products or are you open to changing to vinegar?  I dare you to give it a try and tell me honestly what you think  I know what I'm sticking with and that $240 will help with my 52 week money challenge!

Ciao, Jan.


  1. I'm allergic to a lot of those sprays too. Spray and Wipe totally affects my breathing and I feel almost asthmatic. I can't imagine that it's very good to use!

  2. Hi Jan, OMG those bread rolls and bread look AMAZING and I would love to eat them right now. I just have a question for you I've made the 5 min bread years ago (about 4) terrible as I haven't attempted it since, silly reason. I used my camp oven which of course has a difficult lid to lift off with any hot holder. I did buy an ALDI pot about 6 months ago to make this very bread but then I read the box and it said the lid (because of the plastic knob) couldn't go in temperatures that the bread needed to be cooked in. I even rang the manufacturer of the pot to check it out and they said it couldn't go in the oven. By that stage it was too late to take it back to Aldi for a refund so I still have the lovely blue pot ready for that recipe of bread but haven't done it. What do you use to bake your 5 min bread in? Or are you just putting it directly onto a tray in the oven with the water bath underneath for steam. I would love to know.

    I do shop at Aldi but not for fruit and veggies because there is only 3 of us and most things you have to buy a bag of it which would be too much for my little family and I don't want to waste the food (I am guilty of this). I do need to shop at Aldi more often rather than Woolworths. I do love the Aldi meat and my friend who is the roast queen always buys her roasts from Aldi. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

    1. Hey Kathy,
      I just use my camp oven brought for $20 at my local Ray's outdoors. I just use a normal oven mit to get the lid on and off and it out of the oven. I've never tried it straight in the oven with a water tray underneath but should one day just to see what happens but I don't think it will work as well as the camp oven has a more even/consistent temperature and humidity. I have had no failures with the camp oven technique so I'm silly to change now!! This is a heavy bread though, not light and fluffy, but gorgeous all the same. It just really benefits from toasting after the first day. The rolls are the same dough/recipe just made into roll sizes. Hope this helps, keep me posted!! Cheers Jan x


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